Divergent views are being expressed by citizens on the way forward for The Gambia. The general view is that silence is not an option. Those in the Tourism sector are calling for certainty so that there would be no adverse effect to the number of arrivals in the country.
In response to the demand for certainty, members from the security have been trying to explain what constitutes democratic protest and what constitutes agitation to overthrow a government. Hence, they are taking a law and order approach to the conversation. This is not going down well with those who claim that they are ready to use all peaceful means to get President Barrow to stay for three years. They are however not saying how a President who intends to stay for five years could be removed in three years in a peaceful manner.
Hence those who say that they would ensure that Barrow would come down in three years without elaborating on the constitutional means of doing so are being accused of threatening the Barrow administration and those in the administration and security who claim that the administration will be defended by all means are also accused of issuing threat to repress all threats to the Barrow administration.
Uncertainty prevails and the vast majority are wondering how the contradictions would unfold. The fact that Gambians could manage the impasse and allow the peaceful transfer of power through constitutional means is sufficient lesson to confirm that contradictions do not necessarily have to lead to violent confrontation.
It is therefore important for Gambians to initiate a national conversation on the way forward. People with divergent views should be able to discuss without issuing threats in order to share opinions on the best way forward for the country even though the option may not have been one’s original position.