History has recorded different generations which unconscious drifted away from the path leading to eternal bliss to makeshift cities were nothing is neither right nor wrong. Suffice it to say most of those slips are often precipitated by a single act of innocence and goodwill which eventually finds itself transformed into a new form and meaning. This can be better demonstrated by citing a familiar instance at home; “Meet the Farmers Tour” initiated by Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara in his hay days as a peoples’ leader. The whole meaning and objective of the tour’s legacy has now been adulterated beyond recognition by President Yahya AJJ Jammeh. Those who are familiar with the tour during Jawara’s era will recall that its platforms were open dialogues in which Jawara as President hears first hand concerns, needs and demands of the farmers. He would listen and take note of all issues raised during his entire tour. There were instances when certain concerns were immediately resolved while others were assigned to department heads who were responsible for resolving the concerns relating to their department. Albeit I was still a young lad growing up being hazed by PDOIS political ideology and an addict to FOROYAA, I never heard Jawara rant at any particular constituent for not voting for them or the West for plaguing the Gambian economy.
President Jammeh like some of those forgone generations which transgressed from righteousness into a glossified sinful euphoria has not only prostituted the name of the tour but transformed it into a political intimidation and harassment tour in which he subjects vulnerable citizens and his pay masters to appalling verbose abuse and chilling threats. It is disheartening to admit that Jammeh is the president that should never have been. My reasons:
To begin with, President Jammeh believes that he is so infallible that he is beyond fault. As a result, he is always quick to scout for a scapegoat to blame for his own personal short-sighted decisions and his government inaptness and excesses. It never ceases to amaze me how he carries himself in an idiotic arrogance when he unleashes his venous hatred for West. Sometimes in my quiet moments I wonder what has the British really done to him to warrant his unfathomable hatred for them. For him, the British are Gambia’s political and economic problem. They are the ones now dragging the Gambia into a socio-economic and political mortuary. Mr President when was the last time that the British run the government of the Gambia? Was the Gambia the only country in the world that was colonised? Perhaps you don’t even know the simple answers to these questions otherwise you would not have said: “I will run this country the way I want it and if you don’t like it you can explode the sky.” This is an open declaration from him that he has no
- Regard for the constitution of the Gambia
- Respect for the will and aspiration of Gambians
- Inkling of how to run a state
- Understanding of what democracy is
- Regard for law and order
- Interest in the welfare of Gambians and the Gambia
The Gambian deluded President went further to fault the British as he questioned the sensibility of Gambians; “400 years …” he began and suddenly paused as he dived into his myopic mind in search of what to say next. Then to his audience greatest dismay he charged: “Are you Gambians stupid or what?” As his audience were battling to shift through their confusion, he caressed their emotions by accusing the British of day light robbery: “… from visa free visits to the UK, now you pay almost D6, 000 for a visa application and when the application is rejected; you are never refunded. What type of democracy is that? That is stealing. It is daylight robbery. What did they do? In order to minimize Gambians going to the UK, they took the visa office to Ghana and they talk to you about democracy”. With such cheap political marketing, he thinks he can win the youths to his camp. If he had at least for once stopped to think soberly, he would have realised that Ghana is more democratic than the Gambia under his watch and beside they have never declared a British Consular persona non grata. To sum it Mr President you have burnt all your bridges.
Moreover, President Jammeh is of the opinion that he is omnipotent. No power on earth can subdue him. Dream on Jilanka. We have seen the likes of Sadam, Gadhafi and Idi Amin. Where are they now? What you are successfully doing with your empty bragging is hastening your end. Your arrogance brings to mind a Wolof mantra which literarily means when a hen is suicidal, it collects all its eggs and chicks and walk straight into a snake’s hole. You always claim that nobody can do anything about your silly and childish tantrums and lack of respect for law and order, but you and I know that you are lying through your teeth. You say one thing in the open and behind closed doors you beg like a church mouse and paranoid coward.
Furthermore, President Jammeh is nursing the notion that Gambians are sacred to the bone and as a result will never rise against him. That is changing at an alarming rate. Gambians are now more outspoken than ever before. They expose and trade all you dirty secrets to the diaspora media houses. Is there anything that you can now do or say that will not be in the open the next minute? All your agitation and restlessness recent owe to the Gambian diaspora media houses exposing your every attempt to suffocate justice. Not to mention of your growing isolation by all your colleagues and the international world. The sooner you come to terms with the fact that you have burnt all your bridges the better for you.
Another factor worth noting is your inability to understand socio-economic and political policies which can usher in national development and leads to a democratic state. You think that you have answers to all the problems of the Gambia’s status quo. Hence, you meddle with everything in the country from executing your presidential responsibility to being a hawker in the streets of Banjul. You also think micro-managing Gambian is the solution to your problems; no it is the problem instead.
Finally, Mr President since you are hell bent in unleashing anarchy on Gambians especially those who openly challenge your excesses, it is only fitting that we also equate your intention by sending you crashing down the Gambian political mountain like an exfoliated stone.
Sulayman Jeng, UK