Gambia is trending on a new path that it has never before experience and it would be understandable if few mistakes are made here and there until the path is clear. For over two decades, Gambians have been denied the right to express themselves in the simplest of terms and just over night all that has changed with the election of President Adama Barrow.
However, some people have expressed their views while living far away from the reach of the country’s former Dictator Yahya Jammeh. I’m one of those people and of course including Pa Nderry Mbai, Pa Samba Jaw, Fatou Camara and the rest. We have all benefited and enjoyed the privileges of self expression which in my opinion, every human being has an absolute right to self expression.
Meanwhile, there is outcry in some quarters regarding the views some people like Pa Nderry Mbai expresses and the large majority of those people crying out do have a point to do so. Pa Nderry Mbai is claimed to be a journalist who made ‘Fair and Balance’ his motto but only when it suits him. Like I said in many of my pieces I wrote over the years, Pa should be allowed to express his views even though we wholly and totally disagree with those views. But like anyone else, Pa’s right to utter out his views comes with a responsibility to safeguard the peace and stability of the country and of people’s right to private life.
Journalism is one of the noblest job on earth, as it seeks to inform and educate the populace, however, modern day journalism is more opinion oriented than fact base. However, most of us don’t seem to understand this and whenever Pa Nderry Mbai utter out his non-senses people would just jump to cry out about Pa’s porky-pies. Gambians have to brace themselves with people like Pa in the new Gambia, and come up with something to counter the non-senses they utter. But I do not believe in silencing people whenever their opinion differs with ours, which in effect is what we fought against in the last two decades.
The tribe issues that Gambians want to throw under the carpet is an important matter for people to discuss. As a matter of fact, in the Quran, Allah said in Surah Al-Hujura 49:13
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female, and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”
In addition, those who are knowledgeable in Islam also said, God created us in tribes for us to marvel at his Might, with different people speaking different languages and cultures.
And going by this Ayat in the Quran, it is no ones fault to be a Black, White, Mandinka, Wollof, Jola etc, but it’s Allah’s will that you are what you are and if you want to deny that you are denying God’d will. What will not be in line with Allah’s will is to feel, believe or think that you are better than your next door neighbour either based on race, tribe or creed. And as a result, we should celebrate being what we are and and above all being a Gambians. There is no harm being a Mandinka, Wollof, Jola etc, however, there’s harm in not tolerating others being what they are.
We need to be tolerant and accept each other as we are, but not allow others like Pa Nderry Mbai divide us. Their motives are to sell more of their junks on their junk-sites with incoherent headlines and opinion based news rather than fact based news. Pa has publicly said he hasn’t worked outside of his so-called newspaper for more than four years, so only that would tell you what Pa’s motives are which is to create more fake news for people to rush to his spyware, malware and junk infected website for him to earn more money from google ads and the likes.
This is the new Gambia where information is not hoarded but reveal for all to see and challenge. For us to keep the Barrow administration on its toes, we the citizens should task the government to be accountable to the people and not leave it to few unscrupulous people like Pa Nderry Mbai to manipulate and divide us as they will. Let’s be smart and vigilant to challenge any junk news someone want us to buy into and trash it in the bins. “One Gambia, One People, One Nation. To the Gambia ever true”