Gambia: Yaya Jammeh’s fine art of back-scratching for political advantage


In Gambia , many rightly wonder why every event of a serious matter of national disaster only  blooms for couple days or a month and fade away quickly like a season except for cronyism persists throughout all season . With all the atrocities, brutality of UDP party members since its inception, exterminations, turmoil’s, diplomatic  blunders, scandals, embarrassments and condemnation of the world, Conventional wisdom suggests that — people should distance themselves from such a person.  Yaya Jammeh is bruised heavily but still stands politically in Gambia. That’s because he have been tolerated far too long by Gambians that either accepts the status quo or aren’t paying attention for 22 years. He has been allowed push his narrative unchallenged for two decades now until it becomes conventional wisdom.

SandengYaya Jammeh mastered the inside-outside power approach to trading favors in full swing early on since the dead of Koro Ceesay in 1995 — and many more—  all the way to Solo Sandeng in 2016.  Gambians still underestimate Yaya Jammeh. With prosecutorial discretion at the ICC in the hands of fellow Gambian ex minister of justice, huh ! The chances of an inquest about Yaya Jammeh human rights abuses are smaller than the likelihood or next to none. We keep repeating the same mistakes but Yaya Jammeh has perfected the fine art of back-scratching for political advantage and turns our problems into profit for his family. He acts with inexcusable disregard for human life. Everything about the Gambia is narrated with subsequent sensational and one-sided media coverage of his perspective only.

Yaya Jammeh has showed himself as a calculated manipulative individual who seize opportunity — upon— opportunity and use it to his advantage. His irresponsible perception of things nevertheless becomes reality and fear fester. 30th December heroes were betrayed by their fellow Gambian counter parts; he sold them to the world as terrorists and refused to hand over the bodies to families to this day. His narrative is wrong and deceptive. After they killed solo and jailed the UDP executives, he is out there preaching tribalism from every corner of Gambia to confused Gambians to prevent much bigger uprising. This big cry baby is encouraging the impression that UDP is a tribalism party. Again, his narrative is wrong because he is trying to cover up the fact that he responded with unrestrained violence to electoral reform request. The sad thing is that some Gambians bought it and some are siting home doing nothing about it.

When any good ideas surfaces and crisis of enormous proportion occurs, the Jammeh’s will find a way and turn it into a broad boulevard of personal gain. When Europeans closed your check books, he ran to Arabs and changes The Gambia to— Islamic state of Gambia. Political opportunism is now the new rule of Yaya Jammeh. He expects Gambians to stand by him in his quest to rule for many years — come hell or high water notwithstanding — cashing the favors given to the few whom he gave stolen properties ceased through eminent domain. One torturer was quoted in Fatoumata Jawara’s affidavit “you want to spoil our enjoyment “.  Like the loyal soldiers, they will fall inline no matter what wrong he does and do all the dirty job of killing, raping, torturing for him.

The most vociferous opposition is coming from the Diaspora but every year, someone whom is granted political asylum — as a result of their testimonial about the regime, cross carpets and creates just as much of a strain on the credibility of our struggle. Recent examples of those who show solidarity with Yaya Jammeh along with all his embarrassments, got rewarded ambassadorial or diplomatic jobs in critical positions such as UN.  The world gets confused and gets eggs thrown on their faces.

Yaya Jammeh has successfully confused the local Gambian population by redefining cronyism— with loyalty. Many feel that Loyalty is standing by ones political allies regardless of — and sometimes especially if — they’ve done wrong. Unfortunately, cronyism appears all too often to be the glue bonding together political alliances and nationalism. Never has the regime been used so extensively as a vehicle for benefiting political cronies at the expense of the rest of us. Given the regime’s rampant favoritism, special treatment and using—  families, religious leaders, community elders ties to silence opponent, the chance of fighting for one’s conviction gets very difficult.  Let’s be honest! Those whom are engage in politics are regarded as aimless or have too much time on their hands. If we want to regain our freedom, perpetual local practice of cronyism must end, and we all must demand more of our elected officials.

New revelations have surfaced from Panama papers of hidden wealth than previously known existed in Gambia but nothing came out of it so far. Jammeh clearly warded off the threat of investigations because a he ensures no paper trail documents bears his name. His supporters say — there is no smoking gun that betrays illegal activity just to kill this scandalous issue once and all.  Well to many Gambians, It simply confirms what the public already knows about Gambia’s quintessential political families— Amadou samba and the Jammeh family. With no serious opposition in the parliament and mercenary judges as Chief Justice, DDP and his tribe’s men as heads of security, he is comfortable dictating everything because he doesn’t get the plain talk advice.

Yaya Jammeh have showed a generation of Gambians how to seize upon disaster and use it to his advantage. Dictator Jammeh understands few party militants and some party supporters are infatuated with wealth, women and cars since their childhood —growing up in poverty. He exchanged their unfencing opposition to his rule with those sweet heart deals. Hence the wollof proverb “When day light falls, we see all those with ugly face”. Yaya Jammeh— a corrupt leader will go to any lengths to protect his position with control the media, intimidation, lies, exploitation of Gambian nationalism, manipulation of people’s religious beliefs, use of people as scapegoats and novice security services to his advantage. The struggle will be very difficult atimes , but it is with hope that our dedication, endurance, and comrades whom had fallen   will keep us going  and ensure we don’t turn our backs on Gambia. We need to fact check Yaya Jammeh daily before he pollutes the minds of Gambia’s to the point of no return. I encourage someone to start the #Factchecking-Yaya Jammeh.

Written By Habib ( A Concerned Gambian)

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