Gambia: Lesson From Guinea Conakry

Voting at Camayenne, Guinea.

Colonialism brought ethnolinguistic groups under colonial rule as subjects of a foreign power. They built schools and created an elite that could speak the same language and provide public services based on the education delivered by the colonial powers.

The vast majority of the rural areas were deprived of such education. Hence, they were excluded from being the policy makers and relied on the elite to make laws and policies for them.

Poverty and powerlessness under colonialism compelled the educated to unite with the alienated mass to demand for the right to self determination and Independence.

This has been achieved. Instead of building new mindsets to build one nation and one people, they concentrate on power play to use the masses as puns in their game of power. Hence, they continue to fight and die for them while they find shelter to stay in power or wait to assume power.

When will the masses learn to unite as one to focus on the eradication of their poverty instead of closing their eyes to their poverty and struggle on the basis of ethno- linguistic or religious allegiances to keep or put elites in power? Time will tell.

However, Guinea Conakry should provide valuable lessons. A person who was considered oppressed had the opportunity to lead for two terms and could have set the stage for free and fair elections and be an elderly statesman who could carry out sub-regional services but instead chose to seek a third term. The end result would be contested results leading to more killing and maiming of the sons and daughters of the motherland. Is this what Independence should mean to the African?

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