By Janko Camara
Re:GMC Leader Blinks
Thank you Bax for your intellect and good sense of reasoning. As a keen observer of Gambians both at home and in the Diaspora, I have come to the sad conclusion that Jammeh’s leadership still has steam to go on well beyond 2016. What I see and hear every day makes me feel that 1) Gambians are either not yet ready for a change and/or 2) we have not suffered enough to initiate one. This is because, after “twenty years of suffering”, we continue to exhibit the following:
1) Egocentricity: – it is either my (our parochial) interests or nothing. When a nation reaches this level of decadence, salvation becomes a dream far-fetched. Our egocentrism is often cleverly concealed in actions and/or words made to appear as if they represented the national (collective) interest. The current debate about “Reconciliation” is nothing but a façade beneath which lies the “struggle” by individuals and/or groups to achieve their narrow interests. Thus, the numerous organisations “fighting for freedom” represent nothing but the different shades of interests competing to access and control the national platform. So long as these intrigues continue to play out, Jammeh can just stay cool whilst the various interests continue neutralising each other without him.
2) Ethnicity: – In South Africa, in the heat of the struggle against the oppressive White Minority rule, all other tribal groupings/race (Blacks, Coloureds, Asiatic, etc) saw themselves as one body fighting a common enemy. Alas! They succeeded after three decades. In The Gambia, despite our collective “suffering”, we continue to see each other as Wollofs, Mandinkas, Fulas, Serahulles, etc and each of these ethnic groups wants to rule. Therefore, since we continue to owe allegiance, first to ethnic groups instead of the national interest. With such stance, there is none but a few left to fight for the much worthier national cause. To think of the fact that unity remains quite elusive to a nation of just 1.9 million people, one wonders how genuine are the efforts to end Jammeh’s rule. Yahya Jammeh is very much aware of these weaknesses and is willing to use them to his advantage.
3) Hypocrisy: – perhaps our worst disease as Gambians is hypocrisy. We are quite good at smiling to each other superficially whilst hiding more sinister feelings for each other. We keep blaming Jammeh for everything. Nay! Jammeh is not everywhere and certainly is not aware of everything. Gambians continue to inflict pain and suffering on each other and then conveniently turn around to put the blame on Yahya Jammeh.
So let us begin the “struggle” to rid ourselves of the above three unenviable qualities, after which, we can take on Yahya Jammeh. Until then, Jammeh can stay cool in the State House, aided and abetted by Gambians to lord it over the weaker and less fortunate compatriots.