Seriously speaking, there is something we need to be clear about the 2014 December 30th State House attack. This is necessary because trumpet has been blown for so long glorifying this coup attempt. But do we ask ourselves whether this particular illegal attempt to take over the government is different from the July 22 coup which had disvirgined the Gambia. The simple answer is an emphatic NO.
Do we know of any politician or employee of the previous regime who openly thumbprinted a coup d’etat of any nature? Not even opposition leaders wanted a bloodless one because coups in nature bring uncertainty, chaos or instability. In fact, almost all of the opposition party leaders condemned the December 30th attack and even disassociated themselves from it in totality.
If the people who desperately yearn for change bullshit a coup, why do some people keep using the social media platform to heap attacks on the likes of Lt. General Masaneh Kinteh, branding them as “the Jammeh enablers.” Like all government officials, Kinteh’s supposed crime – if it does exist – was to write to former President Yahya Jammeh condemning December 30th failed coup plot. What is the illegality in condemning what is purely illegal?
Jammeh had stepped on Gambians so hard that people thought any means, including violence is appropriate to unseat him. Proponents of this belief include those who supported Jammeh in his early days.
Truthfully, the fight to send Jammeh packing was long, brutal and painful. So many innocent souls and material resources have been lost. We have all contributed our quota until change happened. There are a lot of unsung heroes in this fight who tried the route of December 30 attackers but failed. What about the people who were arrested at work, on bed or on the streets and accused of plotting to dislodge Jammeh from power? Like State House attackers, some of the plotters too received cold-blooded murders. Should we crown these people as martyrs?
Do we forget about the 15 gallant soldiers who were summarily executed on November 11 and 12, 1994 for attempting to get rid of a dictator in the making? Is it fair to call November killers and their loudmouth cyber warriors heroes when their hands are still stained with innocent bloods? We mean those who pulled the triggers and those who bundled their fellow soldiers in vehicle trunks and tied them like baboons.
Do we also forget about the executed six security officers and maimed survivors of March 21st 2006 coup? How fair are we to the families of the unsung heroes when we name the State House attackers as the only heroes?
No coup is glorious than the other, which is why we should give them all a deserving equality in the public space. All of them deserve our condemnation. We can cherry pick or glorify a coup which is our right to freedom of expression. We have to throw away our democratic cap if we choose this route. Let’s decide what we want to be: coup or democracy advocates.
It’s about time we busied ourselves with germinating our new found democracy rather than glorifying coups. Surely, we need everything in a New Gambia except a coup, which has left us in pieces instead of in peace. Let’s therefore put our broken pieces together.