Why is it extraordinarily difficult to be politically correct in Gambia? The answer is not to dwell in confusing and frustrating nostalgia. The simply answer is — Self-improvement. Some people may argue that our distemper is mainly caused by tribal fragmentation and by the systems national dysfunction. Many have the observation that our politics and much of our thinking is drenched by self -improvement phenomena. Hence, this is one of the reasons why Gambia and it citizens have trudge through long stretches of difficulty to gain freedom from the clutches of dictatorship. Imaginary red lines drawn against the regime tend to fade quickly. We heard it all. Solders will do the right thing if — there is the slightest unrest. Well! wrong so far. They retreated to the rear to nurse their fear of Yaya Jammeh, leave the fight to the old failed citizens and women.
In an unusual public display of political settlement, the Gambian president dispensed with goofy euphemism of how he is going to continue his brutal strategy and no one dears to challenge him. Yaya Jammeh is a man of contradictions when it comes to anything but his opponents. One sure thing about Yaya Jammeh is— he speaks with Teutonic precision about the killings and horrible things he will do to his opponents live on TV. Most of us feel like our men in uniforms continue to portray the massacre of political opponents and the expanding threat to Gambians— and now to our women — as anything but what it is. Thus, Gambians are franticly searching for a counter-explanation from those serving in uniform, former solders or 1994 coup plotters — why this regime so brutally turn on Gambians. Assurance of our citizen’s safety and trust in our men in uniform is dissolving as more is learned about the events of April 14th and 16th.
Denial can be an inviting temptation. The viral videos of 1995 of Yaya Jammeh are out. Panama papers are out with almost Billion dollars siphoned from or through Gambia. Children are dying on remote backway treks. Education system failed many children. Our elders are disrespected and humiliated daily. Ability of Gambia to be taken over by strangers draws tantalizingly near. By now everyone knows Yaya Jammeh obsession and his ultimate golden Fleece is clearly —consuming African trade mark (ATM) and riches. Yet many people can’t bear to come to grips with the reality.
It is sad that Gambians have repeatedly given Yaya Jammeh and his regime the benefit of the doubt in the face of his incompetent judgment. Yaya Jammeh and his regime are not trying to find one way to serve the Gambian population but always trying to find someone else to blame for their problems. He has successfully scared the population and created a practical culture of self-improvement only. This is the central challenge facing our era. He is out there scolding, rebuking and reproving Gambians with reproof and impatience. Yet, some people brazenly claim everything is fine and peaceful. Their headlong drive of refusing to come to terms with reality is leading Gambia to the bouts of political insanity.
Those in high authority or leadership positions in APRC regime do not speak truth to power and are resorting to stunt betrays of high degree of contempt by keeping quite or avoiding Gambians — whom they presumably think will not remember their stands during these historical trying moments. Disaffected diasporian Gambians have however recognize their cowardice and are doing everything possible to change the culture of silence, expose those enabling the system, or self- improvement minded people only. Wishing, avoiding people or pretending will not change these outcomes. Gambians now have a national consciousness and much of our thinking is drenched on education our fellow citizens about the dangers of self-improvement in our political landscape today.
By Habib (A Concerned Gambian)