The time is now for a Citizen National Conference in the Gambia

Whenever a nation reaches a point where no one knows where to go for peace to prevail in the country, the citizenry must call for National Conference of all stakeholders of society to converge, diagnose, recommend and make the people’s voice heard.

There is a total impasse in the country that can be summarize as thus:

  1. The Executive branch interferes in every aspect of the live of the people. The executive transgresses its bounds and interferes with the legislative, the judiciary and the security arms of the nation.
  2. The Legislative branch takes orders from the executive and not from the constituencies they represent in the house of parliament. Being elected officials with immunity protection, they fail their electorates who entrusted them with the mandate.
  3. The Judiciary delivers injustice as directed by the executive and not by the laws and the constitution of the land. The judiciary being the last resort for the nation’s regulations and maintenance of peace failed their oath of office to deliver justice without fear or favor.
  4. The Army, the Police and the Security Intelligence Units that are supposed to uphold the constitution and the protection of citizens, kept acting blindly on illegal orders from the executive without regard to the constitutional provisions.

Whenever the above four scenarios occur in a nation’s live, there are bound to be frustrations that can breed mistrust, confrontations, civil disturbances and eventually commotions and chaos. When those that are supposed to uphold the law revoke a people’s liberties, the only alternative left with people is to resort to violence.

In the absence of viable religious or traditional regulators that can exert influence on the executive, then the citizens must step in, sit on a table, address and try to diffuse the tensions that affect them in their daily lives. Hence the need to hold a National Conference as soon as possible in the Gambia.

The politicians will not be able to perform these tasks whiles they form part of the problems being engage in a competition to retain or ascend to power. This is not say that they should not participate in the discussions but they should not lead the discussions as the issues to be discussed transcend party politics and elections. Government can also participate on the same basis as the political parties.

The IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) can also participate as observers of the deliberations. The religious bodies can also participate as stakeholders.

The governance problems mentioned above are beyond politics as it affects the live of all the people of the Gambia. The Gambia is composed of families; as such the governance issues raised above affect many families. It therefor behoove on all professional and non-professional bodies to converge and address the issues and make recommendations to all stakeholders, government and the executive in particular.

Our nation needs a healing. The deep distrust and the total animosity amongst the pro and the anti of our society’s governance issues should be brought back to the STRICT adherence of the constitution and the laws of the land if we want peace to prevail. The separation of powers must be reinstated and the role of the security must resort to it republican status.

The call for the national conference must take place in the Gambia. The organizers must be citizens whose only motive and role is to redress the total impasse faced by the subjects of our beloved country.

The organization and funding the national conference can be local and international.


It is now a cognizable fact that ONLY Gambians can solve our problems peacefully failing which CHAOS will step in which will give cause for the international community to step in by force to bring peace. Are we a mature people with wisdom to solve our problems alone? Only time will tell.


All of us are feeling the pain and all of us want to see our country intact and put back on rails provided the executive are ready to take heed of the recommendations if they so love the country.


Time is of essence and this national conference must take place before it is too late.


Thank you for your consideration.

By Deyda Haidara

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