(JollofNews) – I respectfully submit some quarters of our people, particularly in the diaspora, are using this “contribution phenomenon” to milk as much as possible from unsuspecting people to benefit themselves, while marginally they will not account for such contributions, nor would they entirely make such contributions available to the CAUSE for which such contributions were made in the first place.
In other words, portions of such contributions will go to them, and possibly a smaller portion to the CAUSE. NOW, you will ask, but why is that important. Allow me, and I will explain:
FIRST and FOREMOST, that little $10 or $20 or more or so contributed by each individual might not seem like a lot, coming from that individual, but at the end of the day, if you add it all up, such contributions coming from dozens of people, or few people, will add up to few hundred dollars or thousands of dollars. And when that is converted into Dalasis, it is enough to sponsor a rally, enough to buy six or more sheep from Abuko to slaughter and have a big feast at a rally in Serrekunda, or Basang. SO, do not just discount that $10, $20 or $50 or so you contribute as “small” and “insignificant”. Those “small” and “insignificant” amounts from quite a few people at the end of the day will add up, and if they go to someone who is not trust-worthy, shady or outright crooked, then I submit the tendency for such funds to be misused or not entirely used for the purpose or CAUSE is there, present. ARE you following me here?
FURTHER, most of these individuals or entities that will receive such contributions in the first instance and those who will end up with the funds, DO NOT have, or LACK in-built mechanisms of Accountability and Transparency. And again, you will ask, but why that is important? Again, allow me to explain.
I and many of you will not want our hard-earned money to be used for the purpose for which it was not intended. Man of us shed blood, sweat and tears for our money, we worked hard and long to get those few dollars, and so, if and when we make contributions, we generally do so in the hope that they will be used for a “good cause”, “peaceful cause” or any other causes in line with our beliefs and values. That is why we make the contributions. SO, if Accountability and Transparency are missing, or adequately not there, or NOT present, then we will attach “stipulations” to make sure that our money is not misused and or abused. HENCE, if we are going to give our money where Transparency and Accountability are lacking or inadequate, then it is FAIR enough to say that we make stipulations then as to where and when we put our money, and such stipulations could be that such money of ours not be used for anything that violates our conscience, values and beliefs. IS that too much to ask? NO, I submit it is not too much to ask.
IF we don’t start holding ourselves Accountable and Transparent now, just when will we?
OR you want to tell me we will start to hold ourselves accountable and transparent once or after Yaya Jammeh is gone? SO, it is ok to be some shady, crooked and twisted in the process of trying to remove Jammeh, but that we expect ourselves to be more Transparent and Accountable once and after he is removed from power? Is that what you are telling me? Is that right? You see where I am going with this, right?
We expect TRUST and HONESTY from people we place or put in certain positions, and such TRUST must not be lightly violated of for whatever reasons. Such trust is a SACRED DUTY, and hence, we must ensure that in-built mechanisms of Accountability and Transparency are in place anywhere money is publicly sought. That is the least we expect. And I regret to say that we lack or do not have present in-built mechanisms to ensure that every penny is accountable for to the people who made such contributions, and that such funds will not be used for purposes that they were not made.
On a FINAL NOTE here, allow me to say this: If many of you would recall, this is what I have been saying and advocating for from day one that: it will require and take resources to embark on this task of regime change in the Gambia, hence the need to consolidate our limited resources under Unity of Action, under one body of leadership, than these fragmented entities and individuals, with all kinds of agendas and interests. And then, they disguise their agendas and interests in the name of helping to fight to restore “democracy” and “rule of law” in the Gambia, while, in actuality, they are promoting their individual or self-centered little group’s interest or agenda. And all this at the expense of what is good or not good for Country.
I submit National Interest of the Gambia supersedes any and all individual or group’s agendas and interest, and Gambia’s National Interest is secondary to none. PERIOD.
Author; Abdul Savage, Retired, US Army Member, Military Order of the Purple Heart Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars.