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“I don’t see the point. People die in custody or during interrogations, it’s really common. This time, there is only one dead and they want investigations? I will not”, bragged Africa’s king of impunity. “No one can tell me what to do in my country”, he went on as he emits hatred and exhibited complete disregard for human life. What bemused me most was the cheering from his unwitting audience. Yes, people sometimes die in custody and during interrogations but such deaths are often treated as appalling tragedies and all necessary measures taken to avert their reoccurrence but wearing it like a badge of honour can only be peppered by Dictator Jammeh. This only punctuates two shameful malaises: a country divided under a ruthless dictator and a nation of unconcerned citizens.

The electoral reform protests initiated by late Solo Sandeng aimed to liberate the Gambia from the shackles of political slavery and impunity. Looking at some of the protests videos circulated on social media platforms, I can vividly see many Gambians walking pass these freedom fighters unconcerned to their chants and calls for political freedom for every Gambia. They look at them as people from another planet. The UDP supporters risked it all to demand for every Gambian constitutional rights to be respected by the brutal Jammeh regime. They didn’t take to the street to ask for more rights for their party but demanded political reforms for all Gambians. Therefore, why should they be left to fight alone for the freedom of all? For instance, if Monster Jammeh had given in to their call, will PDOIS, NRP, PPP and the other parties not basked in the cosy political climate? Jammeh has successfully divided the Gambia into a major camp of unconcerned and a small group of concerned citizens. Most Gambians have been relegated to happy-go-lucky citizen chasing shadows behind the farts of Dictator Jammeh. All they care is how to grease their pockets and secure a seat next to evil Jammeh. They have bartered they souls for a pin of pleasure with a Solima wulu bukay Jammeh.

“What puzzles me about the Mandinkas is you Mandinkas don’t love yourselves…you Mandinkas who are you?”, charged Jammeh. He went on to do what he does best; issuing chilling threats. “Anyone who wants to front me, go out tomorrow and demonstrate. I will send the army to wipe you out like lice and nothing will come out of it”. In an ideal and free country, Jammeh would have been drag by the forelock while his sorry ass is whacked but in Gambia where the majority don’t give a toss what Jammeh does or says, he will get away with any and everything. Every Gambian admits things are hard and the political climate dire yet only a handful are ready to risk it all for political change. Many have been crucifying Darboe for not fronting Jammeh in the streets. Now he has and is incarcerated unlawfully by Jammeh’s brutal regime for demanding political reforms, everyone carries on as if everything is hunky dory. It brings to mind a Mandinka dictum: “Gambinakolu mankay saamuta nyoti” Sadly, it insinuates either Gambians are not ready for political change or they are selfishly pursuing their individual shady goals at the expense of freedom.

On the issue of Jammeh verses the Mandinkas, it is a two sided coin. According to national statistic figures, Mandinkas form the largest tribe in the Gambia. Jammeh is always locking horns with them. Most of his officials both civil and security are Mandinkas yet Jammeh has the audacity to insult them. Worst of all, he uses some Mandinkas to insult, molest and torture their own tribesmen and women. Well, Jammeh claims Mandinkas don’t love themselves, I guess it is about time you show Monster Jammeh that you love yourselves more than he will ever imagine. Otherwise, Jammeh will be justified by asserting that Mandinkas don’t love themselves. A simple way of putting the Solima in his place is denying him your vote in the December presidential poll and boycott all his programmes. However, from the look of things, it is only the diaspora Gambians who took offence in Jammeh’s disrespectful treatment of the Mandinkas. It is really disheartening to hear Jammeh coined the Mandinkas with most derogative adjectives. On the other hand, one should not take offence with Jammeh’s immature tirades. Jammeh is like a truant who insults you and the turn around to insult his own father in your presence. Such a person like President Jammeh deserves chopping off his penis and sticking it in his mouth to brush his teeth.

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK

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