Gambia is yarning hungrily for any beam of compassionate leadership to pull it’s factions together in order to regain the social capital it lost as a nation. The current leader has knocked down the once smiling coast of Africa to its knees as a results of badly damaged society, a diminished citizen influence, a ravished economy struggling after 20 years of bad policies. Many Gambians concerned about country are sometimes trapped in magical thinking: how to rescue the country from the claws of dictatorship even though we keep getting setbacks or breakups due to lack of trust among ourselves. Some patiently over the years invested their time, their money and their reputations in stopping Yaya Jammeh, and nothing worked so far. Some people are not bordered at all, so they go through life as if nothing is wrong in Gambia for various reasons. Others don’t even want people know they are from Gambia because of shame of what the country stands for now. Sins of Gambia’s leader who is always using flowery language to engineer a reaction with few of his loyalists are felt deeply everywhere. All these scenarios come barreling out because all the events of Yaya Jammeh’s harsh actions against Gambians hasn’t been processed up until now. Well as human, some always expect death to knock at their neighbor’s door first and violence to reach out poor first.
Worst of all, our inability to take on a problem and call it what is it rather than dancing around an unpleasant reality is part of the enveloping cloud of political correctness gives life-support to the APRC regime. It you check Gambia’s pulse under APRC regime, most of its citizens feel Gambia —is economically adrift and culturally left behind. Its neighbor, is now the darling of the west because of its democracy model. A French speaking country is enjoying all the benefits of investments, developmental aid, modernization, factorization, which naturally where all thrown under Gambia’s feet. Its current leader marketing slogan of the country’s image has gone a long way toward transforming Gambia into what it is today and always far—reaching —cursing out the rest of the world. All the neighboring countries are trying to build on their strengths and work on their weaknesses, but Gambian leader is doing quite the opposite. He has hunger for a never-ending supply of admiration from outsiders such as Nigerian movie stars or foreign musicians. That’s all he cares about. Other leaders are travelling empty hand to the west, getting table seats at powerful institutions, bringing back developmental projects for their nations etc. As for Gambia, nothing for us because we have someone with swords, beads on his hand and cannot rest unless he is in the spotlight often based around wrong admiration or contempt.
For while, Gambian youths whom have no hope have been flooding out of the country to the high seas and it seems it does not concern its current leader. Most feel they have no option because the current leader has a pathological personality, driven by deep inner compulsions that defy friendly advice, political interest and common sense. The man who just crushed their hopes is in no mood to submit to them despite all tears shed by the citizens. He sees that as an opportunity to pave a way for his social engineering project of the society. The Gambian current leader claiming a higher responsibility to moral tone, looks down on his citizens and has a valuing criteria of citizens based on simple division — a person’s particular tribe, political affiliation, community you belong to and your loyalty. If you have this simplistic mind, how can you understand the citizens needs or have empathy for others?
This is the results of the discrimination we are seeing today. We need a leader who owes his first energies to doing something for the nation to regain back its mojo rather than preoccupied with luxury, appearance or anything that signals wealth, beauty, power and success. As for the opposition and diasporian, our lives don’t matter because we are seen as victims to be crushed as part of some dominance display of power. Therefore, they hire people go out daily in search of enemies to insult and friends to degrade. But despite all of these, in the service of the country we remain to build back the social fabric of society.
By Habib ( A Concerned Gambian)