Gambia: The Closing Of The Gambian Mind


Over the past few decades, Gambians and Gambian society has been transformed in a fit of absence of mind of serious happenings of exterminations, and many other human rights atrocities which dominates the ethos of our country. What is so puzzling is about this historical amnesia is that some Gambians aren’t appalled by the serious violations of human rights by Yaya Jammeh specifically: extermination, murder, enslavement of our civil servants working on his farms, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions by the women he impregnates and other sexual violence, persecution on political grounds, tribal and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations of native Gambians , the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation of prisoners. it’s sensible to wonder whether this is the sort of country we want to be.  So for those of us appalled by the killing of Solo Sandeng and injustice to the protestors— what are we supposed to do? We can contribute money, encourage people to turn their backs against this bad regime, we must take seriously our responsibility to protect our folks from this monster, educate our folks about Jammehism (build on a false ladder of hope on which people been falling through the cracks to mile-2 and going to their graves early). Is that enough? The historical parallels are inescapable.

SandengRepressions and killings of Gambians have been ignored by too many for too long. Jammehism has pervasively betrayed Gambians: left them awash in debts to society, broken government, perpetually insecure, broken home through divorce or family feud, and our children are adrift by backway route. Subjective personal moral values have been replaced by Jammeh principles. Gambian women have suffered too much under Jammeh. Tabara Samba allegedly raped and Killed. Prominent Gambian anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) activist and long-term Equality Now partner, Dr. Isatou Touray, the Executive Director of The Gambia Committee Against Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP), and her colleague Amie Bojang-Sissoho were jailed in notorious mile two prison concentration camp whiles Gambians watched. Nogoi Njie, Fatou Camara, and Fatoumatta Jarawa recently severely tortured and jailed at Mile-2 concentration Camp. Yaya has been very violent on our innocent women. His henchmen constantly rape, torture and kill our women. The insensitivity and ignorance of Mama Singhateh, Isatou Njie Saidy of the imagery of their actions evoked is stunning. One of the most revered memorials Yaya Jammeh using them against Gambians without pausing to contemplate their actions. Several women have accused Dictator Jammeh of having sexual contact with them against their will.  It’s amazing, really. Certainly those images of the police brutality against UDP executives has conjure up nightmares for all Gambians with conscious. It’s mind-boggling.

 It’s hard to understand how people lose their sense of history so quickly. The constitution seems to be replaced by just shifting judgment of Jammehs mood swings. This bandit regime is under a lot of pressure and stress and simply did not realize the connotations it would have on Gambians. When an immoral crusade is caused by Jammeh such as execution of 9 prisoners, many Gambians conscience feel compelled to distance themselves within minutes and condemned it. They are force to embraced and praised his actions because people dread being exiled and condemned. The ultimate sin today in Yaya’s eyes is to criticize him especially on moral grounds, be it killing, adultery he commits, stealing of people properties or breaking home and families. Talk of good and bad has to defer to talk about patriotism and influencing Jammeh recognition. 

Well, not what some the leaders of the opposition are doing. They’re going down meekly and hoping for a quiet Memorandum of Understanding signing with this bad regime. The job for the rest of us is to figure out the right response. The better course for all of us — Gambians is to step back and take the long view, and to begin building our future without Yaya Jammeh. Gambia had many communities in the past that heal those who suffer from broken homes, trauma, instability and embrace strangers with open arms. The challenge will be to create a new Gambia through unprecedented civil education of our beloved nation citizens because Yaya Jammeh has created a nation of widening inequality. Evidence is emerging that there are real slight gains for Gambia’s who take part in such efforts like reading online diasporian newspapers and listening to online radios. One of the points is their shared recognition that Yaya has really destroyed Gambia and has no solutions to deal with the complex problems that characterize our society he created. The complex problems and undesirable situations he caused to our dignity, take away our humanity, destroy the image as a country, our economy destroyed so bad and his corruption are reduced to a single narrative and fables: Western countries are bad, your neighboring country dislike us, oppositions and diasporian are bad country men.  He makes up his version of everything and wants to force people to embrace his cooked approved story. But another true story, He is reaping record profits stealing everything while pushing down Gambian economy to the drain.

Our Hospitals has no medications, patients dying of simple curable infections, prices of basic commodities are so high, salaries are stagnant, the least educated will be your boss. This has created a nation in which peoples mind and spirit take flight. Meanwhile his wife is enjoying the best healthy dishes there is in the world. For our old folks he failed, he feeds them dog meat, non halal meat, pork as alleged by some people. In the realm of criminal justice, the justice system is ridged with mercenary judges to enables police brutalism. Yaya’s governing style is — given over to random pleasures and whims, feasting on plenty of food and sex, his appetite for attacking anyone who dears to question his authority. He is a traitor to his tribesmen — and you either find a way to appease him or you are forced to flee, disgrace in society or killed. This Yaya Jammeh phenomenon— has reminded us how much pain there is in our country.Mile-2 population and incarceration rates has surged to a 20-year high — a sure sign of rampant social injustice. We all have some responsibility to do one activity that leaps across the chasms of serious tribal segmentation that afflict our country.

Written By Habib (A Concerned Gambian)


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