It was Captain Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso who once said a soldier without political education is a virtual criminal. As a military leader, Sankara taught his fellow soldiers to realise that they are first and foremost citizens who have rights and duties. He told them as soldiers they are entrusted with the people’s power to protect them. He reminded them that the colonialists created security forces in Africa as tools of oppression. Now that Burkina Faso is an independent country, the soldiers must realise they are no more tools of oppression but defenders of the freedom of the people.
I have just been forwarded an audio where an NPP surrogate demands that myself and some citizens should be arrested and silenced because he said we are hell bent on destroying the country. This is the same infantile and false ranting that President Barrow spewed at me on last Koriteh day thereby putting the Office of the President into disrepute and disgrace. Apparently, this NPP idiot has picked up that same nonsense to play with ignorantly and self-destructively.
Going back to Sankara, political awareness is a state in which a citizen is, first of all, conscious of his or her worth as a human being. She or he realises that being a citizen is the acquisition of rights and duties that one exercises and defends knowing that a citizen’s security, dignity, and progress lies in the protection and fulfilment of her or his rights. Political awareness means a citizen is conscious of the fact that the state derives its authority and power from citizens and performs such power on behalf of and for the welfare of the citizen. This is beautifully captured in Section 1, subsection 2 of the Constitution. Surely this NPP idiot is not aware of that.
Therefore, when a citizen lacks political awareness, it means he does not realise his worth as a human being and as a citizen. It means such a citizen sees public officials as demigods to be worshipped. For that citizen, whatever the president and his government do is charity out of their kindness. A citizen without political education holds that he must support and submit to another individual regardless of the way that individual treats him.
Thus, when Sankara said a soldier without political education is a virtual criminal, we can expand that to say, a citizen without political education is either a victim or a criminal or both. This is because when a citizen is ignorant like this NPP idiot, it means, in the first place, he will be denied his own right by corrupt officials without him knowing it. Rather he will thank them for stealing public money or for torturing him or for raping his daughter. This is because that citizen is so ignorant that he cannot imagine being free. This is what makes a citizen without political education a victim.
What makes that citizen a criminal is that such an ignorant idiot will be ready to insult, assault, rape and kill for or on behalf of a public officer. In his mind, he thinks he is serving his country because in his ignorant mind, he thinks the President is synonymous with the country. He does not realise that the President or Minister or a parliamentarian are merely elected or appointed as public servants, hence they are his mbindaan. President mu banko la mbindaano letti.
With this ignorant and idiotic mindset, it is such citizens who become the Junglers in the security services, or Junglers in the Judiciary or Junglers in the National Assembly or Junglers in the public service. They are ready to plunder and kill their people with laws or with guns or with the pen. Junglers are citizens without political education hence they are both victims and criminals at the same time as we saw how Yahya Jammeh came after them to jail or kill a lot of them after doing his dirty jobs for him.
The lack of political awareness in most of our citizens is the only reason that this country is poor, backward, and unjust. Not that we do not know and see the injustice, the corruption, and the inefficiency of public officials, rather we applaud them. We celebrate corrupt and inefficient public officials simply because we are so ignorant of the fact that indeed those public officials derive their power from the people, and we pay them to serve citizens.
For example, how many of our citizens are aware of the fact that we pay President Adama Barrow a whopping D255,000 every month. He does not pay tax. In addition, we provide the best accommodation, feeding, clothing, medical care and security for him and his family. Why would citizens pay one person such an amount of money when everyone else is so poor in this country?
A citizen with political awareness will realize that this huge sum of money and services and incentives are given to this one person only for him to dedicate his entire life in office to serving the people. To ensure we have security in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities everywhere. To fix our roads, make sure water and electricity are flowing 24/7, schools, hospitals and our communities have the highest standards of goods and services with competent public servants. That’s all.
Let me therefore inform this NPP Ignoramus that the President and IGP do not have any power of their own to arrest even a mouse. The power to arrest is from citizens given to them. The IGP can only arrest a citizen who breaks the law. Hence the IGP and the President have absolutely no power or authority to arrest anyone just like that. If they do, they will be violating the law for which they can also be arrested and held accountable.
Mr NPP Idiot, tell President Adama Barrow and IGP Abdoulie Sanyang that I, Madi Jobarteh say that they have no power of their own to arrest any citizen. They have a choice to obey the law or break the law. If they break the law, let them be rest assured that the day of reckoning shall come for them to pay the price.
Let me give you, NPP Idiot, one example of that. Yahya Jammeh had abused the law and assumed powers he never had. He caused the killing of Solo Sandeng by NIA agents who lacked political awareness. Today, eight of these ignorant agents are languishing in jail. Solo is gone, but Yahya Jammeh is disgracefully banished from his country and anytime he steps his dirty feet back in here, he will pay for the killing of Solo Sandeng, who is celebrated across the world, forever.
So, Mr NPP Idiot, you and Adama Barrow have a choice. To obey the law or break the law. When you and Barrow break the law, rest assured the law will consume both of you sooner than later.
Madi Jobarteh is a leading Gambian social activist.