The Gambia is seriously at a cross-road with a multiple effect of dictatorial government. Gambians have become accustomed to executive misuse of power to such an extent that nothing seems to be working.
As a Gambian from Lower River Region (LRR), our people’s basic needs have been neglected by the government. The region has been abandoned in terms of development simply because its inhabitants don’t want to associate themselves or support a dictatorship. There is no good roads, no proper working school and the health facilities left to run down. In a nutshell, the general welfare of our people have been left to degenerate.
In the light of the health crisis, it pains me to learn that LRR now harbours the country’s highest number of people living with the HIV/Aids. Interestingly, the government is yet to explain why the region took over from the West Coast Region where President Jammeh’s frequent festivities have been attracting free sex.
The Gambia definitely needs a change of leadership. It looks like there is wind of change waiting to be blown in the air, as evidenced by the numerous calls in all corners of the country that it is about time the Jammeh dictatorship came to an end.
Gambians cannot forgive President Yahya Jammeh for introducing his discriminatory national development policy. Under the policy, opposition leaning regions like the LRR have been repeatedly denied development projects, which runs contrary to the President’s promise he took while taking oath of office. President Jammeh swore to execute his duties without fear, favour or ill will. He wants God to help him. But how can God help a person who has deliberately betrayed his own oath?
Mr. Jammeh has destroyed the country so much that it cannot be compared to its immediate neighbour. Unlike the Gambia, Senegalese citizens have their political or civic rights guaranteed by their government. But that is not the case in the Gambia where being in the opposition often invites punishments: detention without trial, disappearance or even extra-judicial killing. Detention without trial has become so rampant that it is hard to compile a lit of families going through the daily pains of not knowing The list of Gambians arrested and detained without access to due process is still a pain to many families. The continued illegal detention of the three Imams paints a perfect picture of how one person preys on innocent people. These pillars of their communities have had their constitutional rights infringed for more than three months.
Comparable evidence between the Gambia and Senegal, our closest neighbours reveal that, the Gambia is sinking which is why we must all encourage our people to rally behind the opposition and get rid of a government that has and continues to make life difficult for Gambians and no Gambians.
Gambia is losing heavily on even tourism our main source of revenues to our economy.
The European unions, AU, U.S state department have all left the plight of Gambians to themselves. The repression for 21 years without any external mediation or intervention has reached the pinnacle of hopelessness for Gambian citizens.
The exiled number of Gambians is rising, with the number of our refugees in Senegal reaching crisis point. The AU and ECOWAS need to mediate and stop the suffocation of people in this small densely populated country like the Gambia.
The electioneering is looking to be a potential conflict situation. The agitations within the population have the potentials to boil over. President Jammeh like other dictators cannot be part of any future peaceful solution to the Gambian citizens. He has polluted the intercommunity relations, he has betrayed his once closed allies, he has jailed innocent citizens, and many others fled the jurisdictions of the Gambia.
I called on the international community to work with civil society and the opposition in ending this silent human rights abuses. As a supporter of the main opposition party, many of our supporters are barred from holding jobs, victimised on many grounds. And the rest of the opposition supporters hide their belongings due to potential problems.
This year 2016 is a crucial year for every Gambian citizen. All of them want an end to the Jammeh dictatorship that feeds and breeds on impunity. Gambians should all stand firm, add their voices and call for President Jammeh to leave office.