By Gibril Saine
Catching sight of all the fanfare being thrown at the feet of a distinguished lady, Nogoi Njie, undoubtedly appears to be another of those moments required of us to contemplate, but question what occasioned such unacceptable state of affairs in the first place:
As fate would have it all started several years ago, if not decades. But for the sake of this grudge, my grudge at least, we shall limit the post to the ‘here and now’ ushering in ‘new’ Gambia, if that also mean anything these days. Given the bravery with which she marched on that procession facing guns and bullets of ”Jammeh’s” trigger happy bandit thugs disguised in uniform, Nogoi Njie, and a many like her sacrificed a life. Clearly, a gallantry act, selfless, marked by compassion for mother Gambia seeing to it that the country was rescued from the clutches of a blood-thirst tyrant. She and others like her, knew the dangers at hand but nonetheless persevered. And they have paid the ultimate price with own lives in the tragic case of Solo Sandeng, Femi Peters, albeit health scare / complications for others who lived
The arrest of the UDP leadership came to magnify that already lit candle looking to depose Yahya Jammeh. The struggle then suddenly metamorphosed into an unprecedented ‘Hotel kairaba’ convention in a unified contract for the ages. Certainly, an occasion to be fondly remembered, thus the coalition was born. It was the unknown quantity then, Adama Barrow, who was balloted to lead an opposition ticket as presidential elections approach. Every Gambian, man or woman, knew exactly what side they stood at that moment in history. But you see, time changes, man changes – except life it remains the same.
The sad case of Nogoi Njie, and a many facing worst scenario had me teared up, but to question man’s motives and attitude towards power-wealth dynamics. Although it is often said that man was born selfish, never had it occurred to me that the government of the day would stand indifferent, even careless, to the plight and grievances of the Gambian population. I see a selfish people running the affairs of a blissful land. A leadership lacking plans nor pride to fulfill the sacred oaths of duty owed to state – as if in a hurry to accumulate wealth for an escape to the clouds.
So, if the Gambia national anthem enjoin calls on us to brotherhood, may i be excused until such time that hypocrisy and selfish act was banished from the earth’s surface – the Banjul State House at least.
Even though my government has failed on its promises, it is still incumbent upon me to remain loyal to the state as dramatized in the ‘social contract’. And despite the fact that government has breached its side of the agreed terms, reneging on signed contracts & commitments made, we, the citizenry, shall maintain resolve take the higher ground working toward a prosperous Gambia anticipating elections to come. The noblest thing, if there’s any left, that the government can/should do, at least accord presidential style medical treatment to Nogoi Njie and her colleagues still suffering physical and mental scars off the thrones of Mile Two prison. Where is the psychological counseling and proper checks asked for young women fallen victim to years of horror during the APRC years, honourable minister?! Is it too much to ask for a dignified healthcare provision for citizens, with all the private jet trips and millionaire lifestyle the executive has led all year round?! Listen, the country only need five (5) advanced top-class teaching hospitals, one for each governorship, complemented by quality primary health facilities in towns and villages.
I do not mean to be petty here but taking selfies and photo-ops with the respected Nogoi Njie is not the answer to her desperate plight or the many complex problems facing the country. The hypocrisy in and around Banjul is staggering – as clear as the midday sun.