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Gambia, a once smiling coast of Africa, bleeds and frowns as it is captained by a deluded Monster steering her towards tempestuous political waves despite all warnings. Lamentably, most Gambians don’t give a toss whether Gambia sinks or sails to safe shore. The handful who expressed care and love for her are anointed bad citizens, useless, western puppets and pigmy keyboard revolutionaries. Monster Jammeh does not only epitomises hate but proliferates it with despicable arrogance and malign pride. This he evidently manifests with his sadistic hulk face whenever he addresses Gambians.

As a young boy growing in the provinces, every evening especially during the harmatan season, all my siblings and friends who happened to visit at the time gather around a log of wood burning to keep us warm. During such gatherings exciting and chilling stories were usually narrated occasionally accompanied by singing and clapping to school us about living a respectful and meaningful life. Most of the characters of these stories were the wolf and the hare. Almost all the stories centred on these popular characters often depict betrayals, deceits, hatred, jealousy, love, kindness, righteousness, conscience, and self-esteem to recount but a few. Now and again we hear stories whose characters were humans. Of all the stories I heard, the one which stood prominent still in my mind is that of a very beautiful woman married to a humble hunter who had leprosy. At the beginning, the relationship was not only mutual but it was erected on the bedrock of sincere appreciation of each other’s way of life. The hunter pampered his beauty queen with undefiled love, tokens and his best catch on a daily basis. It got to a certain level that he believed that the love of his life will never abandon him for another man. He not only kissed the ground she walked on but also showered her with undivided attention, care, love and gifts. Every evening, the hunter’s griot will come with his musical instrument to sing song of valour and praise of the hunter and his ancestors. The griot also coined a special song for the hunter’s wife. In return, she also ensured that the wounds of her knight in shining armour are well looked after. She cleansed and medicated them daily. She reciprocated his love in equal measures until one fateful day when her path crossed with a charming prince. With a blink of an eye, the beauty queen was swept off her feet by the prince. She made up her mind to go with him but first she had to say farewell to the hunter. As soon as the hunter arrived home, she changed her face. She responded to his greetings with a cold and insolent one. The hunter was startled by her cold reception and started regurgitating what he might have said or done to her before he went hunting to warrant her passive attitude. All of a sudden she was rude and impatient with him. She snapped at him all day. When it was time to cleanse his wounds, she mixed soda and warm water to clean them. She also used thorny sponge to clean his wounds. She lacerated his sored hands and feet further and rinsed them with the soda water. The hunter was distraught to the marrow. As he wallowed in agony, she hopped on the prince’s horse and rode off with him leaving the poor hunter to die a slow and painful dead.  At the prince’s kingdom, the beautiful lady realised the pasture was not greener on the other side. Her hopes and dreams were thwarted. With a heavy broken heart, she cried until she lost her eyesight. Blind and dejected, she was thrown out of the palace when she was of no use to the prince. Lonely, blind, poor like a church mouse and no place to call home; she resorted to begging for her daily bread. After many years of hardship, she entered a compound and started to beg. The hunter now healed and a prince recognised the voice of the woman.  The voice was very familiar but he did not recognise her. She was paled, blind and ragged. A closer look at her his heart leaped to his chest as it dawned on him that the poor woman he was looking at was his once beauty queen. He then asked his council of elders to be quiet for a moment. He also ordered the woman to be given shower and properly fed and comforted. Everyone around the courtyard including the servants and attendants were taken aback by their prince’s unexplained interest in the poor beggar. She was very grateful and touched by the kindness she was given. She started to cry violently as memories of how she was pampered by the hunter and the chilling betrayal she earned from the prince. The hunter comforted her until she calmed. When she bid farewell, the hunter started to sing that special song the griot coined for her. When she heard the song, she stopped and said this is a song that was specially sung for me. It was at that point the hunter revealed his true identity to her. Consumed by shame, she turned into an anthill were she was standing.  Your Excellency, what lessons do you learned from this hair-splitting anecdote? I can sum a couple for you: what goes around comes around, no one can avert the course of destiny, greed leads to self-destruction, and righteousness will always triumph. However, the central theme of the story is people who have self-esteem and conscience will always strive to avoid anything that will bring them shame. Such people prefer dead to shame. Unfortunately, you are not one of those who will choose dead instead of shame. That is precisely why you unashamedly admitted: “Yes, I am a dictator but…” You know more than anyone else who is a dictator. Therefore, for you to stand and ask who is a dictator spells your shamelessness and lack of self-esteem. A dictator, Mr President, is a leader who imposes his will and authority on his people. He does not respect the laws of the land. Moreover, anyone who disagree his view is classified as unpatriotic, a traitor, a rebel and to borrow your own term a “cockroach”. A dictator is any leader who perceives and believes that he is the only one fit or destined to lead. His personal wellbeing is the only thing that matters. He is the law, the court, executioner, and the provider. In a nutshell, he is everything and anyone else is nothing.

Solima Jammeh it is your conscience that is tormenting you. All those adjectives you said is what the west sees in an African whenever he or she stands are only in your deluded guilty mind. The Mandinkas have wisely captured it in one of their sayings: an elder who stands in the dark, if no one sees him, he will see himself. Deep inside your dysfunctional mind, you are grilled by self-guilty in all your shady drugs and illegal arms dealings. How many of your African colleagues think like you about the west. To be quite honest, it is Gambians who are crying out loud against your chilling atrocities on them. Today, anyone who even says life is hard in the Gambia is arrested and fined D1000.00.  Where on earth Mr President is any citizen punished for just saying life is hard? Gambians are so scared of even mentioning your name that they refer to you with names such as “Totala”, “Buramanding” etc. Is that what you call freedom of speech, Solima Jammeh? Certainly not, freedom of speech is where people are allowed to express their views without fear of intimidation, harassment, torture and imprisonment. Freedom is where citizens witness the due process of the law taking its own course without interference. Anyone arrested by a law enforcing officer is informed of the reason for his arrest; he is accord legal representative, and arranged before a competent court of law to be proven guilty or innocent. What do we see in the Gambia today, extra judicial killing, arbitrary arrests and detentions, disappearances and nerve-racking tortures? A classical case is that of Lawyer Darboe and co. To sum it Mr President Solima, you are a dictator and the worst dictator of all times.

In the Gambia up to your advent into the political and executive leadership, drugs confiscated by the police were of small quantities and mainly marijuana. Cocaine and heroin were very rare. Can statistics speak the same about drugs in the Gambia today? Who is the major drug baron in the Gambia today? Yahya Abdul Azziz Jamus Junkung Jammeh is the major drug baron in the Gambia today. Mr President that is why whenever you stand amongst your colleagues you think everyone is seeing you as a dictator and drug dealer. Remember when the late Gaddafi ridiculed you and your beads in front of your colleagues?

Furthermore, you are shamelessly claiming that you have done for Gambians in your 21 years of misrule more than what the British have done in their 400 years of colonial rule. If you are not a colonial master, why always compare yourself with colonialists? Statistically, your 21 years of misrule has done more harm to Gambia and her people as opposed to the 400 years of British colonial rule. Even though the British were not elected representatives, they established institutions which witnessed the birth of the rule of law and democracy in the Gambia. Yes, they built only two hospitals but life was a lot better than compared to your era and dozens of white elephant hospitals. Drugs were available with qualified doctors and nurses. Do I have to bring to your attention that anyone who goes to any hospital or clinic in the Gambia is only given prescription to go and buy their medication? What use is a hospital that has no drugs or qualified and well trained doctors and nurses Mr President Solima? The only hospital with drugs is the Jammeh foundation hospital and the private clinics. How many Gambians can afford treatments in such private hospitals and clinics Your Excellency? Besides, where does your mother get treatment? She comes to Belgium at the expense of the state anytime she needs treatment. Is that what you feel is better for Gambians? Hell no.

When it comes to education, you even admitted education then was far better and meaningful than it is today. How many young Gambians finished their Grade 12 and can write simple and proper English or solve simple algebra? You can do yourself a great favour and stop caressing your bloated self-ego. It is only putting you on the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. You steal, you lie, you fornicate, you kill, you rob, you maimed, you torture, you kidnap, you are disrespectful and a hypocrite. Dismissing people and demoting officers is not the answer to Gambia’s problems. You are Gambia’s main thorn in the flesh. If you do not want to be seen or called a dictator and a drug dealer, then do the right thing. Allow freedom of speech to prevail in the Gambia by reopening all the private media houses you closed even though the speaker of the house believes it is unjustified and illegal to close those houses. Repeal all the draconian laws you established to muzzle Gambians such as economic crime and giving false information to a public officer laws. Allow all political parties to take part in the establishment of a free and fair independent electoral commission, give them equal access to the state own media, free all prisoners of conscience and let the rule of law reign. It is on then that you will cease to be seen as a dictator, monster and a drug dealer.

On the hills of murdering Solo Sandeng, followed your undesirable insulting of Gambian women and threatenig to kill all Mandinkas. Where on earth will a Head of State owlishly discuss women’s private part in an open meeting? What was fitting is telling Gambians why you are now quiet about vision 2016, electoral reforms, reviving the decayed economy and renovating your foreign policy. In conclusion, a country is cannot be ran like a corner shop, Monster Jammeh.

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK


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