Farm and military are an oxymoronic justaposition; a contradiction in essence. One gives life; the other learns to take life. If the Gambia’s plan of turning it’s military into farmers doesn’t ring a bell, it’s because Yahya Jammeh doesn’t come to mind. Yahya Jammeh completely turned the Gambian military into slave labourers before he was forced to leave the country after a 22 years struggle spearheaded by the Gambian diaspora.

Today, the transitional government is following in the footsteps of Yahya Jammeh. The military is going farming, again. Perhaps the most insane thing for Gambia is maintaining a military the country doesn’t need. The Gambian military exists as a severe drain on its meagre economy.

Some Gambian professional called for disbanding the redundant military, and replacing it with a much smaller national guard tasked with highway patrol, border control, crowd control, and similar tasks. But, the most striking thing is the lack of imagination demonstrated by this clueless government.

In a country where rural/urban migration is severely impacting productivity, one would think farmers who migrated to the urban centres would be incentiviced to return to farming; recognizing that many in the military have never farmed a single day in their life. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Reversing the rural/urban drift is one of the greatest challenges faced by this government The lack of vision and foresight of this transitional government is calamitous to Gambia. It’s time to disband this very redundant military and retrain it’s members in technical skills raging from computer skills, construction, engineering, and similar skill areas.

Mathew K Jallow

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