Monday, 3 February 2014

The Elephant occupying The Gambia’s Political Space

by Suntou Touray

The phrase is use in situations where everyone suspect what is dividing people or causing mistrust but no one wants to mention it.
The cause of the simmering bad blood in Gambian groups is linked to many factors. But what is the apparent, very clear factor, which affects, elites, highly educated men and women, ordinary folks, politicians, journalist, radio host, nearly all of us?

Some say, the elephant in the room is Poverty. They say because we are poor, people are not interested in the collective goal. However, poverty is sending Gambian thousand of miles away in search of greener pasture, crossing dangerous seas. It cannot be poverty.

 Some say, because are afraid. The fear of the oppressive regime has created the atmosphere of political apathy, but what about those not consume by fear. Why can’t opposition leaders unite, speak with one voice?

Some say, because we are political uninformed. However, we  have been voting and witnessing political campaigns for over 40 years. At least there is some awareness of politics. People get involve politically, and they feel the pains of high cost of food, water, school fees, medicine etc.

Some claim that, educated Gambians are to be blamed for their greed, distrust, treachery and lack of compassion for the poor. However, there is a sizable educated Gambians who have sacrificed the opportunities and prestige they may get if they don't stand against the oppressor in the Gambia.

Some say, President Jammeh uses the military, NIA, Militia killers, to intimidate and harass his opponents, however, if we stand together, no army, NIA, Police, Militia can divide or defeat us. 

We all know what is the ‘big elephant’ in our Gambian political square is!!!, it is ethnicity which is helping Yahya Jammeh, not the other way round. Hence, unless, we all overcome that illness, we may not be using guns against each other as South Sudan, or CAR, but we will be equally continue to be divided and far apart. We all lose.

Due to ethnic animosity and pseudo battles, people continue to pretend to one another, and undermine collective efforts. Gambians who know, without a shadow of doubt, they are incapable of competing for leadership in the struggle, all hide behind certain media personalities, feeding them lies, falsehood, to conduct treacherous fights for them.

This is the reality of our dictatorship. Ethnicity and tribal mud slinging is according President Jammeh a free way to do as he pleases, without solid unified encounter. Gambia is divided, angry, bitter and imploding. All due to insignificant motives.

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