Gambia: Yaya Jammeh’s missing messages


Growing up in Gambia during the pre-1994 days, we cling to our faith and have strong morals. Anyone who holds a position of leadership must [have] fear of GOD, impeccable integrity, empathy for those serve beneath them, honesty built on forthrightness and dispensation of their duties with decorum. In short, this helped to lay the groundwork for the decent respectable people of society and multicultural progressivism which lead to a color-blind tribal society. Leadership positions were — exclusively based on ability and talent in mostly cases. This is not the care today. Yes, there were few cases of rotten people driven by favoritism and capitalist exploitation. Today, they are the so called elites acting infallible and appointed themselves as leaders of society.  This contributed to — one of the reasons why we are further away from being a genuine meritocracy.

Our parents and the Gambia society instilled in us the attributes of self— reliance, entrepreneurship and personal responsibility. These are our greatest strengths and has always been found in one another. Hmm, I know the esteem readers are now connecting the dots wondering where Yaya Jammeh was when society was giving them away free. Well! he was around playing the victimology card and missed all those three attributes. I respect his personal struggles growing up—  because he didn’t choose his parents in life. Now, non-Gambians will understand the secret why Gambians prosper in any part of the world within short period of time. That is the spirit that has always sustained. Those values were core to our upbringing. Instead learning those attributes in later parts of his life, Yaya Jammeh largely turned his back on them and with that. He has rejected the self-empowerment and prosperity that comes with it to build Gambia society today. No wonder why he led Gambia with check book diplomacy, economic plantation, heavy taxation of it citizens, blaming British and claims every event of disaster which struck far remote areas of the world as a Gambian problem.  Pure laziness.

The same problem now affects our society too. Today in Gambia, it is hard to imagine the intense level of tribal hatred, moral abomination, and institutionalized discrimination faced by the population on a daily basis. This is so wrong and despicable. Job discrimination is common. Its effects continue to plague our society. Our once beloved Gambia is led by people obsessed with identity politics. leadership is now plagued with stories of his rampant adultery and serial, life-long womanizing revolted even some of his closest associates. Violence on Gambians, mass kidnapping by regime and killings of unarmed Solo Sandeng by Yaya Jammeh’s thugs have caused alarm, torturing of women, jailing of the opposition revived the nation’s conversation about Gambia today under the leadership of Yaya Jammeh— stood in stark contrast with our values.

The Gambians once more called on Yaya Jammeh to consigned again to the guiding principles of caring, empathy, neighborliness, love for one another which are the moral pillars of our nation and society. He instead continues to send them to the dustbin of history. His cohorts now employed a similar philosophy. They can play downplay the effects of harsh words or actions of Yaya Jammeh to our society as much as they wish. But to do that would ignore the real and deadly effects of such rhetoric to our children. In spite of all horrors, marching in support of Yaya Jammeh is something entirely different and wholly un-Gambian. Their message isn’t a solution to violence meted to the opposition by Yaya Jammeh but — an appeal to the anger that perpetuates the cycle of hatred. If this stands unpunished by us not turning our backs on this regime, it will set a dangerous precedent in Gambia. We have to do something about our moral standards, our fragile democracy had barely finished a long and contentious struggle that tested it founding ideals.

We need to break free from rigid ideology of— tribalism and together grab hold of this opportunity to let Yaya Jammeh go away for us to bridge our partisan divides and deliver change for the Gambia people. These are the messages missing in Yaya Jammeh’s speeches.

Written By Habib ( A Concern Gambian) 

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