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GAMBIA: CONGRATULATIONS TO PRESIDENT BARROW, BUT…..

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Indeed President Adama Barrow deserves congratulations for receiving the Africa Peace Award, even though it is still not quite clear what criteria those who awarded him that accolade based their decision on. It is however an honour to this country which we should all celebrate.
Of course it was not a surprise that his National People’s Party (NPP) used the opportunity to organize big celebrations to commemorate the award and I am almost quite certain that they did not need to seek a police permit to hold that event, unlike the ‘APRC No to Alliance’ who last week tried to hold a fundraising event and ended up being tear-gassed and violently dispersed by the police. Of course the NPP did not have to worry about that as such an idea would never have crossed the mind of any member of the police hierarchy to deny them a permit let alone teargas them for going ahead with the celebrations without it. It is like the Animal Farm syndrome where all the animals are equal but with the tacit understanding that some are more equal than the others.


Also, while it was a purely NPP affair, but they had to use the facilities of the public broadcaster the GRTS for several hours to the extent that there was not evening news bulletin. Yet, such an opportunity would never be given to the opposition despite the GRTS being a public institution sustained by public money. It is therefore quite unfair for the NPP to be allowed to use such public facilities while the opposition is denied such an opportunity. We certainly should not expect that from the party led by the most peaceful head of state in Africa, we instead expect fairness and equity from anything associated with him.

Another phenomenon during the event was the fact that virtually all the musicians who graced the occasion had to sing praises to President Barrow, a continuation of the Yahya Jammeh system when only those who sang his praises ever stood the chance of attending his occasions or even appearing on the public media. This is certainly contributing to the retrogression of Gambian music as no one is interested in listening to such praise singing. This is therefore contributing to the reason why most Gambians are being attracted to Senegalese music because most of our musicians have allowed themselves to be used by the politicians for political expediency rather than developing the industry.

Therefore, until they become masters of their own destiny rather than allowing themselves to become tools of the politicians, our music industry would continue to remain in the doldrums.

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