Gambia: A Moment In Time

Gibril Saine: Gambia shall never be truly at peace with itself, nor prosperity reside until and unless the entire security apparatus is disbanded for a fresh start.

Late Monday afternoon, I came home to a pile of messages alerting to a fracas unveiling in the university town of Faraba Banta. A developing story, it reads, but the more I peel through correspondences, the scarier it came to be!

Fellow Gambians – there comes a moment in life that requires all conscious driven people to take a step-back but stand, reflect on their own predicament and the (pragmatic) solutions need to apply. It is not violence one advocates here; writing is not the solution either in regards to a bookshy leadership still in denial on the regime or system change conundrum.

At the height of its powers assuming office, many of us had argued for the Gambia national army, SIS, NDEA, Police, all to disband for a new recruitment drive afresh towards credible security sector reform. Those weren’t wild guesses, but empirical trends, lessons of conflict zones of the past, so classic of the Gambia scenario. For argument sake, ours is the only country in the world where murderers, torturers, fake generals and colonels of past dictatorship still occupy top spots – comfortably accommodated into the system: I am, therefore, left to conclude, although regrettably, that the Gambia shall never be truly at peace with itself, nor prosperity reside until and unless the entire security apparatus is disbanded for a fresh start.

What the situation calls is for intellectual approaches on how best to salvage our democracy, replace the ‘old’ with the ‘new’ towards transformational change. Parables, old wine in a new bottle is still the same old wine. What the situation calls for right now is a new breed of philosophers, excellent men and women of high order to restore dignity of the Gambian people, and in the process, their hopes and dreams. I saw my fellow Gambians crying tonight, inconsolable, heartbroken but for the hopes we all shared about the coalition government. Most of us have had disappointments in life, but not one as stark in-your-face sort of ”maa teii’‘ cavalier leadership made me feel tonight. Moving forward, say, may the almighty God save the Gambia from clueless leadership ever again, ‘ameen’.

Positives – trying really hard to find one about the coalition-government but ….

And as honest as I can, our country’s problems and solutions are all interlinked in a chain – simply a failure of leadership. So tonight, staring across the ‘River Thames’, fun memories of the Gambia river so I reminisce, we the people have no other choice but demand president Barrow step down at the expiry of the three (3) year coalition agreement – for he is no visionary, or change, the type the public expect.

To the police commissioner – do us a favor close down the police radio channel that came to be a waste of resources and manpower. Reminds me of 1930s Germany, reminiscent of the Nazy propaganda machine under Adolf Hitler. Respectfully, let the media do the reporting, for the police to focus on policing matters!!!

R.I.P – Dedicated to the memories of victims and families caught up in the trauma at Faraba Banta. I feel your pain, for Gambians should see each other as a single unit, and any Gambian in pain affects us all; for successful Gambians to help more too.

For the ‘National Interest’, I remain.

Gibril Saine


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