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Saturday, May 18, 2024

The eye of the young

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By ‘General’ Lamin A Bojang

It is indeed a total alien who will question the morality of the indigenous people of Foni. This region has flourished undisputedly before and during independence with a complete sense and sensibility of keeping and embracing love and tolerance which is a well-known coated nucleus attitude thereby forming an extremely formidable base line morals of which all basic human rights and values are duly observed without an atom of ill-will treatment to a region, race, ethno dialectal divergence and so on. We have treasure share and celebrated multiple and multiple of lovable human values across all ethnicities with the wider Senegambia and we will continue because we are born to maintain that attitude.


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However, let me make it abundantly clear that the people of Foni knew nothing, absolutely zero means of surviving except dibbling the soil, climbing the palm trees for harvesting its fruits and fishing in their rivers in a tranquil and law-abiding manner to ensure a hard sweat legitimate living [livelihood]. So therefore the people of Foni face neither a fundamental moral question no there exists any like situation Yahya Jammeh Versus the Gambia, please. Take it or leave it but our state of being as a region and as a people of the Gambia has proliferated to a more human accepted status during Yahya Jammeh’s era yet that does not mean Foni hates the existence of this new government.


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As the people of Sir D.K Jawara have regretted nothing of his presidency of over 30years except that even a single tarmac road was not built for them, we the people of Foni regretted nothing of Jammeh’s 22years of rule other than to tell him thank you. The maxim which runs in the mouths of most politicians about maltreatment, humiliation, murder and insults they purported Yahya Jammeh has directly or indirectly inflicted on the people of Foni is an enormous fallacy and baseless. ‘Ajamataw’ better known in Mandingo as Jola have not embezzled even a single dime during the S.D.K Jawara’s regime. We have kept our mouths shut and buried all the troubles and wretched life we were enveloped with during the first regime and of course never irresponsibly or responsibly blamed the first regime. We have never in the political history of the Gambia become insolent whereas secretly or openly insult any top echelon of this country.


Despite all this marvelous discipline and law abiding champions we were never invited or given a provision to hold a cabinet position, directorate or overseas duty as ambassador or chancellor since the start to the end of the first regime and yet the Foni people never complain or allege the regime at the time of being strategically and politically marginalizing Foninkas. How many schools were built in Foni during the first republic, how many youth skills training centers, re-creational facilities and access to drinking safe water instituted, are we not Gambians? Don’t we have moral rights to demonstrate in demand for the establishment of these fundamental basic human needs?


Since 18th February 1965 there was no general hospital in Foni and health posts were not more than four if there were any in fact built by the 1965 government [good and well equipped government health centers] as a result of this negligence the people of Foni have conceded tremendously a devastating maternal mortality and infant mortality most of which are not recorded because the region was almost left alone, almost abandoned, marginalized to the core and the only thing the first republic took very seriously was the collection of tax and bamboozling the Foni people with their 6 month of exclusive hard labor of the rainy season products such as groundnut and so on, produced by the Foninkas.


Those were the main cash crops of the Gambia largely cultivated in Foni but premature checque was what most of them received as a reward from the government cooperative union yet we never demonstrate or complain, even Romeo and Juliet have conflict in opinion. Furthermore, from the first day of our political freedom up to 21 July, 1994 the people of Foni have never witnessed a major government project calculated to heighten and bring about vibrant and easy socio economic livelihoods in the entire region yet Foni never took any complain to the streets or become politically obnoxious. Foni did not have electricity for over 40years and yet they neither resort to the streets nor were they found within the brackets of the opposition. If the introduction of rural electrification project and national water and electricity company in Foni region makes anybody within Gambia and outside of Gambia angry, uncomfortable and sees it as a true diversion of state properties, well go remove them out of Foni.


As one of the American presidents said “every country for itself and God for us all”, suddenly it came such a time around 2009 when some villages of Foni started to witness the introduction of rural electrification projects; gradually and surely moving and upgrading their lives from traditional energy to conventional energy, lives and livelihoods of the inhabitants of the region started realizing much comfortable and a steady healthy life. Well if this means to others as the diversion of state funds to his {Yahya Jammeh} home village and to the greater Foni, well you are wrong because Foni is found within the territory of the Gambia and no matter whosoever hates that please kindly drive a dagger through your chest but Foni must develop like any other region in the Gambia.


Sometimes before 1994 the greater settlements of Kombo South never have good road network, taps and electricity but suddenly after 1994, how does kombo south look like today? In fact as a result of the 1994 government policy of decentralization, the kombo has over the years realized a great deal of settlement expansion yet those basic needs and social amenities were not seen as Yahya Jammeh diverting state resources. Someone even wrote to this newspaper saying that today every street in Foni is shining with street lights; uh what a blatant lie. Electricity is neither free to the people of Foni nor is it true that all the streets of Foni has street light but even if they do, is it the only and first region to enjoy such, aren’t we Gambians too? Do people wish Foni to remain darker for the next 100 years?


No Foni shall ever continue to develop and flourish In-Shaa- Allah whether Foni critics like it or not. As at now it stands to be the only pure rural region which is a real thorough example of cosmopolitan settlement in the Gambia. All ethnic groups are living together side by side in harmony, respect, tolerance and peace. Look, the Foni people are not stupid; how come militarization of Foni is a right that the government has and development of Foni is described and considered as diversion and unfair use of the state resources by the ex-president in Foni?



If a state leader realizes the ever grow population of her country and sees the need to proliferate the numerical existence of learning institutions such as Lower Basic, Upper Basic, Senior secondary, issues licenses for credible tertiary learning institutions to complement government in providing better, relevant, quality, and affordable education for all irrespective of our gender, political doctrine and geographical location, a leader who prevents parents from self-provision of chairs and tables in order for the pupils to seat comfortably in classrooms, creates partnerships through making good government policies leading to free education for each child, restructured and formulated our health care system to that which increases general hospitals and government health centers cutting across all regions of the Gambia, introduction of the university of the Gambia and subsequent training of our own home medical doctors and state nurses and immensely increased health mobility [ambulances] and other related health equipment and all other sectors of our country.



A visionary leader who has removed the cotton wool out of our eye lashes to see and as well interact with the rest of the wider world through the introduction of the state national television, again issues much licenses for radio stations, newspapers, magazines and also brought to her people state-of-the-art communication which is cellular cell mobile phones in 2001, and the sophisticated communication tool known as internet to the door steps of all Gambians, be they rich or poor, reconstructed many roads within greater Banjul and beyond, expanded and extended state utilities and services such as electricity, water, communications and so on to the most remotest rural areas in the Gambia.


A leader who lawfully and honestly advised his fellow countrymen to grow what they eat and eat what they grow, one who brought about operation clean the nation, the sky is the limit for education in the Gambia, one who helped religion in the Gambia by financing the establishment of both the Gambia supreme Islamic and Christian councils, and played a positive role in ensuring both religions to perform their pilgrimages with little or no expenditure at all, a leader who tilled the land and fed his fellow countrymen, a leader who stood and defended the interest of our country and dignity of Africa and Africans, as well as a leader who pardoned people who launched an abortive coup against his government, a leader who uses all his wealth and spends it in his country, one who directly interacts with his people, identifies their problems and tireless works hard with a sense of total commitment to solving their problems, a practical example is the fencing and digging of boreholes at Bakau women’s garden making horticultural gardening easier and protective from both thieves and livestock for our mothers in Bakau. If this is what it takes for someone to be called a tyrant killer and a dictator, then oh! Allah bliss us with another!



Fellow Gambians, let us be very careful with politicians nowadays for the simple reason that most of them have very little ideas on modern political knowledge but very tactical and often negatively construct statements that will seem to the ignorant political products sweeter than honey and smoother than butter therein keep those pure innocent souls into endless engagement of the circumnavigation, hallucination and prostitution of their minds and get them hypnotized so that they [the politicians] become unstoppable because human love and support is exactly where our earthly supreme power is welded and treasured.



Foni got enough farm lands own by reputable families who before independence and up to now are involve in subsistence farming that is why Foni with Yahya Jammeh or without him, they will survive. So the statement made on this newspaper on Tuesday 06th June, 2017 on the analysis that “let Foni do self-examination in order to free themselves from the corrupt indoctrination of Yahay Jammeh from whom they benefited unfairly at the expense of the nation and yet they suffered miserably at the same time”. This queue of words uttered is nothing but vapor with no place to condense. Ok how about the D1, 000,000:00 and pilot of land he gave to each under 17 players some few years ago, can we also say that those boys have equally benefited unfairly, the rams he sold at a very reasonable price in Banjul and extends generosity to some of our country’s Imams with rams, do we have to say they too benefited unfairly? A writer who is sober is better than a writer who is tipsy and tipsy writer is far less valuable to a man whose brain shelters amnesia.

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