If wishes were horses all beggars be riding to town. Unfortunately, life is not about wishful thinking but events and dates that stir the trajectory of our existence. Tonight, I want to time travel and wrap Gambia into a time capsule and look at possibilities and missed opportunities that could have stirred us in a different trajectory as a nation.
What if the Berlin Conference never happened? and Gambia was not part of the scramble and partition that dawned on Africa? What if the British and the French never stepped foot in the land we know as Senegambia and the land is still ruled by monarchs such as Alboury Njie and clerics such as Maba Jahou and others? What if 18 February never happened and we remained colonial subjects?
What if David Kwesi was not the President of the Republic and PS Njie was the captain of the steam ship MV Gambia? What if the butut incident never happened and NCP was not conceived? What if Sheriff Mustapha Dibba stayed with PPP would Badibu had been the same? What if Gambia stayed on Pounds and Shillings? What if Kukoi Sanyang succeeded? Would that have changed the national psyche of the Gambia? What if MOJA was entrenched in the Gambia what would have been the end product? What if the ERP was not executed? What if that fateful Friday that brought about the death of the confederation didn’t happen? Would we have witnessed a closer Sene-Gambia? What if Jawara was still ruling? What if Halifa Sallah was the President of the Republic? What if we still had Sene-Gambia and the Gendarmerie? Would we have a President called Yahya Jammeh? What if the ministry of education offered him a scholarship after High School? Oh yea, what if the tourism sector was buoyant enough would Hamat left the tourism industry for politics? What if there was no July 22, 1994 would Lawyer Darboe have ventured into politics?
The collective decisions taken by a people in pursuance of their national aspirations make up its narrative. Therefore, we cannot cry over spilled milk but make the most of the situation as it presents itself. We have had many false starts and lost opportunity but we need a national framework/ideal that are cast in stone and stays in perpetuity. The ideals become the corner stone of our aspiration as a country. The sooner we have a long-term vision of our dearly beloved Gambia that is devoid of partisan politics, its leadership or vested parties the sooner we will realize our full potential as a nation state that pull far more than its weight. A thought provoking what if and what could have and what should haves. My great grandmother of blessed memory Mam Sajor Sey once asked “when will Independence be over it”? I want to know when will Gambia have median incomes comparable to that of the United States and Switzerland? When will we near zero illiteracy rates? etc. These goals are not far-fetched but needs a concerted effort of all and sundry to work in unison with a Bonafede interest of the Gambia as its guiding light. For the Gambia ever true. Just the thoughts of an impatient Gambian with regards to the speed of the time capsule we are travelling into the future and retrospectively looking at the path and trail we travelled.