Yaya Jammeh marveled during his so called meet the farmers tour against the so called “Negative internet sites” sweeping the nations gateways to the homes of Gambians. He didn’t mention that the phenomenon — and its disorienting effect — has been largely his doing. The choice between development and backwardness offered by the president is a false choice. He rekindled his stale resentments and overstepped his authority with diktats meant to scare Gambians into his submission. Our elders and religion teaches us “if we don’t have anything good to say, you keep silent”. Words once spoken in one corner of the world— lives forever somewhere in the heart of people, servers or on a digital world and the scribes who record our deeds.
Some Gambians only yesterday, sat back and enjoy the spectacle of the regime tearing the fabrics of our society apart. Now slowly but surely, the effects of the regime policies are felt in every corner of the country and coming towards their coronation. Now they’re learning that the rain that falls on the regimes opponents gets them wet, too. Now they are waking up to the reality of living under a brutal regime. The abuse of political prisoners is no secret. Some used to argue about the white elephant buildings development but much harm happened to the citizens which since erase the sunny outlook of the regime. A cornerstone of the nation’s confidence which is the people are not better off today, yesterday, and tomorrow under the APRC regime.
In life, once you reach the top of the heap, some people with moral conscience retire with dignity while few others feel entitled to stay there until death does them apart. Fearing change, people sell their principles and go against the wishes of their citizens who question their political orthodoxy. As the pendulum of power approaches the completion of its APRC era swing, Yaya Jammeh insist to stay in power grudgingly and he is determine to inflict as much damage to the nation before he leaves. He showered himself with extraordinary unchallenged power and authority as a weapon to harass—some people, politicians and ideological opponents in ways that no one would have dared. There are hundreds of who should be alive but are not, along with thousands of surviving victims as a result of the president’s determination to stay in power no matter what.
Yaya Jammeh selective attitude toward opposition parties’ persecution is puzzling, even to those who are eager to give him the benefit of every doubt. Some die hard loyalist though he could have moderated his hectoring tone and wish he stop his actions against Gambians. Reality of his policies and his words are forces to be reckon with. The legacy Yaya Jammeh will leave is well established already. Staying in the good graces of Gambians is even more difficult after lives lost and torture details he approved came to light. He doesn’t seem to understand that a president doesn’t design his legacy. Yes there are moments in history when the fate of the nation’s lies at the mercy of the integrity of its leader but legacy is how you executed those actions.
The nation’s uncertainty cause by regime didn’t happen overnight and renewed confidence in the future won’t either because our society is now beset with structural problems and political paradox. With its propaganda and financial manipulation, the APRC regime feed some of his loyalist —with piecemeal and inadvertent assistance into the effort to cling on to power even doing the unthinkable. Some people who should know better don’t understand this. The disregard for human life that drives the regime to abuse its own supporters further illuminates its dream of eliminating its political opponents. The empty ritual of fear mongering by Yaya Jammeh is familiar now, and impresses no one.
A competent president would know that shared values like love of country, not tribal resentment, gives his citizens the fortitude and plain level field to succeed by leaving office gracefully when they are no longer welcomed to stay in office. Yaya Jammeh’s stubborn devotion to his agenda of staying in office by his use of terror —as an innumerable caravan to eternity for those whom he dislikes or disagrees with. This reveals his closed mind with lethal consequences against Gambians. He resorted to social engineering of the nation’s workforce and security forces which have been one of Yaya goals in his quest to transform Gambia. It has been very difficult for Gambians adjusting to the elaborate restraints of social etiquette and the closed nature of society which was once friendly.
This is why older elders always preach “Courage has its rewards, and fear has consequences”. A vibrant democracy depends on every citizen’s respect for the right of everyone to express an opinion, particularly if the opinion is unpopular. Everything Gambians worked hard for generations is now owned by Yaya Jammeh nowadays. You name it; Abuko life stocks —now kanilai farms, farm lands, hotels , buildings of high real estate values and the list goes on to the point that nothing is ever certain in Gambia except when it is owned by Yaya Jammeh. The rule of law is meant to guide the administration of justice but in The Gambia, the law is dictated by Yaya Jammeh’s mood swing. He is obsessed with four things; tribalism, color blind, riches and his favorite African trademarks.
Nevertheless, some Gambians have already pout, left the country in thousands through back way –others with university degree holders are more likely to stay in their host countries and raise their kids in different cultural environment. The regime has shuttered-eye approach on every concern of Gambians but this may soon be no longer tolerable because people want a free society and vibrant government to address their needs. The regime in every case has established a new standard of incompetence and proudly employs incompetent people or resorts to tribal affiliations employment. Most people see your regime as the scary darkening cloud they couldn’t way to eventually disappear.
Written By Habib (A Concerned Gambian)