It’s vital for every Gambian to ask him or herself this question has Gambia been really independent in the last 20 years? In my mind and indeed in many other minds the answer is clear, because what does it mean to be independent? In no ambiguous terms independent means free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc. So take all these meanings and apply them in the context of the way and the manner in which the Gambia has been rule since 22nd July 1994 and analyse whether the Gambia has been really independent.
Gambia seized to be independent 2 decades ago because as independent has been defined, we are not free, we are dependent on Yahya Jammeh’s orders, we are subject to a constitution that fits only one man’s purpose, Gambian properties have been stolen, the people have been unlawfully jailed, maimed and killed, corruption and poverty are at their highest, and above all TRIBALISM is the order of the day in that country. The Gambia under the rule of Yahya Jammeh has seen the worst atrocities committed against her people than any other time in her history. Gambia is not at war but we have more refugees than ever because of constant humiliation and persecution they face, they can no more bear it they are force to flee.
10-11th April 2000 are one of the darkest days in the history of the Gambia, 14 innocent students including one Red Cross volunteer were murdered broad day light for wanting to exercise their constitutional right through protest march. The government of Yahya Jammeh saw that as a threat against his authority and ordered the killing of these people and what follows was grotesque to indemnify the perpetrators of the highest crime in the land.
To sum it up and answer the question whether we have been independent in the last 2 decades, the answer is NO, since independent means to be FREE and we are not FREE.
A. Ceesay