Two years after dictatorship

Friday, January 18, 2019

Today marks exactly the second anniversary since the ouster of Gambia’s long time dictator- Yahya Jammeh.

We thank the Almighty Allah as we again celebrate the end of 22 years of tyranny, corruption, nepotism and abuse of human rights etc.

Jammeh must face trial for all the atrocities and human rights abuses that he has committed, by instructing his hit squad-‘junglers’ to kill people, torture and enforced disappearance of many during his regime.

Similarly, he looted public funds by taking from parastatals and other government institutions like his own property, thereby misusing public funds during his era.

Revelations from the Janneh Commission, a panel set up by government to probe into his financial dealings and that of his close associates, indicate that Jammeh has 111 properties, 4 aircrafts and 86 bank accounts. He earned D170,000 as salary per month.

It is interesting to note that Jammeh caused his own defeat in the December 1st 2016 polls, when thousands of voter’s cards were burnt at the APRC bureau, three months prior to the crucial polls. It should be noted that many people from the neighboring Cassamance used to vote for him, but 24 hours ahead of the December 2016 polls and on the day itself, Senegal closed its borders with The Gambia.

However, other reasons that led to his failure is; castigating the majority Mandinka tribe of The Gambia and declaring the country an Islamic state by sidelining the minority Christian community.

Tommorrow will mark exactly two years since President Adama Barrow assumed office as elected president of The Gambia. Two years on, freedom of expression, democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights have been restored. However, there still exist some challenges, which include the rising cost of basic food commodities, adequate water and electricity supply, lack of transport especially in urban centres, which many people have decried.

His government should discourage strikes by workers as was observed on numerous occasions last year. In the same vein, there is need for Government to boost the country’s health sector by providing more equipment, medicines and doctors, who are specialised in certain ailments to serve the country through bilateral cooperation.

Another important area that needs government’s intervention is free education from primary to university level like the case of Sierra Leone.

Security is integral in the development of any nation. Government should be beef-up thesecurity services with equipment, vehicles and even incentives to stem the tide of security challenges. 

Government should also look into the development of sports in schools throughout the country. Investing in youth is critical to any viable economy and those doing small businesses should be encouraged by reducing their tax to reduce youth unemployment.

Media is an important pillar in any democratic dispensation and government should also assist the media houses to be paid on time and their taxes to be minimized. This would also enable media practitioners to contribute effectively to the socio-economic development of the country, thereby promoting democracy and good governance inthe new dispensation.

“Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.”