In the wake of the tragic failed coup, where 4 brothers lost their lives. There have been a quiet debates taking place among Gambians as to the level of heroism and bravery of the fallen brothers and those who undertook the adventure.
The failed coup last year was not the only attempted coup and will not be the last. With the system that President instituted to rule the Gambia, attempts will continue to be made until he is dislodged from power.
Who are Gambian heroes, and how shall we quantify our heroes and heroism? Kairo radio will host a discussion on this pertinent subject soon. In a dictatorship, all conscientious citizens are forced into a corner, and by virtue of their refusals to condone evil, corruption, nepotism and sycophancy, they become heroes without any public recognition and celebration.
In a national struggle against open or silent oppression, the freedom fighter cannot afford to take a leaf from his oppressor. Oppressors thrive on marginalising their opponents, isolating them and victimising them. They master the art of creating a wedge and perfecting the policy of we versus them. Freedom fighters or pro-democracy activist will lose legitimacy where they want to become the struggle by constricting the public discourse. Stakeholders in these Gambian nightmares will not stand aside and watch. Since it is an equal opportunity patriotic duty for all conscientious Gambians to take a stand, don't wait to be invited in this noble endeavour. No other Gambian has any higher stake than you, wherever you are. Stand up and be counted, the struggle is not own by anybody, group, sector or influence.
With that has a backdrop, the Gambia has had many heroes and will continue to produce many more. Heroism is not restricted to men and women in battle. Heroism and conscientiousness encompasses a much wider framework of people.
There are Gambians in exile who will thrive in they accept the status quo back home, but they refused to be a party to the tyranny. These categories of Gambians include the highest number of silent heroes. We have salute them and encourage them to take the next step on funding opposition activities and youth movements affiliate with the organised opposition parties on the ground.
Another category of heroes are the men and women in the media. These groups of people spend time, money, and sacrifice their leisure to provide vital food (information) to Gambians all over the world and also to the international community. Left with the GRTS, and daily observer, the international community will have no idea what brutal system ensues in the country. Salute them in their perfect and sometime imperfect ways of get news and disseminating it.
The solid heroes for many are the official opposition on the ground. Many of these men and women lost the privilege to earn a decent livelihood in their own country. The ones who have careers and operate outside the ambit of the state are the ones with private source of income.
The state uses many tactics to dwindle the support base of the opposition. However, with hardship and brutalities, ordinary people continue to bear the brunt of the dictatorship, salute to them as well.
The heroes who have fallen since the unfaithful day of July 22 1994 to date, varies in complexities and the patriotic political undertaking. For the UDP alone, the torture related deaths to its party member’s stands at 9, with others who suffer chronic pains after soldiers/APRC militants attacked defenceless party militants. The cooked up trials and charges against them also created a lot of heroes.
The fortitude of many Gambian lawyers standing in a bias law court defending their clients on political related charges.