This is your buddy The Struggle. I greet you all with the warmest of greetings from the greatest strugglers before you. A special greeting from Mandela and MLK, they want you all to know that they are aware of your struggles and truly appreciate each and every single one of you for standing up for what is right. They know the sacrifices and selflessness that you all have made for the past 20 years and continue to make. Your dedication and commitment is refreshing to say the least. But I- Struggle do not plan on spending another 20 years with you. Just like your predecessors who went through similar struggles, I will like to say my goodbyes to you guys as well. Don’t get me wrong; you are all awesome brave people with beautiful souls.
There is a reason why my name is Struggle. A struggle should be meaningful, fruitful, and temporal. At the end of each struggle there should be an end goal. There were many struggles before the Gambian struggle and there will be many more struggles after the Gambian struggle. I therefore think it is very vital that I express some of my disdain regarding the Gambian struggle. By no means should this be regarded as me condemning you guys but rather a way forward so that we won’t have to spend another 20 years together.
Leadership, leadership, leadership…..I said leadership? Hear me again; leadership is as important as the air you breathe for every struggle. When will you all realize that you need a symbolic leadership? A leadership symbolizes unity and common goal. Tell me any movement or revolution that you know of that succeeded without a strong leadership? Stop right there, don’t even try it, it has never happened before, I know this because I was there. Why are you all so pessimistic to the idea of choosing a leader? You need a leader who is respectable among many. Someone who will be willing to be the first to go to jail and lay his/her life if need be. You need a leader who will be a concession builder and a unifier. You need a leader who will show no favors or discrimination towards any group. I am not saying that there should be only one group. But your multiple groups should be able to come together to work under one big umbrella group with a vibrant leadership. You may still have a few franchise groups within the struggle who will refuse to join this group or recognized its leadership. But that is ok and it is expected. This though should not serve as an excuse for not seeking a unified and symbolic leadership.
Every struggle is unique in its own form. No two struggles are one and the same. And I have a feeling that some of you sometimes forget why you are in the Gambian struggle or what the main objective of the Gambian struggle is. Incase you didn’t know or you forgot please allow me to indulge you. The main objective of the struggle is for the mobilization of large masses of ordinary Gambian people and the forcible overthrow the existing Jammeh regime (by all means necessary). To transfer power from a small tyrannical minority to a democratic society in such a way that it will lead to the creation of a whole new social economic order is crucial. If you have a different objective than this then you are in the wrong struggle. I am not saying that it is going to come easy. You of all people should know better than that. Must I remind you all of April 10/11 2000 or the December 30th, 2014 massacres? A struggle is never a simple task. It cost time, patience, wealth, property, friends, family, and even life. But victory is inevitable. We are fighting against a tyrant who has everything to lose when he is out of the sit of power. Don’t be surprise that he is plotting to destroy us as we are plotting to restore democracy. I am not saying these things to scare you, but rather to prepare you for whatever. We should be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Many Gambians believe that I – Struggle – am incapable of removing Jammeh from office. Removing Jammeh seems like an illusion and an impossibility to many. Many people even go to an extent of suggesting that all revolutions end in failure. And they will cite examples such as the Arab spring revolution that ended in multiple failed states, and the Haitian revolution of 1891 that left Haiti still unstable. But I am not a lost caused. I equally have many successful stories. Many of today’s democratic countries and governments are the product of successful STRUGGLES. The most obvious examples are The English struggle of 1642-49, which broke the power of monarchy and the feudal aristocracy, and the American struggle of 1775, which led to Independence of the free world. The 20th century saw a multitude of national struggles that destroyed colonial rule and established national independence.
It is going to be a mission impossible for Jammeh to persuade us that the Gambia is fine, not to say that he didn’t try to persuade us, but it will be impossible to make us believe in that idea. To be frank, from the look of things he doesn’t have to persuade us at all. All he has to do is to persuade us that there is nothing we can do about it. He has repeatedly voiced that he will not be removed from office – “Not through elections, military coup, rebellion, or popular uprising” and the average Gambian has come to believe that. He has succeeded in convincing all of us to buy into his BS. I can barely keep account of the number of times I heard some of my strongest soldiers in the struggle came out on public forums manifesting that they know without a doubt that they can’t remove Jammeh either via elections, arm struggles, or popular uprising. Even if this is known to be true, I do not expect my best soldiers in the struggle to be limiting our options when it comes to fighting for democracy. Those conversations should only be held within secure forums. Jammeh should be left in doubt. We should stretch his resources as much as we could. He should be timid, nervous, and worried that we may hit him from any angle. When it comes to defending oneself and fighting a bully you do not limit your options. Scratching, biting, kicks in the groins, clawing, spitting, pulling hair, eye poking, and verbal abuses should all be viable options. We do not have the luxury to determine/chose what we want to do and what we don’t want to do. All options should be on the table and whatever opportunity presents itself, it should be highly considered.
Fair and Balance:
The fight against tyranny is not a fair fight and it is far from balance. He has more money, weapons, tools, human power and might than us. We are deprived of fair trials and freedom to express our feelings and opinions. What in this world makes you my fellow strugglers think we can win this fight by being fair and balanced? Need I remind you that you are still struggling and you are barely an organized movement let alone a government? Everything you do, say, and think about should be bias and in favor of winning a struggle. Before you can have a level playing ground you must first have a field. I find a majority of you strugglers very hypocritical sometimes. We are in a war, a war bought to us, we never asked for this. It is extremely sickening to listen to some of you on online radios arguing and revealing our deepest secrets in the name of fair and balance.
Stop airing your dirty laundries in public. You all are too quick to run to public forums to tarnish each other’s characters. You are all guilty of this, from the oppositions to the civil society groups. Sometimes I think you guys can’t wait to have the opportunity to disagree or reveal the shorting comings of your fellow comrades. The oppositions will rather write a letter to a daily news forum expressing their feelings about their fellow opposition groups before they will pick up a phone and call their comrades. Every time you are about to defame a member of the struggle, a civil society group, or an opposition party, asked yourself this question. Is this going to advance the struggle to remove Jammeh? Or is it going to enable Jammeh to tighten his grip on power? I will rather be wrong and see Jammeh go than be right and have him stay even for an extra second longer than he already has.
There is an American saying that talk softly and carry a big stick. I love you guys but some of you strugglers are full of it. Who are you kidding? Screaming, insulting opposing voices, and threatening lives as if you will march to Banjul single-handedly and remove Jammeh for us. We all know what’s up. What you say is as important as how you say it. Quit coming on public forums and threatening the lives/freedom of the Jammeh supporters and your fellow strugglers. We need them as much as we need our freedom. Our message should be reconciliatory towards them all the time. We should extend friendly hands to them even if they despise us. There is a saying that if you can kill with sugar why used poison? We must always remember that Jammeh is our only problem and all our resource and weapons should be targeted towards Jammeh. Some may argue that he has enablers, and to those I will say pre-Jammeh we didn’t have those enablers. Jammeh created those enablers; we are all victims of the same tyranny. It divided us and caused confusion among us. Cut the head off and everything else will fall into place. Majority of Gambians are not necessarily Jammeh supporters, they just don’t feel represented by the struggle or the strugglers. It is your responsibility to make sure that your message is cordial and inclusive. I heard brother Gitteh on the radio talking to a Jammeh supporter who called to condemn the struggle, the intolerant called for him to hang up on the guy. Gitteh stuck to his guns and spoke to the caller, by the time he finished, the caller could not defend Jammeh and ended up saying that he can not answer a question on what he would do if Jammeh arrested his relatives based on his actions as he wanted to keep traveling to Gambia! Thats how you deal with so called enablers, you expose their motives for not speaking up against injustice!
Who is the enemy here? The most difficult enemy to fight is the enemy within. Sometimes I wonder if you all are fighting jammeh or the opposition. I have a question….Are you guys on the same team with the opposition? I do get confuse by your comments. There are no civil rights groups in the Gambia. The oppositions are the closest thing we have to civil society groups, they are our partners. Why do you all constantly come on to public forums bashing them? They need every financial and moral support they can get from us. Like I said this fight should not be unilateral. We need all possible options, especially the opposition on the ground. And you the online radios are a blessing and a cuss for the struggle. You guys need to choose a side. Either be on the side of the struggle or go to the Gambia with your fair and balance neutralism and see how that will work for you. Before any self-righteous hypocrite come out saying we need to be different from Jammeh. Let me remind you that the idea of fair and balance only applies to democratic societies. The Gambia is neither a democratic nor fair nor a balanced state. Its government is a tyrannical regime that kills, torture, and jails all opposing voices. We are in a chokehold position in the hands of a killer and a bully. We need every advantage we can get to survive. I am NOT asking you all NOT to engage in civil conversations with people of opposing views and opinions, but you should be very careful and differentiate between engaging in meaningful conversations and demoralizing your own support base with illiterate comments. People are hurt and suffering, the last thing they need from those they look up to for moral support or to uplift their spirits is verbal torture in the name of fair and balance. When the Gambia returns to democratic rule – then we can all be fair and balance as much as we want.
Please get your acts together; I am too busy for this. I am very patient, but 20 years is long overdue. Victory is evitable and kudos to the various fractions taking the fight to Jammeh from all angles, but we need victory now more than ever, for the Gambia and nothing else. I struggle, will like 2015 to be the year that i take leave of you the Gambian Struggle, it is possible, if you organize and attack from all fronts.