We Gain By Ignoring To Celebrate Failure

Let’s boycott the coming July 22nd celebration as a sit down strike and exercise our rights of freedom of choice.
It is not only the 22 brutal years of arrest, detention, intimidation, torture and killing of innocent Gambians that the people of Gambia have to put up with but also the unnecessary and irresponsible celebrations of Dictator Jammeh – so to speak. The many uncountable celebrations of the Jammeh administration had been but a clear manifestation of who he is and how he wants to govern us as a nation from day one. Did we Gambians not see that in every step he takes every speech he made and every project he embarks on? As a nation fellow citizen, we are much better than that; what is most annoying about it is how we allow it to happen for so long when we can actually do something about it and eventually stop it? As Albert Einstein a German Physicist, once say I quote “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” unquote.

The Gambia, a nation so humble in her approach, decent in her characters and forward thinking in her actions, the smiling coast of Africa has nothing left in her tank but a dictator who will stop at nothing absolutely just to stay in power. How did he do that is out there for us all to see and understand!

Fellow citizens, I don’t remember how many celebrations we have seen in the past 22years of Jammeh and I don’t care how much they are really since the damage has been done already, what disturbs me about the whole fiasco is the amount of money it takes from the tax payer. The national treasury is always stretched to its limit to finance the flamboyant life style of Dictator Jammeh and his entourage at the expense of the tax payers. The Gambian tax payers are been branded as the culprits by Jammeh whenever there is any economic downturn but in the actual fact, they are only victims and he is the culprit. Let us all reflect on the history of how Gambia became independent from the United Kingdom and how that strive had eventually turn out to be nothing but a forgetful achievement in the face of the rubbish and pathetic July 22nd celebration. The amount of public funds used every other year to finance the July 22nd celebration is enormous and at an alarming rate really. Let’s think about how much that’s going to cost the tax payer. According to the point newspaper, “Mr Hamat Bah; the leader of the opposition National Reconciliation Party (NRP) has said that during the 2014, 22nd July celebration; the Government spent D86million which is a serious abuse of the national resources”. Take a look at this figure and this is only spent on the July 22nd celebration in 1 year not to mention the other lavish spending of Jammeh. If we multiply D86million by 22years, this equals 1.892billion. Almost 2billion goes in vain without any returns. This is only the July 22nd celebration while the other lavish celebrations of Jammeh are not even considered like his Birth day celebrations the barbaric and irresponsible event in Kanali called (the so-called roots home coming festival and “Futampaff”) are not taking into account.

Fellow Gambians If I may ask, what did we gain or achieve from the numerous celebrations since July 22nd 1994? Did it make us any better as a nation? Did it help to balance our budget for every fiscal year that comes? I am telling you with all honesty it has not and am sure every patriotic Gambian have realised that. In fact it has pulled us back from where the former regime was taking us. As a Nation, the Gambia is going back ward while the rest of the world are advancing towards prosperity. According to theguardian newspaper, “it is estimated that more than 700,000 people – around 42% of the country’s 1.8million population – are at risk of going hungry and the situation is expected to deteriorate while Jammeh spend money on celebrations, spent cash on musicians and footballers yet Gambia is facing a severe food crises”. This is a foreign UK based newspaper writing on the unacceptable events and activities going on in our beloved mother land. To sum this up frankly, Jammeh is not serious about national development. The money that has been wasted on celebrations and other useless but rather extravagant activities can be meaningfully spent in other areas of national development such as the health sector which lacks everything at the moment really, Education, Agriculture and Tourism to mention but a few. If Yaya Jammeh is arresting Gambians and charging them for economic crimes, then what should be his conviction? The answer is simple; he should be put on trial for crimes against humanity and be sentenced to death period.

Fellow Gambians, What is July 22nd and why should we celebrate it in the first place? July 22nd has nothing to do with the history of who we are as a country and what we stand for as a people. So why should we spend so much to celebrate it and suffer while we can ignore it and gain millions. July 22nd 1994 was a quiet and blessed Friday just like any other day. The only peculiar thing about it for us Gambians is that, that was the day the military junta led by the then Lt. Yaya Jammeh mistakenly and arrogantly march to the state house in Banjul and took over the country. People then consider it a victory but little did they realised it was an overthrow of their own rights, freedom of speech and democracy. I personally have never seen it as a special day really let alone celebrating it. Gambians should not be surprise why there is huge unemployment, frequent price rises and a lower standard of living in the country since July 22nd 1994. The Reason is that our gross domestic product (GDP) is never sufficient to sustain the population and the only thing we Gambians rely on to survive as a nation is imports and charities from other developed nations. The Gross national product (GNP) unfortunately is controlled by one person in the name of Dictator Jammeh since he owns everything in the Gambia. May be some people will be baffled by what am talking about here but these are the activities that drives a country‘s economy to prosperity. However, the sad thing about it for us Gambians is that it all rest in the hands of an ignorant and arrogant dictator who doesn’t know his right from left let alone managing a country and its resources.

Fellow citizens, I am of the opinion that if we could prevent ourselves from all these embarrassing celebrations and squandering of public funds by removing this dictatorial regime; I have a very good feeling that the vision 2020 that he himself set as a target will not be far for Gambians to fetch as we can never achieve it with him in power. It is a waste of time and resources to the Gambians and our national development. Meanwhile, I am humbling calling on all patriotic Gambians to turn their backs on the coming July 22nd celebration- meaning to boycott it as a demonstration of our individual rights and freedom to choose right from wrong; since for me July 22nd is only but wrong in all forms.

Long live the Gambia!!

Baba Jaiteh
Birmingham
United Kingdom

Ends

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