The current mood in the Gambia

There is need for every Gambian to take a fresh look at the country. All are yearning to take ownership of the country.

The executive has power to protect or to coerce.

The Christian community is threatened because the power that be has illegally declared Gambia as an Islamic state. What is their future? It is hanging on the balance.

Hundreds of thousands of young people are waiting for employment. Industries are not sprouting. Neither domestic nor foreign direct investments are advancing to a scale necessary to have relevant impact on employment. The debt of the country is increasing. Living standards are a challenge to most.

The comments by the head of state directed at a sector of the citizenry is unleashing frustrations that could manifest itself in the relations between Mandinka speaking, Fula speaking and Jola speaking citizens who, because of lack of political literacy, may use similar comments against each other. This would likely breed hostilities and tensions whose bounds one would not be able to predict unless restrained or backed by accelerated efforts in educating people to unite as citizens equal in sovereignty.

The arrest and detention of the senior executive members of a whole party without granting bail undermines the basis for negotiation to expand the democratic space few months before a major election. The denial of bail and the continuation of prosecution for actions motivated by conscience undermine the spirit of tolerance of political dissent.

Justice takes note of actions based on facts or assumed facts if a person reasonably and justifiably believe them to be true.

For example a writ of habeas corpus has been filed for the State to produce Ebrima Solo Sandeng. It will be heard on 27 June 2016. Even if he were to be brought to court, this would not negate the truth of previously assuming that he was dead.

In short, truth could be based on facts or assumed facts when the assumption is reasonable and justifiable under the circumstances.

If produced in court, one could say it was mistaken to announce his death but his absence before the court for almost two months after his arrest has not negated the basis of his reported death. Many Gambians are of the view that the UDP leadership acted politically based on conscience and that criminality should not be alleged in view of their motivation to act as they did.

Detention of Gamtel/Gamcel’s Jaiteh for over a year and imams for months without trial is continuously exposed without impunity being rolled back.

The only consolation is that the people still have the right to change governments when they wish. Hence impunity could be defeated by the people since the country is a republic and not a monarchy. The only drawback is political illiteracy which needs to be combated by awareness building.

The shortcoming at the moment is that many are disillusioned and do not have faith in engaging in the indispensable task of propagating political literacy. They allow their to dominate their minds and thus become blinded by emotions.

The Diaspora is engaged in soul searching as they wonder what type of Gambia will emerge on 1 December 2016. Many are leaving or have left the Gambia and are genuinely concerned about her future.

People are looking for certainty. Instead of attacks and counter attacks among the citizenry, what is needed is unity of purpose. Awareness and organization are the tools of empowerment of a sovereign people. Keep them ignorant and divide them and you have donkeys to ride on. In order to stand tall and be counted, the citizenry must transform awareness into a material force capable of galvanizing a progressive organised people capable of building a better society that they will inherit from the first and second republics.

This should be the goal of every sovereign Gambian. This is what most Gambians want. This hope of a better Gambia captures the mood of the people.