Europe and the Western world never assume anyone is perfect or beyond betraying the Public trust. They simply put safeguards that will stop and prevent corruption and misuse of power, position and privileges.
We in Africa are still assuming that people cannot do this or do that when the evidence is totally and completely the opposite. We have seen excellent academicians who were voted into office only to end up becoming the worst tyrants. Is it not in our country where “Soldiers with a Difference” lecture us on overstaying in power and ended up not only overstaying but also being serial killers? The gang leader who doctored the draft constitution in 1996 is talking about everything except the term limit. He is allergic to that.
Is it not in our very backyard where brilliant graduates have been turned into corrupt bones or as Yaya Dampha puts it “political prostitutes” selling their honour and pride to whoever is in power. These brilliant intellectuals betray their country, its people, culture, religion and values. They have become power drunk to the extent that people start questioning their doctorate degrees.
Yet, we still want to give people too much space to maneuver and pretend to us. Our inability to put safeguards in the way we vet our people is the reason why we could not prevent mauling each other, fighting senseless wars, cheating the state, burdening relatives, refusing to stand alone and sweet talk. Consequently, we lack the patriotism required to do public duty with sincerity. We should strive to continually ensure that those who seek to lead us must not just voice empty rhetoric but must produce clear, unambiguous and definable strategies to solve our numerous problems both in and out of government.
Let us never assume the best in people too quickly and easily. Who betrays Africa and her peoples for hundreds of years more than the continent’s sons? Why do we put all our trust in people we have not tested or proven their style of leadership of people who lead us. In order to avoid putting the cat before the horse, we have to vet them through safeguards to protect the public good.
No Gambian organisation should be given an easy ride. Let those in public position be put under the microscope. Until they prove us wrong, we have to see these leaders with a pinch of salt because many of them have proven to looking for self-interest.
As a country, we have been bruised too much, and it is about time that we halted people – directors, ministers, managers, clerks, messengers, even cleaners bent on living on the back of Gambians. The cheating is made by our easygoing approach to everything, except our personal interest.
We are not giving any space to Lawyer Darboe, Halifa Sallah, Hamat Bah, Yahya Jammeh or any public body for that matter. Without those in leadership knowing, our friendship with them ends, during private dealings, we are doom to prepare people to fail.
Law and order does work because those in position make it work when they see themselves under scrutiny. As long as a viewpoint is not abusive, it can be treated as legitimate. Our common issues will be unpalatable, but we need a necessary vehicle to create wider awareness. Ultimately, we have to curb the plots for hegemony by individual interest groups. Those who go against that should be left alone to fry their own fish.