By Badou Faal
Gambians want Justice and Accountability
I COULD NOT AGREE MORE, It being an open secret that can be argued that the open secret of alleged the blatant misappropriation of public funds by in Africa, is the primary driver of “conflict, violations and serious crimes” within the continent, in its regions, and countries as evidenced, for example, in the case of the Gambia during the APRC/NPP/UDP/PPP rule, albeit, like, Toyota cars I suppose, each regime simply ushers in a new model of oppression, and thievery every 5, 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, as a function of how disgustingly they have robbed the Treasury. The more disgusting the looting, the longer the regime wishes to shelter behind the corridors of power, where they could not be reached.
In this regard, was it not William Shakespeare who wrote [not his own words of course] that: “…? when someone has done you wrong, the next time you meet them, they will do you a greater wrong, as if for nothing, but to wipe out the first wrong which as you can see is not as great….! or words to those effects. You get the idea Therefore, certain politicians having robbed and looted the Treasury and/or appropriated power and influence on themselves and their cronies, are understandably keen for a second, third, fourth, term, or even for eternity, call it Bimbili Mansa! They are thus motivated not because of anything they have achieved for the citizens of the country, but more strongly for the opportunity being in power accords to keep erasing past wrongs (wiping clean ones ass, as some would call it) by carrying out ever more egregiously outrageous wrongs, piled on top of past wrongs, as a warning to those who would stand up for their human rights, not to be treated as second class citizens in their own country.
The most outrageous act of all was, under the threat of more potential violence, piled up on top of 22 years of murders and mayhem perpetrated on innocent peace loving people, albeit weakened by abuse and neglect, Bibili Mansa and his APRC entourage were allowed to was airlift and repatriate all, or most of the hard currency from the Gambian reserves to, variously, Equatorial Guinea, may be to Switzerland, may be to India, may be to Senegal, may be to USA, may be to the Congo, who knows- but no wonder they are looking for repeats! Anything APRC/NPP/UDP is most probably junk! They can only bring further pain, first to the population, then to themselves. Who can for example, picture Jammeh or his proxy the current leadership of the APRC playing second-fiddle to Barrow, assuming they win the elections, and for how long? They will first demand that they be the Army Chief. There is no price for guessing where that would end-up, but I would guess we have been here before and demand for the Interior Ministry portfolio, if successful, would likely end up in mass arrests, torture and false imprisonments, rape, and extra judicial killings. The Juggulars will be back, since in most likelihood they could be holed in somewhere in Guinea Bissau – the drug trafficking capital of West Africa – just waiting to carry out their orders in the usual way!
Under this scenario, Gambia will once more find itself murdering its own citizens, only now, with even greater impunity and excuses – not in the national interest to follow them across the border etc. It must never be forgotten that Jammeh’s Dead Squad are a highly experienced bunch to thugs, well-practiced and quite capable of carrying out successful
It is very plausible to think that some of the Jugglers have found a new trade in the abductionand murder of school children, or as operatives of the numerous Jihadist groups now active in the Sahel. This is not as farfetched as it sounds. First some of the Jungullars, most probably, currently do not have regular sources of income. They do not have a paymaster, like they had under the murderous APRC, and thus probably make do with whatever sporadic income they can make from the shadow economy, including from trading in drugs – the hall mark activity of the Guinea Bissau territory. It should not be surprising that, given their demonstrated skills and success in undertaking a few abductions and murder in the Gambia, including the killing in cold blood of14 innocent school children, nine foreign civilians – the list goes on – jihadist presently operating in the Sahel would find in them compelling recuitable thugs for the kidnapping of girls and boys for big ransom money!
Yet such a merger of the two most dreadful parties the Gambia has, and will ever know, might not work as well for his excellency Mr. ADAMA BARROW as President elect following the December elections, because that will put him in the way. He might come to be regarded as thwarting Jammeh’s long held ambitions of one day being anointed Bibili Mansa of the Gambia, and thus setting the Juggulars to work to permanently dispose of him in some disused well somewhere. Remember Jammeh tried to kill Adama Barrow on the day he was due to officially hand over the presidency to him! Of course, Mr.Barrow had refused Jammeh’s invitation to attend at the state house, and that was why he was sworn in Senegal, and why he is alive today. It’s also true that some people never ever learn!
The precarious state in which the Gambia finds itself calls for deep transformation in its institutions, its processes, and governance structures. This will require more complementary action by government, civil society, business, and dare it be said, science, and not appeasements and devil worships. We require commitment and funding to promote early childhood, primary, secondary, and technical education, gender equality, as well as tackling the widening inequality gap. Similarly, we require public action and resourcing in the areas of health, wellbeing, demography, food security, sustainable land use, sustainable cities & communities, responsible consumption that reduces waste generation through prevention (Rwanda for example, has banned plastic entering the country in any form, and Germany puts a very high price on plastic wrappings of any sort, to encourage recycling, and reuse).
Most importantly we need a serious digital revolution to enable all the above to be achieved, in a cost effective, transparent, and accountable way.
It’s all very well handing over a couple of very environmentally-unfriendly vehicle to curry favour with students and women, but where is the road on which ambulances can quickly and seamlesslyget expectant mothers, or very sick patients to hospital – to what hospital. Where is the communication infrastructure to enable urgent order for ambulance services to be made, where are the mechanics to always keep ambulances well-kept and ready? Where is the needed equipment to transport and stabilize patients in transit coming from, where are all the trained?
mid wives able and qualified to administer to the expectant mothers in the Ambulance to come from, where are all the necessary first aid drugs coming from. Finally, where is all the fuel necessary to run all these ambulances to come from? what about the tyres, including air filters, and other parts needing constant replacement coming from?
Considering, the Busses to the University students, what is the opportunity cost of those busses? They could be better utilized to transport primary, and secondary school kids, especially in remote areas, where any form of regular transportation is hard to come by, or in more vulnerable communities, were, because of extreme poverty, families will find it hard to send their kids to school.
Don’t be fooled, the Japanese, Chinese, and other practical donors, want your fish in return for the rough, and obsolete end of their technology, and message these practical donations send is even more insidious. In summary they are saying, « we know you guys are corrupt, and if we that any money donations will somehow end up in personal accounts of you corrupt and unethical rulers, so we are going to send you physical good we don’t have any more storage space for. There has been over production in some of our factories which we allowed to continue to keep people who otherwise would have lost their jobs because of a lack of demand, employed! In short it is usingAfrica as a place where to dump unwanted stock. And hey, doing so it will sell parts too, and that is good for our economy and for jobs too!
As for African leaders like we President BARROW, this is good news, because they can put the dumped good, albeit new and shiny, as fulfilment of election promises- how disingenuous! They have never even made one promise in the entire 5 years in power! Its just a hype to be swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the hapless masses- what of misfortune!
In the end it is the hapless African population that losses – in employment opportunities (beyond being merely being machine operator – I bet there are people falling over themselves to e drivers of the so-called ambulances, and Busses, and why not, for it is him who parks the shiny vehicle in the driveway who will win the girl – and the skill & wellbeing that with employment.
Hence this script – also anonymous:
Africa will never be independent, Africans believe in Europeans, Americans, and Chinese more than themselves.
They don’t trust themselves at all, African technocrats/Engineers aren’t given the platform to practice what they studied instead they hire Chinese to construct roads for themselves.
A white man will commit a crime in Africa, but no action will be taken because the African authorities view us as Demigods, far from the truth. A black man can be abducted in Europe get harassed and even be killed but no African authority can even question. Africans present themselves as weak people with no hope, especially when dealing with Europeans and Americans.
They are their own enemies. They hate each other and this gives their colonial masters the opportunity to continue exploring their resources
But such knee jerk reaction to running things will not do! Proper, rational planning and implementation is needed, not making the already powerful, more powerful, whilst taking away from those that have not, even that which they have!
What we don’t need is appeasement of tyrants, magnates, thieves, and vagabonds, especially ones of the sort that have been decisively defeated, banned, and banished by popular mandate, and now stranded in a place whose language and culture he does not even understand! Why does he not move to Morocco? After all his wife in Moroccan, and he has invested heavily in that country, including in a Super Market. Just think how much employment a supermarket can provide!
This poem, anonymously written suit Jammeh’sattitude to the Gambia (to which, ironically, he now wishes to return), thus:
When an African becomes rich
· His Bank Account is in Switzerland
· He travels to France for medical treatment
· He invests his money in Germany
· He buys from Dubai
· He consumes Chinese
· He Prays in Rome or Mecca
· His children study in Europe
· He travels to Canada, USA, OR Europe for tourism
If an African dies:
· He will be buried in s(her) native village in Africa
If Africa is just a cemetery for African; then
· How can a cemetery be developed?
The man is an unpatriotic criminal who is currently holed-up in the Equatorial Guinea, where he is on the run from the law, because, by gunning down
14 innocent school children who, by the way were simply expressing their human rights to protest, he has apparently committed a very serious crime against humanity for which, if found guilty in a properly convened court of law, he could spend the rest of his miserable life in a Hilton Hotel (as he calls it when he wants to intimidate is perceived enemies), of his own making.