(JollofNews) – Ramadan Kareem to you and yours. May Allah forgive us our sins and grant us our prayers and fasts in this holy month of Ramadan. Ameen..
In his penultimate post of yesterday, Madi Jobarteh, my dearest friend and brother, requested that we all seek forgiveness from The Gambia, for our acts of commission and in the prolongation of the 22 years of omission the Jammeh dictatorship. I confess my part, for not doing or saying enough in the struggle against tyranny, for caging myself, for chaining myself in fear, for surrendering public good to “self preservation”.
I could have done more; I acquiesced. I kept quiet when I could have spoken, when I could have given a voice to the voiceless. I looked askance when evil was played right before my eyes. Thus, to those who sacrificed for me to enjoy this new freedom, those who paid the supreme sacrifice and those who suffered privation, prison and torture on my behalf, I pray Allah reward you abundantly and the departed May Jannatul Firdaus be your abode. Ameen….. I owe you my life.
Looking back, I could have done much more. I, however, chose silence, apathetic neutrality. Yet I know, as Dante said, that “the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis” maintain their neutrality.”
Looking forward, I promise to put and against injustice, wherever it is happening and whoever is perpetuating it. It would not matter whether I am directly affected or not. “Evil thrives because good men refuse to do anything”…. Some of us maintained our neutrality because we or our blood weren’t pursued by the Junglars, weren’t locked by Jammeh. We anesthetized ourselves from the ills and evils that were taking place. By our neutrality, we contributed to the suffering, brutality and evil that gripped our society.
I knew and learned about the brutality of Jammeh and his henchmen but i sealed my mouth…. I knew though that the “emperor had no clothe on”…. I couldn’t just say it…. I was afraid to say so, that the “emperor had no clothe on.” I couldn’t say so because I was afraid of the consequences of saying so. I was told that I should fall in line; that it wasn’t worth the prize. I zipped my mouth. As Plato said, I and some others were “afraid of the light”.
The tyrant has been banished to the lands across the seas. We have a new dispensation. Optimism and hope and promises are high. We got the freedoms we had always yearned for. I promise to contribute to the enlargement and richness of that freedom; to support my new Government when I think it is right and to speak my truth to it when I think it is not right. I know that my new Government will be as effective as how effective and well I fulfil my citizenship, my civic responsibilities, including how I contributed my instructed judgement to its functioning; how I hold it, myself and others accountable. I know I am responsible for how my Government acts:
“Life is a game of cards. The hands you are dealt with is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Nehru
Ramadan Kareem to you and yours.
By Njundu Drammeh