By Musa Bah “When was the last time you visited Guinea,” a gentleman I was sitting with asked me yesterday. That is a very common assumption held by very many people in this country. Once you say ‘mbiimi’ or you are fair in complexion, they have already placed you as a Guinean. This is stereotyping and it is erroneous. Not every Fula speaking or good looking (lol) person comes from Guinea. I refused to be dragged into an argument of my origins – and I still do, if you must know, ask Mr Hassan Jallow, the chief justice for that is where we may end up. I am a Gambian, plain and simple. Let’s leave it at that! This reminds me of the strange case of Fatou Elika Molushi whose citizenship is repeatedly being questioned in some quarters. At one stage, it was about scholarship to pursue higher education. This is interesting. If you ask me, I would have given Fatou an ID card for her beauty alone! (We need beautiful women in the country, don’t we?) If you throw in her golden voice, I will give her a passport! The girl is an asset to the nation! Well, perhaps it is somehow understandable – acceptable, not so much – given the chaos the Medical Myth Boaster (by the way do you remember that title, the MMB?) introduced in the citizenship question in this country. Remember the court case against Mr Pap Saine of The Point newspaper about his being or not being a Gambian? That was ridiculous! There are other weird cases which unfolded here in this country which will take encyclopedic volumes to narrate. Thus, the Molushi girl – the one I call Girl With The Golden Voice (I was captivated by the way she read my poem entitled The Sycophants on GRTS) should up the ante by petitioning the Ministry of Higher Education, at least in my opinion. That will help future Molushi or Erbo (I hope my sister Yadicon won’t sue me) or Robinson Gambians the hassle of citizenship. Oh the issue of political neutrality comes into mind here! Remember Ado attending Macky Sall’s investiture which was reported in the papers? That was a miscalculation of high proportions. The truth is that there are no permanent friends in diplomacy; there can only be aligned interests. What would happen if Macky were to lose the elections? How would the winner view the Gambia? Will it not affect the ties between Banjul and Dakar? In fact, some Senegalese are already complaining that the visit was intended to give Macky a boast and an edge over others in the political arena of Senegal. I am not a Senegalese; but, if I were one, and happened to be a supporter of one of Macky’s opponents, I would sue Barrow if Macky wins. But wait, where will I sue him? Will it be in the Gambian courts, Senegalese courts or the African courts? Or maybe I would just sip wonjo and go to bed after all, all politicians are the same. I once heard a joke on the BBC. A comedian said that two politicians are about to drown and you can save only one. What will you do, read your newspaper or eat your lunch? Forget politicians. I am more for the struggle of the masses that the gimmicks of the political class. Strange things happen I the Gambia every day. Yesterday, I was going into Standard Charted Bank and met this young lady. She was immaculately dressed and was – I will admit this here – she was extremely beautiful (please don’t tell my wife). She stopped me and said: “Bro, doo ma mai D50 dama bugadem Brikama te amuma paas.” Well I was dumbfounded. This is a pointer to some very serious economic woes in the country. You see, the level of poverty and want that will make a young lady shed her modesty and shame and beg of men in the streets is indeed worrisome. This reminded me of the thirty-five million dalasis said to have disappeared from the accounts of the first lady’s foundation. This amount could have plugged many holes to prevent young and pretty ladies begging in the streets. Then it reminded me of the information which has it the the minister has promised a 1.8 million dalasis budget for the First Lady’s Office. What will she do with that amount anyway? Will it not serve as a recipe for corruption and money laundering avenue? We got to wake up! These things should be regulated or reregualated if there is such a word in the Queen’s Language. The constitution certainly prohibits some things but they are still rampant. Having completed my transactions at The Standard Charted Bank, I boarded a taxi to Tipper Garage so I would drop at Serekunda Market junction in order to board the Latrikunda bound taxis to go back to school – or my second home as my wife often teases. At the garage, I saw three young energetic men quarrelling over the D2 tip given by the drivers for loading. It struck me that these people could have engaged in a more lucrative and productive venture and benefit themselves and their families. But no, it is easier to raba raba here shouting Bundung, Latrikunda and get some coins. Hard times! If you were to ask these people what they wanted, they would have said that government has not created opportunities for them. What, do you need the government to come and wake you up in the morning? Or do you wait for the government to show you the way to the loo when you are to answer the call of nature? Come on! Tighten your belt and find something meaningful to do. When I bought a copy of The Standard Newspaper, the first thing I saw was the picture of Mr Seedy SK Njie. No, you didn’t misread, I said Seedy SK Njie. And to think that he was taking Mr Mamma Kandeh to task for criticising Barrow just beats me. Mamma Kandeh, the one who uses]]>
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By Omar Bah The Ministry of Defense has said the Gambia Armed Forces are ready to offer assistance to the civilian authorities across regional and...
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