By Omar Bah
Representative from the UDP, GMC, APRC and CSOs Saturday converged at the University of The Gambia to brainstorm on the new Gambia and as well discuss the way forward.The forum was organized to commemorate the December 1st, 2016 presidential election dubbed National Democracy Day.The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress, Mai Fatty told the audience that the country’s second fight for independence was the fight against the 22-year dictatorial rule under former President Jammeh.“December 1st was a day when we as a nation invented history and regained our human dignity. The question now is how do we create The Gambia we want? How do we bring about a nation that would be the envy of other nations? How do we establish a system that is built and founded by objectives and Gambian realities and not just any imported system? That is the ultimate test,” he observed.
“For him the question is not just about removing a government and bringing another government, what is fundamental is how we move from a mindset, a physiological embodiment that crippled a nation for 22 years. How do we transition from this old mindset to that which commensurates to the liberation we are celebrating?“Is the Gambian mind liberated? How can we bring true significance to December 1? That is the real test. We can sing all the songs about the need for system change, but if we do not change our mental framework we will continue to live the past 22 years. That is what it is all about. So for me I am not going to stand here and pretend having all the solutions. So the best thing for me is to listen and listen really good because the future is bright,” he noted.
Fatty continued: “The Coalition 2016 was something that we all agreed on, but 2016 was also informed by history. I can say this, because in the 2011 election it was the UDP, GMC and PPP that came together in a united alliance and PDOIS, NRP and GPDP formed what they called the United Front because we were divided and we were mercilessly defeated by the APRC.”He said before they were divided in 2011 they had about eight sessions, but they could not agree on one united formula to place one candidate and with that experience and with subsequent battling of ideas, they were able to get together to form Coalition 2016.
Another speaker, Dodou Jah the APRC deputy spokesperson, said Gambians should always put Gambia first before their political affiliation, adding that everybody is talking about democracy, “but what kind of democracy are we talking about?”Jah said there is need for Gambians to recognise the good deeds of the first and second republics and criticise them in areas that they have not done well. “If Gambia is called new it has to be put into practice. Bygones should be bygones because the past will never be brought back,” he noted.The chairman of TANGO, John Charles Njie said it is unfortunate that the people in government who were criticising the decisions and actions of the former regime are now justifying the same malpractices they were condemning.
“This clearly shows that some of them lack integrity and moral authority to lead. After two years they have shown us who they really are. Our politicians have demonstrated their reputation of defending the indefensible and threatening to undermine the very foundation that put them into power,” he said.Njie said practices of the current government have left Gambians wondering whether they really understand the situation that the country is coming from after 22 years.“The government is squandering the limited resources we have on traveling, signing questionable contracts among others, whiles our young people are losing their lives in the Mediterranean Sea in search of greener pasture,” he added.