A president is supposed to be a part of the country he is leading. He should keep an ear to the ground (not literally) to hear what is going on so he can make the proper preparations. The only preparation that seems to have been done since January 2017 is how President Barrow uses his position to benefit himself and those who pat him on the back. It is sad that my fellow Gambians are so easily deceived by people in high positions. It is bad that they know you so well and know exactly how to blow dust in your eyes so you are unable to see the truth. It seems as the louder the leaders drum; the more you are convinced that they are skilled players.
You must have heard the common saying – an empty barrel makes the most noise. It’s a common phrase mostly used to refer to people who talk too much and hence have less knowledge or information about whatever they are talking about. As a phrase, this means that most opinionated people have the least knowledge. Once again I am back to one of my favourite topics: Hamat Bah, Minister of Tourism and Culture. For some unclear reason there are now two parts of a long interview with Hamat Bah in this newspaper. Why giving him so much space when he has nothing to say?
You need to learn to see through people, to become suspicious when they act without humility and are always convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Look into this empty barrel of a minister and see if there is any substance behind his words. Hamat Bah is convinced that NPP will “kill” other parties, that people gather in crowds to listen to what President Barrow and the others have to say. He believes that Barrow is holding your future in a firm grip, but the sad truth is that this grip is around your neck. Minister Bah is stressing all the achievements made by President Barrow and the government so far. He doesn’t seem to realise that if all these achievements were obvious, he didn’t have to shout so loud. Actions speak louder than words – once again.
If you allow Barrow to become re-elected you will find that the grip he has around your necks will harden. You will find that you will suffer even more and that the future for your children is sold to China. If you want to be sure to manage when you suddenly find that you have new masters, then learn to speak Chinese. Already in the world of business a lot of people take Chinese classes so they will be able to make business with them easier. I realise that I sound very harsh right now, but you need to prepare yourself for the hard realities.
As long as you allow the society to look as backwards as it is, there will be no progress in The Gambia. As long as 50% of the population are still illiterate you will easily get fooled by those who have been fortunate enough to study or who have the right connections.
Are you okay with that? Are you okay with the fact that you were promised transparency by President Barrow, but there is none? Are you okay with not knowing how NPP was able to get one million dalasis for registering the party? Are you okay with Hamat Bah not telling the truth about how their campaigns are financed? He claims not to know, but of course he does! He is sitting in the lap of the president, how could he not know?
There should be no secrets for any of the parties about how they are financed. If they hide the truth, expect corruption. Knowing the ways of handling business in The Gambia, always expect corruption first and let them convince you of the opposite.
I love The Gambia and I have high respect for the people and the culture, so it saddens me when you are so poorly treated by your own. That is the worst part of this scenario; that your own people are selling you out and you allow them to do that. Remember when I wrote about the colonisers and that they didn’t allow you the same level of education as themselves? They didn’t want you to rise to higher positions among your own people.
The colonisers oppressed you, kept you in place and kept you hungry, afraid and vulnerable. What about your own people? You are still oppressed, kept in place because you can’t afford a proper education, you are illiterate so you know nothing about your rights and are unable to demand them as you don’t know how to express yourselves either in words or in writing. You are vulnerable because most of you can’t afford proper healthcare and medication.
People die for unnecessary reasons in The Gambia! What has the president done about that during this mandate period? Our hospitals still lack proper equipment, we lack enough doctors and nurses. If you can afford to pay for going to Senegal for treatment, you might have a chance but you will be in debt for life.
President Barrow takes himself and his family to Senegal for treatment, he can afford it because you are the ones who are paying for this. Is that okay? Don’t you deserve the same quality of healthcare? Doesn’t your family cry for you when you are ill? Are your prayers less worthy than the ones of President Barrow? You are all Gambians, you have the same basic needs in life but too many of you are denied them. NPP is a bunch of yapping people surrounding the president like dogs surrounding a bone. They all want a piece of it. They feel the delicious smell and they drool from the thought of the taste of it.
They say that hope is the last thing that leaves you, and of course you hope and pray that things will get better. They have certainly been worse, but how much better have they become since Adama Barrow was inaugurated as president of The Gambia? Too little and too late, but if Barrow and his people bang their drums loud enough you will not hear the others.
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a group forms a quick opinion that matches the group consensus, rather than critically evaluating the information. Mass hysteria can be seen as an extreme example of groupthink.
Groupthink seems to occur most often when a respected or persuasive leader is present, inspiring members to agree with their opinion. It is most often associated with business, politics, and policymaking, but it also relates to the psychology of collective phobias and mass hysteria.
In school you are taught to obey and repeat. At home you are taught the same. A society that has the wish to develop is instead raising independent citizens who have the ability of making wise decisions that will benefit us all. What kind of future is your choice – follow your leader without a question even if that leads you to disaster, or elect a new leader who would dedicate his or her life for the good of The Gambia?