For 22 years, Gambians were forced into a nightmarish marathon. Along the way many were tortured, maimed, killed and disappeared. Many made sacrifices that stripped them of their freedom and paid the ultimate price – but they had no regrets.
Many were humiliated and chastised by the enemy but they kept going, keeping an eye on the prize. Many children were orphaned and many spouses widowed, but they fought on to keep the memories of their loved ones alive. Many political prisoners were jailed, some tortured into a coma because Yahya Jammeh wanted to silence the opposition and show Gambians who is boss – this became his biggest blunder because instead of being intimidated, they pushed back and formed Coalition 2016.
Many were chased out of Gambia for speaking the truth, but they fought even harder. Many felt guilty for abandoning their families because of the time expended in this fight, but their families understood – they could see HOPE from a distance and knew VICTORY was a certainty. Whoever said Gambians are not resilient?
ALAS! Freedom knocked on our doors this year and Gambians young and old, stood up and said ENOUGH! Knowing this is A FIGHT NO ONE CAN WIN FOR US, the political parties formed a coalition, which triggered a chain reaction across the globe:
- Gambians raised funds and oiled the machine that took Coalition 2016 to promote their candidate/platform nationwide and Gambians turned out in droves. Historically, many democracy movements are funded by the international community but in our case, we said NO NO NO – WE GOT THIS!
- Coalition 2016, led by seasoned elders of Gambian society, studied Jammeh’s shenanigans and quietly closed the doors to the IEC in his face. Alhajie Alieu Momar Njai, holding those keys, said “Not In My Name” to Yahya.
- Then the voters came in! With all our monies, strategies, planning, THE FINAL SAY was in the hands of those with their ballots on December 1st, 2016. The faith of our freedom, democracy, peace, was in their hands! If they had betrayed Gambians, only God knows how the likes of me would have felt.
Thus, I MUST TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY AND THANK THE GAMBIAN VOTERS for finishing this marathon with the most historic win – ousting a Dictator through the ballot box.
This is something that continues to shock many international news mediums and commentators and THIS TIME, GAMBIA IS MAKING THE NEWS FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS!
Abara, Jeurejeff, Ajaarama, #ThankYouGambianVoters
By Tukulorr Sey