By Ousainou Mbenga
From this moment on wards, we, the voices of victory on the ground and “diaspora” must dictate the narrative of the 22 year storm we just came out of and the transitional plan to straighten up our beloved Gambia. We must be willing to assert authority over Jammeh and his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC). Under normal conditions, the approach would have been different but conditions in the Gambia remain abnormal, therefore require appropriate action.
The masses of Gambian voters have spoken decisively at the ballot boxes and everyone should listen, especially Jammeh. I strongly believe that the downtrodden masses have now discovered the “power of the people” which lay dormant and suffocated by neocolonialism, particularly the tyrannical Jammeh regime. Furthermore, the masses must take part in the cultivation of the new leadership required to construct the proud -future Gambia we have fought for since flag independence.
A new era has dawned upon us. This is the era of not leaving things to chance and wishing for a better life without struggle. Any life worth living must be created by the sweat of our brows, our intellect and unshakable determination to hold leadership accountable to our livelihood.
We must break with the notion of “give them a chance”. Most of you agreed to give Jammeh and AFPRC – APRC a chance and look at what it cost us; 22 years of abject barbarism: disappearance, detention without trials, gruesome murders, assassinations, rape, plunder and pillage. Leadership from now onward will be tested and not “given a chance”. We didn’t come all this way only to succumb to “business as usual”.
Liberation without social transformations is meaningless.
This election is unprecedented in Gambia’s history in particular and Africa in general. All eyes were on Gambia on December 1, 2016. Voter turnout and enthusiasm superseded that of “flag independence” day, 51 years ago. A people fed up with a gangster regime and its willfully ignorant sycophants said enough is enough and that they were “fired up and wouldn’t take it no more”. In my view, the best protection to ask for is the people’s protection. And I have no doubt that the Gambian masses will defend the December 1, 2016 victory in the event of any provoked vertical violence from the departing regime. This was an extraordinary achievement for Gambia and Africa in general; we must preserve and protect it with our lives. The whole world is impressed with the outcome of the elections contrary to the senseless violence that usually punctuate elections in Africa.
We won a mandate from the mighty Gambian people, a force that must be reckoned with and not easily intimidated. The jinni is out of the bottle and nothing can put back into the bottle.
What is being manifested on the ground is a crisis situation in which the “old order changed, yielding place to the new” but under hostile conditions. The “old order” doesn’t relinquish power just like that. But this is part of the process to restore normalcy. Wherever tyranny is uprooted, its fear mongering machinery has to be in full throttle to derail the resistance and reverse the VICTORY of the people. We must remain vigilant!
ONE GAMBIA ONE NATION! LONG LIVE AFRICAN UNITY!