Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category


August 20, 2014
Reads :4496




In an oppressive political and waning economic state, citizens often react to their malevolent situation variedly. Others lash out at the leadership. Some dive and duck reality by matching on like life is hunky dory.  A few stand up and say oh, hell no and strive for a change by any means whereas a handful will opt for the unpopular but route that will usher in a peaceful and meaningful political change that showers development on its citizenry. The same is portrayed in the Gambian quest for political change. Lamentably, we are habitually apprehensive in deflowering virgin routes to attain our common goal of effecting a meaningful political change.

Nonetheless, one thing remains undisputable dictators are only removed by concerted action. Most of us part ways here: our choice of action. While some astutely believe it is only the barrel and bullet that will unshackle the Gambia from dictatorship, others on the contrast argue Jammeh is not worthy of plunging the Gambia into a bloodbath thus maintain a united and well-funded opposition will do the magic. Similarly, the diplomats among us opted for a negotiation and engaging approach. However, those that muscle their pens and caress their microphones concluded ramming unwavering pressure on sensitive Jammeh would eventually break him up thus shoving him into a negotiation table. Candidly, any of the approaches can upshot the change we all crave, but each has its own ramification and suffice it to say neither will come easy.

Logically, it is premature and ludicrous to engage President Jammeh on a negotiation route at this peak of the struggle. To begin with, President Jammeh suffers from a chronic unpredictability disorder. A radiant instance of his randomness was when Fatou Camara coordinated a meeting between him and the Gambian Press. The moment Sam Sarr began his speech omitting Jammeh’s unending tags; he swelled like a terrified frog and unceremoniously call off the meeting. His mood swings makes him unapproachable and imprudent to deal with. Furthermore, President Jammeh is not true to his words and any person who is not true to his word is dangerous to deal with. This he clearly manifested in his recent refusal for the UN observers to visit the Gambia after giving them the greenlight months ago. The same Jammeh who swore to uphold the constitution, blatantly prostitute it daily. Well, I am not eulogizing Sana Sabally but at the beginning most Gambians accepted he was the rotten one among them. When Sanna was disgracefully obliterated from the sketch, Edward inherited the bad boy badge of evil. Now all these sinning angels are out of his way yet things are getting worse.  The Mandingo teaches “Fisiyaa mbe dawooda kenday yaa te jay”. “Barry” who is the evil one then? I am compelled to endorse an Asian paradigm “when a leader is good, the people will be good but when the leader is bad, the people will be as bad as him”.

Gambians are generally distinguished by their loving, caring and forgiving nature. All they want, concisely, is their rights respected without short change. No one will dispute that is an unreasonable demand. President Jammeh remains defiant and unrepentant despite the bitter pills he gulped during his recent US visit. He not only lashed out at his personal security to revamp his punctured pride but also designed another laughable title to compliment his already galaxy of preposterous ones. All these amplify the fact that Jammeh is not willing to hand over power in the next foreseeable future. As a result, to assume that President Jammeh will hurry himself to a negotiating table and uphold agreements for his peacefully exit is not only a farfetched dream but flirting with the devil. One thing President Jammeh relentlessly strives to keep at bay is mounting pressure. Albeit he projects himself as a hard nut to crack, beneath his snow-white grand mboubou is a very susceptible man.

Who said the recent DC demo did not devastate President Jammeh? Unlike his previous showdown with Gambian nonconformists in America, his recent experience was a cocktail of embarrassment, betrayal and loss of respect for him. For instance, when officials from the State Department confronted and made it clear to him that America takes assault on peaceful demonstrators very serious, Jammeh for the first time was lost of words with embarrassment. Jammeh’s submissive compliance with the State Department officials bewildered his henchmen who were bracing for a ballistic reaction from their Babili Mansa. The departure of his uninvited visitors awakened Jammeh to the trap he was led into by his advance team and DC Embassy officials. He was made to believe that this visit would be but “with a difference”. He was assured of a tumultuous welcome by APRC militants and series of meeting with turncoats and apologists like Samsudeen Sarr. When his expectations failed to see the light of day, he felt betrayed. As a result of which, he ordered his embassy staff not to see him off.

Like a blasphemer whose gods are determine to vandalize, Jammeh’s DC humiliation was closely followed by damning dissecting of his underworld by his very own cousin, Pa Bojang. A little bird has it since the going public of Pa Bojang; President Jammeh has been reduced to a cry baby refusing to leave his room in Kanilai until the family prevail on Pa Bojang to desist from talking any further. “Bingo!” Pa Nderry Mbai would say. Yes indeed, Bingo it is for the struggle. Pa Bojang is a rare gold dust for us especially with his huge youth followers at home. Instead of going after Jammeh to negotiate if we ramp him up with more unflinching pressure, he will be forced to subdue and come after us soliciting a deal. In a final note, we must alert ourselves in the struggle to cross paths with activists with different ambitions. Some pursuing their personal agenda, others who will always throw in a towel, few who will stand up tall and fight side by side with you. However, the ones who are truly important are those who sacrifice everything they personally cherish for the freedom of all Gambians. Those are the people who are not only rare but also amazing because they bring the best out of the struggle and remind you why we must continue to step up the pressure on Jammeh. Until then let the aluta continua.

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK


August 20, 2014
Reads :2159




Yahya Jammeh the so called president of the republic of the Gambia has lost legitimacy to rule our beloved country. He and his entourage behaviour at the just concluded US-Africa submit has depicted Yahya Jammeh’s true image to the whole world. The world through the lens of online news outlets, social media and cable TV networks witnessed Jammeh and his thugs attacked and assaulted defenceless Gambians in the US for merely expressing their constitutional rights. If Jammeh and his team can do this to innocent Gambians in the mighty USA, where else will they be safe from Jammeh to express their displeasure of Jammeh’s 20 years of misrule and impunity?

All those dissenters would have been feeds for his crocodiles if they had took to the Gambian streets just as he killed innocent school children and a journalist in the April 10 and 11 2000 student demonstrations. The whole world should now know that this is what ordinary Gambians are subjected to daily in the Gambia under President Jammeh. No one dares express a different view of Jammeh and his government. Ordinary Gambians are perpetually subjected to unlawful arrests, false prosecutions, brutal killings, maiming and tortures with impunity. Mayhem and chilling brutality is the order of the day under the dictatorial and brutal regime of Yahya Jammeh. Suffice it to say Jammeh is a very wicked dictator who instils fear and mistrust within the Gambian population both within and outside the country.

For over 20 years he is ruling the Gambia with an iron fist and with pride and ego. Jammeh is tribalist and nepotistic. How long would the world have to watch the Gambia and Gambians suffering under Monster Jammeh who gives himself the absolute power to treat Gambians any how he feels? Does the world want to see another Serre Leone or Liberia? Jammeh is a dictator who excuses his crimes with he risked his life on 22 July 1994 to liberate Gambia from Jawara’s shackle. Consequently, anyone wishing to unseat him must also sacrifice his or her life. This clearly demonstrates sufficiently for all to see that Jammeh does not want to relinquish power peacefully. Evidently, Jammeh must go by any means necessary. Elections, perhaps if they were free and fair, but they are rigged and manipulated by Jammeh and his criminal Independent Electoral Commission. Moreover, he repeatedly asserted that elections would never remove him from power even in billion years. I therefore call on the gallant soldiers of the Armed Forces of the republic of the Gambia to step up and overthrow the Jammeh regime.


August 18, 2014
Reads :9580




When all hope was ebbing as to who will take on Gambia’s incumbent Dictator in the 2016 Presidential Election, UDP’s altruistic, intrepid and unassuming Lawyer Ousainou Darboe rose to the occasion and enlivens the hope for an inexorable political change. Although some rogue parliamentarians on the paycheque of President Jammeh prostituted the constitution in an effort to bar Lawyer Darboe from contesting in the next election by virtue of his age, Gambians said “Darboe moko yorr”…”Jammeh sappi na nyu”.

Most of the UDP militants rubbished the constitutional provisional obliging age limit as a gambit to deter their leader from becoming Gambia’s next elected president. Abba Jobarteh who refused to mince his words insinuated, “It is a nonsense law. I have never heard or seen such a laughable law anywhere in the world. It is unjust and crafted to bar our leader from contesting the presidency”. While some top-notch youth wing leaders appreciated it was noble of Darboe to pave way for a more vibrant youth leadership, others underscored his standing for election or not rest entirely on the general body. Solo Sandeng, a rising youth wing leader who had his feathers ruffled routinely by the APRC intimidating machinery proclaimed, “Only progressive leaders realize that leadership is not a badge of honour to be worn for eternity. Such leaders know when it is time for them to go and give way to the younger people”.

Kemeseng Jammeh, another UDP brand name and former MP for Jarra West, informed his festive audience there is still light shining at the end of the tunnel. Moreover, the Quranic recitation marking their cherish leader’s 66th birthday is meant to wade off obstacles and smoothen his easy transition to the presidency. Dembo Bojang fondly referred to “Dembo by Force”-a name that sends tremors in hearts of APRC militants and leadership added his voice to that of his colleagues. The UDP national president observed, “Ousainou has expressed his personal opinion at this material time. Do we ascertain what will be in his mind on or before 2016? How many times have we as party executive, supporters and members tasted the bitter pills of persecutions, unlawful arrests and detentions yet we remained steadfast in our ideals of the struggle? This isn’t over yet”.

When the leader of the people, lawyer Ousainou Darboe, rose to speak a sombre atmosphere descended on the festive UDP militants, executive and supporters. In a soothing tone, he began “My standing for election is not a decision in my hands.” He paused to let his message sink before continuing “The party decides who to stand or not. I never chose myself as a leader of the party; you chose me. Therefore, no one should give up just yet. It is just a law that imposes age limit and such law is not sharia. A few men sat and made it. Consequently, it can be challenged and amended. I will advise you to remain true to the struggle and I must reiterate only you can redeem this country. We hate no one even though we detest the ways of our opponents. Even this alleged rumour of disunity among the opposition parties; we are not part of that. UDP remains unshaken and strong. If anyone doubts that, ask our rivals. They know better. That is precisely whenever we have a wrestling contest, they draw out swords instead of loin cloth”.

However, it remains gloomy how the UDP is going to side step the constitution provision imposing an age on its leader. Will the UDP incite a constitutional debate in the house to repeal the provision? Or…?

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK






August 17, 2014
Reads :7278




Matching in closed order with the aftermath of the recently concluded Washington DC protest which incited unprecedented publicity and bruised President Jammeh’s dispirited pride is Pa Bojang’s telling interview with Fatou Camara, a woman of substance. Pa Bojang, who admitted that he was not in any formal employment until 2009 when he was appointed by his cousin, President Jammeh, to manage KGI, was pronounced wanted by the rogue Jammeh government for theft with a bounty of D500, 000 on his head. Fatou Camara, an illustrious television presenter and beauty queen, elicited scandalous information which flings some light on Jammeh’s unexplained millions from the innocuous and susceptible Pa Bojang. His revealing interview is likened to a Hollywood blockbuster movie which captivated millions of Fatu Radio listeners as he vehicle them from his nightmarish Cassamance ordeal to how President Jammeh devours the marrow of the Gambian economy.

Pa Bojang is President Jammeh’s cousin not his nephew as many believed. His father, Asombi Bojang- Yahya’s mum and Kumba Bojang are of the same mother and father. He is brought up by his aunty-Asombi Bojang. According to Pa, he started his schooling in 1995, a year after Jammeh becoming head of state and government, in Bwiam Primary School and completed his Grade 12 in 2005. He then approached his cousin for assistance to travel overseas for further studies but Jammeh opined for Pa to wait.  Prior to his appointment as General Manager of KGI, Pa worked voluntarily for President Jammeh Kanilai Family Farms for three years. Pa gave poverty as one of the main reasons for his late enrolment in school. “Preceding Jammeh’s takeover in 1994, the Bojang family was engulfed in abject poverty living from hand to mouth mainly sustained by Asombi Bojang who was residing in Bakau at the time as a smoked fishmonger”, Pa Bojang to Fatou Camara.

President Jammeh who mastered the art of recycling, using and dumping Gambian intellectuals, technocrats and security officers often silence his accomplices by accusing them of economic crimes, abuse of office, neglect of duty, giving false information to a public officer and plotting to overthrow his regime. Many of his unfortunate victims are still languishing in the notorious Mile II Prison Bamba Dinka, while some disappeared without trace and few lucky ones live in self-exile after jumping bail. Most of these cases charged falsely under doctored crimes are subsequently thrown out of court for lack of evidence and perpetual absence of State Prosecutors. In exhibiting his innocence, Pa cited Lang Tombong Tamba and co treason case to rubbish his alleged theft charge. He unveiled that he was lured into the NIA and offered US$30,000 to give false testimony against Lang Tombong and his co-accused for plotting a coup against Jammeh; an offer which he flatly declined stating that he rather starve to death than comprise his self-esteem. Prior to his unceremonious arrest, President Jammeh, General Saul Badjie, erstwhile SG Momodou Sabally, Yankuba Badjie, NIA Director and Officers from the Serious Crime Unit of the Gambia Police Force had a four hours closed door meeting hatching and scheming plans to smear and charge him for theft. He also confirmed that he received a phone call from NIA Director Yankuba Badjie who informed him that he has received an order for his arrest from President Jammeh but advised him to abscond if he could. He refused to run on the basis that he has not committed any crime and then drove straight to State House where he was arrested and escorted to the NIA on arrival. After spending 50 minutes at the notorious NIA, he was hurriedly transferred to Police Head Headquarters because it was believed by President Jammeh that the NIA belongs to Pa Bojang. He further added that he received his matching order as General Manager of KGI three weeks afore his arrest. What is even more surprising and fishy about his arrest is he spent four hours chatting with Jammeh in his office the day before he was whisked into confinement. Lang Conteh who was also a Managing Director of KGI before Pa Bojang was equally arrested, charged with theft and held at the Serious Crime Unit in Banjul Police Headquarters for six months without bail before he was subsequently remanded at the Mile II Central Prison. Recently, it is reported that Lang Conteh’s case file has suddenly developed legs and gone missing after taking a walk from the Court Records Office.

Briefly, Pa Bojang has disclosed and confirmed many stories which Jammeh is allegedly said to commit. Amongst them are:

  • Japan grants 12,500 metric tonnes of rice; 3,600 metric tonnes of flour; tractors and fertilizer yearly to the people of the Gambia
  • The rice is sold at D425 then increased to D575; the tractors at US$20,000 usually sold for cash
  • KGI also has a fashion shop, bakery, butchery and other businesses
  • President Jammeh bought Futurex Building which houses KGI, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Higher Education, Maligan Television station for D42 million after it was seized and auctioned by the court
  • Bato Kunku was fenced for D36 million
  • Jammeh’s mosque in Gunjur for D70 million
  • Wanna Beach D15 million
  • Leman Street D5.6 million
  • Banjulinding 1 and 2 D12 million
  • Farato D1.8 million
  • Bijilo D4.2 million
  • Bujenga- Asombi Bojang’ compound D16 million
  • Fajara D5 million
  • Kanilai D20 million
  • KGI funds all the First Lady’s numerous trip and Jammeh’s Dialogue with the People Tour
  • Jammeh took a loan of D35 million from Trust Bank
  • Jammeh took US$2.7 million from Guaranteed Trust Banjul excluding tax
  • Jammeh took D10 million from SSHF
  • Jammeh mines gold in Basse
  • Jammeh’s sand mining business is run by Tony Gitters, a Lebanese
  • Jammeh gave Pa Bojang D200,000 and Ansumana Jammeh D200,000
  • First Lady Zainab Jammeh employs only Moroccans at the State House

Pa Bojang has also disclosed that there are five most influential people and commanders of Gambia’s affairs. The people he said are Amadou Samba, Addy Sage, Mohammed Bassi, General Saul Badjie and President Jammeh. Pa vehemently denied have anything to do with the government. However, he admitted whenever he heard any Gambian having issues with President Jammeh, he will intervene to broker peace before things get out of hands. He cited Banta Kaira, late Numo Kujabi and Yankuba Badjie as some whose imprisonment he has averted.

When he was asked to deliberate on the First Family, he did not hesitate to underscore that Zainab is snobbish and has little to do with Jammeh’s family. Her children had never visited their grandma. He has also uncovered that General Saul Badjie and President Jammeh believed in black magic. He went on to narrate that Saul Badjie had a very strong spell on President Jammeh that the President will do whatever Saul Badjie ask him. He concluded that President Jammeh is blindfolded by Saul and Yankuba Badjie.

It was also revealed and confirmed that Pa Bojang has a huge followers among the youth force particularly the Green Boys. He promised to use his influence among the youths to effect a political change in the Gambia.

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK








August 16, 2014
Reads :6099




It’s alarming and utterly shameful, that the Gambian government under the authoritarian leadership of Yahya Jammeh have no   job to do, than arresting people for being gay in this 21st century. Peoples’ sexuality is their choice and their private life; hence the state or the police have no business in that. President Jammeh and his clueless Inspector General of Police cannot tell Gambians or non-Gambians, how to live their lives by taking a moral high ground.

We don’t need a rocket scientist to tell us that, this is Jammeh’s retribution against America and west   for the humiliation and disrespect; he was subjected to by the patriotic Gambian demonstrators. He is doing this to attract western media attention and to deflect the debate in Gambia concerning his diabolical trip to the Africa summit, which was an absolute waste of Gambian tax money and a trip Jammeh will not forget in a hurry. Frankly speaking, president Jammeh, the west doesn’t give a damn about you and your chaotic administration. Nevertheless, don’t be under any doubt, the west especially America and Great Britain, will not shy away to defend the rights of persecuted communities like the gay and lesbian people. If it means, kicking you of power unconventionally, they will do it.

As we mount the patriotic struggle  to free our homeland, from the tyranny  of president Jammeh and his cronies ,and replace it with a transformed and progressive society  ,where everyone’s rights including minorities, is respected and given, we should end the conspiracy of silence on the gay and lesbian issue and debate about it. The starting point is that, we should acknowledge that, we have Gambians who are gay or lesbian.

For so long, Gambians always believe that, homosexuality is a foreign import and it’s corrupting our cultures, tradition and religions. There is an element of truth in this argument but can we say, for certain that, we do not have Gambians who are gay? In UK, for instance, Some Gambians have be coming out saying, they being gay all their lives. Yes, our religion especially Islam and Catholicism, do not accept homosexuality, but the minority Gambians practicing it, cannot be incarcerated for the rest of their lives for just been gay. This is an uncomfortable truth and we need to take action about it rather criminalizing it.

The Jammeh administration, who supposed to protect and guarantee the rights of every Gambian regardless of their sexuality ,gender ,tribe, religious beliefs is rather shamelessly exploiting the issue .President Jammeh  ‘s attitude and determination to exterminate the gay community exposes him as an out of touch  and insensitive head of state  ,who will use any situation to remain in power. Because, this negative and retrogressive stand of President Jammeh, might be popular and a vote winner, does not make it right. Gambians who are gay, have the constitutional rights to private life and life style, that cannot violated by the president or religious views. On the issue of seeing the gay and lesbians as immoral and indecent, president Jammeh should be the last person, in the world to open his disgusting mouth to speak about it. President Jammeh is a well-known womanizer, who has insatiable appetite for light skin women and virgins. Just recently a brave and fearlessly, young girl ,Aisha Njie ,came out publicly to say she was kidnapped and raped by Yahya Jammeh in his home village of Kanilai. Since this revelation, former female body  guards came out  to say how Jammeh have sexually abuse  them and how he have been importing light-skin prostitutes from the neighbouring countries. With this terrible, record of violence against young girls and women, Jammeh has no moral rights to condemn gay people  as mosquitoes .The Inspector General of police should question Jammeh about the deflowering and rape of Aisha Njie  at his Kanilai villa than sending his thugs to arrest suspected gay  people.  Jammeh’s sex life is disgusting and vile and Gambian parents should worry about having their lovely daughters especially the light-skin ones around him.

To the wider Gambian community especially those living in the west, if we can co-exist and accept gay, lesbian and transgender people, why can’t we accept our own gay People? It will be hypocritical, if we have strong views for gay in Gambia and then favorable view on gays in the west. In addition, to president Jammeh, sort out your miserable sex life and stop raping your female bodyguards and our young vulnerable innocent girls. One day, president Jammeh, you will be accounted for this sexual violence, just like Colonel Gadhafi, who was prostitute like you. I think it’s mark of our maturity as a democracy and modern nation, to accept own citizens who have different sexuality from us to live their lives the way they want as long as they did not impose it on us. We should passionately defend anybody arrested for gay related charges, as long as it’s not child pornography or underage sex, which we should have zero tolerance approach, regardless of who is involve.

Lamin Camara, UK.



August 16, 2014
Reads :7285




I have recently listened to the talk show of Ambassador Sey, and I have been very much disturbed by both the tone and the content of his speech.  I have been so much discomforted by what I heard that my first conclusion was that “the man has lost it!” However, after listening to the talk repeatedly and analysing it more carefully, I came to a more sensible conclusion: Ambassador Sey has not only lost it, but he is playing a very dangerous game. Before I proceed with the analysis; let me sum up a little bit what the former Ambassadors said.

Mr. Sey was commenting on the last visit of President Jammeh in the USA. He was advising his listeners what to do, and was providing information on the location of the President, etc.  Mr. Sey took advantage of his one-man talk show to insult The President again, and used very derogatory and racist epithets toward The First Lady of the Republic of the Gambia. I have willingly used the word “racist” because Mr. Sey has referred to the First Lady as a “Moroccan…..” Mr. Sey has also trespassed the private life of Pierre Minteh, a junior diplomat at the Gambia embassy in the USA, talking about the christening ceremony of his son and other issues related to his personal life.

I was very troubled by the speech of Ambassador Sey because it is so unbecoming of him given his service to The Gambia, and his status as a former diplomat. Mr. Sey has earned the title of ambassador thanks to President Jammeh, and he will never lose that title whatever the circumstances. Hence, hearing certain comments from him is so disappointing. Mr. Sey is not new to making incendiary comments about people with whom he has scores to settle. In fact, one who listens to him carefully realizes he does not hesitate to have recourse to any sensitive issue to demonize The President and his entourage. Those who listen to his one-man talk shows know very well what I am talking about here.

Ambassador Sey uses racial, ethnic, tribal, and religious cards without measuring the consequences this may have on the Gambia.  He will be the first one to deny such observations in his regards, but any careful listener can see through his speeches the division he is trying to create.  This is very sad because Gambians are blessed with a small land as a national territory, but they have open hearts to welcome all peoples from all around the world. To see a Gambian diplomat (whether active or inactive) plays with ethnocentric cards is shameful and dangerous.

Ambassador Sey has just lost it! Not only does he play with sensitive issues, he also talks about trivial issues and makes personal attacks that have nothing to do with advancing The Gambia. How meaningful is a talk on whether or not to call Sheikh Omar Faye “Ambassador Faye”?  What are the relations between Pierre Minteh’s son christening and the public interest of Gambians? Why threaten Pierre on live radio?  What interest do Gambians have in who is cooking for Ambassador Faye? Why is it so important for Mr. Sey to display hatred and disdain for Ambassador Faye?  Why insult this honourable man on live radio without taking into account he is a representative of The Gambia, he is a father and a husband?

Hearing Ambassador Sey talk about sensitive and  trivial issues such as the ones already mentioned above is very  embarrassing especially when you hear it  coming from someone who has served  The Gambia in several countries not as a very junior diplomat but as an Ambassador.  Essa Bokar Sey and his likes embarrass our country a great deal because of their past services in our government and their social status. I have never heard a former diplomat talk trash like Essay Bokar does! It is just embarrassing!

While talking about people’s private lives, Essa forgets he has his own.  It would be very interesting to hear Mr. Sey explain how from a mere protocol officer he became an ambassador, and how he brought his extended families to the USA. Mr. Sey must know Gambia is a small geographical territory and that each one knows about each one. He should not downgrade himself by engaging himself in trash talks. When he talks about people’s families, he should remember he has one. Wives, children, cooks, titles and other trivial issues have no place in the dialogue for a better Gambia.

By Samba Sanyang  


August 16, 2014
Reads :6273




It was a cool and quiet Sunday afternoon. Amadou was sitting on a settee at the front room with his beautiful wife, Musukoi. He has his right arm around her waist as they watched the Seyfo’s meeting with the Balang Kunda ward. Their three children, Buramanding, Faburama, and Dobally, were buried in their homework. He always spends Sundays with his family. Every other Sunday, he drives them to the coastal village of Fansoto where they first enjoy a long walk on the clean sandy beach before settling down at a quiet corner for a family pick nick. Pertinent issues affecting the Kanbeng family are openly discussed and crucial decisions made. Each view is heard and carefully looked into before it is discarded or taken on board. The Kanbeng family is very closely knitted.

Amadou smiled as he watched the Seyfo adjust his white grand mboubou from left to right in agitation. His scary face was precipitating with sweat pungently. He waved his pray beads threateningly to the enthralled crowd: “I know you do not like me. Well…Let me tell you this…in fact I don’t care whether you like me or not I am the Seyfo of Kankary Kunda. For your information, I will be for the next billion years. What will you do about it?”  The camera shifted from the Seyfo and slowly cruise the crowd; paused and zoomed on the Kebba of Fansoto ward. He was calm and his face expressionless. “My jinni has just disclosed to me what your Kebba is currently thinking of. Do you want me to tell you what is in his mind? Anyway, it is not important. However, I want to tell you this that as long as I am the Seyfo of this land, you will not have anything from me…no water, electricity, roads and health centre. I will ensure that you remain poor and miserable for the rest of your lives or until you decide to love me more than yourselves.”  Musukoi looked into Amadou’s eyes and shook her head in disbelieve. “How can a Seyfo say such a thing to a people whom he has sworn to protect and care for” She asked the love of her life. “Musukoi, if all the people of Kankary Kunda were like those of Fansoto the Seyfo would have been history now. Unfortunately, the majority of our people are self-centred. They do not care about the welfare of all. They will do everything possible to keep the Seyfo in power as long as he gives them rice, oil and meat every day”.  Lamented Amadou.

A loud knock on the door interrupted Amadou. Buramanding rushed to see who was at the door. Two uniform Police officers walked in. Without hesitation, the Sergeant said: “Amadou, you are under arrest”. He grabbed Amadou by the collar and pulled him up to handcuff him. The Corporal who looked smarter and seasoned stopped his Sergeant and whispered something to him. “Shut you mouth or I charge you for insubordination now now”, commanded the Sergeant. “As I was, Sir!” saluted the Corporal “But I don’t think it is proper to handcuff the gentleman before his children. Moreover, he is not resisting arrest. First and foremost, you have to inform him of the reason for his arrest and his rights sir”. The sergeant let go off Amadou and turned to face his corporal. “Corporal, Na who be senior man here; na me or na you? Attention! And keep still” ordered the Sergeant sternly. While the drama shifted towards the two officers, Musukoi sent the children to their rooms. She gazed into Amadou’s eyes the look on her face oozing fear and confusing. For a moment, she thought she was dreaming. Her Amadou who cannot even kill a fly or reproach a person to commit a felon was beyond her comprehension. Tears began surging from her eyes. Images of her history with Amadou began to flash in her mind’s eye like Grammy award Hollywood blockbuster movie.  The smiling and easy going man who is always eager to please others to spend a night in a rotten cell with criminals ate up her heart. The thought of her beloved alone with this barbaric sergeant in a police station numbed her every nerve. The police are notoriously known for man-handling suspects. It is narrated that there were instances when some suspects were electrocuted, while others had their hands handcuffed, legs tied, a long log put across their hands and legs and then hung between two tables. These and other unconfirmed allege tortures meted by police investigators on suspected accuse awakened the fighting spirit in Musukoi. “Oh hell, No!” she heard herself screamed sending Amadou and the officers in utter surprise.

“Whating na you say?” the startled sergeant asked turning brusquely to face the charming Musukoi. Sensing the determination of Musukoi to protect her beloved husband at all cost, the young constable safe the occasion by assuring her that her husband will be treated with all the respect he deserves. “Your husband is a highly respected member of the society; consequently as law enforcement officers, we cannot treat him any less. It is just a routine process when we get orders from the top to carry them out. I can assure you that he will be home sooner than you expect”, the young constable further reassured Amadou’s beauty queen. “You better do or else you will have me to deal with”, gave in Musukoi.

At the Police Station, the smell of mixed odour of detainees and sweats of the officers filled it with a repelling obnoxious aura. Flies, litter and stains like an unfinished painting of a careless artist decorated the station’s walls, floor and furniture. The station officer followed Amadou’s eyes as they browse his new environment. “Sorry, the cleaner called in sick today”, he apologized to Amadou. “I will not keep you here for long. We will go through the cautionary and questioning process as quickly as possible so that you can get back to your family”, consoled the officer. The station officer was a man with enviable moral and ethical character. He was feared and respected by most officers due to his firmness to uphold justice and the rule of law. In fact, it is narrated that he once fell out with the Seyfo who ordered for his arrest and imprisonment. He was later released and reinstated but he remained steadfast and just. After the usual obtaining of a witness statement from Amadou and all the other protocols, he had a private and personal chat with him. “This is between you and me Amadou”, he murmured “our beloved country is sinking in chaos. Babili Mansa should be very careful. It appears that he is not taking any advice these days and that is not good for a leader”. “But I don’t understand why you have to comply with an unlawful order”, Amadou countered. “Seyfo cannot personally go and arrest, detain, torture and kill people. It is you people who are helping him sink our country”, swiped Amadou. “My friend, you are missing the point. Can’t you smell the coffee?” demanded the officer. “If you fail to carry out his directive, you will disappear and never be seen again by your family. Some of us are in this mess but we hate it more than you will ever know”. After a long silence, Amadou said, “I understand”. “Thank you Amadou for understanding and keep up the good job you doing for the community. You may go now until I receive further instruction”.

At home with his family, Amadou cracked his head searching for answers for the mess in Kankary Kunda. Is it the Seyfo or the people who are the problem? He wondered. As if his perturbed wife was reading his mind, she interjected his hallucination, “What do you intend to do next?”

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK