There are moments in history when the future of a nation balances on a knife edge. Things can go one way or the other, leading to a better future, or a disastrous one which could take decades to recover from.

In the recent history of Gambia 1981 was such a moment, but due to then President Jawara’s stand by invoking a mutual security agreement and Senegal’s intervention catastrophe was averted. Unfortunately the root causes were not dealt with and a similar situation arose in 1994. This time the few loyal and competent officers were overcome and massacred at the Fajara Barracks and the rest of the police and military forces rallied around the new government. The PPP was a discredited  force and the country was ready for a change.  By a process of elimination the better elements in the coup were eased out and the current and least competent member rose to grab full power. The rest is history. He brought our nation low and has almost (but not quite!!!) destroyed our country. 

In 1992/3 I was given a prophecy by then my then marabout in Brikama. He said that something terrible was about to happen in our country and it would be very “dirty”. However a large group of his colleagues had gathered in Brikama at that time to “Watcheh Kamil” and pray that whatever happened would be limited to the persons concerned. At the time it meant nothing to me but the years have proved his prophecy true in that the Jammeh regime has been charactarised by unimaginable evil, never seen in our country before. On the other hand the answer to their prayers has been seen in that generally speaking those with little contact or involvement in the regime have been unaffected by it. I confirmed it by asking a senior insider by asking him “is it true that if someone is not involved in your government, does not interfere with you in any way nor comment on your affairs, you have no business with that individual?” His reply “abosulutely true.” Whilst many innocent people have suffered at the hands of this regime there are many who have been able to go about there business, so long as they stayed clear and maintained their silence. My point?  Prayer can change things.

The Jammeh regime is dead, collapsing around him. It’s no longer a question of if, but when and how then end comes. Will he die in office? Will he be killed? Will he escape to Saudi or Morocco? Does it matter ? The real issue is what will happen now and how should we as Gambians respond? Will we as a nation resist any new dictatorship, in the form of the Jolla hegemony or any other military junta that may arise? Will we mobilse and insist on free and democratic elections and refuse to ever be ruled in a similar manner again?

There is a power vacuum in the state house and a struggle for the succession, but the ultimate power lies with the population.  This is the moment for every Gambian to to stand up for freedom and democracy. For a better future for every man, woman and child. It is a very personal decision that every Gambian, at home especially, must answer for themselves and to the future generations. Will we continue to sell ourselves as slaves of a selfish dictator, whoever he may be, or come out on the streets an show people power? It bhas worked in many countries, sowhy not Gambia. It’s people power that has kept Senegal free.

Senegal should back this move, as should the African Union. The international climate is favourable but the decision and will can only come from the people en mass WITHIN the country. Baboucarr Bojang was right in his analysis. All parties need to mobilise as soon as possible for the 2016 elections. There is a big risk and the timing is critical. Too soon and they could be killed, but too late and a new dictator will consolidate his power for another 20 years. The “opposition” leaders are experienced and intelligent men, so it is not my purpose to tell them what to do. 

I am speaking to all Gambians, the time is now to make up your mind to end dictatorship and insist on free and fair elections. When?  Judge for yourself – a week, a month, 6 months? The end of the Jammeh regime is unstoppable. The important point is to fight for a free and better future by mass mobilsation to ensure free and fair elections of competent, unselfish leaders. It could be bloody, and some will lose their lives and suffer injury, but is it worse than slow death and suffeing in silence under the same type of regime? Have we learned nothing from the Jammeh regime? 

The alternative? Is there any doubt that it could mean the end of Gambia as a sovreign nation? We’re close to being a failed state. Stand up and fight or die as slaves or as a stranger in a strange  land. Sadly our women seem to have more courage than our men, or maybe they are more determined to fight for a better future for their children. Times have changed. Ellen Sirleaf Johnson is a woman, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of mighty Germany is a woman, Margaret Thatcher was a woman who changed Britain economically for ever. The lady at Civil Aviation stood against Jammeh and suffered the consequences. Personally I have more faith in our women that our men. Stand up ladies for a better Gambia for our children. Sorry to be crude, but please stop trying to make it on your BACKs. This is a different world stand up and fight for your dignity and to protect your daughters from the abuse and sham you have suffered. THE TIME IS NOW. 

Written By Boorr Sine.

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