There is no doubt that there is heightened political tension in the Gambia currently. There is a lot of bickering between supporters of the various political parties and this is not a good sign considering the numerous challenges the country and its citizens are facing.
A speech delivered by the President of the Republic, Mr. Adama Barrow, has ignited the somewhat acerbic debate between the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) and the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP). In the said speech the president made some remarks which are seen to be disparaging towards Mr. Ousainu Darboe, the leader of the UDP.
This, according to many observers, is not something that should occupy the discourse in the country currently as there are so many other issues which should warrant the sitting round the table of all the political actors in the country. There is high cost of living and the ordinary citizen is finding it hard to have three square meals.
There is the challenge of crime and the safety of the people of the country to tackle. There is the ugly issue of corruption and many are wondering what the government is doing to reduce, if not eradicate, it in the country. The security of the country is something that should concern every sober-minded individual in the country at this moment in time.
The education system has been called into question by the recently released WASSCE results which show a decline in the performance of the children of the country. These, and many other issues, should occupy the public space rather than the throwing tantrums between the political leaders who should be seen to be unifying the people of the country.
In a recent publication on The Standard Newspaper, the National People’s Party was said to be initiating discussions with all other political parties on the current situation in the country. In fact, some of the other political parties such as the UDP and the GDC aired their opinions that they are willing to enter into any dialogue that concerns the welfare of the country and her people. This would have been far better and more promising than the innuendos here and there.
It is well known that democracy is noisy as there is no way all the people in a country can share the same views and ideas. A multiparty democracy entails different people forming different political parties to propagate their ideas and visions as seek the mandate of the people.
The ruling party and indeed all other parties in the country must understand that others have every right to propagate their ideas and beliefs. This; however, must be done in a manner that promotes peace and unity rather than being divisive.
The current tension is there totally unnecessary and avoidable.