I react to the piece titled: HOW WE CHOSE WAR OVER PEACE published yesterday 16 January.
1. This is the kind of article which the Wicked Destroyer Jammeh will want to have re-printed in the Daily Observer and read over his GRTS as evidence in support of his paranoid. So this piece is potentially a dangerous propaganda tool for Jammeh.
2. The piece is also dangerous because it seeks to UNDERSTAND, APPRECIATE and even EXCUSE Jammeh’s volte face which has brought catastrophe to our dear country. To insinuate that he was reasonable in doing what he did on December 9 because of certain media interviews by Tambajang and Mai Fatty is indeed misleading. The fact remains that even if three minutes after Jammeh’s concession call to Barrow was aired, a fresh intel report arrived at his desk telling him that the vote had issues, Jammeh should have had the honour and dignity to say ‘I have given my word to Gambians and that is enough’. This is what men of honour do; they keep their word even at the pain of death. Jammeh should not have done a volte face no matter the snob he allegedly received from Barrow’s team.
3. Mai Fatty’s stand on military intervention is indeed right and prescient. We all know that the current army we have will not be loyal to Barrow. This army has been designed, forged and structured to suit Jammeh’s needs, whims and caprices. It therefore cannot be of service to any other president. So is the NIA. This is the sour fact. So to believe that Barrow will be able to work with this army is self-deception. Foreign help is needed to re-structure it and redesigned it to suit the Barrow era of democracy and good governance. Since 1965, Gambia has maintained a defence pact with Senegal. Jawara invoked it in 1980 when Eku Mahoney was murdered and Jawara could not trust the inept field force. So was it invoked 8 months laterin July 1981 when Kukoi, the Unlamented mass murderer, struck and killed 700 Gambians. In 1996, Sierra Leone ignored warnings of an effete army which must be restructured before democratic elections. It was ignored. Elections were held and Tijaan Kabba was elected. 12 months later, the same army overthrew him, and we all know the disaster that action visited on Sierra Leone.
4. Jammeh wants Gambians to see Senegal as the enemy. No.Senegal remains a good neighbor. Jammeh’s problem is he does not want any leader who respects the rights and liberties of his people. Macky Sall gives him the goose bumps because Sall does not insult the West, treats his people with dignity. This is why Jammeh has done all his effort to portray Senegal as the enemy. The fact is Senegal is our friend and good neighbor. Indeed, Macy Sall was the great Jammeh Enabler. Macky deported Sidia Bayo when Jammeh complained; Macky deported Kukoi when Jammeh complained; Macky forced Buba Baldeh and Dr Sedat Jobe to lie low when Jammeh complained. So Macky was in fact criticized by Senegal rights groups like RADHO for being too soft on Jammeh and not supporting the Gambian opposition. Jammeh has insulted Macky in public calling him a kaffirr etc. So Jammeh’s stand on Senegal is fake and deceptive. Barrow should lean towards Senegal and tap their experience in democracy so that his term will be remembered as the tenure which restored genuine democracy to Gambia.
5. The writer also alluded to cracks and divisions in the coalition such as Halifa camp and Mai camp etc. In a coalition this is normal and in fact can be healthy for the future of our country. Democratic states thrive on differing opinions and tendencies even inside the government, especially if these could be canalized for the good of the people.
6. Jammeh has become the Great Destroyer, a 2016 Pol Pot. This is obvious when one visits the Banjul ferry terminal and see the hundreds of children and women fleeing Banjul and environs. People are dying in car accidents as they flee the Greater Banjul Area. Schools remain close, even though his children are going to school abroad; business have shut down; the once busy markets at Latrikund sabiji, Serekunda are empty; Barrow’s son got mauled by dogs because Jammeh refused to give Barrow and his family protection even though he is en elected president; while soldiers guard his goats at Farato, Jammeh has allowed dogs to kill the son of our elected president; our daughters are fleeing to the villages and abroad and may return pregnant because the villages are bursting to the seams with people and food supplies are under pressure.
7. Also, Gambians have been humiliated before the eyes of civilized world. Since December 9, it has become shameful to carry a Gambian passport. People at airports asks you: ‘ohm you people, why did you allow this man to oppress you so’ etc. Each day since his volte face, every news item on Gambia brings fear and shame. This is due to the hubris and obstinacy of one man: Jammeh.
Written By Modou Faye