Ousainou Mbenga
Ousainou Mbenga

We must all engage ourselves in the struggle for the common good; there are none with clean hands, no innocents, no spectators. We all dirty our hands in the mind of our minds. Every spectator is a coward or a traitor”. Frantz Fanon.

STEP 1: Cultivate a habit of analysis: think, question, criticize and be self – critical.

In my view, tyrants don’t fall from the skies, sent by “God” to test our level of tolerance for oppression and brutality – “Nattu” as explained in wollof. “God” has nothing to do with this. Our most common remark in the moments of despair is “Yalla baah na” – God is good.

Therefore, if God had anything to do with this, it would be the opposite of oppression and brutality. God would have sent us leaders with integrity, humility and compassion for Africa and African people. God would have made sure that no African is destitute, hungry and diseased.

The fundamental contradiction is us. Our backward socio – cultural relations is what breeds tyrants like Jammeh and his willfully ignorant sycophants. The consequences of these relations further erode our abilities to build a viable political and economic base to eradicate the conditions that breed “poverty”, ignorance and superstition; the primary source of our misery.

In order to effectively isolate Jammeh, we must cast aside the nonsensical and misguided thoughts about our existing conditions. Faulty analysis continues to retard the political maturity every struggle requires to assure victory against the tyranny of the neocolonial state. We must define and analyze the material conditions of our struggle and not surrender to superstition and the nonsense that it was predestined for us to endure oppression.

STEP 2: What are we struggling against?

The struggle continues! A luta continua! But struggling against what? Since it has become a common practice to trivialize information, it’s important to remind ourselves about what we are struggling against and clearly understand what we want for our beloved Gambia. Our struggle is primarily against:

Jammeh’s tyranny: oppression, repression and exploitation.

Against senseless competition: 

Cooperation and collaboration should be the driving force of our organizations. It is the covert and overt senseless competition that makes UNITY to remain elusive. Unity has become the second most misused word as the “struggle”. The sticking point question is: What are we uniting for? Who are we uniting with? We must set certain principles of unity to determine who to unite with. Most of those who loosely utter the unity mantra, never offered us the principles that would cement our movement.

Against ignorance:

This is the conditioned state of a mind not interested in knowing and satisfied with being uninformed. More treacherous is the willfully ignorant; the persons that show total disregard to facts and evidence for narrow selfish interests.

Against tribalism:

Everything is subordinate to the national interest. I am yet to hear a sensible explanation as to how one becomes a Wollof, Mandinka, Jola, Peul, Manjago,  Sarahuleh or Serer, besides the specific spoken language.  We must be daring enough to break with old ideas. Holding on to tribal sentiments only retard our collective national progress. Tribalism retards revolutionary progress.

Against neocolonialism, the last stage of imperialism!

Colonialists in black faces represent the worst set back to African progress and prosperity. The neocolonial “states of Africa” represent the first line of resistance to African unity. Trapped within their suffocating borders, these countries become non-viable entities destined to implode.

Against religious fanaticism

Blind faith radicalism can never be the solution to the problems we are confronted with.                                                   This is why we are still recruiting revolutionary Imams and Priests to overturn the emerging ravages of religious fanaticism soaked in barbaric brutality.

We want to build a nation of thinkers and problem solvers; not a “nation of tribes” and backward religious fanatics, who have nothing to offer us but an unexamined life of FEAR and ignorance.

STEP 3: Less talk, more action.

“Conversation is the cheapest commodity on the block – “vous” (social clubs) and social media – everybody has one”. Our ability to communicate distinguishes us from other creatures but if talk is the only weapon a person has; that’s prescription for disaster.

We have exhausted 20 years of “conversations” and theories. BRAVO! Now, we are in the period to ESCALATE our ORGANIZED ACTION to the highest level of resistance and increase the fighting capacity of the masses of our people under a genuine revolutionary leadership.

STEP 4: You cannot be neutral during a crisis.

The highest level of hypocrisy and treachery is to invoke neutrality during a state of crisis. Neutrality is an unquestionable indication of unity with the oppressive conditions suffocating our society. You cannot be in bed with the oppressor and expect to bring your lice into our bed.  Whether one admits or not, every human being takes a position in life.

STEP 5: Get organized, join an organization.

The problem with the “struggle” is that, the majority of the “strugglers” don’t belong to organizations. There is no genuine struggle outside of an organization. Outside of organization, individuals pick and choose issues and battles worthy of “struggle” as oppose to members of an organization functioning within a structure bound by organizational discipline. Organizational discipline and accountability are what social media militants, arm chair revolutionaries and opportunists fear. So, they substitute their narrow individual contributions for revolution.

STEP 6: You can’t lead where you wouldn’t go.

Leadership is not an entitlement or a birth right. It must be earned through selfless service to the people and nation. Genuine leadership is what we are cultivating. Leadership must earn our trust through practice and a history of being with the people through thick and thin. The days of doing the dirty work and handing power over to the dishonest and treacherous petit bourgeois intellectuals or their allies are over.

STEP 7: Age is not an excuse to abandon the struggle.

The fact of the matter is that we are all responsible for the deplorable conditions in our beloved Gambia. Therefore, using age to give up the fight against oppression and exploitation is outright BETRAYAL, TRAITEROUS and COWARDICE. The problem is an accumulation of generational neglect and recklessness, therefore, none of us can use age not to participate in the cleanup.  We all must take part in the cleanup to ease the burden on subsequent generations.

Finally, I have come to appreciate this phrase: “the old order changeth, yielding place to the new”which was the highlight of the passing out ceremony (graduation ceremony) at Armitage Secondary Grammar School. Indeed, the old order is rotten to the core and has out lived its torment on humanity. This world is changing; something new must come into place and some of us Africans are determined not to remain at the bottom in this centrifugal force facing humanity.

DOWN WITH THE JAMMEH REGIME! DOWN WITH NEOCOLONIALISM!
ONE AFRICA! ONE NATION!