Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New President For The Gambia - What Next?

Indeed, the majority of us rejoices when a dictator finally leaves office. For The Gambia, the ousting of Jammeh could not be more celebrated and potentially arouse a new hope and optimism that knows no bound. Gladly too, this was achieved through a democratic process. And ultimately, as he refused to leave, was eventually removed without any debilitating consequences for the country.

The next phase of this new found hope and optimism is going to be more important and possibly, challenging for the tiny country. But regreteably, no one at the moment can say what tomorrow brings for The Gambia under its new leadership. The only joy at the moment is the ousting of Jammeh. But will the new leadership live up to expectation, or even bring the change expected; any change at all. Or would it wallow in the classic blame-game that other leaders in the position has always played and get nothing done?

Power change-over in some African States are always not easy. But when in rare occasions, they occur, and without violence, our joys usually know no bounds. And as such, the euphoria that the change-over brings is quickly snuffed out and we are back in disappointment that existed. While this may sound pessimistic, it is essential that these questions are asked now: Will the new government bring the much expected change?
Usually the affected country heralds in new leaders with joy, optimism and hope that its fortunes is about to turn and things might improve. Like;
  • roads  built and maintained to improve mobility and movement of people and goods, 
  • civil service modified and improved to reduce bribery and corruption, 
  • government system made more transparent and efficient,
  • schools resourced and modernised,
  • hospitals revived as care centres instead of morgues and cash-points,
  • new policies developed to provide enabling environment for prosperity,
  • salaries paid on time and to the right people,
  • more accountable investments to create equal opportunities for us,
  • and the list goes...
But usually what happens is that as soon as the new government is in place, hopes are pushed to the back and the replenishment of their personal pocket is prioritized. Before you know it, it is business as usual like the preceeding government.

The new government makes blame the new policy and treats their original promises like alien information never heard before. And so the country is back to where it was, if not worse. All efforts invested to remove a former bad govt becomes a disappointment and only bring regrets. In fact, it may get too bad that citizens could become victims for daring to remind the supposedly new messiahs of their promise.

So this is the point where The Gambia now is. It has succeeded in removing a dictator, Yahya Jammeh with the support and help of ECOWAS. But will the new President, Adama Barrow, deliver? Will  Adama Barrow and his coalition bring change and improvements that will impact the people of The Gambia especially on freedom, Human Rights, equal opportunity, healthcare, safety and a true and full democracy?

Only time can answer these questions and hopefully, with the attention and goodwill this new govt has gathered from all stakeholders, it would chose to make a positive difference that is clear departure from its predecessor's rule of terror.

Hope! But its time we harvest the benefits of hope. For we cant hope forever.

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