Cultivating a national spirit through revolutionary politics

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‘Our definition of revolution is what matters! It is our determination to feed, clothe and shelter our people using our human and natural resources. This revolution further informs our practice that we represent the Gambian front of the African revolution.’

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By Ousainou Mbenga

Now that the dust from the 2021 presidential election circus has settled, followed by the foggy National Assembly elections with the unquestionable resurgence of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Reconstruction (APRC) on to the saddles of power, The Gambia continues to exist as “a wilderness without signposts; a playground for misleaders”.

The traitorous Barrow regime and its despicable lift of the APRC back on to the saddles of power in the persons of Fabakary Tombong Jatta as Speaker of the National Assembly and Seedy Njie as deputy speaker, is an attempt to push us back into the swamps we have just emerged from, all in the name of reconciliation and meaningless peace.

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For all intents and purposes, Jammeh was never replaced, the Barrow regime became a continuity of Jammeh and the fact of the matter is, the United Democratic Party (UDP) was equally poised to continue the existing state of affairs had they not fallen apart with “their Barrow”. Lest we forget: “Barrow is our Barrow”! To the UDP, Barrow parted the River Gambia as the iconic Moses parted the River Nile. Now, what other treacherous acts of betrayal would any thinking mind wait for before dismembering oneself from this rot? To what end?

What is a national spirit?

Our national spirit will be our own definition of who we are, what we want, a deep understanding of our environment or surroundings (consciousness) and the actions taken to cultivate the political, economic and social realities of the nation we desire. We must change the colonial images we have of ourselves and our current situations. Our collective achievements will be towards nation building and not based on backward tribal affiliations. A false consciousness of our identity is what has been holding us back for centuries. Inspiring examples of African history and civilisation must be transmitted to generations to come.

Our historical commonality as Africans has without doubt been fundamentally established; notwithstanding the desperate attempts to still dismember us from each other to continue the practices of slavery, colonialism and the deadliest of all, neocolonialism. From the Gambian front of the African revolution to the Lesotho front, our historical commonality must be the basis and condition of our historically determined necessity to unite.

What is revolutionary politics?

First, let us be clear about one thing, everything about human life is political, including religion. The common utterances: “I am not into politics” and “let’s put politics aside” are politically loaded statements. How can we not be into politics or put it aside when the humiliations and misery we face is because of politics? Therefore, we must not continue to let “politics” be the playgrounds for unscrupulous politicians. We must intervene in the political arena as revolutionary politicians to reverse the impending doom the neocolonial politicians wish upon our beloved Gambian front of the African revolution.

Revolutionary politics raises the political and social consciousness of the masses to increase their fighting capacity for genuine change and not to fall for the meaningless slogans of “democracy” while suffering “peacefully”. Revolutionary politicians will not make empty promises, instead will come up with a plan of action with the people and take action together to a logical conclusion. Political education is the instrument that will set the masses free to reclaim their dignity and integrity. No politician can buy their votes for a bag of rice and sugar again. It is going to take more than voting to uproot the rotten roots of politics that keep the minds of the masses at gutter level of “tribalism”. The politics of ideas will replace the politics of insults and self – aggrandisement.

Politicians and “politics as usual” as we know them, have proven to be the most unreliable sector of our societies since “flag independence”. The humiliation that neocolonial politicians have heaped upon our lives must be vigorously resisted. Therefore, we must replace politics as usual with revolutionary politics. There is a common erratic saying among pundits with severe political blind spots and the general population at large that “politics is dirty” and that “there are no permanent friends or enemies”. The fact of the matter is that, colonialism and neocolonialism are our permanent enemies, we can never be friends. Politicians are slimy and dirty by nature and that is why they can sell our sea and land for penny-ante bribes of little substance to our beloved Gambia. It is because of the shameless and low self-esteem character of neocolonial politicians and their equally unscrupulous “partners in development” that we are taken for granted. Everyone has a plan for us: US, EU, China, India and even Turkey has an African plan. Where is our plan?

Revolutionary politics will reawaken our sensibilities and impose our African plan over all the colonial – capitalist extractions of our resources. Where would any African go in Europe, China, India or Turkey and have such easy access to prime land and control the local economy?

The land crisis, abject poverty, decrepit infrastructure, electric and water outage, housing crisis are as a result of impotent leadership, God has nothing to do with this ineptitude.

We have five years to prepare our forces to govern and a proud future Gambian front of the African revolution to look forward to. Forward to victory! We will win!