by Alagi Yorro Jallow.
MAMUDU: The state of insecurity in The Gambia is very grave. Very dire. Our citizens are not safe. Both the people and the government know this. This is the time for statesmanship and statecraft. Prevarication, specious legal opposition to “Operation 3 Years JotNa” exigency, highfalutin equivocation on the issue, the politicization of the debate, ethnic chest-beating, and high-sounding doublespeak would achieve nothing. We are losing lives. We are losing the property. We are losing our humanity.
Mamudu: You cannot compete with the state, its agents, including “Deep State” based on money. The only institution with express authority and monopoly to collect taxes and print legal tender in the state. Governments all over the world are afraid of ideology, more than money. The country is not fearful of wealthy people. No. The state is scared of people with ideas, or those who are at the forefront of financing “alternative” ideas.
Mamudu: History is replete with heroes who were able to foment popular movements with nothing but positive and inspirational ideology. Martin Luther King moved the world with ideas, not money. Mahatma Gandhi captured the imagination of poor Indian cotton farmers to deliver India from British colonial rule. In the struggle against apartheid in racial South Africa, Nelson Mandela epitomized freedom with ideas.
Malcolm X is not remembered for his material wealth but ideas. For those ideas, he was murdered. Dr. King did not entice black America with money. He had a radically different view from the mainstream political establishment then – a vision of America without racial discrimination and segregation – for which he won the Nobel prize. Ideas that occasioned his death in the hands of a white supremacist.
Mamudu: Mahatma Gandhi mobilized Indians in a successful non-violent fight for independence against the British. However, he failed to undo one successful thing he did. He assembled Indians to defecate in pails and other containers and splash their feces on the windows and doors of colonialists, their taps, kitchens, sitting rooms, bedsheets, everywhere. Most of the colonialists and their children who could not stand a cocktail of feces (diarrhea and hard matter) all over their residences moved away as Mahatma, and his people moved to cover ground left behind. It is one of the most successful recorded methods in the fight for independence — the stench and presence of tons of feces. Gandhi, too epitomizes nonviolence.
However, Mahatma Gandhi failed to do one thing by an act that was not of his own making. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 before he could demobilize his people from the large scale targeted public defecation (‘poop’).
Thus, 71 years after his death, because they were not demobilized from (poop), Indians still defecate everywhere, waiting for someone to give the order to stop them. However, the General is dead. Gandhi left a legacy of nonviolence, an independent India, and a runaway open defecation that is a national headache.
Mamudu: To date in the Gambia. Given the insecurity situation in our country, we need a total remaking of our civism, policing, and security system. In military parlance, in word and deed, once you mobilize soldiers, you have to demobilize them. Win or lose. Nevertheless, sometimes there are stalemates. Indecisive, inconclusive, unresolved wars that only stall but have effectively not ended. Like the Korean war, the Cyprus problem and the Iran-Iraqi conflict. Wars that are not happening as l write but are waiting to happen. Only waiting for a trigger. The world has learned to live with them. Because both war and diplomacy have failed to resolve them, in their one can add the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In such cases, soldiers were not wholly demobilized. Moreover, therein lies the problem.
Mamudu: If you want to start a class revolution in the Gambia, one between the rich and poor, or “hustlers” versus “power-hungry politicians” as proposed by Operation year 3 JotNa camp in our present case, you do not come to the masses to buy superficial support. You have to move the masses towards a strong persuasive ideology. An ideology that can stand on its head, in the best interest of the masses, without the need for monetary inducement.
Mamudu: You do not come to intended supporters looking like or modeling the same “power-hungry politicians” values and tendencies that you are opposed to. You cannot be accused of the very things the power-hungry politicians masquerading as democrats have been doing to the Gambia and her people since 1965. Furthermore, while at it, as a man in public life bestowed with the responsibility of managing public resources, disrespect the masses by refusing to answer questions about the source of your wealth.
Mamudu: In the absence of a coherent ideology that is capable of moving masses across regions and ethnic identities, the battle then becomes a simple “dollar-for-dollar” fight, between Operation 3 years JotNa and the deep state, tempered with occasional abuse of State power, by agents of deep state as against Operation 3 years JotNa camp. For every dollar the opposition is prepared to spend, the state and its agents will outspend them any day. The country has the sole option of bringing its influence to bear on Operation 3 years JotNa “rented” supporters. Those with “skeletons in the closet” will be intimidated, at the slightest infraction, using the criminal justice system, and other forms of “official” harassment.
Mamudu: The greedy ones can and will be bribed. The average Gambian politician is an accomplished financial acrobat. When you make money and handouts your key rallying point in a supposed “class revolution” against “wealthy” agents of the “deep state,” you soon realize that the animal called government has bottomless pockets.
The opposition “hustlers” nation is an attempt to turn the tables on the actual and entrenched deep state. That is something one cannot achieve without a popular movement and resounding victory at the ballot box, akin to the change that removed President Yahya Jammeh from power in 2016.
The “Operation 3 Years JotNa” as currently constituted is a movement comprising diehard ethnic support mainly from the opposition and a rented choir involving a section of so-called social media activists’ leaders in the country and agitators from the Diaspora.
Mamudu: To outwit agents of Deep State, Operation 3 years, JotNa needed to build a movement with national appeal. A coherent national campaign of “common people” across the Gambia, beyond fortifying social media sycophancy and the renting of a section of vulnerable unemployed youth. A movement beyond building a “monetary war chest for 2021.” Such a significant change would have allowed the opposition to prepare for President Adama Barrow’s new political party, in readiness for 2021 for a second term bid. As things stand, a disorganize and many opposition political parties cannot dislodge with government, despite the continuing fragmentation ], because the incumbent is sure of inhaling the political oxygen and the rest of the opposition, will stand with him, once the allure that comes with the alliances and coalition building.
Mamudu: As a politician, one must be afraid of support not grounded on ideology but necessary monetary quid pro quo. Two things are bound to happen – such people will leave when the taps ran dry or switch allegiance to the highest bidder. Going by the impending state-sponsored, material, and financial mobilization, as witnessed in during the five years solidarity protest march last week shortly, I can, with near certainty, predict, that a section of the president and opposition in 2021 rented choir will sell out. You can outspend the state on ideas, not money.
by Alagi Yorro Jallow.