Democracy And The Rule Of Law Is The Solution To A Progressive Gambia

Baba Jaiteh (the author)
Baba Jaiteh (the author)

(JollofNews) – My editor, please allow me space once again in your paper to add my voice to the majority of already frustrated Gambians who are pushing for regime change, which will bring democracy and the rule of law in the Gambia.

It has by far been overdue that we need a change of government in order to restore mutual trust, respect and understanding amongst the citizen of the Gambia. At the moment this is not the case, which in turn retards growth and stability in all areas of the government and the country at large.
The Gambia is literally a war-torn country; meaning people are fighting and killing each other day and night, in a sense no one trust anyone. People are basically spying on each other to feed information to the president just for a few Dalasis in order to get their daily bread; as it is no longer the case when people work hard to earn a decent living back in the days of the former regime.
Fellow citizens, democracy and the rule of law is what we need to develop and be counted as a nation which is recognised by the United Nations and the developed world. Let me remind myself and fellow Gambians what democracy stands for.
I believe that democracy or a democratic government is “a government of the people, for the people and by the people” meaning it is “a system of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through representation involving periodically held free and fair elections.” But is this happening in the Gambia at the moment?  No!
Instead the very opposite is what we have been seeing for the past two decades under Dictator Yahya Jammeh’s government. I can outline for you what his ideas have generated for our beloved motherland.
Ever since he overthrew a democratically elected government, he did engaged himself and his government in the arrest, detention and torture of innocent Gambian citizen especially, from the former regime, members of public and some military personnel who he considered a threat to his new administration. He went down the line of divide and rule, blackmail and the eventually killing most of these people he arrested. From then, freedom of expression, constructive criticism and rule of law were but eventually dead and buried just like the innocent citizens he killed. Since then, I have seen it coming; “dictatorship”!
Let me throw a bit of light in to the word dictatorship and what it does to the people as a nation. A dictatorship is a system of government that discourages innovation or the creation of new ideas, establishes a culture of fear amongst its citizens; restricts information and makes it hard for the government to discover and correct their mistakes. In a dictatorship regime, thinking outside the box and questioning the status quo would involve putting your life at a risk. The absence of innovators and entrepreneurial spirit meant a dictatorial regime languished idleness which is the common denominator of the Gambian economy since the military junta came to power two decades ago.
President Jammeh will do everything to remain in power. Let’s not forget what he did to our fellow patriotic citizens who tried to over throw his brutal dictatorial regime. Did he not arrest most of them except those who escape, torture and killed some of them? Did he not vilify them and branded them a threat to national security and selfish?
Fellow Gambians, if I may ask; how did President Yahya Jammeh come to power in the first place? Did he not overthrow a democratically elected government of the people of the Gambia? Did he not use the gun to get rid of former President Jawara and his elected government? Is it not the same man who is misguiding us to believe that those who are prepared to overthrow him and his brutal regime are threats to national security?
Fellow Gambians,  is that a democratic government? A government which is formed by arresting, intimating, torturing and killing its own citizens? The simple answer is No!! In effect, it is nothing but a dictatorial government and that is what we have in present day Gambia. The brutal killing of Ousman Koro Ceesay, a former finance Minister, Deyda Hydara, the managing editor and co-owner of the independent Point newspaper  and the disappearance of Journalist Ebrima Chief Manneh to mention but just a few.
It is about time we all stand up and face the bullet whether you are in the Gambia or in the diaspora. It makes no difference where you live, as long as you come from the Gambia; we should all go out in our numbers and tell the whole world what the hell is going on in our beloved mother land. It is not going to be a miracle or magic to get rid of this brutal dictator.
Fellow Gambians, if you think critically about what is going on in the Gambia at the moment, and you look at the size and population of the county knowing that we share almost everything in common; it makes you sick to the stomach. However, I believe we have a choice here. Whether to stay with an oppressive dictatorial regime, who will continue to suffocate us or go for democracy with the will of the people. It is clear to me that there will be only one winner and that is “democracy”.
Together we can do it with the relentless help from Gambians in the diaspora, Gambians at home, the west and the rest of the developed world and international bodies like the UN and EU respectively. If all these bodies stand up to help restore democracy in to the blood veins of our beloved country, we will surely see the back of these oppressive regime.
Long live the Gambia and long live Democracy!!!
Written by Baba Jaiteh
Birmingham, United Kingdom

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