GIVING DEMOCRACY A CHANCE: AT WHAT PRICE?

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President Adama Barrow

The Barrow rainbow government has continued to enjoy an overwhelming support from most Gambians and friends of the Gambia since its inception. Due to the precarious political ambience and defective socio-economic institutions it inherited from the dictatorship, many are opinionated it is prudence to give President Barrow and his government a chance to pick up and fix the broken pieces. Equitably, rejuvenating democracy from the ashes of brutal dictatorship is herculean but a snail-space response to the excruciating cries of victims peppers insensitivity and inaptitude. Perhaps Mathew Jallow was mirroring my thoughts when he dissented: “Sacrificing justice for the convenience of those who deserve neither peace nor liberty will never heal the wounds of injustice, death, torture and incarceration. In the end, it is the pain of injustice that will remain to agonize victims of naked injustice”. Wining and dining with felons who unapologetically decapitated justice, abetted in heinous atrocious tantamount to an insult to victims of Yaya Jammeh’s twenty-two years or carnage. The move is insensitive, immoral and completely bang out of order”, fulminated Ahmed Manjang when he saw a photo of President Barrow and Isatou Njie-Saidy on the social media. He went on to advocate, We cannot allow political correctness to derail our revolution”.  Like him, many- who were left with mouths agape at the sight of President Barrow’s cabinet unperturbedly settled across from one another with Jammeh’s partners in crime in the name of peaceful transition and handing over- wondered “Who is advising President Barrow?”

Lamentably, it is the same malaise of patronage, massaging the truth, averting eyes and matching on as if all is hunky dory in the face of gross executive omission which created Monster Jammeh that is now bestowed on President Barrow and his rainbow government. The outrage generated by this impulsive move amongst Gambians particularly in the diaspora is indicative of Gambians refusing to be taken for granted by their elected representatives and public servants any more. Most importantly, Barrow must come to terms with the fact that he isn’t a Facebook President but a President of a nation recovering from 22 years of brutal dictatorship. The whole handing over process could have been done on one to one base but having the President presiding over it with such publicity stunt beats every reasonable Gambian. What was even more insulting was the audacity Isatou Njie-Saidy mounted in arrogantly relegating the political impasse which saw thousands of Gambians fleeing the country as “a little problem”. Albeit no bullet was fired, the political impasse’s ramifications left indelible imprints on most Gambians in the forms of economic lost, mental and psychological trauma. The only Gambian segment which remained unaffected was Jammeh and his loyalists such as Isatou Njie-Saidy.

Law of nature instils from whom much is given, much will be required. Lives and properties have been lost. And it took sweats, tears and blood to desk you on the Presidential chair. Consequently, any act by you and/or your rainbow government must be aligned with the interest, feelings and demands of Gambians particularly those who lost their all to get you where you are today. Time is now for us to confront the elephant in our closet. President Barrow came across to me during and after the December 2016 election as a man who can hold the broken nation together by massaging the sore wounds, fixing the fractured bones and healing the lacerated hearts but it appears he is yet put his house in order. Power and fame are the worst forms of addictive intoxicants, once you get addicted, it becomes impossible to be rehabilitated.

Jammeh failed abysmally because he refused to be engaged in charting clear and constructive route for democracy and sustainable development. He became drunk with the unprecedented love showered on him. Eventually, he became insensitive to Gambians needs, cries and demands. Anyone who attempted to reason with him was anointed “an enemy of progress”, “bad citizens” and “cockroaches”. Ultimately, he could not accept his era reached its end due to power and fame addiction. Unlike Jammeh, President Barrow has all the means at his disposal to deliver the Gambia where we all want her to be. However, that can only be attained by him being more accountable, transparent and sensitive to Gambians’ feelings. Unchecked spending leads to flamboyancy. Insensitivity breeds dictatorship. Please Mr President don’t disappoint.

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK


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