Gambian social media. The debate. The discourse. And the discussion. It is becoming shamefully worrisome. The profanities. The demonising. And the smear campaign are transforming our social platform into a fierce battle ground. You either conform or you are an enemy of progress. “To make a difference, we must elevate the discussion and keep it professional. We are all professionals, young and smart. I see no reason why we can’t debate and positively come up with solutions to better ourselves. No one is winning this blame game. We are only allowing the past to re-emerge”, Momodou MB Krubally warned. He could not have said it any better. Beside, some of us cautioning the leadership to excel and delivery harbour no grudge against them. Moreover, non of you hauling profanities from the cliff love the Barrow government more than me. However, I, unlike you, do not blind love Barrow. Since I dearly want him to succeed, I will not excuse anything that is likely to slip him into failure.Every Gambian wants the best for the country. Good healthcare services, excellent electricity and water supply, good road networks, employment opportunities, peace, security and stability. Unfortunately, these are never achieved by giving a blank cheque to a government or sanctifying it. In sum, that mutates self-hate. And self-hate is destructive. Furthermore, it is foolhardy to assume we can all view the world in one wavelength.

 

 

The Kanilai saga has generated varied emotional reactions. As some quickly faulted the disoriented villagers, others accused the leadership of inappropriate handling of the protest. Firstly, Kanilai is not autonomous and cannot be isolated by the leadership. Similarly, as a home of Goloh Ajuma where a lot is said to have gone under the bridge, it generates a lot of security interest to the leadership. Secondly, Kanilai is reported to have housed most of the state sophisticated armoury. Arguably, by virtue of it proximity and ethnicity to Casamance which known for its rebellion equally highlights the village as a security interest in nurturing peace and stability in the country. Consequently, any iota of incitement to further weaken the already fragile security of the country will be met with stiff measures. By this I am not insinuating brutal and unlawful killing of unarmed civilians. But proportionately managing and controlling such uprisings effectively. For instance, a good and professional Intelligence Unit would have quickly pick up the brewing of such protests with potential to reck national security at its embryonic stage. Engage the ringleaders or deploy the necessary and trained officers to control and manage the crowd. Additionally, the leadership could have also averted the fermentation of insecurity in Kanilai by neutralising its potent through engagement and dialogue.

 

Like Madi Jobarteh puts it, make them realise that it is manifestly sickening to continue agitating “in support of Yaya Jammeh is unacceptable because it is utterly shameful and painful. Yaya Jammeh is not a person in the league of Edward Francis Small or any patriot. He had the unique opportunity to rule the Gambia during which time our people gave him full support from Banjul to Basse. Yet he decided to flout our Constitution, dishonour our dignity, trample upon our sovereignty and disregard our religious and cultural norms and values to unleash a reign of terror on Gambians. He directly raped, tortured and murdered citizens as well as directly plundered national resources with impunity for 22 years. Therefore the least we expect from you lot is grief and remorse and not a rowdy bunch celebrating a killer”.

 
On the other hand, the leadership can also make the appreciate their government is not an exclusionist which bestow undue favours on only one region against the rest of the country. What they have been enjoying under Goloh Ajuma was likened to stealing from family and friends. As a result it is morally and ethically unacceptable. Notwithstanding, where government can assist in making them self-reliant through the sponsorship of community and individual projects should do so. Since Senegal has a vested interest in broking peace and stability in Casamance given their army’s historical encounters in the region and Goloh’s alleged involvement, it is wise to replace the Senegalese ECOMIG presence in Kanilai with either Nigerian or Ghanaian soldiers. To continue perceiving Kanilai as the enemy and further isolating it, will only harness it into a formidable rebel base against the leadership. Most importantly, our international gateway must be taken from the Swiss company and given back to GAMTEL to manage. That way, the Intelligence Services can filter any calls from outside inciting internal unrest. The Intelligence Services should be vigilant and proactive in their quest to harness security of the Gambia.

 

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK