Was the Former President so bad that we thought we knew what Democracy was all about, or did we just forget what lessons we could have learned from the past?
Written By Momodou Njai
We created the man in the red beret and the military uniform, only to turn him into a God wearing white acting Holy. Whether you worked with him, kept silent, praised him, took money from him, sent your kids to watch him cruise by, bought expensive gala dinner tables, or entertained him at festivals or religious events; we should all own up to such a mess. Gambia is our Gambia, and the entire Nation must take responsibility for creating such a King that will never exist again with such many titles in our midst. He may come back and live like a private citizen, but will never be a King again cause we should have all learned from our faults.Many that committed crimes are celebrated today, so why not!! Some have turned into praise singers, while others got rich, poorer, exiled, killed, imprisoned, or disappeared. The excuses are many, but no one wants to take responsibility for creating him. We find ourselves reliving the past because the recent actions by this present government have proven to us they were sleeping for 22 yrs.
What was the excuse for a Party leader singing that he has taken over the country? What were the many excuses you heard that resulted in the death of Haruna Jatta? What is the excuse for still not having a Vice President after 5months since coming into power? Did rushing into Parliament to get rid of the age limit not remind you of the rushed laws passed in Parliament to protect an Individuals interest such as dealing with the Press, Electoral laws, no access to Information, Indemnity Act, and laws to engage in business such as farming etc? Doesn’t the tough talks by government officials remind you of the past? How about the promises of Vision 2016, Vision 2025 etc..Does it not remind you about the failed promises of having a Press conference every month, or having a blue print within 4weeks from when the President had his last interview. Hasn’t 4weeks passed? Most recently, how about the closing of Daily Observer? Was it done with due process under the guidance of the Constitution? Was it not politically motivated after we heard from those who were wondering why the Daily Observer was left to function after the freezing of the Former President’s assets? Without a doubt it was, but they don’t have the integrity to say it was politically motivated. Even if they said it wasn’t, why didn’t the GRA go after all by publishing how many companies fell in the same category of owing taxes? It would have made sense if they did, but their blunders are derived from the type of leadership we have. Who would have a President and not hear from him when it comes to matters of National Security, or public interest? It is evidently clear that some people within the President’s reach are either giving him wrong advice to stay mute, or have hidden agendas to make him fail miserably so that they can pick up the pieces, and look like saviors when in fact they are the perpetrators to the Gambian people, and the Gambian Constitution. It is disheartening to see that they don’t take there work seriously, but have decided to condone the barbaric attacks by their supporters on social media or on the ground. It has become a cultural norm to remain silent now when there is chaos. What kind of leaders do we have? Gambians at this point will not be shocked if the 3yr agreement term of this Presidency is extended to the term of the Constitution because words, honor, integrity, and honoring agreements mean nothing today in Gambia. Ma Wahon Wahettt is what’s normal, cause going back on your words are welcomed by die-hard supporters!!
As for democracy, we have decided to stifle the Press, and send irresponsible cyber attackers to just throw insults at anyone trying to make sense of what’s going on. Don’t be surprised if you see them here saying I should not speak. They cannot even differentiate what supporting an Individual is, or making a prediction!!lol..I will forever take responsibility for my actions, and I intentionally do things due to the irresponsible behavior of others. Some will read and see the truth but still not make sense of it!! Okay let me not fray from the topic lol.
Insults and false accusations shouldn’t stop you from exercising your democratic rights. Has any government in Gambia or Civil Organization taken the time to lecture and train people how to peacefully protest or educate the population on the limitations of one’s actions? We are yet to see such programs, so stop blaming the populace when civic education is seriously lacking. Our new found Democracy must be inclusive, and should engage all Parties to move on for the Interest of “One Gambia.” Democracy comes with respecting the rights of others, and giving them the freedom to support whoever they want.
Lastly, I have noticed that every time the people are in a dilemma and are putting pressure on the government, they come up with something disgruntled people would be proud of. It has happened in Farato, Kanilai, and also those were so concerned about the environment. Unfortunately, they end up making more blunders by being in a haste. They won’t follow proper procedures, and would end up frustrating those with common sense. The democracy we all played a role in one way or the other is not what we are seeing. If anything, we are being reminded daily how we created the Former President. The Gambian people deserve better, but we are back to blind supporting, and those who feel the need to shy away from the truth. We have been down this road before, but only the conscious mind will acknowledge the wrongs, and try to fix them in the most unifying manner. Let us stop rewarding criminal behaviors, but let us also unite the country. It can only happen through honest conversations as well; not appeasement. Let us not create another soldier in a red beret who might be more brutal, but let us create a unifying figure who would unite the country in a conciliatory manner. We still believe this new government can be revived by constructive criticism, and the Truth amd Reconciliation Commission can set the standard just like Ghana did. We can be the envy of the World, but we need to start by being honest, honor our agreements, and call for unity!! By the way, don’t mind my rants, just take it seriously cause we all have a collective responsibility. The unfortunate lessons of the past should make us democrats that respects the rights of all, not suppress the rights of the minority!! If former President was bad, we made him bad, but shouldn’t we be better? We can do better, so let us take these few moments we have on earth to prove to the world that we are not worst than our past mistakes. No more creating God’s in small Gambia, we have one God to fear!!!
Peace be with you all, and may we all have the hearts to forgive one another in order to become better people of society!! May Allah forgive us all for our shortcomings, and may we learn from the past and never repeat it!!