Unequivocally, it is a given that young people of the country have been sidelined for far too long in both political participation and decision making in this country. For over five decades on, youths in Gambia have been only a tool for amplifying political entourages, supporting and rallying behind politicians and what they represent – in the fury of ambience and fanfare. Young people consistently render support to parties to gain victory. In return, all we get are assurances and verbose promises of empowerment – but seldom are those promises kept beyond deceptive campaign manifestos.
Reality Check: Our youths are left to languish in mile 2 for cannabis, arm robbery or burglary because man has to put food on the table or man has to fill the stomach when employment is scarce. Youths are working for businesses and companies (the Lebanese and the Indians) and they’re being exploited beyond measure, yet they’d to endure – as there isn’t much of a choice either. Youths gain them momentum & victory – like Jammeh had used them to advance his political career and garnered their support, their votes and their loyalty: The Green Boys, whom of most ended up in our security.
Barrow came and introduced a similar trend; Barrow Youth Movement and Barrow Fans Club. After a while, realizing that young people of this country, especially those eligible to vote are gaining political consciousness by day, hence large chunk of Gambian youths aren’t the least impressed by his presidency. He has indicated determination to explore myriad ways of canvassing youths support. His government is not a government of, for or by the youths.
Gambia is predominantly a youthful population, yet young people of this nation are the most disadvantaged; face with a deeply rotten education system that produce few assets and many liabilities, limited employment opportunities, centralised job market coupled with poor wages.
The common adage that “there are no permanent friends in politics, only permanent interests”, it’s alive and kicking. Hadrammeh, the predecessor of Bakary Badjie wasn’t a youth and not as if Barrow cares until he does. Informed that most Gmbaian youths have confident and trust in Bakary, he seized the opportunity to use him entice youths’ support for him, come 2021 election. Clearly, he’s determine, no matter the cost, to stay president for the next term and beyond. And that should be youths utmost responsibility to dispel, and stand against such an act by our minister.
Truth of the matter: Apparently, he’s using the youth’s minister to get to the youths because, Barrow is desperate, power agitated and willing to device any means, just stay in power come 2021. No wonder Bakary Badjie came at this eleventh hour as youth minister, once known to be an ardent youth empowerer, to galvanise youth support and votes for the presidency. To this effect, we are utterly disappointed in Bakary Badjie of all people – in going so low in propagandizing for President Barrow, instead of focusing on youth development and empowerment as a youth minister which Gambian youths direly desired.
We need a non-partisan and development driven youth to protect youth’s interest at national level (highest echelons of decision making). Bakary Badjie is not the kind Gambian youths can trust to promote and protect their interests without being compromised. So youths must not allow to be political pawns.
On a final note: Gambian youths must not get into politics in a bid to secure an opportunity, job or status. There’s no job as sacred as that of a public office job, yet it is the most difficult and unlucrative business for anyone haunting treasures. Thus, be it Bakary Badjie or any youth into politics who’s sole aim is to grab opportunities, political and economic upliftment – you’re not fit into our public office, for you’re not genuine.
Gambia is predominantly a youthful population, yet young people of this nation are the most disadvantaged; face with a deeply rotten education system that produce few assets and many liabilities, limited employment opportunities, centralised job market coupled with poor wages. And we bear the brunt of this sufferance, Gambian youths.