Kairo Radio anchor has revived the controversial debate about whether Gambians can rely on the ballot box or the bullet to bring back democracy, the rule of law and human rights. African civil rights activists have been trapped in this persistent dilemma, which makes the issue worth discussing.
Mohammed Lamin Sillah, who does not shy away from raising contentious issues, is at it again on Kairo Radio, a medium that prides itself for establishing a culture anchored on discipline, decency, respect and fair approach to anything Gambian.
The Host of Wednesday radio show ‘The Talking Point and Letters from the Gambia’ revisited Gambia Journal files in his today program. He took his listeners into a thinking spree of whether the Gambia needs “the ballot or the bullet.”
Mr. Sillah dilated on what choices Gambians have in dislodging the Gambia’s entrenched dictatorship. In the process, he gave a history of the early days of the Gambian junta’s power grabbing and their plot to introduce a one party state, mimicking the Libyan revolution of the late Col. Gaddafi. After that plan had failed, Jammeh then went ahead to entrench himself by controlling power from every quarter of Gambian political landscape.
As young Gambian activists based in the Diaspora who have been personal, verbally attacking and hauling abuses at opposition leaders on the ground, what real choices do Gambians have? Should the young energetic activist contemplate on going to the Gambia and use force to change the government? Or should they merely be hauling abuses and criticism from 6,000 miles away?
Don’t miss this very important and thought provoking dialogue.
Mr. Sillah, a founding member of the Amnesty International Gambia, was instrumental in rescuing the Gambia from the wrath of the military junta in 1994. He teamed up with his colleagues to create widespread awareness, advocacy and lobbying for international attention on the early crimes of the Yahya Jammeh military government.
The high spirits of Mr. Sillah and his activist colleagues have placed them in danger. His voice on Kairo Radio every Wednesday is a staple delicacy for those yearning for the truth, respect and democratic credentials based on fair play and respect for all. Online radio personalities tend to pander to unrestricted utterance on air, but with ML SIllah, you have a sober voice.
Those who have been paying keen interest in the Gambian struggle will recall the first human rights group that brought together Gambians from different works of life when the then military junta ban active opposition. The Coalition of human Rights Defenders had Mr Mohammed Lamin Sillah as its Coordinator with eminent members like the late Satang Jobarteh, Lawyer Emanuel Joof, Dr Isatou Touray, Lawyer Ba Tandebedou, Adele Sosseh, Lawyer Bory Touray, Journalist DA Jawo, Fatou Jagne currently of article 19. The pedegree of Gambians who opposed oppression and continued to speak against it is noteworthy.
The Ballot or the Bullet is a case study of the Gambian struggle.