Since the advent of ‘Athens’ as a city-state all those centuries ago, the constitutional arrangement bestowed upon the executive branch as ruler over the ruled based on tacit consent remain intact. From the formative years exploring self-government away from the clutches of tyrannical kings in ancient Europe, the world has come to witness an unprecedented amount of progress in all spheres of human endeavours. Among these was the exploration and growth of democracy as a style of representative government administering over the affairs of sovereign citizens. These offerings embedded in the social contract thus became the norm of democratic societies, hence the urgency for popular representation in a coax-free manner at the ballot-box are the rules.
The salient point here is that the United States, and citizens of such democracies, have mastered the provisions accorded to them in the constitution by ditching bad leaders, even sending them to jail through the judicial instrument – replaced with ‘competent’ leaders via the push-and-pull of political persuasion. In England, I came to learn that a free people equates to free minds that build industries creating wealth. A mind at peace imagines, and invent new ideas incorporated in an entrepreneurial spirit of a prosperous people. Such people in turn are employers thus economic growth accelerates. As such government cannot go by itself, and must allow for private sector engagement in stimulating fast-paced economic activity. PPP were a pro in this sphere. In today’s Gambia, however, the institution of the army has been run down and fused with the executive branch of government. A ‘gang mentality’ has ensured even harder to distinguish the police, military, or even the civil-service from the ruling party. President Jammeh has adopted preemptive measures in eliminating ‘potential’ adversaries and ‘imaginary threats’ as he sees fit in a hatred scheme designed to terrorise anyone dare to criticise his barbaric ways. Suspicion and fear became the unspoken mantra for a paranoid leader manipulated and lost in a wicked ‘satanic ritual’ dark to the core with evil intentions.
The 22 years of APRC government has witnessed executive rampage against the rule of law far beyond its remit as set-forth in the 1970 constitutional document, nor that of the watered-down 1997 version. The status quo, motivated by power and sheer greed, have damaged the foundations laid down by the gallants of Gambian independence. This overreach and abuse of power is an affront to both domestic and international law by an overzealous executive blurred to its limitations. Gambian law has stressed the separation of powers, so as to maintain, checks and balances, in an accountable government. That was what the people voted for, so why short-change them? Politicians continue to lie to the electorate, despite swearing to their ‘Holy Book’ to the contrary! A ‘new Gambia’ must reboot and reintroduce a fresher brand of politics at home and in the application of Foreign Policy around the world if the country is to have any chance in meeting the ‘Sustainable development Goals’.
A recent ‘Forbes Magazine’ editorial estimates that, Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man harbours a 17billion dollar fortune with investments across Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. The disparity in income though is staggering in a region of ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-nots’, with no middle-class in-between. More worrying is the monopoly and concentration of wealth in a few hands given a region of dire need. Yes, Africa needs huge waves of Foreign Direct Investments, but it also needs to keep-hold of its talented citizens at home if those investments are to materialise and translate into meaningful productivity. The continued migration of Africa’s talent abroad seeking pastures new worries me. The trend shall only be reversed with good leadership – a visionary leader dedicated and conscious to their citizen’s needs. The Africa Progress panel has identified this menace as one of the major accelerants of poverty across the continent. The research further identified capital-flight robbing Africa to the tune of some $200 Billion annually as western multinational companies siphon vast wealth to their capitals denying local banks and businesses much needed liquidity to boost domestic growth. This must STOP, but it requires a Pan-Africa effort collaborating across all 54 states.
For a society of EQUALS to prevail, Africa must do-away with such obsolete notions whereby leaders deceive people into worshipping them, elevating them so high to a scared status, beyond criticism. Such crooks assume holy, that every mistake is someone else’s fault – Yaya Jammeh has succeeded in brainwashing a cross section of Gambians into believing that he ‘probably’ gets orders from god. Does one remember the ‘Allah’s Bank’ narrative as to where he gets money from after the EU block aid to the country. He carries a fake ‘Holy book and Stick’ to further hypnotize and mystify himself amongst the poorly-educated public and security detail holding onto guns. The guy has lost all self-esteem and will try any trick in the ‘’Dictators-playbook’’ in boosting his castrated and downtrodden self-worth. Analysing recently, the editor of this medium expounded on such backwardness by the people and community of ‘Illiyasa village’ engaged in praying through the night for the president’s birthday – when food, jobs, losing their children to the ‘back-way’ should be of immediate concern.
A clueless president surrounded by cronies floundering the nations meagre resources became extremely rich overnight. The scandalous lifestyle of the first family, buying properties across the globe is typical of African dictators – Their day waits in court! What of erstwhile Nigerian ruler Gen. Sani Abacha, South-African president, Jacob Zuma, to name but a few, caught up in such scandal recently. The Gambia has come so far to turn back the clock. We cannot, and must not give up given a century of progressive thinking and limitless potential. Continuing this fight for a brighter day in Banjul, in a way goes to honouring the memories of ‘our heroes’ who sacrificed a live, and all those arbitrary imprisoned. The reasonable demand that Lawyer Darboe be FREE unconditionally is non-negotiable! Let it be known that change is coming to BANJUL, thus the Gambia will be rescued away from tyranny! TRUTH is the only thing that last – May ‘Allah’ protect the righteous, for the Gambia to be replaced with wise, but humble leadership.
Mr Gibril Saine