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City of Banjul
Friday, October 23, 2020

On the looming December protest; request to the Lord of the worlds

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By Baka Dem, Tha Jarra Pen

I wonder if I am in the right spiritual mind to initiate a request to you the Most High! Again, I doubt my capabilities to assemble words to constitute a formal request to you, our creator. In such a doubt, I got reminded by some holy sayings that you’ve given your servants the will to request and you shall give.

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Banking on such, and considering the dire situation “we” are in, my request requires not an eternal wait! I pray you grant it before the time. Before I would make my request, allow me the chance to relate to the lord of Moses and Abraham the situational happening prompting me to scribble these words.

Ya Allah, in this world you’ve dedicated to be the temporal home of mankind, the beings you’ve therein created to settle in it are engaged in a lot of things, among them is organizing themselves in groups called nations and choosing individuals to lead them in order for them to be provided with primary, secondary and tertiary needs. These chosen individuals are not worshipped nor do we see them as messiahs but through them we always anticipate better living conditions of the people in the nations. To be chosen to lead any nation, individuals who desire to lead, canvass for support and votes (that is through the right way) from the ordinary dwellers of that particular nation. In doing so, they are compelled to make promises and sometimes reach agreements at their own levels just to occupy the leadership seat of that situation.

The aftermath of such promises and agreements, is the situation that we Gambians are faced with. Thus, your divine intervention in salvaging this nation you’ve kept away from the troubles earning us the name Smiling Coast, is indeed necessary! My nation endured a devilish past. An era many would regard as our darkest in our history as a nation except for the time we were not told about. The nation was bathed with the blood of its citizens, our resources looted for the gains of an individual, our women raped and sexually abused, our every sector cried of foul plays from the leadership. This is the narration told to us as time passes and evidently found to be true. Lord, when my people could no longer cry, when they could no longer bear the pains and atrocities, when our young people and diaspora brothers could no longer sit and watch one man turning our nation to pre-Islamic Arabia, my people took up marbles to change the course of the clock.

They took up marbles to change the captain of the ship before the Nuh (AS) era type of rain would sink our ship. Thus, in December 2016, we breathed a sigh of relief. On that day we saw the might in us as ordinary citizens. Then, we realized the power in us to make and unmake a demon. Then we unmade the demon and sent him away like Unoka in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart , was sent to the evil forest and left to die for his debt and inability to prove his worth as a man among men. History was written for my nation.

Lord, all these happenings you are aware and did guide us in making our all famous decision in December. But did we make the wrong choice at the right time? When we went to the polls armed with our marbles ready to thunderbolt the sitting leader, we were enthused by campaign promises. Promises that made us hopeful for a better and more prosperous Gambia. We had seen in the beaming faces of the campaigners, the burning will to lift our sinking nation to save shores. Like Jamaicans celebrated the coming to their land Haile Selassie, like the Medina people welcomed the coming of the last prophet Muhammad to their land, like the people of Israel celebrated the coming of Moses, our people believed the day of salvation had finally arrived. We were made promises, we were made to believe agreements were signed, we were enthusiastic. We felt the time has come. At last, Gambia has regained consciousness. Gambia is awakening from its 22years slumber state
Lo and behold, the change we collectively effected and gave rise to a new nation and a new leader, that change is said to be a regime change. God of Yusuf and Isaac, our change was supposed to be a regime and system change. A total migration from whatever was in 22years to something new and refreshing. This was the hope.

This was what entices us to the ballot booths. This was why the power to wield the affairs of the nation was innocently handed to the duty bearers by the masses. Where did we get it wrong? Alas!
Lord of Essa and Zakariya, words have it that, the onetime Moses and Haile Selassie of our nation, is of no difference to the exiled being. This is heart-wrecking. Could we not have made a better choice? Would there be time for us to reverse the decision made 3 years ago? Among the many that gauge the current leadership performance, few credited them. Many have exponentially highlighted the similarity of our today’s leadership to our yesterday’s leadership. In fact, many believe our sovereign land including our sovereignty has been mortgaged to foreign civilizations.

That in itself is not the ultimate worry! During their campaign for the seat, they had us believe that an agreement was in place, should they win, the elected personality would serve for three years and resign. Fresh elections would be conducted and a new leader would be elected to begin our journey to the Promised Land. Although, we are very much aware of politicians not honoring campaign promises, my nation’s people are up to make them start respecting their words. Ya Allah, in fact, you’ve made such reference for us in your Holy Scripture. Intoxicated by power, the then chosen Moses has turned his head and face against his own words. Thus, a baseline for a political push and pull is drawn. The all famous December is chosen for the tug of war. Our sovereign citizens have said come rain come dust, in December, they would remind our leader of his words and perhaps call on him to resign. This, (resignation) is unlikely. Inevitably, a worrying situation in my homeland is looming.

Rabi Yahya wa Sulayman, my nation is a month away from December. In that regard and the worry pumping in my veins and those in my situation, I pray you delay the coming of December. If the fury from the citizens and the persistence from the leadership continue, I called on you to pour heavenly waters in the hearts and minds of the two parties. If the desire to remind the leadership of its words is guided by patriotism and not any egocentric moves or political game-plan, I pray you strengthen the power of our citizenry to hold our governments accountable. If politicians use words to hijack our votes and not stand firm on them, I pray that you save my nation from words of politicians. Lord of Dawud, let December continue to sleep as long as my people don’t come to terms. Let December continue to snore and never wake up until at such a time, its coming would be beneficial to the nation.

Until then, save us from failed promises of politicians; save us from citizens masked by egoism and political patronage; bring us the light to see the right personality to lead us the next time we queue at polling booths.

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