This past week, I’ve been feeling discouraged about politics, our government, by current events. Perhaps it has something to do with all the articles I’ve been reading about the events taking place in the Gambia, Or all the postings that I read on Gambian forums, each pointing to different ways in which Shrub and his cronies are screwing our country.
During this period, I came to the conclusion that, my relationship to my country is NOT one where I am the child, ever rebellious, needing to be told what to do, needing to be “put in my place.” I look at my relationship to my country as though I am the parent, overseeing my child/responsibility (my country). I look at the way the government has been run the past few years and I am sorely disappointed. I expect better from my leaders, from my nation, from my government. I expect more than the condescending interview given by our head of state in which he is more interested in sowing seeds of tribal animosity than talk about substantive issues that are affecting our nation. There are so many variables, so many differences on so many levels. It is absolutely ridiculous and utterly simplistic to paint every one opposed to his government as un-patriotic or tribalist. How absurd! How immature! How childish! How stupid! I said to myself.
Then I wonder – why do Yaya and his cronies work so hard to maintain this tribal posture? An answer pops into my head. FEAR. His entire presidency (elected or not) has been based on the policy of ruling by fear. If you keep the people so afraid all the time, afraid of their own shadows, then they won’t mind handing over their most basic civil rights. They won’t mind the government intruding in their privacy; they may even say “Thank you, Sir!” They won’t mind it when you order the military to murder their children in broad daylight. They will run away and seek exile in foreign lands when you murder their family members serving your government. After all there is no judicial recourse.
Yaya doesn’t mind spending millions and millions of dollars buying dilapidated military equipment that will supposedly keep us “safe.” When in reality it is a show of force to instill more fear. He doesn’t care that his government is racking up more debt than anyone can ever imagine, in less time than anyone thought possible; That thousands of his fellow citizens are out of work and thousands and thousands are dying at the hands of un-qualified Cuban doctors while he flew his family to health facilities in the united states. To top off his fear campaign he started operation no compromise. The victims of which are those he think are not bowing down fast enough. What else will you call it? He is one of the poorest people in the nation a decade ago… now he is the richest man. I will like to know the jackpot he won.
Fear is the order of the day. Fear is what rules us. Allowing ourselves to be manipulated by fear is leading us to the very place that scares us most… Anarchy. And guess who is the Pied Piper, who is holding the door? Yaya Jammeh, of course.
Time is of the essence to curb this slide. NADD need to get their act together and start sensitizing the people they want to lead. Sensitize them to say no to FEAR; no to Yaya’s simplistic arguments and take back our country and free its people of tyranny. This in essence is my relationship to my country. This is my patriotism.