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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

On the Significance of the 2021 election: the urgency of now

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The Gambia has just messed up a transition that was nothing short of a golden opportunity to transform a whole nation, making it a shining city of hope, a success story worthy of emulation for generations yet unborn.

This tragic loss and destruction of opportunity was caused by nothing but poor, uninspiring and unethical leadership. Yet God has destined for us that we would have another chance to make a choice for a better new Gambia.

The sacred moment is upon us right now as we commence a fresh new voter registration process that will determine who is qualified to cast their votes in the upcoming defining moment to correct the wrongs of the past.

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Shall we then rise up to the occasion and take the necessary right steps to get ready for 4 December 2021? This is the question we must answer as citizens.

Voter registration starts 29 May, but it shall not last forever. This window of opportunity will be officially shut down on 11 July 2021 and therefore we must ditch the bait of procrastination and dillydallying. It is time to go and get that voter’s card now.

It is a fact that the future of our country lies in the hands of the citizens. The power to shape our future is entrenched in our rights to vote.

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I am appealing to all Gambians, but especially the youths, to go out and get your voter’s card. That is the most important tool to shape our destiny as a nation right now.

We can talk as much as we want but those words cannot be counted on 4 December. As Nanette Avery rightly observed, “Talk is cheap, voting is free; take it to the polls…”

Staying home or being busy somewhere to the extent of losing the opportunity to get registered to vote is dangerous for our future.

In the words of Barack Obama: “The consequences of anybody here, not turning out and doing everything you can to get your friends, neighbours, family to turn out, the consequences of you staying home would be profoundly dangerous to this country, to our democracy.”

Ours is a country led by a government that cares about nothing expect their personal gain and the welfare of their families. They have saddled us for five years and their intention is to extend that mandate for as along as they live; hence, their deliberate scheme to kill the draft constitution, that sanctions a two-term limit, before it reached the referendum stage.

From the mass importation of guns and drugs to outright breakdown of security in the country this government continues to sleepwalk into the dark pits of a failed state. Guns and drugs, added to mass deportation of our youths from the West does not augur well for a stable society.

A government that was supposed to lead us to transform our institutions and reset the button for law, order and respect for human rights is now aping the ways of our autocratic past.

Our development partners have given up on President Barrow and his gang of squirrels. The goodwill that the world has willingly offered to The Gambia is gone. This fact is exemplified by the loss of more than a billion euros pledged at the donor conference held in Brussels to support our transition. The   international, community is deeply suspicious of this this administration and they are worried about the global ramifications of our national security meltdown.

We must not allow the beast to further strengthen its fangs and destroy us en masse. A vote against the Barrow administration as represented by the National People’s Party is a sacred duty and a requirement for sanity and national progress. Your voter’s card is the key to the future: a better, safer and brighter Gambia; go get it now!

The right action to take is known by all; but the urgency of the need to act with alacrity may not be quite obvious in the noisy confusion bedevilling a people affected with blasted hopes.

Shall we not take our cue from the timeless wisdom of the great Martin Luther King Jnr: “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

The author Momodou Sabally  is the author of several books. He is an economist, for minister for presidential affairs in The Gambia. He is now a key surrogate of the United Democratic Party.

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