Opinion: Lest We Forget Who We Are And Where We Came From
By Omar Bah:
Gambia and Gambians are nonviolent and peace-loving people. This fact is found in the very fabric of our social structure. We have carved out joking rapports among tribes and settlements to ensure peaceful coexistence is feasible.
Consequently, it is a common phenomenon seeing a young child exchange jokes with a venerable person We epitomized peaceful rapprochement when most African countries were at war among themselves.
These are evidenced in the very antiquity our fellow African neighbouring countries for instance, while Senegal's Casamance region was in turbulence, while both Liberia and Sierra Leone were in wars we sent troops to as peacekeeping forces. This indicates that we were in peace. West Africa's economic giant Nigeria was not spared of a civil war either.
Further, into the horn of Africa; Ethiopia, Somalia and most Eastern African nations were periling at the vagaries of famine, meanwhile the Gambia was in peace. South Africa was battling apartheid and its neighbours were either colony of western imperialists or living the effects of the apartheid. Those that gained independence were caught up with bad leadership. Burkina Faso's Sankareh got killed which birthed economic hazards for the "Burkinabe", Congo was in turmoil the same is true of all African countries.
The Gambia stood out, we enjoyed relative peace and economic stability despite Africa was generally wallowing in abject poverty and misfortunes. Apart from the 1981 failed coup which did not last long as it was the case in many African countries or result in civil war, our love for peace reign.
The Gambia was living its motto of "Progress, Peace and Prosperity" even if it was not to the satisfaction and expectations of the people.
Our misfortune and lost of tract began when the 1994 five-man led cabal toppled our constitutionally chosen government and installed itself at the statehouse. The country witnessed a silent war dispensed on its citizens whose only crime is speaking their minds on issues affecting them. Like a giant archaic kingdom reliving its golden days, we found solace in the relics of the past for the future was uncertain and promised to be unpleasant.
We united in 2016 to liberate ourselves from the grips of a murderous regime, with one voice we roared and echoed for change, under one umbrella we arose to strive for our aspirations of freedom of expression and association which are the terrains within which democracy thrive to sustain good governance.
Thus to wake up and see the same government which has promised to establish the system of governance of our yearnings where accountability, transparency and democracy will become the norm of the day, to renege on its promise by proposing a bill to be enacted which would make freedom of speech and expression crimes is not only unpardonable but hypocritical of those culpable.
Betraying the coalition agreement could have been legally backed as going inline with the constitution but let no one try to say insulting leaders stands to be immoral because the betrayal of the coalition MOU is equally immoral and there is no better explanation. We, therefore, collectively and endlessly bank on the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY to unanimously reject the bill.
NO MORE TO DICTATORSHIP.
Editors note: Views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Gunjur Online. Got an opinion article? send it to us at GunjurNewsOnline@gmail.com