On Tuesday 22nd July 2014, the Gambia commemorated 20 years of AFPRC and APRC leadership.
A state must have instruments, institutions, policies, programmes, plans and projects which either enhance or retard liberty, dignity and prosperity. After Jawara left the country which ultimately led to the overthrow of the PPP Government, the AFPRC did not start their programmers by calling for a National conference to enable all stakeholders to participate in building Republican and democratic instruments, institutions, policies, programmes , plans and projects that would have led to the ownership of the country by the people and the enhancement of liberty, dignity and prosperity for all who operate within the context of the law.
It started by suspending the constitution and abolishing the right to political assembly, political association and political expression which are fundamental rights of a sovereign citizen. Gambians were no different from those subjected under monarchical despotism without any right to determine their manner of government.
Those Gambians who maintained that their sovereignty was indispensable called for a restoration of Republican rule and the building of a democratic system that would end the self perpetuating rule of the past which allowed only one person to lead the country for thirty years.
The AFPRC eventually conceded to the restoration of the Republic and the adoption of a Republican constitution at a referendum, but rejected the provision of a term limit that would have put a definitive end to the culture of self perpetuating rule.
Instead of commemorating 24 April when the country became a Republic and 16 January when the Second Republic came into being, they commemorate 22 July when the Republic was abolished for two years and 18 February when the Gambia became a constitutional monarchy.
In our view, those born after Gambia started the irreversible process of attaining the right to self determination and Independence which could only be consolidated under a Republic if all citizens become sovereign and indomitable.
Hence July 22nd is a day to reflect and ask ourselves whether we have really become a sovereign and indomitable people. Have the vast majority of our sovereign people attained the empowerment and liberty which were promised? Is the vast majority enjoying the dignity that we deserve as a sovereign people? Is the vast majority enjoying the prosperity a sovereign people deserve?
The fact that even divergent views and dissenting opinion are not tolerated by National radio and TV confirms the degree of control being exerted to promote only one voice. Self determination and Independence calls for a sovereign people capable of self determined development. Is this the critical minded type of citizens that July 22 has engendered? The answer is yours and history will tell.