Unravelling the fiscal and judicial mess of 22 years will undoubtedly take a while. System change is an organic process that will require dynamism and out-of-the-box development solutions. The length and breadth of this beloved country is an infested crime scene. The Gambia is a battered soul as the kleptocrat butcher has robbed our dignity as a people.
The persistent haggling on and offline is the consequential effect of his psychological trauma inflicted on a vulnerable population whose appetite for success and get rich quick has drowned them to the lowest ebb of their humanity. Jammeh’s weapon of choice was financial inducement that most were not used to. Hadn’t it been for Jammeh, many would have never heard of names such as Karafa Bojang alias Saul Badgie for they have no place in a thriving Gambia.
The systemic change needed to bring back the soul of the Gambian is a medium to long-term project. I dubbed this initiative #ProjectGambia. This initiative will re-educate, empower, instil pride and dignity in our people. The Gambia will always be an immigrant friendly nation but we have to jealously guard our nationality to advance and advocate the Gambian ideals. Recreating a new voter roll by purging non-nationals who have been used to skew the will of our people is paramount in the new system change process.
Institution reform and the eradication of discretionary powers are also high on the change process. Reparations and judicial redress are a sine qua non in ushering a harmonious society that will be at peace with itself. A new social contract that instils our nationality over trivial tribal allegiance is fundamental to achieving a socially cohesive society.
Having said this, this administration MUST realise that Project Gambia is a medium to long-term initiative that can’t be achieved overnight. Therefore, the Gambian polity expects precise leadership that can chart the parameters of Project Gambia and allow subsequent administrations to execute the social, economic and judicial deliverables envisaged by the project. The role if this administration is concise and any over ambition exhibited by them will make their agenda redundant.
To whom much is given, much is expected and the system change we want will efface crony capitalism, preferential treatment for state procurement and employment. We the people want to do away with the entrenchment of strong men in our public institutions and services. We want capital cronies to stay far away from our public administration.
Personally, I believe that the captain (President Barrow) means well for the collective and he needs to aggressively spearhead a transformative reform agenda wholesale not retail and he needs to rein in, to curb influence peddling and cronyism. The reason the likes of me want to see a Freedom of Information Act enacted sooner than later is to curb the influence of the crony capitalists who believe that The Gambia is a pie to be shared.
We all love this country and the best outcome is what we envisage for our dearly beloved Gambia but people have to be not only committed to the rebuilding of the country but also be good examples of this initiative. Let’s separate public administration/governance and business interests. The best possible deals for The Gambia are what we need to see happen. Dividends in governance are measured by the interest of the greater good.
Therefore let us push away the business class from the day-to-day running of the going concern we all love. We are all heavily vested to idly sit by and be spectators. The success of this administration spells prosperity for all and my generation has suffered from an era of #ArrestedDevelopment1994_2016. For this reason we want to regain our dignity and do right to country. God bless us and our beloved Gambia.
Nyang Njie is an economist, television talk show host and keen social commentator on New Gambia.