All the pillars of our nationhood were tested in 1994 and continually tested by APRC regime. Some collapsed like the free press or unions, some were seriously weakened like the bar or legal system as a whole, while others were desecrated beyond repair-the economy. The list goes on with the presidency, our values, deep-seated personal convictions, religious leadership, foreign policy, security and most importantly, the people. We see how the regime responded to national crises as well. We need not recount the number of lives lost, the losses incurred by businesses and wasting of billions of dalasis by Yaya Jammeh and incompetence of the Executive.
Nearly majority of Gambians believe living the Gambian Dream of broad prosperity which once was very promising, is now not ensued or possible for them. They struggle in the dark, without help, without hope, and without proper electricity. Courageous dissidents fed up with the system are constantly harassed, beaten and imprisoned. They are very disappointed that the APRC economic message is just rhetorical and benefits the few Jammeh elites’ whiles ignoring a large segment of the population. Basically, fair share of the economy is not necessarily tricking down to them. Particularly so these days, ordinary Gambians are living even more of a hand-to-mouth existence and are not happy deep down in their hearts. Those close to Yaya Jammeh mastered his theifnomics ways, hence they are so rich that they amass vast wealth — then benefit from elaborate webs of shell companies to disguise their identities and their assets.
And with good reason: That’s probably why over the years so many Gambians are so dissatisfied, discontent — worried that Combined trends of high level corruption and incompetence has collapse the economy. Favoritism, nepotism, Social Security pension saving looting, soaring cost of higher basic commodities and high living conditions. Unemployment, corruption, bureaucratic incompetence and economic paralysis are the bane of the APRC regime. It is clear that Jammeh does not share our view about our beloved country Gambia. We are proud of our nation and heritage. His ballyhooed promise of being the Singapore of African has peeked out from under the covers. Every day, higher prices, economic stagnation, poverty and unemployment, political stasis, official corruption and a stifled, censored public became less and less tolerable.
The Gambians are marginalized by the nation’s changing economy, diversifying demographics and shifting of nation’s aggregate resources in the hands of few reflecting a broader societal divide. It’s an awareness of the growing gap between rich and poor, and the stagnation of wages. Many hard-working folks have had little or no raises since the 1994. Their standard of living is not going forward – or it’s noticeably retreating. They see Yaya Jammeh whose character is revealed through his own greed and he is setting a bad example by the way he conducts himself. They want a proper government and power returns to its proper place — the citizens of the country — and does not remain with regime. They want a president with empathy, high moral values —right judgment and temperament — not only to respond by movingly declaring “Yalla Bahna” policies, but also to preserve and lead a system based on laws. They’re right.
By the above measures, Yaya Jammeh contemptuous refusal to give substantive answers to substantive questions many Gambians have about their nation; his arrogance in branding opposition figures as bad citizens — and disappearing of people to destroy evidence of who knows what. Gambia and its citizens have been shortchanged by the APRC regime competencies and brutal tasteless tactics. The repetitive lies and scare tactics has resulted to many decent citizens ignorant of the basics of democracy functions, and lack the knowledge to participate fully in the society it sustains. Granted, too many young people who grew under Yaya Jammeh political culture today do not understand how our political system works because he had misled them into believing he is Gambia’s savior. People are very concern about his far-reaching explicit religious mission which has resulted to unintended consequences on both secular and religious freedoms. His insulting insouciance bred more dissatisfaction among the population.
Yaya Jammeh knows very well — Gambia is in financial life support because he is consumed by “African trademark” as he likes to put it. He does not care a bit because he feels like he has name identification no one else has, a raft of true believers eager to do anything for him and the state money to ride out many storm in his way. He is getting away with lying to the Gambian people about every aspect of his administration.
We Gambians are all in a tactical sense, soft targets of this regime. The attacks on peaceful protesters and nightly raids are meant to sow fear, intimidate members of our community, and cause confusion by the regime security forces. These assaults are another battle in a struggle of our freedom. Gambians do not revel in the death of defenseless civilians in the hands of this brutal regime. We are all one people who mourn together, we work together and, under strong leadership shown by our gallant heroes in jail. We can overcome this regime together no matter how much the regime send darts into our midst.
Furthermore, we should resolutely reject the demagogic cries, waves of fear and xenophobia by the regime. Few Gambians still have contradictory impulses on this regime while we are contending for our own liberty. They should be very cautious not to violate the conscience of others who lost love ones, suffered and continue to experience nightmares of this regime. Ignorance is not a virtue. Let’s give the dictator the “shellacking” he deserves and drive him away for good. He is angry, he is defensive, he is spending his final moments cowardly mishandling Gambians and hopelessly trying to spin his disastrous failed presidency. So we are watching along with your rented crowd whether your tour will be a “Mansakonko moment”. And so, inevitably the message is clear, Jammeh must go.
By Habib (A Concerned Gambian)