Njundu Drammeh

(JollofNews)– We want to hold duty bearers accountable for their acts of commission or omission. We want them to be transparent because we believe that “sunshine is the best disinfectant”…. The search light should be able to reach every place, every dark alley in the corridors of power..

But…… Accountability is not a cul-de-sac or a one way traffic nor is transparency one. The watchdogs or right holders, as individuals or groups, must be accountable and transparent to themselves and to all of us. We cannot expect the governors or duty bearers to take the high road of morality, fair play and justice while we gallop on the low road and engage in underhand dealings. It would be the classic case of the raven chiding blackness or the pot calling the kettle black….

We should not also expect that it is the obligation only of a few to ensure dictatorship does not rear its ugly any more… It is common to hear one person blame another one, a senior official in the Jammeh Government or respectable figure, for not being unconcerned or mute during the Reign of Terror… “What did you do?”is often the question that is loudly shouted from across the room…. Dead silence.

Nothing can justify apathy in the presence of evil…. But we should ask the questioner the same question “what did you do?” It was your duty to speak out, to tell truth to power, to demand justice, to defend the defenceless, to stand up against the evil that was Jammeh. You did not and now you want to hold another accountable…. It is easier to blame than to own up. So next time we want to ask the other “what did you do?”, we should think twice that it was as much our responsibility and failure to take action as it was his or hers.

Every time a citizen has the chance to speak out against injustices but decides to remain silent or look the other way, he or she is contributing to the moral paralysis, decay and bankruptcy that grips his or her society.

Accountability is a two-way process….. We all have the obligation to fight injustice or evil.

by Njundu Drammeh