The road to December 2016 general election has opened long since but it is a road that is already bumpy, to call spade a spade and not a rake. The field is not levelled, and the Electoral Amendment Act did not help matters either. It is a make or break era for Gambians who have only one choice to make: kick out the Jammeh dictatorship from State House or woe betide them. Whatever the case, Gambians will stand to benefit or lose. In that we expect voters to exercise their voting power and make good use of their wisdom. We need to get rid of a tyrant who had broken almost every promise he made when he seized power in July 1994. Was it not Yahya Jammeh who swore to Allah that no one would be allowed to rule the Gambia for than 10 years? Was he not the one who promised to knock down and defeat official flamboyancy, corruption, tribalism, nepotism and all other isms? I will allow the readers to judge and warrant Jammeh on his record.
Let’s not listen to the dictator’s blind and selfish supporters who cannot defend their belligerent leader without a but. Just recently one die-hard Jammeh fan was saying: “It was not his [Jammeh’s] intention to stand for election but it was the people who twisted his hands.” What a balderdash! Who twists a junta leader’s hands and get away with it. Since the stakes are high, I think it is prudent to hammer home the truth. Dilly-dallying or maslaha has not and will not work. Any time we want to defeat truth and justice, we hide behind maslaha.
As Gambians — I mean patriotic and selfless Gambians — we all have a historic responsibility to bail out our fast sinking country. Our failure to do the right thing at the right moment must surely come back to bite us. A day will come when we will be asked very important questions: where were you when a single soul was shattering everything Gambian? Where were the journalists, politicians, soldiers, imams, bishops, students, singers and intellectuals when Yahya Jammeh began laying the foundation of ruthlessness? As a society, our greatest defeat was to walk away from the promise of our National Anthem. Are we not the ones who adore and sing “we pledge our firm allegiance towards the common good?” Jammeh would have been history long since if we stopped him before he had grown horns. But with concerted effort and energy we can turn the tide on December 1. We all have an individual role to play in bringing the change we all desire and cherish. A change that we can manage and control freely. This can only be a wishful thinking if we don’t understand the fact that our success is meaningless if it is not connected to the advancement of the only country we all call home.