One thing I’ve noticed with new Gambia, there are people who come wielding hammers and hit you on the head for raising questions. They take any questioning by others as a personality defect– a person simply unable to celebrate with others, lacking true patriotism, too politically partisan, filled with bitterness towards others’ success…
Okay, there’s the petty trolling that some people will always do on social media, and you must learn to ignore this or swat it off with the disdain it deserves. Then there’s the legitimate questioning that must be relentless, substance-driven and truth-seeking; questioning that ultimately moves a nation to a higher plane of accountability; questioning that frees Gambians from accepting shocking impunity; questioning that demand openness about the contracts government signs with investors.
African countries are rich with dirty contracts that have now left a bitter taste in people’s lives soon after they celebrated big launches. Yes, national development partnerships with other nations are normal and desired and smart; but what’s in the deal is something we have a responsibility to question. Africans, please, we’ve been raped and robbed so long it’s offensive to want to be a willing player in the games of exploitation when we claim to have sovereignty.
When some Gambians legitimately continue to question the government contracts, these questions should not be discarded and seen as unpatriotic simply because the project is complete, looks beautiful, promises advanced service for less, and you want to avoid party-poopers. You with the hammer knocking off those who question should ask yourself why you are afraid of answers.
Why are some so quick to suppress inquiry even on the most glaring blunders such as ridiculous Gambian translations that make a laughing stock of our collective African identity. Really, you think this is minor? Try going to China and make shoddy Mandarin translation see how quickly your black behind gets fired. Where’s our pride? Diminishing our culture and identity got us on our knees scrubbing the path for others to prosper.
The Gambia’s corruption at this moment is downright nauseating. Just stomach-churning obscene. People walking out of banks with sacks of money in thousands and nothing happens. Politicians engineering a famine, and nothing happens. People poisoning our environment, and nothing happens. It’s disgusting, people. Disgusting! Stop dancing around this government’s golden bull for a moment and dare to get the answers you need. What was “sold off” to get it? What will it continue to cost us? Did we get the best deal? Why does it look like the neighbors got a better product for less? To the questioners, soldier on.