Gambia’s nation story-line used to be the smiling coast of Africa. The country is small in terms of others but admired and respected for its citizen’s hospitality, impact in the world and nice beaches. Well, we all wished that Gambia’s story has been same version but we are now known for our human rights issues, incarcerations, poverty and the lone individual “Yaya Jammeh” for 20 years. We’ll probably need a new national story because anywhere Gambia is mentioned, people remind us about the man who cures HIV with banana and human rights injustice. Development sure puts a country on the map but it is not all about building arches and airport, but people. When you have a commander in chief who presides over tortures, killings, divisive speeches etc., it clouds all the good he has done.
Once upon a time in Gambia, people jealously guard shared values of neighborliness and shared mutual interests so much that it made a bond of trust in each other at work place irreplaceable. Neighbors share dishes during lunch time or children will have sleep over at neighbor’s home whom they have no proximal relations. Now neighbors have become strangers. Many of us are appalled that our society standards and some people’s character have changed significantly but not all are blithely unaware or care about these chasms. Some civil servants, service men, elders, citizens who worked with Yahya Jammeh will be tainted forever after for the degradation of standards they have helped him create in the country. Yahya Jammeh, it turns out that he has created a society in which we only not worry about the Jammeh phenomenon we have to deal with, but the rise of enablers such as freeloaders and easy riders for personal gain. Yahya Jammeh, to his credit, made them visible to us on personal level even though we feel pervasively betrayed that— they are secret spoilers. Reflecting on our society today reminds us, how much pain there is in our country as a result of the action of these people— who single handedly contributed to the rampant social isolation of Gambia.
Gambia continues to nosedive even further into uncharted territories of dictatorship because of shrewd enablers such as easy riders and freeloaders. We have repeatedly failed to make any meaningful progress because of selfishness of certain people standing against the wind of change. Some folks are proud to be easy riders and freeloaders to everywhere they can exploit without being sensitive to their fellow human suffering or lost. Everything they get involved in, results in weakness, confusion and disarray thus making people lose sight of their core interests of free Gambia and his citizens. They will indeed exploit people or a vulnerable system sometimes shamelessly and sometimes not, just to deaccelerated the arrival of certain valuable aspects of change and deny people their voice. They’ve wagered the peoples wish for future political gain, and we’re all worse off for it. Their insolence and ingratitude to fellow Gambians who worked hard to build the country just for them to enable APRC regime to destroyed everything, thus inevitably prolonging Gambians suffering.
They have perfected the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by creating suspicion and mistrust among people. Easy riders and freeloaders are repeatedly kicking the can of change with no apparent concern for their actions. Any attempts to move the country forward, has either misfired or collapsed over the last twenty years best exemplified by December 30th incident. They will smile on your face while their heart is burning. They will push the most vulnerable forward, turn and run for nearby hills only to leave them to fend for themselves. Thus, they must face the choice of the unthinkable alone after the easy riders sveltely withdraw their support. It’s an embarrassment that some people with no affront to basic moral decency of having learned nothing from the damage they have done to our Gambia families and society.
This is unacceptable in an ethical or logical society. The better course for all of us is to step back and take the long view, and to begin building our relationship with people as a result of rampant social isolation, improve on our character and restore trust in each other again for us to regain that solidarity to free our country. APRC and its leader will not live forever.Thing again the consequences of you actions not there after when it is done and over with. National interest should trump self interest.
(A Concerned Gambian)