Saturday, November 28, 2009

The beginning of the end

Yahya Jammeh has never been so alienated and frustrated

We are slowly but sorely arriving at the meaning of the recent onslaught that saw the Gambia’s security hierarchy severely bashed, with the ignominious removal of the man everyone would agree was hitherto Yahya Jammeh’s most trusted ally, General Lang Tombong Tamba. At the time of his removal, a number of theories emerged, subsequently overshadowed by the one perpetuated by Yahya Jammeh himself through GRTS, with the help, of course, of his rather subservient dummy, Momodou Sanyang. And it worked, you know. Even if it was for just a short period, as present revelations suggest.
I am not blaming the helpless bully, Sanyang, for this, because anybody else in his place who wants to stay longer, unharmed and without being worried about going through the horror so many well intentioned Gambians have suffered in the hands of Jammeh’s hounding attitude will have to submit nothing short of their integrity to the dictator. But Momodou Sanyang’s incontrovertible penchant to perform according to the wishes of his demigod, which translates in his obstinate willingness to sacrifice the love of even his own family for the company of Yahya Jammeh, which makes it understandable why he is ever willing to sacrifice innocent souls, portrays an altogether loathsome character in his own right. As a result, GRTS has become such a tool for Yahya Jammeh’s mediocre propaganda agenda, targeting the mindset of the masses in such a way that given its calculated unrivalled position in the broadcasting industry in the country, majority of Gambians have no choice but to listen to all the misinformation it continues to pursue. No offence to the many genuine members of staff of GRTS, some of whom I had the honour of working with. We are all just victims of circumstances.
But like I have always held, sooner or latter, we will get to see the truth. Every indication is that the Jammeh media propaganda machinery has failed woefully. The signal we are getting from Banjul strongly suggests, if anything, the beginning of the end of the fascist establishment led by a clearly perturbed, insecure and alienated common dictator. But it might take just some time more before the system ruptures in the faces of all those who fail to pay attention to the imminent wind of change that blows on the direction of Banjul.
But it is also important to understand that Yahya Jammeh views and treats his presidency as divine order, and he will stop at nothing, absolutely nothing, to ensure his stay at the ‘thrown’ until such a time when he will no longer need the seal of the Gambia government to perpetuate his criminal profiteering and terrorist activities in Gambia, around the West Africa region and beyond. But again, if anything, with recent development, it is now clear to all – be you in the security or the civil service - that Jammeh has never been, and he will never ever be the dependable person he has tried by all means to portray himself as. It is now clearer than it has ever been that no matter what you do for the man, you can’t be saved from his treacherous claws when he can no longer restrain his despicable urge for betrayal. Thankfully, this is an underlying reality that seems to have sunk in the brains of some section of Gambia’s security establishment.
General Tamba’s removal, for instance, has never been the result of alleged poor living condition of security personnel, contrary to the pack of lies Jammeh single-handedly perpetuated under the nose of the generally weakened media in Gambia. If so why was IGP Ensa Badjie, Jammeh’s present preferential puppet within the country’s security establishment, spared? We all heard the same Yahya Jammeh condemning the situation under which the police at the Police Line in Banjul lived. What made the police so different from the military that the only way Jammeh could possibly demonstrate his anger was by subjecting the guy who rescued his dented pride from the hands of a more sober Colonel Ndure Cham to such a miserable situation?
And if the problem with General Tamba had been financial malpractice, as has been rumoured in some other quarters [and Yahya Jammeh and Momodou Sanyang tacitly encouraged that by their uncouth failure to come out and give Gambians a convincing reason for that absurd performance of the president against Tamba], the General certainly would have been arraigned just like the way Colonel Gibril Bojang, who allegedly squandered state money illegally allocated for use on Jammeh’s personal business, was dealt with.
The simply fact is that Yahya Jammeh lost every reason to rely on his once trusted security ally, and for failure of any genuine reason to get rid of him, he came up with the petty charge of soldiers’ bad living condition. Was that the first time Jammeh was getting in close contact with Gambian soldiers to allow him get first hand information on their living condition? If so then he has more to answer for as the self-styled minister of Defence than the sacked General. Of course, there have been so many reasons for soldiers to complain about, and Jammeh is very well aware of all of these. Take for instance selection of personnel for peace keeping missions in war-turn regions and also how their remuneration is handled. The corrupt practices of the security chiefs in this area are well known to Jammeh. If he actually cares about the men, he can intervene in that area.
Having stripped the general out of fear, Jammeh remained uncomfortable with him around, freely moving about. Realising the miscalculated move of humiliating so influential a person who probably commands more respect within the security of present day Gambia than him, and weighing the dangers associated with such a foolish move, Jammeh is forced to cook something against his former protégée.
But come to think about it, isn’t General Tamba’s treatment enough of a wake up call for the already traumatised security establishment in Gambia? Isn’t this a worrying phenomenon that it never does matter what one’s rank, political, tribal or religious affiliation is, it could be just a matter of time before you are framed by some one you are a threat to and face the wrath of Jammeh’s insidious demeanour? Even if you are a private officer, when you get commissioned some day and excel in your area, you will attract the invidious side of Yahya Jammeh. Aren’t these enough reasons to have our securities thinking of a way out of this mess?
If anything, reports of arrests of people like the notorious Bombarde and Amadou Samba of all people confirms the state of mistrust that currently wrecks Jammeh’s clearly handicapped government. Every well informed Gambian knows what Amadou Smabda means for Yahya Jammeh in the business world. But Jammeh fails to come to terms with the fact that Mr Samba’s trademark is business … and Jammeh’s blatant disregard for the country’s constitution, which has allowed him to usurp authority in every sector of the country’s business community, has turned him into a corporate opponent of Amadou Samba. There is so much at stake with any possible drastic action against Samba. But let’s cross our fingers and see what comes out of his latest arrest.
By the way, for those of you who have been yarning for convincing evidence of the ownership of the Daily Observer, this is a good time to read between the lines. If Amadou Samba actually owns the newspaper, you would expect it to cover his arrest. But I assure you, you will never see that, because Amadou Samba certainly does not own the Daily Observer; Yahya Jammeh does.
While these arrests will certainly not be welcoming experience for relatives of the detainees, it reveals to the world how oppressed and dissatisfied even those within Jammeh’s inner circle are, in spite of the wrong impression that is being given by the few who hide behind the freedom their man, Jammeh, denies his people back home, which they utilise to misinform the outside world.
The prevailing situation in Gambia has exposed Jammeh’s loosed grip on power. He clearly no longer knows who to trust and who not to trust. Within few months the heads of the three most important security units in the country were either removed or questioned. This clearly suggests nothing less than mistrust between Jammeh and his supposedly trusted allies. Who else does the dictator trust? Yahya Jammeh has never appeared so alienated. Certainly he is on the verge of ruining himself, making it easy for Gambians to reach our long standing goal – his removal and subsequent trial, alongside his closest accomplices in the hate and financial crimes they have committed against Gambians.
As a leader, the danger of surrounding oneself with a pack of uninformed, greedy buffoons is that they wreck your reign with acts of selfish in fights that only rain misery on the masses. People like Momodou Sanyang will do everything to undo innocent and more productive Gambians, while protecting his own thieving son, who now reigns over the Gambia’s US mission, the son who consciously commits financial crimes in connivance with Yahya Jammeh.
These might not be new information, but they serve as strong reminder for the world to know how Yahya Jammeh, thanks to his total incompetence and disregard for wisdom, has been governing the Gambia. You can not defend a judicial system under which big criminals like Lamin Sibi Sanyang are pardoned and less important once like Col. Gibril Bojang get such phoney trials and sentencing. Why would anyone have respect for a leader who imposes himself on those he leads, treating them with such loathsome indifference and disrespect? Why would I respect a leader who shamelessly lies without looking back for a single moment?
And to those who bask in the spoil of such a vicious system, when the inevitable change occurs in Gambia, which by all indication is right at the corner, none of you who have caused innocent Gambians to suffer will be spared by an acceptable justice system.
Let the government in waiting take note of this, because if they too fail to bring a much needed justice for Gambians in the event of a change, they shall be judged by the prevailing situation.
If we must make true our desired dreams for the benefit of our subsequent generations, we must as well learn to hold our leaders responsible. Re-institution of sanity in the justice system of the Gambia must go alongside subjecting Jammeh and his criminal cronies to justice. They must answer for what they have and continue to cause Gambians. If your hands are cleaned, you have nothing to worry about. Rest assured.

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