Editorial: Politics of hate and insult must end, NOW
Section 25 (e) of the 1997 Gambian constitution give right to every citizen of the republic to form or support any political party of their choosing. In a democratic country, freedom of association is a given and Gambia is no different under our current political dispensation.
What is not acceptable and of grave concern is the politics of hate and insult that have become the order of the day in Gambian politics.
What we saw at the Buffer Zone rally of President Adama Barrow’s “Meet the people’s tour” on Saturday is ugly and uncalled for. The meet the people’s tour is a constitutional requirement of the president of the republic of the Gambia, paid for by our tax Dalasis. The fundamental theme of the meeting should be communities highlighting issues and challenges they face so that the commander in chief could hear a first hand account of this and attempt to remedy the problems through sound government policies.
Instead, what we witnessed at the rally is politics of hate and insult on a platform where the first man of the nation sits and listens to, before calling for national unity to develop the country as the meeting wraps up.
Hon. Fatoumata Jawara, herself a victim of politics of hate and insults, a sitting member of Parliament using a national platform to hurl profanity towards political opponents is uncalled for, unacceptable, distasteful and unbecoming of a honourable member of The Gambia National Assembly. 22 years of oppressive rule under arguably one of the most brutal dictators of our time in our region, politics of insults and lies will not develop our country under our new found democratic dispensation.
President Barrow used the platform at the end of the meeting to call for national unity, invites every Gambian with specific calls to coalition parties who came together to elect him as leader of the pact, to come back to him with a view to help him deliver his National Development Plan (NDP). How could he sit there and allow people close to him use profanity towards his opponents, without addressing this first and foremost? How can he unite the country in this manner? Simple rhetorics does not and cannot unite a country! In a supposed “New Gambia” where we cannot have a decent political discourse without insulting, or getting insulted; A country where party militant use profanity to communicate with people of different political opinion or of different political inclination; a country where we turn a blind eye to insults being meted out to political opponents to score political points MUST be a concern for every Gambian in the interest of the preservation of peace and stability of our country. Gambian politics is in a complete mess as a result of lack of political maturity, political awareness and above all politics of deception. We can do better than this as Gambians!
At a time when 60 of our fellow citizens, some from same families perished in the high seas of Mauritania in search of better opportunities elsewhere, what we should be doing as a country is discussing sound policies that will ensure that tragic events like the that would never happen again. Until Gambian voters use party policies and manifestos as the barometer to supporting and/or voting for a party, instead of blind loyalty, tribal or regional affiliations, we are deeply worried about the future of our country.
Politics of hate and insult, MUST end and NOW