Dear Pa,

Am writing to your medium with my heart beating my chest out for my dear country The Gambia is sitting on a ticking bomb. A source so close to me reveal that some elements of GAF officers and men who are fed up with the direction towards which their institution is heading are planning a massive demonstration but in what form I couldn’t ascertain.

According to the insider these young men have already met and plans are on high gear to make sure that the political leadership respond to their demand and any force to deter them will be met with full resistance either from the ECOMIG or a different force within the army itself. Are we to see a bloodbath if there isn’t any compromise? The question I kept asking myself ever since I came across this disturbing information.

It’s said that the young officers and men are not acting alone for they have the backing of some senior officers who felt the leadership of the armed force is only playing games and not into anything serious as far as reforms and restructuring of GAF is concern.
I was privy to a junk of why in the first place these personnel will take such a risk even when a powerful ECOMIG force is present in the country but what I was made to understand is they have nothing against the government but the institution where they serving is going from bad to worse on daily basis not even as it was under dictatorial rule before.

The latest news that broke the camel’s back was the announcement of GAF’s leadership into venturing in rice cultivation, according to the source the majority of GAF personnel are not into it for even whereas it was a good initiative to them it’s not a priority and we are not into it. Jammeh enslaved soldiers by making them farmers for years for just personal gains and CDS Kinteh’s move towards the same direction was seen by many as an approach towards financial gains since he’s that type who sniffs money like how cartels does for drugs according to anonymous source.

According to the source another annoying issue is the unreasonable deduction of officers on monthly basis for the upkeep of the joint officers mess in Kotu. Ever since the army got control of that mess officers are deducted and never for once was there any occasion which officers felt their monies are been put into good use and many a times the authority was engaged to explain how those funds are managed but no tangible explanation was given. He further went on to say that it’s been months since after the promotional exams of officers was held but because the CDS and his deputy messed up by carrying everyone on board by qualifying even those who are not qualified thereby further saturating the army with non essential officer ranks.

Another issue is the lack of proper and serious security reform especially in the army, The Gambia armed forces with a strength of about less than seven thousand(7000) personnel are currently having nine generals and flooding with ranks of  colonels and other non essential ranking officers who will go to work and close without putting pen to paper only to receive their bumper salaries at the expense of state meager resources. If there’s anything serious about the reforms, we would have seen steps taken towards it but nothing of that nature has happened for three years now. Reforms start at the basics that’s from the foundation, when five soldiers appear before you, you see them in different uniforms as if they are militias. No uniformity in their dresses and appearances and that’s where it should start from and not moving one favorite amongst your trusted group from one barracks to another as a commanding officer and called that reform. This among lot of other serious internal issues were matters that brings discontentment among the soldiers both senior and junior ranks and vowed to go on with their plans unless and until there’s a sense of direction in the army.

Look within our sub region how the armies are organized and modernized, instead of international community pumping millions of dollars to keep foreign troops in our country why can’t they spend those monies in modernizing and training our army to live up to our challenges but no because our current army leadership is busy enriching itself and giving false hopes and information to the masses. We are fed up and enough is enough nobody can stop us and nothing can make us change our minds as I said we have the backing and we have the means and resources come what may we will execute our plans. If the old guards under the most brutal and fearful dictator like Jammeh can’t do anything productive then you don’t expect them to do it under a soft toned and experience president like Barrow the source revealed.

It’s an alarming issue and at a time when The new Gambia is recovering from past disturbing and chaotic moments hearing news like this one is absolutely disturbing.
God protect my dear motherland.

From a concerned citizen..

Editors note: The views expressed by the author do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper. Thanks for your attention.

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