My fellow compatriots, what is going on in the Gambia is not a laughing matter, it is a matter of life and death, a matter of democracy and dictatorship, a matter of impunity and rule of law. Those who can find room to laugh, those who can find room to score personal points, those who can find room to engage in a blame game are no better than Yaya Jammeh.
When in 2012 president Abdoulaye Wade wanted a third term, the Senegalese went out in the streets, thirteen people died under police brutality. Momodou Diop a student and imam of the Cheikh Anta Diop University was the icon that died in that struggle. The international community descended in Dakar to broker peace and political parties, civil rights organizations agreed to let Abdoulaye Wade stand in those 2012 elections but will make sure and vouch that they will deny Abdoulaye the presidency through the ballot box. They have done it by electing president Macky Sall with a win of 65% margin. Now if Senegal being one of the most democratic and freedom of speech country can take that route, who are we Gambians to demand our fellow citizens to further die in thousands? Are we the president of the world to instruct the ICC or president Macky Sall or the ECOWAS to step in and remove Yaya Jammeh by force? Are we the commanders in chief of the Gambia national army to give them orders to arrest Jammeh and take him to miles 2 and to trial? Are we the president of the Gambian judiciary to instruct them to arrest and bring to court those that tortured Solo Sandeng and Co?
Some Gambians are so gullible that they think they are above the world and can give instructions to any government, any political party or the ordinary citizens to do their wish.
Yes the likes of Solo Sandeng Co. are a rare breed of Gambians, so are many other brave Gambians that died before them in the name of fighting for freedom from dictatorship. As the popular saying goes “ a life lost is not more painful, it is only more current.” Therefore let us think maturely, objectively and focus on the most appropriate solution to address the issues at hand. The issues at hand that need our immediate attention are thus:
- Release ALL political prisoners immediately without conditions.
- Review and accept ALL the Electoral reforms demand by the G6 immediately.
- The Government to accept not to brutally arrest, torture and kill anyone in any future peaceful protest March leading to the December elections.
- The government to accept to play by the rules of the electoral process by restricting the military in propaganda participation and accept the supervision of the election by the international community.
- And finally to accept that no diaspora Gambian will be arrested when they come home to partake in the upcoming elections.
Gambians should grow up, wise up and not confuse government management and family management. Gambians should be responsible enough to accept that the Gambia is not an island and if the International community steps in to broker a compromise we should welcome the move and sit down on the negotiation table. Failing which no political party in the Gambia will be taken seriously by the International community and will leave us with our problems that can degenerate into a civil war.
Now if we want destroy our country by thinking that the army, the opposition political parties or the ordinary citizens can remove Yaya Jammeh by word of mouth or endless marches or an army whose members are more loyal to Yaya Jammeh than the citizens, let us then bring Rwanda or Liberia in the Gambia. We must set aside our emotions and embrace maturity. We must set aside wishful thinking and embrace logic and wisdom. We must set aside the blame game and close ranks in our demands for electoral reforms, respect for freedom of speech and assembly and free and fair elections. If 90% of Gambians decide to vote against Yaya Jammeh, he will go just like Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal left.
We either behave as democrats or we behave like Yaya Jammeh and set the country ablaze. The opposition must demonstrate to the International Community that they are a government in waiting responsible enough to bring back the Gambia into the committee of civilized nations that Yaya Jammeh despise, insults and belittles.
In a post- Jammeh, the wrongs will be righted, the honorable will be honored and the wrongdoers will be brought to book. I totally agree with Pa Samba Jow Coach when he said we should stop the blame game and close ranks to consolidate our positive achievements. This is a wise advice indeed.
Thank you for attention.
So called Daday. I will tell you that you cannot fool Gambia. You are a writer who don’t know the truth. You are all for Jammeh and you just want to distract our attention from where we are.
Hydara , thank you for your wise words and I agree with you . We must continue to fight and those who are lacking behind whether they are opposition leaders or ordinary citizens will always join patriotic citizens . This is the time to create new leadership who truly understand and really care about change . I believe it is the same message UDP leadership stated in his speech in the congress when he indicated that they wouldn’t waste time with unwilling and fringe opposition parties which are an obstacle to unity but will be willing to look for those who ready to work with . It is time to move on and focus on bigger picture . In every political struggle , there is bound to be unwilling ally who serve as an obstacle to bring change . This has happened in USA civil rights movement and South Africa . Dr King was not the prominent leader at the time Rosa parks started her defiant but Dr King became the face of new leadership of civil rights movement and he has no experience . I believe Gambian situation will also end up in similar way . Our current political leadership are not the solution to current problem but a new leadership will be born in this peaceful protest . It is clear to Yaya Jammeh that Gambians are sick and tire of him and they want change . Jammeh understand that international community is watching and Gambian people are more determine today than yesterday . There will always be attempt to change the regime and the best Scanerio which favor Jammeh and Gambian people is through peaceful means which I believe is very unlikely . The struggle continue until the tyrant is remove or kill.