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 The Gambia is currently oozing suffocating political heat waves which are condensing at an alarming rate. If these violent political clouds hovering over the Gambian horizon are not dissolved, when they precipitate, Gambians will swim in pools of blood.

One does not need to be in Banjul or Basse to feel its repelling humid political climate. Gambia’s senile dictator is not only determined to tighten his grip onto power but avails and alerts himself to utilise any means necessary to continue saddling on Gambians  with impunity. To add insult to injury, Jammeh believes he is too clever for Gambians.

Unfortunately, it is yet to dawn on him that it is hard to strive to be a step ahead of everyone at all times particularly if one is a gullible imbecilic leader. Suffice it to say such a wild goose chase often wears one out. Furthermore, more and more Gambians, especially those who are keenly scrutinising the Gambia’s political climate under a fair and balance microscope, see straight through his obnoxious lies. It has now become obvious that anytime he opens his mouth, he robs his teeth on the wrong side. Perhaps, he needs a little bit of thinking and concentration before he rants again like a child in a fits of tantrums.  Being the coldblooded career serial killer that Jammeh is, he systematically preys and pawns on vulnerable Gambians to nourish his bloated ego. In his latest attempt to halt his dirty linens being wash in public, he introduced the recently adopted bill of Information and Communication (Amendment) Act 2013 which criminalised internet dissent. He hopes with this draconian law, some of us will cease challenging his political excesses online. On the contrary, it has only succeeded in motivating us even more to go after him as he does with us. Equally disheartening, is how he has resorted into handpicking Gambians with high self-esteem who worked hard for years to earn their credibility and respect only for him to reduce them into turned coats with tattered reputation before he bins them.

Similarly, Jammeh has succeeded in chopping off the umbilical cord which knitted family units and good neighbourliness in the Gambia. Brothers jubilate the misfortunes of each other while neighbours spit on one another’s face. This growing sense of animosity, hatred and jealousy nursed by Jammeh is cracking the very foundation of Gambians long cherished unity and looking out for one another. It has also availed him the means to micro-manage us like disposable goods. He continues to harness his toxic seed of divide and rule by firing a husband and hiring his wife; firing a sister and hiring her brother; firing a father and hiring his son.  As a result of his callous and calculated evil political scheme, he entrenches himself more in power as each us sees in him a means to achieving his or her ends. Until we open our eyes to his devilish manipulation and stop him knocking our heads against one another, we will not succeed in peacefully removing him from power. Instead of seeing him as the state enemy, we stoop low into fighting, bickering and backstabbing one another.

For us to succeed in our effort to restore democracy, the rule of law and remove Jammeh from the Gambian political equation we need to address the factors and by-products which created Jammeh. Yahya Jammeh is not a result of a coincidental accident but a product of our own making and nurturing. How did we create Yahya Jammeh? To answer such a question of fundamental importance, one needs to take into account a numbers of factors which in a nutshell sums up a Gambian: spiritual belief, “maslaaha”, greed, selfishness, tribalism, false hope, fear and unpatriotic.

Generally, most Gambians have a religion: Islam and Christianity. To assert that both faiths denounced black magic in the strongest term would be an understatement. Interestingly, spiritual belief especially marabous is a bedrock on which many Gambians wholly depend on for their livelihood such that many descended into associating partners with Allah. Black magic according to Islamic teaching, originated during the reign of Prophet Sulayman (AWS) when two angels were giving the knowledge as a trial. It is important to highlight that these angels made it categorically clear that they were only for a trial and anyone who learns and practice it will have nothing in the day of resurrection. Despite all the warning by the two angels and the Quran, many Gambians still heavily rely on marabous for every aspect of their lives. For instance, if one is travelling or seeking a job, one often visits a marabou for spiritual counselling and advice. Such marabous who are often well versed in the Quran and living in makeshift status give you unrealistic advice for all the wrong reasons. Let us say for argument sake, that they are good at what they do. Some will solicit the help of the marabou to get rich or a certain job. If the marabou can make you rich or get you a job why is he not rich himself or having the best job in the country? Or doesn’t he want to be rich or his children being ministers or even a president? These marabous are one of our biggest problems today. They equally abet in planting the seed of discord in families as they will tell you, for example, that your Uncle is hell bent in destroying you. They also meddle in politics. A leader like myopic Jammeh whose life is synonymous to black magic seeks their intervention every day. Most of his irrational decisions and actions are a result of their advice. Fellow Gambians how can something so wrong feel so right? What can a marabou give you that have not been destined for you by Allah? Can any marabou add or subtract a second in your life?

“Maslaaha” which literary means compromise is another stumbling block in our fight against corruption, injustice and political malfunctions. There is nothing so cruel and unjust than giving up on something that is right and worth fighting for. Justice is usually sacrificed on the altar of “maslaaha” in the Gambia. For instance, one would see a crime committed in the open but for some reason I find absolute hard to understand is covered under the duvet of “maslaaha”. Public servants, security officers and ordinary citizens all get away with crimes against the state as well as other fellow citizens under the auspices of so called “maslaaha”. This is precisely why Yahya Jammeh will abduct innocent Gambians and detained them for unbearable long periods only for his council of evil elders dressed in the devil’s parada will set in motion the wheels of “maslaaha” between tyrant Jammeh and his victims of captivity. Eventually, the victims will become criminals and Jammeh the victim.

Another factor which created Yahya Jammeh is greed. Very few Gambians are content with what they have and the life they live. Many of us are so obsessed with material gains particularly financial wealth that we are prepared to trade our self-esteem and integrity for few bututs. To make matters worse, some of us entrusted with public responsibility steal from the state to enrich ourselves. Consequently, it is quite common to hear public officials opining that “a person have to survive where he or she works”. In other words, it decriminalised corruption and bribery at work. This explains how church mice like Yahya Jammeh who was not worth ten (10) Dalasi before he became president is now richer than the Gambian government and all its assets combined. It is also an impediment for us to address issues objectively. Religious leaders who are expected to be telling our leaders the truth and guide them back on track if they stray choose to fill their pockets instead. Everyone wants to be seen driving the lasted car, living in the most expensive mansion and wearing designer cloths yet we don’t want to earn our wealth the right way. What does this make us fellow Gambians? We are so blinded by the get rich quick syndrome that we negate our duty to state and country.  Corrupt and brutal leaders like Jammeh will easily slip our attention as we are consumed by the self-eating desire to amass as much wealth from the state as we could. Corruption and bribery become the order of the day and anyone who challenges the status quo becomes the bad one. Such a person will be fought from all quarters and will eventually end up in Mile II charged with abuse of office, financial crime and giving false information to a public officer while the actual criminals continue to suck the state marrow dry.

Selfishness is the cousin of greed and they work hand in glove. This is where one comes first above anything else. Even though one is employed by the state to run its affairs, one side steps the state interest in pursuant of one’s own goals.  As one hastily pursues one’s personal goal, the state’s interest is trampled upon with amazing pride. President Jammeh is a clear manifestation of this Gambian phenomenon. Instead of running the affairs of the state as he is sworn to do, busy himself in running his personal enterprises. The wellbeing of all is sacrifice for personal development. No one takes a minute to say hold on a second; the Gambia is larger than oneself. Sadly, the job that should have been done by everyone is left for someone else to do which at the end is done by no one leaving state institutions to wallow in decadence.

Added to the above factors holding our fight against Jammeh to a standstill is the fear factor engulfing us. Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to do the right thing albeit the presence of harassment, intimidation and torture. Jammeh knows Gambians are generally cowards who enjoy a wait and see policy. The Gambian like the beast of burden condones a lot injustice and any rubbish thrown at him or her. A few will stand up boldly against their oppressors. Dictators survive on the fears of their victims just like bullies. The moment you stand up and say enough is enough they run for cover.

In conclusion, Jammeh is the product of our own handy work. Therefore, to oust him out of power we need to address the root cause of the problem: ourselves.

Sulayman Jeng, UK







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