By Yero Jallow
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” –Nelson Mandela, Former ANC [African National Congress] Leader, South Africa.
We do not have much politics going on anymore; the issue is beyond politics, beyond partisan, beyond anything else, as it involves life and death. What we all see right now is the Gambia and her citizens. The Gambia continues to sit on a ticking time-bomb, at the crossroads of bloodshed and civility. The balancing point could tilt either way and that makes the Gambia’s situation urgent. Will she shine among her peers, the Smiling Coast (but Crying Coast now) she has been known to be over the ages, and being a tourist paradise? Will her great sons and daughters come to her defense? Will we as a nation do it once and for all, for a heritable nation for future generations? The inevitable is about to happen, as with time, the old arbiter without fault, and deny the fact who can!! I have listened to the voices of redemption and never (perhaps) in her life time has the situation gotten this tensed and sticky. I am convinced that the time is up, without an iota of doubt. Bye-bye to the aging heedless ugly dictatorship!
I as a citizen first, here by throwing my total weight for Lawyer Darboe, the entire UDP [United Democratic Party], and the gallant activists calling for electoral reform in the Gambia. I call on all citizens, human rights organizations, the African Union, ECOWAS, the UN, other reputable organizations to equally throw their full support to end the 21-year old dictatorship in the Gambia. Gambia’s opposition who availed themselves for the job should not allow the iron to cool off without getting their much desired outcome –electoral reform, responsible Government, free and democratic society, and a legal system that represents the plight of Gambians. All one can tell you in simple language is that bury your differences and take this opportunity to work in parallel lines for the sake of that one Gambia you all signed up for political marriage. The political moment has been triggered and the heart of the nation greatly touched, and during such difficult times great leaders emerge, and it is on that high note that we celebrate Darboe, his UDP Executive, the Peaceful protesters and all those that support this worthy and suicidal political cause sincerely in their hearts. Stamp down the political hypocrisy, jealousy and division, do what you can, be it financial, moral support, Arab-spring styled uprising, leading the rest of the activists for continuous marching, exposing the dictator’s cupboard skeletal nibs, and even persuading Gambia’s military to support a minor political surgery for the system’s final collapse. There is no retreat and no surrender as the job must be completed so every Gambian including those that denied us freedom will be free. Shame on the dictatorship and its enabling force! Earlier on the year, I argued numerous times under the “Spotlight: Scramble for the Gambia 2016” widely published by Gainako Online Newspaper that electoral reform is a must. Given the current political situation, it is a no for Jammeh for fifth term. It is at least clear from the political atmosphere. That should be on any memorandum of understanding. I will leave that to the politics to dispense even though every old fart dictatorship is “deaf, dumb, and blind,” so unfortunately the ending is always ugly, such as we have seen in many places, so be it then!! Why is it so hard for Jammeh to leave? Interesting that a human being can hold on to power and does so with impunity. It is even more interesting on his fetish nature and believes that he owns the Gambia and Gambians. Oh well, let those who wants to be owned be owned, and let those that choose freedom be free. Fair enough!
There is an urgent call to national duty and sense of political responsibility, and that is for Jammeh to unconditionally let go on Darboe, the UDP executive, the peaceful protesters and all political prisoners of conscience. Among what is at stake is UDP’s youth leaders, Solo Sandeng and others believed to have been killed by Jammeh’s security forces during a peaceful call for electoral reform on March 14th 2016. There is no way that Jammeh can slip through this one, as he must produce all these citizens dead or alive, failure to do so within a timely manner, is cause for his immediate exit from power. The right to assemble is part of Gambia’s constitution Jammeh and his chief enablers are using to hold Gambians hostage. It is not only wrong and he (Jammeh) stands to expedite his power exit now. The truth is this: All eyes, both national and the international communities are all over his stinky human rights violations and the whole thing is now pale, weak, old, and just nagging. The Gambian security must calculate their moves and seek divorce from the dictatorship, as you have been victimized more than any other group of citizens. You all swore to protect our nation and such protection covers unarmed citizens whose only hope and reliance is God, the law, and the power of existence –which includes such rights to life, freedom, liberty, assemble, and so forth. It will be foolish to allow the sinking dictatorship on the cliff sliding down, to take you all down, and I am not convinced that all the security forces are at that level of futility. I appeal to your conscience to read the eye blinks!!
In my final say to Jammeh, is to dust off the filthy dictatorship, and accept a humiliating defeat. Jammeh has failed himself, citizens, and even the family of nations. The arrest jaws are wounding on Jammeh and his enabling force, as the clock ticks, is getting closer, clipping on their necks.
Again let go of Darboe, the UDP Executive and all political prisoners of conscience!!