Erudite Gambian commentator ‘Max’ laid the claims to the supremacy of the Gambian diaspora’s economic, intellectual, military and political powers. Will those on the ground facing the dictator eye ball to eye ball agree?
Here is what Max said:
Bax, the phrase “All options are on the table” are realistic options because those in the struggle have economic, financial and political and military clout to exert pressure directly or indirectly on the dictatorial regime in Banjul. Here is why:
You will agree with me that diaspora contribute 22 percent of GDP. This is very significant number without which there will be worst economic condition in the country.
Most Gambian’s families today depend on diaspora for their daily living such as food, clothing and shelter and also payment of school fees and medical bills. A lot of social events are also sponsored by diaspora.
When it comes to finance, diaspora is in better position to help the people and political parties more than an average Gambian in the country. Diaspora contributes financially more to survival of opposition parties than local citizens. This is why the dictator and his idiotic Mps came up with election act 2015 amendment to prevent the participation of diaspora financially and to hold political office. Why do you think this is necessary if diaspora is not a financial and political threat to dictator Jammeh and his regime?
Diaspora financially contribution is the key to sustainability and encouragement of coalition or alliance to effectively challenge the dictator for effective electoral victory. It is therefore erroneous to think that they do not have financial and economic clout to exert pressure for meaningful change.
Politically, diaspora is playing a huge role in exerting pressure on the dictatorial regime directly and indirectly. Diaspora is engaged in nonviolent resistance or civil resistance using protest march, demonstration, civil disobedience, education, raising awareness, and information warfare. In this forum, we are engaging in education, information warfare, and raising awareness of the regime brutality, human right abuses, Jammeh’s sexual predatory behavior, corruption and mismanagement.
Diaspora political activism enables the Gambians and international community to be fully aware of the brutal and authoritarian nature of the regime. Diaspora continue to expose this regime state sponsored terrorism, corruptions and human rights abuses to international forum , conferences, symposium, meetings and also to foreign governments , international organizations such as UN, EU, IMF, amnesty international, Article 19 and others. Because of this exposure, these foreign governments and international organizations were able to exert pressure on the regime and also to cut off funding which the regime used for its corrupt practices and oppression. Without diaspora, dictator Jammeh will be killing more Gambians than he has already killed, imprisoned, disappeared and exiled.
So Bax, don’t underestimate the power or influence of diaspora in terms of economic, financial and political pressure it is exerting on Jammeh. Sometimes, I don’t understand why you are so much against diaspora when it is known fact that even the opposition party leaders depend on them for their political activism and financial sustainability.
Bax, the phrase “all options are on the table” can be divided into nonviolent resistance (massive demonstration, popular uprising), electoral process, and violent methods (military coup, arms struggle, sniper attackers, car Bomb, or use of light skinned young Gambians girls or any method that would kill or remove Jammeh from power), which all aim at change of government. Nonviolent or civil resistance and political process is the one majority of diaspora is engage in and most prefer method. It is also the one I just described above.
Nonviolent resistance today lead to some senior officials to refuse orders and thus leave the country. As the strength of nonviolent resistance increases, you have now seem that significant information is leaking to diaspora and this is why Jammeh’s sexual life, corruption, disappearances, torture and demystification is open and known to public. It is also the same reason , you will see in very near future when Jammeh’s closed security officers will refuse to take illegal orders to kill citizens as it happened in Libya when their dictator instructed his military to kill civilians and some of them defected . It was also the same reason that UDP refused to take illegal orders from corrupt police force which resulted to stand off during their recent tour of the country.
Finally , the violent means Of change of government is a choice which is going to be made based on the brutality of the regime, Jammeh’s unwillingness to allow democracy to prevail and his willingness to stay in power at any cost . Some citizens will use these factors mentioned above as their reasons to attack, stage a coup or even kill Jammeh if they can since Jammeh used the same method when he came to power.
As Aung San Suu kyi, a Burmese pro- democracy leader stated ” it is Never easy to convince those who have acquired power forcibly of the wisdom of peaceful change. “With this in mind, I believe Jammeh will never easily leave power without significant non-violent and violent means. Therefore every possible means should be used to get rid of him. December statehouse is wake up call for him to know that patriotic citizens will do anything to change the system. In fact, it is outright false to state, the attack has worsen the situation in the country when the same brutality has been going on for 21 years. I understand, you only think that we cannot change the system From outside and I think it is ignorance to suggest that only those on the ground can effectively change the system.
Bax, I am sure if no one is taking us ( diaspora ) seriously as you implied , Jammeh would not have extended his so-called amnesty to diaspora. For the record the biggest threat to Jammeh’s presidency is diaspora especially those in USA who he frequently mentioned in his stupid talk. You can continue to be naive and believe that Jammeh is democratic who would listen to endless letters from you and Pdois without engaging in protest, demonstrations, sit-In, exposing him and his family, disobeying his illegal orders. The fundament question I have for you is” what is the most achievable and least costly method to remove dictator Jammeh from power and how can you guarantee that, the method will not result to violent ?”