Gambia: Crisis of context : A cataclysmic historical event


By now, Gambians have heard tales of loss of lives and selective injustice. The politicians who seemed contemptuous with their measured approach and pressed the pause button at that moment lost their political capital. Fair enough, all of them are victims themselves. The core problem is we need an imaginative leader to step up in the absence of Darboe responding with fresh eyes to current situations today. It seems especially important to show Gambians he feel their pain, understand their exact frustrations in their lives, see all their sacrifice and know the bravery they display during this unprecedented challenge to our nation. Moreover, you capture the texture of life and things will get better when regime is history.

The decay of Gambia by misrule of Jammeh and decline in moral standing of our beloved nation is now center stage more than ever. We have been ignored for 22 years which has triggered a series of distrust and pessimism. Death rates have increase, Family structures erode, Life expectancy falls, people slip between the cracks and inevitably alcohol consumption drug use rises.

I wish the lawyers representing our heroes could have a podium outside and explain to the world the progress and injustice meted out to our people daily.  It will be nice to have a creative politician or charismatic leader in the midst of the protestors who could put together a comprehensive agenda daily and coordinate everything rather than going home consistently disappointed. He should also let Gambians know we have to turn a new page. Offer something inspiring and audacious — to tackle people common problems and that we need an urgent new government that could offer mobility grants to help small business and people get their families from economic disparities — helping people find understand their rights and what services are available through government or private NGOs.

It’s not surprising that backway syndrome   has claimed our towns where there’s so little to do. People have moved away in search of better opportunity. But the root of this crisis is economic isolation since the inception of APRC regime. Half of our country men suffered trauma in childhood and beyond but with Jammeh, we witness those who worked hard in life lost everything. We hear too often stories of people who are qualified for jobs openings or scholarship declined -denied to be shortlisted because of their last name or not photogenic on picture.  Take a hard look at picture of our folks coming from Banjul, you feel so sorry for our country men.  We need an eloquent speaker to grabbed the attention of all Gambians whose families are touched by Jammeh bad policies — which is basically everybody. The best out of people goes to Jammeh but in turns the worst out of him comes to us.

To some of our brave men in uniform, should you let actions of Yaya Jammeh and rotten apples among you drag on to approach an incomprehensible level for it to tug on your consciousness and trigger effective action? We have to commend some of you despite the confluence of Yaya Jammeh’s interests to make the country a media-free zone, so much evidence has emerged from some of you — from victims’ testimonies, recent videos of foot journalistic coverage and— that now there can be no doubt about the horrors that has transpired in Gambia since 1994. Yet whereas many Gambians are incredulous at the thought that a guy with white “hafta” and the condescending voice who dishes out money isn’t capable of horrors he is accused of, but the dominant reaction to stories of atrocities and injustice in Gambia is shocking. Incontrovertible proof of the Solo Sandeng’s massacre have emerged, the time for decision arrived, and the president opted not to address Gambia but to confuse you security men by donating not first or second hand buses, but last hand buses. Where should the “Red-line” be drawn? Our old folks have offered him an elegant exit but Yaya projects a very different posture. Deaf ears, Inaction, for him — he has triggered no pangs of regret, no second-guessing; choosing to remain a bystander President by showering himself with awards on National TV. When a servant of the people is indispensable to them and don’t have courage or conviction to face them, its time you all rethink what we mean when we repeat the vow “New again”.

As for Yaya Jammeh, I know you have a dog-eat-dog mentality and you love to be dominant and authoritative.  Now you learnt that the cut-throat, aggressive behavior you use among our countrymen is ineffective for earning you the respect despite all the titles you gather. Rather, compassion and humility breeds loyalty and engagement, which then yields greater success. A leader can be strong without being cruel. This is the thing, from birth to death, the most important predictor of happiness and physical health is positive relationships with other people but now you trust no one. None of the “safara” or amulets can give you peaceful mind. In life, those leaders who exhibited “greater courage, humanity and justice” had more influence and would speak truth and apologies to their countrymen the wrong they have done. Today, most people dislike your actions because they lack empathy and a competitive orientation toward other people. This is why you are unlikely to garner support from your peers in the world.  Let go the longstanding bias against certain people. ‘PS look in the mirror”. Walaa! It’s even possible to be angry without being mean. Lastly your strategy based on exploiting Gambians instead of lifting them up inevitably leads to divisions, paranoia, isolation and promises that you can never, ever fulfilled. You have betrayal of our values. These are not the times for incompetence. The list of disappointments has become a long one. Nothing goes uneaten with you. You earn a poor grade in his ability to deliver good governance to Gambians and dignity for our people. You are rich in brazenness. You earn the highest grade in your ability to play by the lawlessness of the jungle, so you want the whole world to operate by jungle rules. Governments try to deliver order and economic benefits to people, but they do not organize their inner spiritual lives.

My ink has dried…..

Written By Habib (A concerned Gambian)

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