The National President of Gambia’s main opposition United Democratic Party, Dembo By-Force Bojang, has expressed fear that the Mandingka ethic group will soon be required to pay alien card taxes in The Gambia, since the country’s dictator Yahya Jammeh, has branded them as non-Gambians. Mr. Bojang, who was speaking in an exclusive interview with Freedom Radio Gambia’s Leral show, said he takes Jammeh’s statement very seriously. Mr. Bojang also noted that Jammeh is presiding over a bankrupt economy, and is very capable of imposing alien taxes against the nation’s majority ethic group, the Mandingkas.
“We the Mandingka community in this country, have good reasons to be concerned about Yahya Jammeh’s recent declaration that Gambian Mandingkas are foreigners. Jammeh also said he is going to deport us to Mali, a West African nation, he said, where Mandingkas hailed from. We should not be surprised if Jammeh starts charging us (Mandingkas) to pay alien taxes,” Bojang said.
In his anti Mandingka diatribe, Jammeh also threatened to exterminate Mandingkas, who are bent on destabilizing the country. Mr. Jammeh vowed to kill and bury Mandingkas nine feet deep.
According to Dembo By-Force, the only way Mandingkas can feel safe in the country, is to unite with the other tribes (ethnic groups) by voting Jammeh out of office in the upcoming Presidential elections. He said Jammeh’s threats are real and should not be ignored.
“I am appealing to my Mandingka brothers and sisters to please unite with the other ethnic groups: The Jollas, the wollofs, the Fulas, the Sarahules, and vote against Jammeh. Jammeh has said that we are foreigners. Nothing is going to stop him from leveling alien taxes against us, if we fail to unite against him. In order to avoid being persecuted in our own country, we should come together and unite to stop Jammeh from further ruling this country. We need other tribes on board to stop Jammeh from his politics of tribal bigotry and discrimination,” he said.
Mr. Dembo By-Force is a veteran Gambian politician. He has been in politics for decades. He was first with the PPP party, headed by Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, before breaking ranks with the PPP to join the late Sheriff Mustapha Dibba’s NCP party.
When Jammeh disbanded his party, the NCP in July of 1994, Mr. Bojang teamed up with other politicians to join the United Democratic Party, (UDP) headed by Lawyer Ousainou Darboe.
Expressing his total outrage and shock at Jammeh’s statement against the Mandingkas, Mr. Bojang said Yahya Jammeh is not only a polarizing dictator, but divisive at the same time. Mr. Bojang was speaking in his local Mandingka dialect during the hour long interview. He accuses Jammeh of using the Presidency to propagate tribal bigotry.
“I want to believe that Jammeh is feeling the heat now. He made the anti Mandingkas statement out of frustration and desperation. He can no longer fool us. All patriotic and God fearing Mandingkas, have turned their back at him. Acting out of desperation, he resorted to branding Gambian Mandingkas as foreigners. 2016, is a crucial year for The Gambia. We should unite and send Jammeh packing. Jammeh is an affront to tribal unity, peace, security and national development. We cannot afford to have such a divisive and polarizing character to lead us as a nation,” Mr. Bojang remarked.
Mr. Bojang reminded Jammeh that The Gambia is a diverse nation, in which all tribes have been living side by side for years without any problem. Therefore, he said, Jammeh will woefully fail in his quest to divide Gambians based on tribal line.
“Jammeh cannot divide us. His tribal politics will not work. We are a nation of ethnic diversity. Tribes intermarry in this country. If Jammeh thinks that he can win votes by spewing tribal bigotry against the Mandingkas, he must be out of his mind. Jammeh has clearly manifested his hate against the Mandingkas. It is up to us now to take precautions not to be persecuted by his regime. The only way out to escape from Jammeh’s threat is for a national ethnic unity against Jammeh, We must defeat Jammeh in 216,” he added.
The rest of Mr. Bojang’s interview will be transcribed in coming days. Stay tuned.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai