Recently, I issued out a statement on social media, which we have grown accustomed to, and which is now seemingly an integral part of “this struggle”. We now seem to be more inter-connected to the social media than we are connected to one another. Anyway, find below the statement:
Not to be a pessimist, you will debate this issue until all the cows come home, there will not be THAT CHANGE. What is needed is a United Front to face the predicament head on, in any and every way possible. There is strength in Unity of Action. Nonetheless, as a private citizen, I applaud any and all good faith efforts or gestures to reach a resolution. And we must keep in mind that reaching a resolution is different from affecting that resolution. These are two separate, different and independent phases or stages; that is, the processes or methods of reaching that resolution are different from the mechanisms at work or needed to implement that agreed upon resolution. God’s speed to this Cause.
It is safe to say that this statement is self-explanatory. But upon thorough examination, you will notice many parts will need to be synchronizing for any peaceful dialogue to be agreed upon and carried out, no matter how well meaningful. Times and circumstances are changing, and so, as much as we can learn from history, our sets of circumstances and the players, and the characteristics and features of the stakeholders are unique and different from what history has taught us or is teaching us. As such, we will have to equally as well create and implement our own sets of unique circumstances to deal with this predicament, instead of relying on historical perspectives to dictate and or direct the course we chart, or map out.
We all understand different political or non-political landscapes that operate under different sets of circumstances. And so, we must BE VERY LEERY of transposing or inferring from other analogies to confront and deal with our predicament.
One thing that ANYONE hardly notices in using history as an analogy in our sets of circumstances in the Gambia is that all throughout the historical analogies or comparisons given or presented ONE COMMON FEATURE that was present in all these historical analogies was UNITY. Show me in any of these historical analogies given where there was DISUNITY or DISCORD among those fighting for THAT CHANGE. They were all UNITED in their fight against “that regime” or the “order of the day”. They were all “united for change”, despite all the differences that existed within them. These differences include race, creed, faith and age.
In our case, we know both the problem and solution to our case but for whatever reason or personal egos and agendas, we refuse to take ourselves up on the solution. I called for leaders in all the disporan entities to meet over coffee in Atlanta, Raleigh or anywhere else, and talk about UNITY, and about how to converge, consolidate and merge themselves and their efforts. If they cannot physically meet anywhere, how about making use of technology? Can they not teleconference? Can they not use other ways and means of communication, such as phone calls, emails and so on? Can they not use these methods of communication to lay the necessary ground work, or leg work, and eventually reach a consensus of UNITY? OR do we need to just hire all of them and they work for us and take their matching orders from us?
The Gambia is bigger than anyone group and or individual. It belongs to us all, and it was not given to us by our ancestors, but borrowed to us by our children, grandchildren and future generations. So we are holding the Gambia as a safe-keeping for future generations.
The current predicament in the Gambia has two elements: “change” and “ruling”. “’Change” is in the form of a “regime change”, be it force or peaceful. “Ruling” is just that, ruling. Now, “Change” is easy when compared to “Ruling”. So, my point here is this:
“Change” is an integral part of the “Ruling” process, and the two cannot be arbitrarily separated because of the expediency of change. That will be a crucial and fatal attempt if we do so. So, all I have been saying, and will continue to say is that we must incorporate the “change” into the “ruling” aspect.
And in the “change” process I have always cautioned prudence and planning. Now, after the “change” what happens? And what happens when the “Ruling” comes in? And before all that, how we first “transition” from the “change” to the “ruling”?
“CHANGE” in this case is easy when compared to “RULING”. This is serious business, and it involves changing the barbaric government of a country.
Further, I observed that many of us have already started jockeying for positions, fame and glory in a post-Jammeh era. That is all good, well and dandy.
The day of rebuilding post-Jammeh will come. There will be lots of jockeying and all for positions.
If you ask me I would respectfully submit that that this discord, disunity or apparent lack of unity is EPIC, CLASSIC and SELF=SERVING, and a little bit disingenuous and a disservice to not only the cause, but to The Gambia at large.
Without UNITY in “this struggle” instead of these divisions, that Monster back home will continue to profess to segments of our people back home, and even the international community that “this struggle” is an over-zealous campaign by divisions of self-serving groups with no mandate and or the slightest support of the people back home. Hence, this is more of a reason for “this struggle” to project some resemblance of UNITY.
AGAIN, one more time, my brothers and sisters, I am appealing again, for the sake of God and Country, can we in this diaspora, UNITE to face and deal with the predicament we face in any and every way possible?
By Abdul Savage
Retired, US Army
Member, Military Order of the Purple Heart
Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars