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Sunday, September 19, 2021

#NeverAgain?

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Ah, the sweet taste of power! It seems like magic when yet another president took his place on the ”throne”; abracadabra and he became the Ruler instead. I’m amazed that it is so easy to get thrilled by the power, that there seems to be no limit for how low a president can go. NPP has officially joined hands with APRC and in their dreams they will live happily ever after. Our current president is out on his ”Meet the People Tour”. I know that this is an annual occasion, but why does Barrow bother to show himself? He is not interested in the people,he is only interested in what he can gain from them. I feel sick in my stomach when I think of this guy. NPP and APRC in coalition; it is like being in coalition with the German Nazi party. 

What is wrong with some people? Haven’t they learned anything from their past? As a toubab, so many times I have to bear the blame for what my ancestors did to your ancestors, but look at yourself in the mirror for a while! Yahya Jammeh is a Gambian, his accomplices are Gambians, Adama Barrow is a Gambian and those who hope that he will be re-elected are Gambians too. Is there any hope for the future for the country we love? Yes, many of us love The Gambia, even a lot of us who are not citizens. So many abroad are dedicated to improving life for the Gambians. There are NGOs, schools, foundations and so forth, run by people from abroad. A lot of us send goods with containers to help our friends and families. We send money and even the state treasury depends on our money. 

Yes, there are white people who still use black people, and I am deeply and truly sorry for that, but it is time to stop the blame-game and turn the spotlights towards what is happening among your own people. I have asked it before and I will ask it once more; why didn’t the APRC get banned after the election in 2016? The German Nazi party is banned in Germany. There are Neo-Nazis here and there in Europe, but as soon as they show their ugly faces in the open they are met with resistance. There was of course a lot of confusion in the Gambian coalition at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, but as soon as the situation calmed down a bit, it would have been a great signal for all Gambians to ban APRC for good. 

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I feel so upset when I think of this coalition between NPP and APRC so I am boiling inside. What happened to #neveragain? Where is the respect for all the victims of Yahya Jammeh and his accomplices? Has this coalition been planned by Adama Barrow and others from the very beginning? Is this why there has been no concern for the surviving victims? Is this why there have been no improvements in The Gambia for 5 years now? The statue in Juffureh, built in 1998 and which has the device Never Again was built to remind us that slavery was ended and should be no more. What about mental slavery then? You are not beaten and in chains anymore, but are you free?

As long as you allow your president to treat you as AdamaBarrow has treated you, you will never be free. You are nothing to him more than a source of income, is that how you consider yourself? 

I know I sound very harsh now, but this is too much! The only thing Adama Barrow has accomplished during his mandate is to put The Gambia in even deeper debt than before. The creditworthiness for the country is extremlylow and corruption is very high. If you reach out to foreign companies and hope that they want to invest in The Gambia, they will not even listen to you. Why would any company want to invest their money in a country where you have to bribe your way through every process? Factories are depending on reliable electricity and we all know how that works at the moment. Expensive machines break when there are constant power cuts, time is money and the companies don’t want to lose that while they are waiting for the machines to get repaired.

The roads are worse and we shouldn’t speak about the traffic situation! It takes forever to get from point A to point B. A snail would move faster than the traffic in the Kombos! All this was the same five years ago and nothing has improved. If Adama Barrow and company don’t consider you worth nothing, then kick them out! You are worth so much more, so why settle with less? 

You didn’t vote for Adama Barrow, you voted against Yahya Jammeh, but Barrow doesn’t understand that. He has been struck by a serious attack of hubris since January 2017 and he is swaying up in the sky like a big, shiny balloon. It is about time to pull him down because if you allow him to fly even the shiniest balloon can burst. What The Gambia needs is someone level-headed who understands that he is elected by the people to serve the people. A president is not a demi-god, he is not someone we should cherish. He is a servant of the people and for that position we must vote for the right person.

What is the suffering worth, all the tears that are shed? What did all our deceased heroes fight for? Imagine to listen to all the witnesses at the TRRC hearings, while your heart was bleeding, knowing that our current president doesn’t care. He doesn’t care more than to reach out to the party that encouraged violence, torture, rape and murder. How is it possible for Adama Barrow to look people in the eye while he is out on his tour? Is he not ashamed that he has betrayed you all? Obviously not as he is now best buddies with those who worship their leader, the great imposter living in the far-far land. Do they hope that he can come back one day as nothing has happened? 

At the moment I teach my ninth-graders about Afro-American music history. They have seen videos about the slave trade and about James Island (Kunta Kinteh Island)

I have told them about The Gambia and your struggles, but I have also told them how much I love The Gambia and that I love your strength and ability to bounce back. I spoke about mental slavery before, and I know this is a very delicate topic. The word slave is so much stronger for you, and I respect that, but please try to see it from my perspective for a while. What I mean with mental slavery is when you are used to be controlled by someone else. The chains are imaginary and as long as you don’t fight them, they will control you. 

Democracy means rule by the people. The Gambia is considered to have been a democracy for five years now, but are you claiming your rights as a representative of the people? Break your chains and resist the oppressor.

Claim your rights to be respected, claim your rights to never again be oppressed. Claim your rights to live in a country where every individual has proper food, shelter, clothing, education, jobs and everything else you need. Don’t settle with anything less, respect yourself as you wish to be respected. Don’t allow anyone to be your ruler, break the mental chains and let the device #neveragain mean something.

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