In this contemporary Gambia of disarray, it is hella relevant to summon quite an assortment of national discourse. It’s very sad that a country that’s like a tongue in Senegal, a country whose population is even less than that of Dakar, not including Africa; is still stuck a century aback from the rest of Africa. Spare the world, at least.
Development, security, regulation, economy, health, agriculture; employment opportunities and suchlike in naming a few – are all in the retardation. Perhaps some of these jitters aren’t new, but security wasn’t disvirned until recently. This is hella horrible! Will it make sense to remind you of the recent epic flaws regarding our security? But again, who isn’t aware of these very blatant life-claiming flaws?
On the whole, this country is being “fali kulu tentu” as the Smiling Coast of Africa. Are you confused about the Mandinka lingo contained in the previous sentence? The connotation is that, this country is being hyped with her nickname. Despite the fact that it served as a sanctuary for tourists and many others under this famous moniker, the Smiling Coast of Africa is still a very dubious rhetoric. What the Sam Hill is actually smiling here? Corruption, poverty and instability? Maybe that.
With this election in the offing, the government is seemingly more focused on their doings to keep them in our this alleged New Gambia than that of the national doings in maintaining peace and stability. Ah, this is the doing-it era, the definitive doing-it era of the New Gambia. But, even with that, they can still hold the national security in check. Why is everything on the loose? The killings, burglaries, “rapinos”, attacks and all other crimes en masse – are they being regarded with disregard? Are we actually going to wake up from them anytime soon?
In the honest indices of national interest, justice should always prevail. But, sadly, justice here is largely selective. The colour of Gambian law is green. In- Gambian-context rich people, people close to the Bus Driver or his family, or even his allies and proxies; largely enjoy some degree of undiluted treatment and uninhibited justice at the expense of an average Gambian. That’s the new normal. When will these bias indices be solved?
In the government offices, at the national institutions, the jobs that the whole populace is entitled to, even though on merit and on competence; are now turning into family businesses and know-me enterprises. Sadly. Employment to these jobs, appointment to these positions, deffo defies protocols, merits and competencies, thus legally and officially heading south. It is now “whom you know” instead of “what you know”. And we are still smiling about it?
To the economic bloodsuckers of the Gambia: if you readily eat from the “national cake” when things are sweet, be also ready to chew from the “national cola nut” when those same things go bitter. That’d be parity.
What’s the difference between being a dog and being a leech? What do sugar ants, sugar-eating bugs (kalo, as in Mandinka) and leeches have in common? Simple. In contrast, dogs are easily seen and chased away whereas leeches are hard to detect. Similarly, sugar ants and leeches usually die in the act. That simple.
Apparently, in the painstaking spree of national responsibility, Gambians like to suffer. How? Why? Well, I know the “how” but I don’t know the “why”. Honestly. Even about matters that we can solve in tandem, we often pay very little regard or interest as long as they do not resonate with the flairs of our political affiliations. Are we really serious? How long are we going to subdue our personal and political interests to our national interests?
It’s very sad that Gambia is regressing. What could be the regressand? Politics? Bad leadership? Attitude? What? You can hardly see any development apart from the supposedly clichéd ones, if there are even any.
These selective favoritism and justice, looting and siphoning, nepotism and cronyism all have to stop now. If they’re stopped, we’ll still need to start from scratch: first, the unbridled national interest has to be at the equator of national development – then “Gambia first” shoud be the national kaleidoscope in our fight for that said national development – then we can pay attention to serious restructuring and reformation.
Gambia needs to do this. This is the doing-it time – and it’s now or never – as the nation is gradually heading towards the Bermuda Triangle, considering everything. Until then, this is the adjectival Gambia – these are the embodied adjectives of contemporary Gambia.
Batou Saidy holds a degree in Public and Environmental Health. Aside his profession, he is a writer and a football fanatic.