(JollofNews)– It feels right to come back to the walls of JollofNews after such a long enforced absence of leave due to poor but much improved health. My everlasting thanks to PK Jarju and Yusupha Cham for so many concerned phone calls of unflinching support. God willing, the worst has passed for a little while and I say thank you so much for the prayers.
The Gambia became such a large part of my life from 7th April 2000. A week’s holiday to visit new relatives with warmth and hospitality shown and accepted with mirth and thanks giving only to turn from peace to a raging storm by 10th April.
I and many others will never forget that infamous day of outrageous violence to the youths and future of the Gambia. The question why ordinary Gambians, so peaceful and full of warmth and goodwill could be persuaded to commit such criminal and barbaric atrocities against each other is not easy to accept without a justifiable reason.
There was no war. There was no invasion. There was no religious intolerance and neither was there any racial or ethnic tension. I could see no hatred or any kind or tribal animosity. In the 19 visits that followed, I could only find peace and harmony wherever I walked and I would suspect that if I were to return tomorrow, the same goodwill and understanding would still fill my eyes and ears in the Gambian community. A community I love so dearly.
Such violence was said to be born out of protest by the students against the rape of an underage school girl from Brikama-ba and the killing of Grade 10 student from Brikama.
Today nothing has changed. Who could have thought that the grand old man of Gambian politics, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and his colleagues could ever be placed in Mile Two Prisons before the general election on the orders of the highest empty knuckle head for just taking part in a peaceful street protest. You see the senseless murder of one friend becomes just another opportunity for the king of lies and empty promises. Forever the opportunist.
Of course by now some Gambians will turn from such words to say its only this white man who cannot tell us this forgotten truth. For who is he to say such things? Well my friends, someone needs to say it and why not me? Can any Gambian ever say that this man was not ever only here for justice for the dead and the missing? I have never killed, tortured or lied to anyone. For what is a man if he is not prepared to live or die for truth?
So many Gambians have lost their future prosperity willingly and without protest. So we should praise those who are willing to be mistreated by the very force that aims to govern this sacred land called The Gambia, with such a foreign authority to what is the “lost and true Gambia”.
This must end. The guns upon the people must be lowered and orders to shoot must fall on deaf ears. Gambians must come together as one people, one nation and protect the weak and the vulnerable and not shoot or torture or kill. We all must return home in triumph that evil has been challenged and defeated for good. Gambia will rise again to a renewed condition of peace and goodwill. Nothing else will do.
Let us banished all fear and injustice. Let us pray for deliverance from this dark passage of history for faithful and law-abiding Gambians. For God on high is the final authority and judge over those who have unleashed such atrocities upon the fearless and the righteous and the innocent. His day is coming and the bad men will go willingly into the night.
If Gambia is not worth dying for then it is not worth living for.