By Jainaba Bah, Stockholm, Sweden
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. ALLAH Subhanahu Wa Ta’Aala Is: “The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it : ‘Be!’ — and it is” (al-Baqarah 2:117) ‘Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” — and it is!’
(Ya-Seen 36:82).” “When He has decreed something, He says to it only: ‘Be!’ — and it is” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:47) “It is He Who gives life and causes death. And when He decides upon a thing He says to it only: ‘Be’ — and it is” (Ghaafir 40:68) “And Our Commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye”
(al-Qamar 54:50). ALLAH, SWT, May HE Be Exalted, Has Limitless Power, Absolute Power, Ultimate Control Of All Affairs And Perfect Will! If HE wills something, it happens as HE wills it at the time when HE wills it, and in the manner that HE wills! Dhū-l-Jalāli wa-l-Ikrām! (Lord of Majesty and Generosity, Lord of Glory and Honour!) Though blessings; success, power, wealth, victory may come to us through human hands, we should be conscious of and give praise and honour to the true source from which all blessings come, The ONE who is the Lord, Possessor and Bestower of Majesty and Bounty.
History has been made and still unfolding in The Gambia, our Homeland. This beautification of our collective narrative in the realization of our shared aspiration to remove Yaya Jammeh from power and Restore Democracy in our beloved Country has made a mark in contemporary African history specifically,and the world at large.
That moment in space and time when we legitimately stood up, found our voices and raised them in unison , demanding an end to Dictatorship of the first order! Ours like many before us became a struggle to overcome fear, to fight for human freedom and dignity; a cause for social justice, a cause of the people.
Jammeh’s defeat at the Dec. polls and his consequent ceding power have provoked an outpouring of celebrations. We are a country yearning for healing, the truth, trust, forgiveness, goodness and optimism;Hope. Despite our size, our Greatness as a country is already manifest. Thanks to ALLAH’s Blessings. Our unflinching loyalty to our Motherland made us shed all tribal sentiments and social fetters.We became One Country, One People with One Voice, One Shared Cause: #The Gambia First! In Blessing this Unity of Purpose, ALLAH SWT made history for us! HE Tabaaraka wa ta’aala made a Special Decree for us and we Succeeded! Yes, acknowledged, we are a favoured people; Gambians!
Thus, I would like to add my voice to that of our Comrade, Son and Brother, Ahmad Gitteh for his recent reflective and inspirational video calling on us all to surrender ourselves to ALLAH, Azza Waa ‘Jal and Thank HIM for what HE SWT has done for us as a Nation, as a People. Ahmad’s comparison of The Gambian ordeal under Jammeh to that of Bani Israel (The children of Prophet Yāˈqub, alaihi salaam ) under Fir’awn resonates well. That in this day and age, with so many wars, so much carnage, death and destruction of lives and properties around the world, Our Beloved Country, The Gambia, came out of a most harrowing dramatic nightmare, unscathed! Not even a hen moved from it’s eggs! SubhanALLAH! It is truly a moment of celebration as it is a time for reflection.
For this gargantuan achievement, We Thank ALLAH, SWT! #ALLAH SWT has Decided!
We must show our gratitude to ALLAH, Tabaara wa ta’aala! That done, we have to embrace, support and cherish our new leaders, remembering they are the chosen ones by Our Lord and Creator to lead our country forward. This does not in any way mean turning a blind eye when they falter, this does not mean hero-worshipping anyone, No, but we should be reminiscent of the past 22 years. Years of murder, incarceration, abductions, rape,pedophilia, humiliation, degradation, lies, treachery, fornication, impunity, arrogance, betrayals, insults, abuse, the rituals, all combined and more resulting in our collective trauma. If we agree that the people are the government and the government the people, we must step forward to help and assist our leaders. Give them good advice and help them grow and be better in their new roles, in this new reality. We have to stop finding faults with the minutest details and stop caricaturing them, embarrassing them and making them look foolish and incompetent! Let us resist the controversies! Please, brave and good people; Gambians, for anyone wanting to haul the kitchen sink at them, just pause for a moment, take a deep breath and reflect on Jammeh’s 22 years of misrule! Let us give them genuine critique as a contribution to improving their work and as a demonstration of active interest in the government they are running! Let us help them build and nurture our democratic values! In a nutshell, let us give them a chance and help them succeed in this very difficult process of political, economic and social transformation!
On Mrs. Fatoumatta Tambajang: I hereby give her my full endorsement and commend President Barrow for choosing her as Vice President. In our African tradition, age means experience, respect and the ability to make sound judgement. When Mrs. Tambajang was risking life and limb going to Fass Njaga Choi demonstrating her solidarity, nobody protested against it calling on her age as a hindrance or a risk factor. When she joined the forces of progress and in solidarity stood by the United Democratic Party and the Nation in calling for Justice for Solo Sandeng and Solo Kurumah, Justice for Fatoumatta Jawara, Nogoye Njie and Fatou Camara, she was applauded, called a heroine, a Leader and a role model! How can all that change overnight because of a draconian law drawn by a con artist? A fraudster who could not rescue himself from self-destruction by the same laws he unilaterally enacted with the signature of a coerced and corrupted National Assembly. Mrs Fatoumatta Tambajang has always carried herself with humility, dignity, and above all, consciousness of Allah, SWT! Gambians, what else do we want? Allah SWT has chosen her to fill that seat. Let us be happy for her, make du’ah for her, share good advice with her, wish her success and encourage her to do her utmost!
To the friends of The Gambia and to ECOWAS’ peacekeeping force, ECOMIG : you stood by us when we were in the trenches, giving your support and solidarity, showing your humanity. For ECOWAS, you have restored trust and confidence in an almost dismissed unity and force. You have demonstrated leadership with tenacity!
To The Diaspora: No amount of accolades are enough to describe the feat we all have accomplished; together! From Africa, Europe, North America, Scandinavia we rose in our droves with One Heart-Beat, One Pulse, One Singular Purpose, One Voice. Trusting each other with our hard-earned Dollars, Euros, Crowns, Francs and making generous donations with the sole hope of being able to defeat a stubborn dictator and liberate our people. We refuse to simply turn the other way when atrocities were committed in the darkest cells of Mile II State Central Prisons at the ruthless hands of the state machinery of terrorism.
We listened and at times wept together whilst sharing horror tales that have befallen our loved ones: sons, brothers, uncles, husband, wives, sisters, daughters, neighbours, colleagues, grandparents, our clergy and respectable religious leaders. We comforted and inspired each other. Gave hope to each other that a better tomorrow is to come.
To The Home-Front and the Coalition Leadership : Indeed, indeed, yes indeed, Rice is cooked inside a pot and not outside”. It was a tall order and a tough clarion call, but once again, together, ordinary Gambians rose up, unrelenting and became subjects of history. This History is a strong chain and reality never exists in isolation! What an inspiring narrative! A coalition that was born out of selfless sacrifice and true patriotism. Shedding all personal goals aside and answering the call: Country First!
To Our Youths: Be brave to dream big and follow your consciences! You have made us all proud and you have set a beautiful example for the youths of the rest of the world worth emulating!
To the APRC supporters ~ Welcome to Democracy! Cultivate a critical mind and be open to divergent views! Make an honest self-critique and work with the results you concluded!
In conclusion, permit me to invoke the timeless words of Terry Pratchett, from his I Shall Wear Midnight thus : “It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”
When all is said and done:
#ALLAH SWT Has Decided, #Gambians have followed, #Insha’Allah, we shall succeed!