With my close to two years of working with an institution as close to government as the Daily Observer is, I can’t be more pessimistic about the feature of the people of this country, especially its youthful population. However, the difference of approach between me and some people in the struggle against the largely fractured dictatorship back home is that I am keen not to give the effort a personal dimension. That is exactly what attacking the person of the president, rather than discussing issues, will mean. That is why I am not going to get into that.
There is absolutely no doubt that President Yahya Jammeh, like any other leader of his kind, bears responsibility for whatever happens to his people. The only point I was trying to put across, however, which is indeed a very valuable argument, and I still stand by it, is that we could stop the trend of persecution that is presently tearing the Gambia apart by discouraging those, like the satanic trio (Momodou Sanyang, Pa Malick Faye and Dr Saja Taal) who carry out these acts, thereby saving the souls of innocent Gambians, while at the same time preparing the ground for the eventual institution of justice by making sure that all, including Yahya Jammeh himself, answer for their crimes against not only Gambians but the rest of the free world. Yahya Jammeh does not do the killing and torture, himself, he assigns blood thirsty people who execute it for him. If we are able to discourage these people, Jammeh will soon run out of murderous mercenaries to carry on with such assignment.
I am not the only one who worked for Yahya Jammeh and regretted it, am I? As a matter of fact, I have always believed, and I still hold on to that thought, that I was serving my country in the right way. I must acknowledge, however, that this would not mean innocence of the surging guilt. The mistake I seemed to have made was to have identified with an institution infested with people with the most callous of intents serving a leadership with an unassailable obsession for arrogance. This arrogance, if Yahya Jammeh does not take his time enough, will be the very cause for his down fall thanks to the very many ill-intentioned people that surround him today like marauding vultures, the people who go about vilifying innocent and more patriotic Gambians.
Contrary to what Yahya Jammeh preaches, patriotism is not about how green one is, it is about how much love one has for the country as a citizen and how one partakes in the effort of achieving the development we collectively desire.
I have said it over and over, and I will repeat it here…whatever I have written regarding Gambia and President Yahya Jammeh in the past, I can still defend them as they represented the true picture of the reality of what I was trying to highlight. I have never been and I never intend to be a sellout. So let no one try my courage.
I want to remind Mendy B that unlike him and his former colleagues of the so-called Ring of Still, I have not done or be part of any plot to destroy anybody or group of people, either based on ethnic, religious, political or whatever line. I wholeheartedly accept his demand for forgiveness for his part in the cycle of terror perpetuated by him and his former bosses. But I would want to ask Mendy B one question – what does he expect Gambians, especially those who have fallen victim of his gang’s alleged crime to do? Revenge? Certainly that is not what you want.
I must mention here and now that I share the same level of anger with many rightful thinking people out there. My anger, however, is not borne out of grudge or frustration; rather it is borne out of a genuine feeling of disappointment. Disappointment by Yahya Jammeh’s constant failure to do away with the enemies of progress, his consistent failure to dialogue, his consistent reluctance to see wisdom and follow the path of salvation, his unquenchable taste for self aggrandizement, which increasingly pushes him towards a makeshift feeling of inflated ego and idea of himself!
President Yahya Jammeh’s pathetic ranting; as manifested by the worldwide criticized and out-of-place remark he recently made about cutting his opponents’ heads off if they continue to think counter to his increasingly militaristic ideas, continue to gain momentum. As if he doesn’t see what I see. How can a leader be so callously indifferent that he does not consider his people, the people whose servant he is, as legitimate entities? Can he not think of the image Charles Tailor carries on with him these days? The former Liberian warlord, if anything, has more to do with bravery than Yahya Jammeh, because he had had to fight his way through to power. But today, far, far away from his many mansions and gigantic orchards, he occupies just a few meters of space he is entitled to, and anytime he is out of that cell of his, he is on handcuff. Nothing, absolutely nothing last for ever.
Don’t’ get me wrong, that is certainly not an image I would like to see of my former leader. Mind you, I remain among those Africans who hate to see that picture of the one time almighty Charles Ganky Tailor, for it degrades not only Liberians but the entire Africa.
But doesn’t that serve as a lesson enough for the remaining crop of dictators on our continent? I urge Yahya Jammeh to remember that he was brought to power by people he ended up betraying. People who genuinely share the same love for the country with him, people he feared so much so that he framed them in order to have a pretext to have them out of his way. No matter what is said or what people like us are made to look like, he is no better than us, and he does not love the country more than any of us do, as he always claim. If Yahya Jammeh does, then I challenge him to do away with destructive agents like Momodou Sanyang who has absolutely nothing beneficial to offer Gambia, yet they are hell-bent on denying the country its much needed human resources by making well deserving Gambians look bad.
I am well aware of the implication of making such remarks, for in the Gambia, democracy, which would normally guarantee my right to these sorts of opinions, has died since Jammeh began to reward Gambians like Sanyang and his gang of mischievous followers only to victimize good Gambians.
Nonetheless, the mere thought of the fact that it is my God-given right to express my feeling about how I think the Gambia should be run makes me feel satisfied. Whatever happens to me or anybody related to me will be taken care of by God, the Almighty.
I am ready to exchange the luxury of being home around my family for the opulence of being at liberty to express myself fully and freely. God in his mysterious ways might bring what most Gambians today yearn for, CHANGE! A CHANGE for the better!
Again, I just want to reiterate that I am not speaking here out of frustration…I am speaking out of disappointment. And I do not see that as a crime. I am extremely disappointed with a leader I have all these years believed was on the right path. But his continued negligence and perpetual denial of the sorrowful life Gambians experience on a daily basis makes me feel unforgiving to myself for been so blinkered over the years.
Even as I write, I can’t help imagining the number of people back home who will be astounded on discovering that it is my very self who is making these sorts of comments. But I expect that these very same people will see reason and see that the person we all looked on to with genuine feeling was not actually whom we thought. Think of how many people Yahya Jammeh has fallen out with. Would you want to argue that all these people were bad? Or that Yahya Jammeh has always been right in parting with all of them? No, I do not think so. It is only because of people like Momodou Sanyang, Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay, Ensa Badjie, among a horde of upstarts who have absolutely nothing to offer the Gambia in terms of expertise, yet they are hell bent on destroying those who have all it takes to make the country what is best for our children.
Can some one tell me what Momodou Sanyang has to offer Gambia? All he has been engaged on is to make life miserable for the many hardworking and dedicated staffers of GRTS and Observer, many of whom have been forced to find their way out of the system. President Jammeh is well aware of this, yet he continues to reward that idiotic character of a dolt. Mendy B was quite right in that Jammeh is satisfied with the work of Sanyang, otherwise he could have done away with him. Well, I also reserve the God given right to vehemently disagree with that crap of a situation. Sanyang can order the arrest and detention of people, just like he did to a colleague of mind, Abdoulie John, whose arrest was headed by the IGP Ensa Bajie himself, and get away with, yet no one is allowed to say it. Well, if it is wrong to say it, maybe Jammeh needs to be informed that Sanyang is guilty of framing him, because whatever he does he, he does so in his name. Ask the security chiefs and they will tell you. He ordered the arrest of Chief Manneh, he ordered my arrest and he order journalist Lamin Jaiteh’s arrest, he wrote John’s sacking letter saying that it was the directive of the president…he has done so many things in the name of President Yahya Jammeh. Let Sanyang deny these things if he thinks I am wrongfully blaming him. He can not. But I do know also that he has nothing to lose, at least until Yahya Jammeh’s already crumbling regime is out.
If you tell me you want to work with good people, it baffles me when I see you with people with blood on their hands. JT Kujabi and that master looter of a son of Momodou Sanyang, Lamin Sabi Sanyang, what benefit are they serving us?
Have Gambians asked under what circumstances that pathological thief, Lamin Sibi Sanyang, son of Momodou Sanyang, who went on trial for allegedly squandering millions of dalasis belonging to the Gambian people, was pardoned? These are the kind of people who are holding back our progress. It is not me, nor the growing dissenting voices abroad, or the many ministers, permanent secretaries, directors or other lower government officials who have been wrongfully sacked because they were reported by people like Momodou Sanyang and other crude sons of the Gambia within the APRC, for not been loyalty to you and your wife. I will die in poverty abroad, if that is what it takes, rather than dine in wealth amidst disrespect and submission to evil. I am proud that while others are succumbing to dictatorship tendencies, I have refused to be carried away.