I think it would not be out of place to congratulate ourselves as Africans for pulling together to work through lawful processes to solve an African problem. This is certainly a NEW Africa that is evolving and we should all energise it.
I particularly wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the ECOWAS authority of Heads of State for such demonstration of firm political will, decisiveness, determination, tact, and bold action. My admiration goes to Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas who was the first person to show a keen interest in the Gambian political crises and demonstrated exemplary diplomatic skills in response to the crises right through to its end. Thumps up to Presidents Buhari, Johnson Sirlef, Koroma, and our own Mahama for the two visits to Ex-president Jammeh they made, that opened up the path to dialogue. My esteemed respect is conferred on Presidents Abdul AZZIZ of Mauritania and Alpha Conde of Guinea for demonstrating such mastery in negotiations and skilful tact to bring the impasse to a peaceful end. I fall prostrate before President Macky Sall of Senegal for graciously offering his beautiful country as a temporary military base and launching pad for the ECOMIG operation in The Gambia, and for letting his troops lead the effort. High commendation to the AU and ECOWAS administrative leadership.
In progressing with my reflective thoughts, I would be doing the greatest disservice to the African continent if I do not offer due acknowledgement to our military chiefs and troops on tne ground. My understanding is that the budget for the recent ECOMIG military intervention in The Gambia to restore democratic order run into hundreds of millions of dollars. The estimates which were premised on the envisaged length of time to be spent there, also took account of the force remaining in The Gambia after the conflict till reasonable security and stability is established, equipment flown and shipped into Dakar, maintenance etc. Not too much detail can be given publicly with respect to security matters, so I will drop the military narrative and move on to my main issue.
I have no issue if we have to spend all we have to secure and security of a sister African nation. The psychological and emotional trauma I am currently experiencing stems from the fact that for one intransigent person we permitted to fool around with us, and grow into a threatening destructive monster he had eventually become, the struggling West African tax payer and economies will have to pay such a heavy price to root out the monster and strategically undo the mess he created, funds we could use to build our economies and improving our lives. Never again should we encourage, facilitate, nor allow any leader or leadership to grow devils wings to shove it over us. We must promote and push progressively, the establishment of institutions, processes, systems that are democratic and prevent such evil. Never and never again !!!
The Gambia’s walk to freedom has been a very long one and many are the fallen who never saw this bright day. Coalitions have not had the best of progressive sustainable records in Africa and the fragile President Barrow coalition government is no exception. One potential threat amongst others to the viability of the coalition that has manifested ever since the coalition was formed, is the sharp divide between hardliners with a radical approach to everything including nursing an agenda of reprisals and the sober, progressive, and broader thinking minds. May we all commit to going the long haul by putting the spotlight on them, and assisting in any way we can so that our effort at consolidating a progressive democratic order would be complete.
God bless The New Gambia and The New Africa
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