Senegal and the Gambia share a lot in common: culture, tradition, languages, religions, lineage, and to some degree a cosy economic and political history. It is on this backdrop that the Senegambia Confederation was forged to further cement the already cordial relations between the two countries divided only by colonial legacy.
Albeit there were setbacks such as the dissolution of the confederation, the relationship between the two countries has always being amicable until Jammeh usurped power from Jawara in 22 July 1994. He has always been suspicious of Senegal and its interest in the Gambia. Notwithstanding, Senegal continues shinning as an emerging democratic state with an economy gradually steadying its feet. Its press freedom and adherence to the rule of law highlights all the political excesses with impunity in its neighbour’s backyard-the Gambia.
Furthermore, Senegal has for long been a safe haven for many Gambians fleeing home for their lives. Despite, the Senegalese government does not take full responsibility for the safety, security and wellbeing of most of the Gambian dissidents now residing in its soil; they are rarely harassed by its security services. As a result, Jammeh sees the Senegalese government as a collaborator with his enemies; a bitter pill he finds hard to swallow. He accused the Sall government of aiding and abetting Gambian dissidents in Senegal, to destabilize his autocratic government.
After successive futile attempts to get the Senegalese government to extradite his “Gambian enemies” in Senegal, he went undercover to prostitute some its gullible, feeble and greedy senior government and security officials to kidnap and sell these dissidents to him. In other words, Jammeh has successfully turned Senegal into a booming market where Gambians dissidents are bought and sold at exorbitant prices. He is spending millions and millions of dollars on the heads of Gambian dissidents in Senegal.
What now prevails in Senegal is any Gambian that expresses a desire to root out the decadent Jammeh regime in Banjul is accorded an audience with highly placed Macky officials. They will assure you of all the support you may require and even promised to arrange a meeting between you and Macky or other high profiles of his government just convince you that they want to see Jammeh go more than you. While you float in the euphoria of accomplishing what every Gambian dreams of, they are recording your audio meeting as well as monitoring your every step. The moment you leave the venue, they jump in jubilation for their new earned mine. Next, a phone rings and someone at the other end in NIA headquarters picks up the phone. Then the negotiation for a price of the audio recording sets in motion. From the NIA, a special number is rang and in Kanilai, where Jammeh is eager waiting for such calls will hastily pick up and listens attentively to the caller as he is filled in on the latest catch. On the spot, Jammeh will pay a hefty amount in raw cocaine cash usually in thousands of dollars. In my mind’s eye I can see his “daabaa” (big mouth) widens in smile for another job accomplished. Others will be lured to the Cassamance region to meet in discreet with sympathetic high profile Senegalese politicians, security personnel and some international organizations representatives. Official state vehicle bearing government registration number plates will be sent to pick you up. Once you fall into such a callous trap, you next point of call will be… Your guess is as good as mind.
Jammeh is investing so much raw cash into this new booming market that Senegal is fast becoming a distressing place for many Gambians fleeing the imbecilic Gambian tyrant to live. His latest acquired treasures are Mahawa Cham and Saul Ndow who are currently undergoing incomprehensible tortures in his detention chambers. Of late, Jammeh is going after any Gambian in the diaspora he dubbed “cockroach” who is critical of him and his distasteful governance in a chilling clandestine way. Among his modus operandi are kidnapping and poisoning. The late Kukoi Samba Sanyang was a clear testimony of his kidnapping and poisoning of Gambian dissidents in the diaspora. His agents disguised as everything from gigolos to street hawkers. What is even more disturbing is such operations are often staged by his rogue agents as state managed which drags Senegal’s good name in the mud.
Due to his unwitting arrogance, obnoxious rudeness, corrupted mind and cold heart, Jammeh loathes anything that questions his views, orders and dreams. Consequently, he will go to any length to uproot opposition. To further demonstrate this, he in collaboration with is information on Wednesday 3 July 2013 introduced a new law which criminalises internet dissent. This brings to mind what a colleague said recently; the worst traitor is a journalist who crossed over.
To cap it, I will admonish all Gambians dissidents in Senegal to be mindful of Jammeh’s agents who are constantly preying on you. Ensure your where about is always know by a third party and were possible be in groups. Soon he will realise that he can cleanse a people with bullets and poison but he cannot kill an ideology neither avert the course of destiny.
Sulayman Jeng, UK