By: Kebba AF Touray
Veteran politician and the National Assembly member for Wuli West has revealed that there is nothing that prevents the country from developing its capacity to develop nuclear weapons because the country does not want to be toiled and moiled by any nation.
Sidia Jatta said The Gambia can possess weapons because the country is in the process of developing science and technology.
“So, for me, this is like taking a knife and cutting the throat of oneself. All throughout the so-called world war, there was war only between two contending forces (the Soviet Union and the United States) and all the others were victims. And they nearly progressed into the third world war over Cuba, because the United States did not want Cuba to be itself,” he said this on Tuesday 7th of September 2021, at the National Assembly during a debate on the document entitled Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The lawmaker said the United States of America is not in the list of those countries that have signed and ratified the said treaty, saying the best way to defend the world is for each nation to have the capacity to defend itself. He said if all the nations in the world were like the United States, Soviet Union among others, no one would dare attack the other nation because that country would know that the country it intends to attack has the same capacity as them.
Jatta reminded the assembly what had happened in the Middle East when the United States and allies attacked Iraq for having certain weapons, yet the weapons US has, no country in the world has that type of weapon. He said the part that surprised him in the document is where the minister states that once the treaty is signed, The Gambia, like other signatories, will benefit from various capacity training programs, like workshops, seminars and conferences.
“Conferences, workshops and seminars on what?” Jatta quizzed. “Today, what we should be talking about is to develop our scientists. We must develop the capacity to develop all these weapons that they have in their possession. North Korea and Iran are all now feared because they have developed capacity.”
Jatta said he agrees that nuclear weapons are destructive and bad. But he said there are few who have them and because they possess such weapons, they always impose their will on others.
“So, for me, there is nothing that prevents this fantastic small republic from developing elite scientists who will have the capacity to create all these things that we need, not to destroy anybody, but to show that we can also defend ourselves,” he said.
Speaking further, Jatta said despite the fact that news about deploying forces into the country is false, there are some already in the country and even though The Gambia calls itself a sovereign nation, each time there is a problem, it always goes to other countries for remedy.
“We must develop means to have capacity to defend ourselves that is what independence is about. How can you be independent yet you always ask somebody to come and defend you? This does not make sense and is a trick that we must come out from,” he said.
Jatta said the African continent must develop and have the capacity to defend itself, saying it is the reason why Africa is not a member of the United Nations Security Council and thus has no seat in council when a country like France has a seat in the council. He said the US has the weapons and should sign the treaty, adding that The Gambia’s signing of the treaty is like a country signing a false cheque that it does not own or have.
“We are the eyes and the minds of this republic. We are the eyes and minds of the continent of Africa, and as such, we must see that this continent must go out of this slavery of dependence. We must, if we don’t, then we are not worthy to be members of this parliament in the continent,” Jatta told colleagues.
Jatta said if the continent wants to be independent and sovereign, it must go out of this trick. He said they are tricking the continent and it is high time that the continent goes out of that trickery.
“I want to be understood that I am not advocating for war. I am advocating for the development of your capacity in order not to be trampled…by other so-called sovereign nations. That is what I am saying. We will sign it only if we have the capacity to do it,” Jatta clarified.
He further said that science and technology do not belong to anybody, thus he said the country takes it and utilizes it for its purpose. Jatta said the country must not allow and will never do it, adding the continent has been programmed to stay in poverty and underdeveloped by the other developed nations.
“For them, the development of this continent is to their detriment. But for us, we will not be like them. We must come together and develop for our mutual interest and our wealth in our common interest. But for them their program is fixed and the fixed program is that Africa must stay where it is and keep Africa at bay, because that is in the fundamental interest of Europe and Asia and that is the program,” he said.
Jatta said their programs are designed to keep Africa at bay because that is what serves their interest. This is what the continent must recognize and fight against, failure of which the continent does not need to exist, he said. He cited China, North Korea and Pakistan as some of the countries that did not sign the treaty and that India has a nuclear weapon and capacity that the Gambia does not have- even though India has not signed and ratified the treaty.
“I am opposed to ratification of this document. It serves no purpose for us”, he said.