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The type of democracy in the Gambia is totally polluted

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The type of democracy in the Gambia is totally polluted

Written by Ebou Ngum in Everett Washington

Before the coming of the Barrow led government, the word democracy, rights, peaceful demonstration was alien to the Gambia. The Gambians lived under the fear and brutal rule of Yahya Jammeh quietly because no one wants to end six feet deep or be wasted in his hotel at mile II.  The Gambians allowed Yahya Jammeh to torment them with brutality in the form of murder, forced disappearances, blatant misuse of the country’s resources and so many other heinous acts. What happened to him? Nothing because at that time whatever he did was not “Doy” or enough. Everything he did was acceptable no questions asked. Yet still, remember we had a democratic system that elected him in power for so long. What happened to democracy under Yahya Jammeh? Answers please.

I am either not understanding the true definition of democracy or I am confused at our new found democracy in the Gambia. Remember this whole process of getting rid of Yahya Jammeh started with the unfortunate death of Solo Sandeng and the eventual arrest of Ousainou Darboe and others. Then our gallant women (and some men too) at the time came out in the streets to protest against Yahya Jammeh and that gave birth to the “Kalama” revolution. At the time, Jammeh did not see the writings on the wall so he was not paying too much attention to the momentum brewing against his rule. For him, so long as Ousainou Darboe was in jail and was going be convicted, no other opposition would remove him from power.

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Then came the coalition and Barrow was selected to lead. He won the elections which ushered in our new found democracy. The coming into power of the Barrow government ultimately led some Gambians for the first time since Sir Dawda Jawara to realize that the word democracy and the right to life actually existed. To add salt to injury, our new found democracy also gave birth to so many online constitutional lawyers, proponents of democracy and activists some of whom were as dead as dead wood

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 during the Yahya Jammeh years. We had no option but to lend our destiny to these brand of “change masters” who cannot offer the Gambia anything rather than just mislead the people. Gambia’s democracy thus got totally polluted and that is manifesting itself in many ways.

 

What happened at Faraba Banta is really very sad and this could have been avoided had proper procedures put in place for securing the mining license and the question of environmental hazards given due consideration. I think the people of Faraba were right in their desire to stop environmental degradation. Killing their sons in the process is totally wrong. Whoever gave the order to shoot or whether the officers on the ground felt that they could be overcome by stone throwing protesters and decided to go for the kill, someone has to be punished for it.

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Our new found democracy however seems to make some people too high. No right thinking person wants a repetition of the ills of Yahya Jammeh but when some Gambians think that the country got enough of the new government and advocate to unseat them or give them a vote of no confidence, there is no way they can correct the marks left by the Jammeh administration.

 

 

President Barrow to me is a servant leader. He might not be too educated but leadership is also about passion, the desire to lead, to serve and make a difference. I believe this is why he accepted the coalition ticket and then became President. Support is therefore crucial for the success of this new administration and it is therefore very important to advocate for democracy with caution and allow the government to work and implement a development agenda that will benefit the people.

From: Freedom News

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