Revolutionary Thoughts in the Presence of Fear
AFRICAN DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS
(FREEDOM AND JUSTICE)
ROUND THE PEOPLE ROUND THE COUNTRY
BANJUL THE GAMBIA
The best feelings are those that have no words to describe them
I dedicate this article to all Gambian and African Journalists and all oppressed and persecuted Press men/women struggling for Press freedom and free speech.
I strongly believe that the Press and the correct Information as a veritable and effective tool for National Development in the Gambia and Africa as a whole.
I write to express my admiration for your lucid and compelling essays I always read in your patriotic revolutionary newspapers educating Gambians. These pieces mean a great deal to all who share your worry and too many Gambians who are now beginning to learn how vital your worry is to our survival as a humane community.
Here are (4) four cardinal principles of Journalism:
(1) To say the truth without harming.
(2) To show the truth or the way to the truth without shocking nor to be in favour or play the card of partisan politics.
(3) To denounce without condemning and
(4) To testify without attacking.
The problem is how to put in music these principles, while preserving at information its potential of sensitizing and its credibility.
Information as one knows it has a social aiming, whatever usage that one makes of it, it denounces or explains, condemns or defends.
It is obliging or subversive. The good journalist is he/she who goes beyond appearances to restore the truth. It is obvious that in this case of figure information reveals to at least conceal a potential of harmful effect for those who seek to dissimulate the truth.
What Shall the Responsible Intellectual Do to greatly contribute to this great task of reawakening our dear people? The job should not be left alone only in the hands of these valiant pressmen, presswomen and intellectual freedom fighters who are men and women of the pen.
The acquisition of knowledge is a process, therefore, of going “endlessly deeper” from appearance to essence, from essence of the first order, as it were, to essence of the second order, and so on without end" and indeed it is precisely this restless search for the truth beneath appearances which makes it possible for us to learn from mistakes and adjust our plans so that they reflect more accurately the realities of the situation.
The Gambian press has as a mission to help promote and protect Gambian unity. The press have a noble mission to elevate the Gambian society high above the skies, to fill a socio-political need.
Journalists should not be agents of President Yaya Jammeh to betray the cause for the liberation of Gambia and weaken the alliances that will ensure a peaceful future.
Oh African Gambians be aware that real and genuine democracy cannot strive on ignorance except through consciousness, awareness and education… Only an enlightened revolutionary mind like great brave warriors and freedom fighters can perceive this universal knowledge and understanding of the Nation of Africa, otherwise, faith in ourselves would turn into a petrified and foolish bigotry and the way to truth and salvation would be blocked for Gambians.
Today the great job the Gambian Press is doing to conscientize our beloved Gambian people is their only dependable lookout. I am proud that the press intelligently discerns news and alerts the people as early as possible so that they can be able to reach well-informed decisions that will bring great benefits to them.
The Press is giving correct information to our people as a means of increasing man’s knowledge and that of society. This shows that our hard working patriotic journalists are not talebearers. I wish to point out very clearly appealing to the Gambian press that they should in fact function as a counterbalance to President Yaya Jammeh’s reactionary neocolonial barbaric government rather than as faithful servants.
I can clearly see Satanism in the attitude of keeping quite in the face of tyranny and misgovernance. We should all see in Jammeh’s policies that they are about making an impression now at the expense of the future. This is why I am appealing to the men and women of the pen to sharpen their spears ready for the great battle.
We have to always see power as an evil weapon of oppression, exploitation, slavery and fiefdom if wrongly used, for that reason the press should not be a supporter of the oppressive criminal neocolonial government of President Yaya Jammeh.
The great usefulness of the press is that it harmonizes human capacities; it therefore promotes the equality of intellectual resources among Gambians, among groups of men and among societies. Knowledge provides the motive force and determines man’s attitude towards life’s phenomena. It lies behind all man’s conscious actions and reactions in society.
I feel very happy and proud that the Gambian Press is spreading among Gambians correct information which is a vehicle par excellence of intelligence. By its various media activities it conveys and spreads the fruit of human thought, makes known human activities and their results. In this respect it creates bonds of understanding among men and women, among groups of men and women, and societies, so it facilitates an exchange of knowledge.
The Press in spreading correct information across and amongst Gambians stimulates the exchange and the confrontation of ideas, which in turn stimulates either cooperation or intellectual cross fertilization of ideas.
I hail the noble mission of the Gambian Press in conveying to the Gambian society the facts of life of our society and other societies. Correct information is adding knowledge and improving human understanding in such a way as to encourage the development and evolution of human activities. For these reasons we have to campaign very seriously and very hard for a free press in the Gambia where journalists will not be harassed, intimidated, killed, dragged into kangaroo courts by dictator President Yaya Jammeh’s criminal junta oppressive regime.
I salute the courage, the fortitude and infinite patience of all Gambians.
Fellow Gambians rest assured that your patience will no doubt yield good dividends.
You all know that the Gambia has been the worst of everything on earth. But as night follows day, every difficult moment in history will itself become history. So shall the present ones.
I urge Gambians to study and profit by the present and emerging democratic and patriotic press. Anyone who does that is a winner. I repeat that the Gambian press is the people’s dependable lookout.
I strongly believe that as general-interest magazines, while the people are at work or rest the radars of the press are busy scanning the environment 360 degrees, 24 hours daily to keep the Gambian people properly informed about goings-on in the Gambian society.
I pray and wish the press to always serve the Gambian people faithfully. I hope they will keep the people’s confidence and respect their sensibilities without compromising professional integrity and sound judgment.
I hope the general public will servour the spices in the various editions and let the press have a feedback from them to enable the press serve them much better.
The correct answers the people will get from the press will tell them where they will be in the nearest future. It will also reveal much more, particularly in the area of human resources development and their power and capacities to change society in their interest.
I wish to point out that of all aspects of empowerment which our Gambian society has been grappling with; the social dimension seems to be most downplayed as it is the wish and aim of criminal Yaya Jammeh. Ever so often, we have tended to place more emphasis on such factors as economic empowerment, political empowerment, educational empowerment or even the gender-specific need for women empowerment.
Oh yes, all these are critical empowerment indices towards which we must aspire if we hope to uplift our parlours circumstances.
However, at priceless and crucial necessity, which we seem to have largely overlooked, is the imperative of empowering our ranks through the information super highway.
Taken for granted that information dissemination is an everyday dynamism, many have averted attention to the dreary grinds of survival and tension-soaked competition in a world that keeps pawning up new and ever-changing realities.
We seem to so easily forget that, of all the benefits of a modern globalize world, information technology remains perhaps the most remarkable, not only in its astonishing scientific developments but more importantly in its effective spread and impact.
‘’It is true that the great benefits of information may not be immediate or even tangible in their outcomes, but the cumulative advantages are more than salutary.
Experience has clearly indicated that a people who are well informed on a wide range of issues generally occupy a higher ground of advantage over matters of development and survival.
For instance, information helps to periscope areas of our weakness as well as our collective strength as a nation. It affords us insightful vistas of our resilience and the limitless bounds our intellectual and mental capacities can gravitate, given the enabling environment.
Contemporary information keeps revealing that the Black man is no less resourceful or even less endowed than the white man, given the auspicious atmosphere.
As individuals and separate communities, credible information enables us concentrate more on those areas and endeavours for which we have comparative natural advantage.
Graphic information appropriately situates the prevailing circumstances of any nation on the global scale of sustainable human development.
Importantly also, information enables us to master, dominate and ultimately conquer our environment.
In short, well-digested information helps to underscore our common humanity in consuming our existence through the universal brotherhood of mankind.
For the Gambia specific project, valuable pieces of sundry information will keep updating us to the fact that the sky is truly our limit just if we can put in a little more effort in getting our acts together.
On the socio-economic horizon, statistical information establishes the sources and damaging effects of corruption on our polity, while it highlights the degrading proclivity of our endemic poverty. Currently information teaches us that the world is fast becoming some kind of global village where the primordial sentiment of ethnicity, tribalism, religious bigotry, indigenship and settlership are steadily being eroded.
Information is also teaching us that politics ought to be an exceedingly noble profession which should be devoid of rancor, violence, bitterness and acrimony.
In this and other regards, historical information helps us learn from our own and other people’s past experiences in consciously sidestepping avoidable mistakes of nationhood.
On our educational horizon, structured information gives us useful insights into the liberation influence of literacy and numeracy. On its part, medical and demographic information sensitize us on the damaging effects of fake drugs and the need to take our health concerns more seriously.
It also highlights the benefits of good nutrition and strategic imperative of food security.
Climatic information teaches us to always preserve the natural environment and maintain the balance in our eco-system. Quite instructively, civic information not only counsels us that there is no viable alternative to democracy, it also moderates our patience in the learning process of our nascent democracy as well as mobilizes the citizenry for mass participation in the liberation struggle and in nation-building.
In upholding the beauty of our unity in diversity, when our compatriots are enlightened on the verity that Churches and Mosques co-exist side-by-side and peacefully even in the volatile Middle East, this realization will no doubt moderate our tendency for religious extremism.
For authentic information would, for instance, reveal that the prolonged crisis in the Middle East and the Casamance region of Senegal is not necessary religious, but the unrelenting struggle for self-determination and simple demand for rights and respect.
Information therefore, illuminates the mind for clarity and refinement of the thought process. Suffice it to say that we can afford to be mere spectators on the turf of real politics.
We can even elect to be passive when it comes to tangible involvement in the other antiguous sectors of our polity. But contemporary realities keep nudging us that we can remain indifferent to the dynamic of the Fourth Estate of the realm only at our own enormous peril.
Therefore, apart from the need for our print media outfits, radio and TV stations to disseminate credible and authentic information, it is also important that the National Broadcasting Commission and other agencies taken hostage by dictator Yaya Jammeh in this regard should strengthen their capacities in affording Gambians easy access to valuable information.
This should be born in the minds of every Gambian citizen that all mass media communication means and facilities are not a property of President Yaya Jammeh or his criminal autocratic government that can be used as an instrument to intimidate, harass and oppress the popular masses.
The duty and noble mission of the press is to rightly inform and shape public opinion. President Yaya Jammeh should stop closing press houses, banning newspapers, baring websites in reaching the popular masses.
In our peculiar circumstance, efforts must be consolidated not only in liberalizing the space for the print and electronic media, but also expanding the existing network in order to bring information right to the door-steps of every citizen.
The current commitment of private online newspapers to provide correct information to the masses is a step in the right direction and highly commendable.
On our part as individuals, we must deliberately strive very hard to elevate our reading culture which has waned drastically over the years. Arming ourselves with correct information will enable us to rightly understand political events, rightly comprehend all political information and challenge all intrigues by evil politicians like dictator Jammeh. Information is our Constitutional right and nobody should prevent us from obtaining correct information.
We should also endeavour to always take those opportunities that afford us linkage amongst ourselves and to the outside world, including logging on the Internet and exploring exciting websites of varying textures of information.
This is because without comparative information, we would not be in a position to isolate the paradigms of a better life, talkless striving to attain such loftier pedestal.
Frankly speaking information opens a whole new world of knowledge and interesting vistas of new realisms.
We must therefore, make it a point of abiding duty a keep abreast of current happenings within and around us. This is not only because information is a valuable asset in shaping our lives for the better, but most importantly because information is POWER.
Let us always peel through the pages of Gambia’s information newspapers and cultivate ourselves and be ready to challenge odds.
Self-realization, self-actualization, self-mobilization and socialization should and must be a major feature of participatory identification with the socio-political progress of the Gambian society.
Indeed, civilization is taking a new direction in which ALL PEOPLE, regardless of sex, religion, age, tribe, ethnic and political affiliation participate in the process of the struggle for total liberation and for social reconstruction.
Oh brave and courageous Gambian journalists and intellectual writers I am very impressed with your essence as great humanists and patriots, many Gambians urge you not to rest on your oars, but to keep on giving your best to the service of Allah and our dear oppressed and exploited peoples.
And so doing, Allah will shower His Blessings and Grace on you and your great families.
Brothers and sisters of the pen I hope you all know that honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess. But possession means nothing unless it has value ascribed to it. As proud patriotic freedom fighters, human rights activists and educators please ascribe values to your honesty and let your unique ways genuinely reflect your writings addressing the problems of fake and adulterated information that poisons’ the people’s minds.
You should be distinguished intellectual pedigrees, intrepid and dauntless crusaders committed to a free and better Gambia. You should be priceless gems, hallow height, tenderers of the beautiful firmament, and the embodiment of the lofty ethos and heritage of the people of African Gambian descent. You should be the true sons of the Gambia to fully restore the hallowed soul of the Gambia.
Your contributions to the freedom and greatness of the Gambia will be a landmark and an inspiration to guide the Gambia and her holy crusade, for a place in the sun. The Gambian people and I will always cherish your assertiveness, modesty and free conscience.
I wish to appeal to you all that the unlimited craving for soul-disturbing, inconsequential values should not permeate your lives as it is the greatest asset of the world.
Let the Gambian masses learn, seek, more often than not, to drink from the fountain of your knowledge and unparallel disposition to a worthy cause you are teaching them.
You must by your conduct make moral statements which this generation and the future generations of the Gambia will hold sacrosaint, as epitomizing our national ideal of building strong moral characters.
I want you Gambian journalists and all intellectual men and women of the pen to be the monument of Africa’s pride, symbol of sacrifice, self-discipline, charisma, accountability, sincerity in your language and writings of purpose, iron courage and vision, and nobility of patriotism.
You should be symbols of hard work, dedication, and a bundle of intelligence, organization and skills.
You should also be a bundle of inspiration, motivation, sincerity and boldness, for you all have golden pens and ever living brains which should produce such monumental works of Gambian and African history, autobiographies, politics, economics and leadership, and of course ,philosophy.
Fellow comrades in arms you should always have to lead the way in raising the fundamental issues of our time and demonstrate an uncanny ability to foresee the problems ahead and proffer viable solutions and not praise singing to the dictator.
You indeed have a noble mission to raise political discussions and initiate debates in our country for cross-fertilization of ideas to a level that will not be rivaled in any other country on the continent of Africa.
The Gambian world we live in is much troubled.
Though I have warned severally on the dangers of permitting evil and darkness to have right of space in our midst, most of the Gambians are not seeing any wisdom in embracing the ideals I preach, and the dreams we revolutionaries are set to establish.
In every case there are exceptions and only few Gambians know and understand the direction and sumptuousness of my critical views and analyses, the rest non-challantly spit on my rich words and prophetic calls, and walks away.
The majority of ignorant Gambians are stiffened as if I speak only to stones and withered leaves and the criminal ones laugh at my strong position and wingless dreams; others frown at my courage, sacrifice and boldness at preaching new, ‘’unfounded and empty ideology of settler neocolonialism’’
It is true that people never know the worth of water till the wells and rivers are dry.
My dear brothers and sisters of the pen I wish your vast world of intellect and wisdom comes to contribute in my efforts to expose the shallowness which is ingrained in the refusal of quislings and traitors to learn from history.
The more we will fail on daily basis as a nation, the more we like to look back into our past-a past which we have treated with so much disdain, mischief, and disrespect.
I am saying a past which we have dishonoured like prodigal children of history. Our past and our future define our present.
If our present is headachy, dreadful, dreary, and sore-footed, it is because among us there are people who refuse to acknowledge the rightfulness, righteousness and promise of our past.
Very sad and unfortunate that in the Gambia under President Yaya Jammeh’s dictatorship we lack political men and women of honour, political excellence, social vision, and mental fortitude; men of unselfish doctrines and proud leadership qualities, unifiers, patriots and statesmen and stateswomen of worth.
Revolutionary freedom fighters in their bit to free the Gambia make Gambians remember the troubles of our accursed entity: socio-political maladministration, lawlessness, fraud, licentiousness, greed, corruption, nepotism, infidelity, bankruptcy, imbecility, myopism, and mediocrity who are labeled terrorists and coup plotters.
I still renew my militant call for the masses of the Gambia to rise and wage an uncompromising revolution to liberate the Gambia. Let President Yaya Jammeh again say I am advocating violence to overthrow his so-called democratically elected government that is violating all laws of good governance and respect for human rights.
I care for freedom and justice and nothing more. President Yaya Jammeh should go to hell if he is not comfortable with my revolting words as they are intended to school him and not praise.
President Yaya Jammeh can see me as a rebel whose flair is to bring down the walls of the Gambian nation especially on his head of which I consider to be a negative character in the polity.
Our dear people because of evil Jammeh’s wish to blind fold their hearts remember these hardships with heavy hearts, hearts dedicated by chained, disordered and crisis ridden existence.
Fellow Gambian men and women of the pen, the truth of the matter is that ours is a world of uncertainty slowly moving to ruin and total collapse.
It is very sad that leadership in the Gambia now is a far cry from what it should be; it is coloured with thievery, selfishness, mischief, infidelity, insensitivity, and uncharismatism. It is a contract of ablepsy, misgovernance, exploitation, and total hatred for the poor and helpless people.
Today leadership at every level in the Gambia does not respect the view of freedom-lovers that the eradication of poverty is central to stability and peace. There is no respecting the fact that the social system, in which a man, willing to work, is compelled to starve, is a blasphemy, and anarchy and no system.
Since dictator Jammeh’s coming to power the cry of Gambians has been the cry of a parentless child. Its voice is one of military desperadoism, tyranny and civil indiscipline.
The heart of Jammeh’s system is a shaky foundation of electoral rigging, manipulation and inhuman threats; it is also the centre point of squandermania spendthriftiness, arrogance, opportunism, oppression, injustice and dishonesty.
Violence is the symbolic pillow of our political child. This is performed in many ways as President Yaya Jammeh and his NIA and 22nd July movement feasts on stolen money, confiscated properties, lands and men and women, they have the best collection of bombs, pistols, sophisticated guns, rockets, matchets, amulets, with which they harass innocent peace loving human rights activists and journalists and terrify people and hold some hostage at the NIA headquarters.
The many pro-Jammeh politicians and security agents hate the Gambian people more, they torture and kill people; they imprison the non-guilty and innocent.
Today in the Gambia President Yaya Jammeh and his cohorts have the best collection of unknown graves than in any other country in the African continent? It is no crime for Jammeh and he is very proud of it.
He hasn’t come to his senses to question himself if dead men can take orders or serve a ruthless leader?
Today in the Gambia power is manipulated and twisted to serve personal interests: the poor and oppressed are confused, the rich hideaway in the iron cubicle of their walled homes.
Politics is dangerously woven with the blood soaked bandage of ethnic hatred and tribal lovelessness.
In all this, men and women of the pen must actually activate what is left of our 31st July 1981 people’s revolutionary political legacy and reawaken our dear people to renew the struggle for freedom and justice.
You should help our dear Gambian people to avoid been wildly caught in the web of ignorance, uncertainty, trauma, misunderstanding and self-hatred.
We are living in a world of disbelief; trust is no longer popular. President Yaya Jammeh is trying to mislead the Gambian people to drop the revolutionary ideology in refuse dumps.
Many ambitious opportunistic young politicians are but selfish, less focused and insensitive souls who willingly walk into the treacherous but rich vineyards of opportunistic vanguard of the 22nd July movement.
With President Yaya Jammeh’s tactics of divide and rule there is a strong tornado of divisive forces which has torn the hitherto Gambian unity to shreds. Within the opposition democratic forces also the crippling senseless political war and scramble for leadership is very much pronounced in their midst of attraction, hatred and destruction.
Unfortunately opposition leaders are shot by the arrow of self-hatred, punctured by a sharp nail of coffin equilibrium, raided by muddy flood of antagonistic political differences within them. Very serious things are falling apart. It is a pitiable political cannibalized entity.
Our political opposition leaders have lost balance. Distrust, undefined hatred, sectionalism and political impotence have been allowed to conspire rudely to evidently checkmate their collective dream as a people.
I have kept wondering why future leaders of our nation are so aggressive and elders are not talking. Sometimes naively I agree that it is because most youths are unemployed, unschooled, hungry, and deprived and frustrated, while some of the opportunistic hypocrite elders are in active and profitable connivances with odious agents of oppression, exploitation, manipulation and deception.
The effects of our collective guilt moves all over the Gambia like guinea worms from the depth of the river.
Frankly speaking I express fear whether Gambians would ever be capable of experiencing genuine democracy in our life time. The kind of democracy we have now is so poisoned and poisonous. It is laced with germs of its own self-nullity. Greed, insensitivity, and corruption are the baton heads of its manifestations.
Everywhere stinks; every government house, accounts, policy, budget and legislative houses.
Our leaders of thought are brewers of drought and hunger. Our national leaders are anointed disciples of the devil himself. And their mechanisms of destruction are limitless.
Indolence, intolerance and self-messiahism are religious ethics to which they are committed. Talk shops have replaced political activism. Every incident of headache must be taken to the most expensive hospital in Europe or United States of America.
As I said earlier the tactics of divide-and-rule, and the politics of suspicion are given right of place in the Gambia. We should fight this evil political system with force.
Some of the registered political parties are not even active and key members of these parties are in the dark. No one knows their agenda.
We Gambians need freedom and justice but the only freedom that exists now is that of violence and state-sponsored terrorism.
We are a divided people; our imperfect understanding and actualization of democracy, is so inhumanly maddening, and bedecked with discordant melody, making us such a funny collection of people in the universe.
We need prayers, but we urgently need a people’s revolution to scale through these terrifying hurdles, and remain a united country, especially as we are going towards the Presidential and legislative elections.
Oh men and women of the pen congratulations for your efforts and struggle to educate our dear people. Continue and push forward very hard.
Your history will be written in golden letters.
Long live the Gambia, Long live Africa.
Our fatherland victory or death we shall win.
It is said that some people are born great; some have greatness thrust upon them while others achieve greatness.
I am yesterday; today is within me; I don’t know tomorrow.
(I know where the African Gambian society is today and where we could take it tomorrow by our determination)
My mind is wide open to anybody who will help get the ape off our backs.
Koukoie Samba Sanyang