Njundu Drammeh

(JollofNews) – “Let no body fool you, all the loud noises we here today are nothing but the death groans of the dying system. The old order is passing way, the new order is coming into being. But whenever there is anything new there are new responsibilities. As we think of this coming new world, we must think of the challenge that we confront and the new responsibilities that stand before us. We must prepare to live in a new world.” MLK Jr

Lot of wisdom in the above quote….. The APRC is death or going into suspended animation or comatose. It is the snake; the head is cut off and what we have is a lifeless body which is playing dice with death. The noise coming from Kanilia, by a microscopic minority being manipulated by inconsequential leaders dying for attention, is the death groans of a dying political party.

Yaya did not create any leadership structure in the APRC- everything revolved around him. He was the be all and end all; the alpha and the omega; the giver, sustainer, decider, financier; the only planet around who insignificant satellites revolved. His banishment to the land over the ocean spells the room for the APRC…. Where is APRC evident or visible apart from few villages in Foni? Who are holding its forth? A quartet, nay musketeers, trying to remain relevant but virtually deserted by “Who is Who” of the party. In a year’s time, I bet, the remnant of APRC supporters in Foni will have overcome their shock, and terrible fright, and embrace the new reality.

Who ain’t afraid of change? When it dawn on us, unexpected as theirs was, we fight or fly away…. One truth remains though: Gambia has turned its back to dictatorship and nothing can bring it back. We have a new Government, democratically elected, and that too is a reality that cannot change. The old order has yielded place to the new… Like king Canute, it would be foolhardy to expect that anyone can forbid the tides to roll on.

A huge lesson for our remaining political parties. Develop leaders and not followers… Create and strengthen systems of internal governance; put in place a succession plan; set up and strengthen and empower local, grassroots cells; democratize your parties and entrench accountability and transparency. When political parties live by democratic tenets and make good governance enduring ethical standards, the likelihood of them giving birth to a megalomaniac will be extremely reduced.

New Gambia is here and with it comes, or must come, new responsibilities, systems change, new and refreshing outlook, effective leadership, active citizenship participation, and all that envisaged in the Coalition’s MoU. To not go back to the Years of Terror or give ourselves new home grown and groomed Mansas, I think the mechanism we should strengthen the most is ACCOUNTABILITY, holding people, who have accepted to serve, and institutions that serve, responsible for their actions, for the decisions they take, for the services they provide, for the standards they uphold, for the processes they dispense both their functions and public funds and how they perform vis-a-vis their mandates and roles. When those who hold public trust and services set up for the public happiness know they are being watched and would account for their deeds and misdeeds, without favour or ill will, they would shape up or ship out

But ACCOUNTABILITY at the State level is not my problem.. I believe in our judiciary and the men and women guarding the gate of justice. I think the media and the greater Civil Society will be better watch dogs. I believe… My fear is whether we are ready and willing and committed to hold each other accountable, at the individual level, on the social, cultural, religious and professional planes?

It is easy to hold others accountable but it draws a flak when other people want to hold us accountable. All other problems crop up. Are we ready to see the greater good, to serve the greater good, to defend the public welfare and interests, even if it is against us or our blood? Are we ready to stand for the truth, to fight for justice, to stand against impunity, even if we aren’t directly affected, even if the perpetrator is our own blood? Are we ready to rise up as a society or community or professional group when a right is threatened or violated, even when the victim is not one of us, doesn’t speak our language, doesn’t worship in our mosque or church, doesn’t dress like us, doesn’t belong to our political party? Are we ready to have an open society, to allow the wind blow away every cobweb in the corridors of power? Accountability works in an open society. Are we ready to look each other in the eyes, regardless of age or status or standing or stature, and say the truth, unalloyed, unvarnished, honest? When we say “never again” do we really mean it, especially at the individual level? The institution is an aggregate of the individuals and unless these individuals are accountable and willing to be accountable, the institution will remain what it is. Individuals make dictators; individuals sustain dictators and individuals serve as the grids for dictators.

And in this equation, I place a higher level of responsibility on the intellectuals of the society. When that class is actuated by nothing but its own interest, when it is apathetic about what is happening in the larger society, when it sells its soul to the Devil, when it sequestered itself from the injustices, inequalities and discrimination in the society….. When an intellectual has the opportunity to speak up and out against the wrongs in his or her society and chooses to remain to silent, he or she contributes to the moral paralysis and degeneration that grip the society……

And Yes, evil thrives because good men and women do nothing, say nothing, are actuated by nothing but what they can get from the evil, and give utmost consideration to their relation with the evil….

We are here for a purpose. What you leave behind is your legacy, what people will remember you for and what the angels will write about you. We have a choice..mm