Gambia: Jallow Kanilai: The Kiss of Death Gambians unknowingly embraced


Honestly, when Yaya came to power, we were all skeptical because we didn’t know his roots. People then asked legitimate questions; such as who is his aunt, grandma, siblings etc. We all though he enjoyed Gambian hospitality such as free scholarship to high school and embraced him with all love. Everyone dream was to make Gambia a prosperous aspiring nation. To keep a long story short, we recognize our simultaneous existence, balance or reconcile our fears and compromise our worries about him. Boy we kiss death to its face unknowingly! Gambia is diverse society. We have different cultures and personalities. No not everyone will think alike or like your ways and lifestyle. Hence, there are essentially two ways to maintain order in divided societies without undue violence and get things done in a society — “Compromise” accepting divergent political views or some form of dictatorship using brute force. It has been distressing these past weeks to watch the police force creep from protecting civilians to helping Yaya Jammeh adopting more dictatorial measures and nationalistic assault on the country’s citizens. Yaya Jammeh! Your actions are more far-reaching than anyone imagined in the throes of your brutality on families. You still haven’t learned your actions have doomed your presidency but nonetheless, you have doubled down vowing to hunt families house by house, alley by alley and pushed for military brutality on Gambians. You still are not very careful and reflective about your actions despite doing everything against Gambian wishes. We thought by now you will have expressed regret, frustration and bewilderment about what went wrong and what you might have been done differently.

 This is why you are now facing a furious revolt by Gambians determined to end your quixotic rule. Why are you still giving directive to arrest families of protestors? What pleasure do you derive from this? Your actions of jailing political rivals, protestors, students, women, — especially 1-month old baby who needs breast milk every couple hours at least —only create a messy confusing situation, clobbering everyone in your way and no issue is ever really settled at heart. Gambians are so confused by you jailing families including husband and wives. Ultimately, now it is clear that you don’t recognize other Gambians who disagrees with your regime brutality. I remind you that you swear by the constitution to protect and be their keeper. Gambians feel unheard, which makes them feel left out and forgotten. This tendency has had a wretched effect on our country. If you are an opposition or suspected sympathizer— forget it, you will not have a job, everyone will run away from you, and you will be reduced to nothing in society.  Yaya Jammeh, you resort to cherry picking people who have no political skills or experience in maintaining anything in life — best exemplified by the top security chiefs, some ambassador, parliamentarians but not exclusive to all APRC stewards. As evident, one of your ambassador is still trying to explain himself out of comments made against innocent protestors and wrote a piece which is worse than the sound bites he is stumbling to explain. You end up with selfish people who are willing to trample every custom and rule if it helps them gain power and position. Now take a look at the recent leaked panama papers showing some Gambians we all suspected all along fattening their pockets and bank account overseas mercilessly. All they want is total victories for themselves and not the country at large.

Yaya Jammeh disapproval of your policies and disappointments are normal to create a healthy society. Good and decent leaders recognize restraints, acknowledge others and settle for less than they want in society for peace and harmony to thrive. Yes, we are Gambians and we love endless conversations in which we learn about other people and see things from their vantage point and try to balance their needs against our own. Recently, our folks have been identifying NIA among themselves because they look alien to our society and cannot blend in no matter what. Their incompetence leads to more dysfunctional government and mistrust among people, which leads to more disgust with your regime. Yaya Jammeh, you have no ideas for Gambia anymore other than enriching yourself. The only ideas you have now is make soaring promises and raise ridiculous expectations. Gambians grow cynical and disgusted, turn even further from you because they see your brutality first hand. Your constant bashing style of rhetoric makes common sense conversation impossible; “Bilal dama laa daaha”, “daghaa fanan mile -two”, odd expressions, and your tendency to fight cultural battles through political means.


By Habib Bojang- Jammeh (A concerned Gambian)


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