Monday, August 2, 2021

How will Government handle the Three Year Jotna conflict?

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No one had ever imagined that there would be any trials that have political implications after the change of Government of 2016. Interestingly enough, currently a number of people have been charged with incitement of violence. What does the future hold? What is there to gain by having all these people behind bars if the Court were to decide to imprison many protestors? In the same vein what would anybody gain by going to war to force a Government to resign with bare hands.

This is the quickest way to transform unarmed civilians into food for tear gas, batons and even bullets. This is not the state sovereign Gambians who have the power to put in and remove Governments from office should reduce themselves to. The change occurred to transform the people into sovereign Gambians who will never again allow themselves to be subjected to become outlaws to be arrested and jailed for political reasons. The powerful should not allow themselves to be powerless because of actions that fall outside the ambit of the Law. Government and people must act within the ambit of the Law.

It is therefore necessary for Government and people to draw the right lessons from the recent incidents and put the past behind us and start a fresh page to govern and oppose according to the Law. Will the Government and the people have the maturity to put political conflict behind us and put in place a vibrant multiparty system which will allow the people to make informed choice? If so the Government should start to hold back the long arm of the Law by withdrawing the cases of the journalists and leave PURA to engage them on adhering to the code of conduct and then proceed to monitor as required by Law. They should go further to look into all other cases with a view to closing this chapter that all mature Gambians would want closed.

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