The colour of politics
Man, Karl Max says, is a selfish animal. This statement is given a whole new meaning when it comes to politics, particularly Gambian politics. It was barely twelve months ago since we rejoiced and chanted that we had won ourselves a victory over dictatorship. We self praised and had high expectations of our new democracy. We thought that we had reached the Promised Land’.
But many of us forgot that while most were genuine, there will always be those who will be seeking the shortcut to riches and fame, to power and glamour. In doing that, they were bound to undermine the collective aspirations for a developed and democratic nation. It has now become fashionable to just heap praises on the powers that be with a view to being identified; perhaps to be tucked away in some imaginary good book. The book from which the ‘Mansa’ will dip his hand and bring out the name of the new minister, new ambassador, new governor, or new secretary general.
We started by leaders of political parties taking ministerial positions; a move which would undoubtedly bring about a conflict of interest in their work. There is no doubt that when a party leader is made a minister of state there will come a time when the two – party interest and national interest – will clash. The fact that many will go in for the party interest is a foregone conclusion. We have already observed the repercussions of that decision.
Then we saw the sycophants who made us that brand of politician called Yahya Jammeh (with a tag reading: Made in the Gambia) written all over his administration. This brand of politician is the type that personalizes everything in the country to an extent of blurring the lines between the president and the State. We recycled these sycophants [or many of them] and gave them positions of responsibility giving them the opportunity to continue doing exactly what they were doing.
We continue doing the very things we stood against, the very things we fought against, the very things we condemned the previous government for. Take for instance refusing the young people permit to protest against the erratic power supply (under the pretext of ‘national security). Talk of all animals are equal!
The violations of the constitution are now things that we do not want anyone to talk about. Corruption is as rife as it has ever been under the previous government, if not more so. Youth unemployment is reported to be at an all time high rate of seventy percent! Now, is this what we voted for? Was this why our hero Solo Sandeng of blessed memory put his life on the line for? Are we going to sit by again and see our president hijacked by greedy and selfish individuals and turned into another ‘Mansa’ with long titles?
The president was said to have donated vehicles to the Gambia Radio and Television Services.
I mean, is the president ‘a benevolent father or what?’ Then, it was reported that the president ‘through his personal efforts’ gave fifty-seven vehicles to the National Assembly Members. This was later claimed to be from an anonymous donor. What type of transparency and accountability are we talking about here?
These are just a few among the litany of foul ups that this government has done, so far and; they are just warming up!
Today, we are talking of the University of the Gambia conferring an honorary doctorate on President Barrow! What! Come on. What has Barrow done to deserve honorary doctorate? This is how we allow selfish and greedy people do things solely for their selfish interest until we create a dictator.
I hope President Barrow sees these trappings and rejects this doctorate. A lot needs to be done.
Is our present different?
Is our PRESENT any different from our YESTERDAY? History MUST never be allowed to repeat its ugly self. The alleged attack on the Unified APRC supporters by the villagers of Mankaman Kunda is cowardly and a direct assault on the New Gambia, we voted for and the police need to get to the bottom of the matter and those found wanting be brought to book.
Gambia belongs to all and every citizen has his/her right to political association and must be accorded the opportunity to hold political rallies in any part of the country, there must never be limits to parties, individuals or groups.
We may have our political differences which is normal and that’s DEMOCRACY, but what is not normal is to sow the seeds of HATE amongst ourselves. When we disagree about something the best solution is to intellectually debate about it than keep on insulting, name calling or lie about everything just to prove a point.
It’s URGENT that the National Council for Civic Education educate the people of their political rights and limitations. If we continue to allow such ugly scenes to continue it could lead to a much bigger impact in future, for how long the APRC guys will continue to endure such and remain calm? The writing is on the wall and it’s the collective duty of all to ensure we have a level and peaceful political space.