GAMBIA went to the polls on 1st December 2016 and results came out on 2nd December 2016. A person who came to power through the barrel of the gun on 22nd July 1994 called to concede defeat.
Not a single life was lost during the campaign or the election. This was followed by an impasse with all sorts of weaponry in the streets. Not a single shot was fired by a security personnel to kill any civilian.
The person who ruled the country for 22 years left without a single shot being fired. ECOMIG forces came after he departed and met a Gambian that was at peace with itself. President Barrow returned to commence the running of a government without a gun being fired.
Two years have elapsed. Nobody has had any dissident movement attempting to overthrow his government. What we now have are old wounds being scratched and people who have fought old battles demonizing each other.
The object was to effect change so that The Gambia would be made whole again to become one nation hosting one people, who establish a system of government under which the consent of the people would be the basis of the peaceful transfer and maintenance of power.
Are we slipping away from that goal after striving for 52 years before succeeding in having a breakthrough? Will the people allow themselves to be divided into hostile camps ready to choke each other’s throats? May we utilise this opportunity that has ensured that power is in our hands and give our ears to those who have value to add to our lives and utilise our power to periodically put people in office who would safeguard our liberty and dignity and enlarge our prosperity? This is the challenge before us.
Yes, The Gambia was torn to pieces after the 1981 coup with mass graves and tortured bodies and further torn to pieces with mass graves and tortured bodies between 1994 and 2016, many people have terrible stories to tell. Nonetheless, one picture that should be fixed in the mind of every Gambian is the fact that there is an end game for every field of play. 2016 was the end game providing the basis for a new start.
Those who knew the cost and were ready to pay the price should now help the nation to treasure the price and safeguard it from being soiled by contempt of heart, personal interest and greed.