SHE SHE SHE: Let’s eschew spirit of witch-hunt & give peace a chance

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Too many people are fleeing the country, most of them women and children and my heart cannot take it anymore because those fleeing are my very own people.

They seemed to have lost hope of protection and safety from the state hence fear has taken over their soul.

Our streets are covered with heartbreaking words, our minds are made up in a negative way and our hearts are filled with anxiety.

Who should we blame for all what is happening other than ourselves? Do we know the population of our dear motherland? Do we know how connected we are as a nation? Do we know that we all have the same blood running through our veins and a prick from a needle on one’s skin will be felt by the other?

If we know all this to be true then war is not the answer but love, unity, peaceful co-existence and tolerance for each other’s behaviours is what we need to put an end to the current political impasse.

Too many information from different reliable or unreliable sources inundating our homes, markets, gardens, bantabas, workplaces, communities and the nation itself not to talk of the social media.

Who are we to blame for all this information tearing us apart? The misleading information that we send across have now become the delicious food in the country that everyone wants to taste and how good or bad it tastes does not matter at all.

We have six days to go and still it breaks our hearts that whenever women go to the markets for shopping, selling or any other mission, all they discuss and talked about is make things worse among themselves and their fellow women.

Do we ever think of life after politics? What does the future holds for our children that will meet and fall in love? How do we expect our children to behave if we are teaching them such negative values?

War is not the answer. Love is what we need to be free from all forms of hatred remarks that are hurtful, painful and unbearable.

We all know that war is cheap and peace is expensive; so every Gambian, particularly women and children, should be ready to give out anything and everything so that peace will prevail in our motherland.

If we as a nation embark on witch-hunt, who are we going after and what will we gain from it. Even if one should kill an enemy that terrorised you and made your life hell on earth, killing the person with your bare hands does not quench your thirst for vengeance, it only makes you worse than he is.

Witch-hunt is not the answer either but giving peace a chance is what will define us and prove to the world that we are a peaceful nation and we will remain a peaceful nation.

Hatred fills our hearts and the more we listen to rumours that have taken over our country, the more hatred gets stronger in our hearts and the stronger it gets, the more brutal we become and then the enemy will win because he will be better than us.

We are a family and it is the duty of every member of a family to protect the family and not contribute to breaking or tearing it apart.

Our women and children at home sleep and wake up in fear. They are frightened and they want all this political game to be over because they want to run or hide but they have nowhere to run to or hide because this is their home and there is no place like home.

Since the incumbent’s statement of not stepping down made on December 9, all in the nation have become fearful.

But listening to him on Tuesday night, while he is sitting on his favorite spot on GRTS TV, his speech was different, calm and for the first time he calls for nothing but forgiveness and that is a victory for now.

Gambia’s presidential election has always been dominated by men and this political feud is between two men who don’t want to lie low and give peace a chance.

Maybe it is time for women also to take full control of the political landscape so that in whatever they do they will think of the plight of their fellow women and children.

But then again, the two leaders (president Jammeh and president-elect Barrow) may not turn out to be the problem but those who are closer to them and part of their inner circle.

We want them to leave the two leaders alone to solve the problem peacefully because some of them have seen this issue as an opportunity to fatten their pocket while adding power and fame to their name.

Any one of you who are part of the inner circle of both leaders: if you cannot advise them to go for peace talks, then that makes you an enemy to the nation. 

Our mothers, sisters and the children of this nation deserve better. Their eyes are swollen for lack of sleep and fear has taken over their body and the only thing they could think is an escape route to a safer place all because of a political game created and spearheaded by men.

We don’t want our mothers, sisters and children of this nation to become refugees, sexually abused, tortured, and become food for vultures in a foreign land just because the incumbent and the president-elect cannot or don’t want to sit on a negotiating table and work things out peacefully.

What is more painful than living in fear and the thought of waking up to the sounds of gunshots each day?

Six days to go and we are appealing to the two leaders to accept the proposition of peaceful dialogue to end the crisis before the D-Day.

We want a Gambia that does not only advocate for women’s empowerment, advancement and protection but a Gambia that will eschew anything and everything that will turn our mothers, sisters and the nation’s children into refugees.

Six days may look small to each and every one us but if we make best use of it and embark on reconciliation starting from within ourselves in the homes, communities, markets, gardens, bantabas, workplaces and the nation, we will all walk to the inauguration in peace as one big family as it used to be.

Both President Yahya Jammeh and President elect Adama Barrow have caged us all since after the December 1 polls.

 So we are crying, your loyalists are crying, Africa is crying and the world is crying out to you all to set us free using peace as the key.

Where have we gone wrong? Is going to the polls a mistake? What’s going on? Tell us who to blame because we are all guilty right now?

We want to take a walk in the country, our country, freely without coming face to face with soldiers in uniform pointing guns at us as if we are terrorists.

We want to go to work in peace and return home without being arrested for wearing any type of clothing. We need freedom because it is a right and we deserve it. 

Author: Halimatou Ceesay