By Michael Scales UK

Dear Mr.Editor,

Thank you for your continued stance on the independence of the Freedom Newspaper. Your articles continue to educate and inform without bias to your craft and you have undoubted commitment to tell the truth at all times, even though some would try to destabilize you and corrupt your avowed mission statement, to the detriment of The Gambian people. I must confess to being some what romantic in my view of Your President. This was initiated by people like Saja Taal who did much  to inform me,of the status Quo of what transcends to date in The Gambia. I recall standing at the gates of my hotel one evening,saying goodbye to a friend.A convoy of vehicles passed at speed followed by two land rovers with manned mounted machine guns,in close escort. I remarked to my friend,:who was that:? That is our President !!! he exclaimed. He also said if I set my watch by two minutes, you will see his ambulance following at precisely the same speed as his convoy. Wow ! I said …theres a man who embraces his destiny. What a way to live, expecting death at any second. I was also informed of the day of the 1994 coup and the fact that this lowly captain of the Army stood at the Denton Bridge with a depleted following of soldiers many who refused to honour there commitment and stayed in barracks that fateful day. I have often thought what must have been on this Young mans mind at that hour ?…..He must have understood that if it went badly …he could easily loose his life…..By all accounts. That fear, still remains…..

In Britain, we are blessed with open and sometimes intrusive reporting and gifted documentaries on our television screens. In the past few weeks we have seen an Englishman living with one tribe in the Omo valley, and sharing there daily life. A life that seems unchanged through centuries. This tribe is surrounded by hereditary enemies from the other tribes of the region. The following week this white man joined a another tribe across the valley, to try to understand why they kill each other in protection of there land and food and water. I would guess this story is a simulation of Africa as a whole.? The only difference, being the manner in which they kill there neighbors, for within the mud huts of there corals, are the only item of progress….The AK 47 and the heavy machine gun. Stolen or traded from the conflict in Sudan.   Whilst I appreciate, that I am a Whiteman from England, whose forefathers still bare the acrimony from Africans for our shameful past exploitation of your people, I cannot help think that these events should not be the cause of impeding our modern friendship. The so called free World has advanced into Laws and Justice which the African aspires to ,but cannot hold on to, for the very nature of the tribalism that chains and imprisons them. The Africans history through its independence, is bloody and recent and ongoing.Dictatorship,armed insurrection,genocide,ethnic cleansing, greed, corruption and oppression. As you said recently to me.: Freedom comes very expensive in Africa :…..

The constant battle between evil and goodness…God and The Devil… As a professional salesman, I am taught if to survive, I must embrace the positive and disengage the negative. The positive view I hold about slavery is what it eventually brought to civilization….Your direct ancestors brought….music,…the blues, rock and roll, jazz, sporting greatness….the fastest ,the strongest, The freedom inspirers…the Mandelas, the Martin Luther Kings….and probably the Greatest Human being of all .Muhammed Ali.?I ask a simple question..? Why can you not find greatness in your own countries? Your President says boldly…:This is Africa: ….Is it not time to hold the African high and liberate him from all this evil.?. I ask how much is an Africans life worth in the eyes of an African ?Not in the eyes of a Whiteman. Take a point of law….Clynical Negligence….A mistake by doctors in the treatment of a patient. In the British court. A life destroyed or incapacitated .would be worth perhaps Six Million Pounds ? In the United States. It could be One hundred million dollars..? Perhaps. In Africa….what would be the payment ,provided the court would entertain the case….?

These are the benchmarks of progress and civilization. An African can not be liberated without adherence to the freedom of the law and its strict adherence and appliance in every aspect of daily life. There must be the incentive and the protection of every individuals right to Freedom and Freedom of expression. These rights must be protected by the State, the Police, the Judiciary, and equally the citizen. Most African countries have these rights enshrined within there respective constitutions. Most have signed up to Human Rights legislation. These are not toys to be used by any individual for personal gain ..But for every individual for protection and freedom. If a democratic Government can not implement and safeguard these rights ..then you could say, that that Government is negligent and bankrupt and should be expected to lose the mandate of its people at the next general election…..Someone once said that Democracy is a bad form of Government…But all the others are so much worse…

if everyone had the same opinion on how to run the country then that would be a bad thing …there must be debate. If a Democratic Government has only one voice inside the debating chambers of Parliament…then there can be no debate and no conscience. If such a situation exists within a country. Then the great leaders and intellectual minds would do all within their power to stimulate, well considered and opposing views .Without this debate and stimulation of ideas and policies. The country will become stagnant. It would move at only one pace and one direction. Without flexibility and change. Its end is therefore assured. A business maxim which I know to be true is…..

A business that stands still is business that is in decline. The journey must always be in movement. Otherwise it becomes less a journey….more an occupation.   There are several great works from gifted minds. Which can explain and inspire Government of the people by the people……Karl Marks, took the view that Government should control every thing…Whilst Adam Smith stated that if the individual was allowed to develop alone ….they would become innovative and solve the problems faced out of basic need to survive and prosper. I have seen merit in both these thesis…Africa would benefit greatly by a massive joint Government approach to building infrastructure, as portrayed by recent Communism…Once undertaken ..The associated stimulation of Adam Smiths ideas could resurrect the individual as was implemented to great effect by the Thatcher Government of the U.K. starting in 1979 to the present day. Prime Minister Blair hit the nail on the head….he said Africa was the scar on the conscience of mankind. If the free World had a mind to cure Africa of its problems. Then it could easily do so. Perhaps his link to the vacant top job of the World Bank …could allow this commitment to develop.   I have often stated here,,,, my praise of President Jammeh…. he can not give more than to offer his life. I think on the whole..and it is on the whole that these things must be judged….He has done a good job in protecting The Gambia from those who would wish to destabilize it. All around are dangers …but some 80,000 British tourists continue to frequent The Gambia every year…to scatter there hard earned pounds amongst a grateful people. To those friends who constantly advise me to leave Freedom Newspaper for my own safety ..I say this….I fear nothing. The Gambia needs all of its assets in tact……Freedom of speech is one of the very best. This should hold little fear for those who are true patriots of Africa and have the best interests of its people, at the centre of there heart. Please beg pardon for my self indulgence…once again…..Michael.

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 (Archive on Monday, July 16, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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