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.