There is this dishonest notion that in politics there are no permanent friends but permanent interests. Nothing can be more ignorant, dishonest and criminal than this idea. This obnoxious idea actually emanates from that Western hegemonic ideas of the Cold War era when the US and European governments would overthrow democratically elected governments while entrenching dictatorships in the name of so-called ‘National Interest’.
For example, the US did everything to overthrow the democratically elected governments of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana in 1966, while propping up other dictators around the world. In Chile, the same US stood against the democratically elected Pres. Allende by orchestrating a coup against him led by the tyrant Pinochet in 1970.
France, on the other hand maintained oppressive and corrupt leaders in its former colonies until today, while Belgium orchestrated the overthrow of the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba in 1961 only to install and protect that tinpot dictator Mobutu in Congo. The list goes on…
Thus it became an established doctrine of the US foreign policy that America has only permanent interests and not permanent friends. So long as their interest matters, it does not matter if the government in that country is a democracy or a dictatorship. They will support or oppose as per their interests.
But Politics is not about dirt and selfishness. Politics is noble. Politics is about selfless service to the people. Politics is about the management of the affairs and resources of the people and for the people. To do that, public offices are created so that people are elected or appointed to occupy that office to perform the people’s service.
This is why it is called public office and not private office. Hence politics is about public affairs only. No more. No less. It is about serving the interest of the general public. That’s all. Therefore anyone who gets into politics for the purpose of getting elected must do so only with the intention to serve the people, and not yourself.
Therefore this terrible disinformation that has always been spreading in The Gambia that politics is about interest, or politics has no permanent friends, or politics is about do me and I do you is ignorant, nonsensical, dishonest and criminal.
Unfortunately we the people have adjusted ourselves to this terrible idea and we encourage dirty people who get into politics. This is why our country is in shambles since Independence. We allow dishonest men and women come in front of us to seek our mandate which is our voice and power only for them plunder our lives. Is that not stupidity and self inflicted harm?
Stand up for clean politics everywhere by holding politicians accountable. No matter who! After all, the people did not beg anyone to be a politician and no one is indispensable.
If we do not clean the politics and ensure accountability, the only people who will suffer are the people themselves. Therefore why allow some hantanparach man or woman who has no values nor vision to come and get your power only to plunder our resources and lives?
For The Gambia 🇬🇲 Our Homeland
By Madi Jobarteh