Enablers and Dis-Enablers

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This obsession about Enablers of Yaya Jammeh is going to be a major factor in the derailment and weakening of the struggle to bring about positive change in the Gambia if we are not careful. All those who are struggling to remove Yaya Jammeh must realize that in fact all Gambians are enablers of Yaya Jammeh. The facts are clear; first, the people voted for him, either by directly voting for him or refusing to vote at all and therefore enabling him to be a winner.

Secondly, the opposition, by their refusal to see the urgency of unity by any means have therefore conceded the space to Yaya Jammeh to occupy in full. By their failure to unite, the position has also caused frustration in many people to lose hope and therefore fail to vote. Thirdly, all those Gambians who have fled the Gambia for whatever reason have by their absence enabled Yaya Jammeh to occupy the space in full. Fourthly, All those Gambians who are in the country and have refused to stand up and demonstrate against the regime have therefore enabled Yaya Jammeh to continue to rule as he wished. Fifthly, all those who have decided to work with him in any capacity are also enablers. Therefore in essence all Gambians are enablers of Yaya Jammeh.

Having said that let us however realise that all of these enablers come in various degrees of responsibility and culpability. Of course there are many among the voters of Yaya Jammeh who do not have the necessary information and political awareness to realise that this regime is not in their interest. Others have been intimidated or marginalized by denying them basic social services in their communities and therefore forced to vote or show allegiance to him. We cannot hold these voters primarily responsible for the atrocities of Yaya Jammeh.

There are many in the public service that are honestly and genuinely doing their work as citizens for the State of the Gambia and in most cases with so much indignity because of the abuse and interference they get in their jobs from the Office of the President. These are innocent men and women who may have even gone to Kanilai to farm or paraded before Yaya Jammeh on July 22 celebrations. They have been forced to do so, openly or tacitly and they lack the individual power to resist.

Yet there are also those at high levels as directors in various ministries and departments and even heads of institutions who are complying but with lot of indignity and tacit resistance. Some have served in that capacity primarily because they genuinely believe that they can make a difference and have taken steps to bring about change in their little ways. They are not enablers. People like Fatou Camara or Amadou Scattred Janneh can be counted among many as part of this group. Fatou was the first to truly bring media chiefs for a detente with the dictator with a view to improve relations in the interest of the country. As minister, Scattred Janneh was the only one to have visited the burnt Independent newspaper and express total solidarity with the newspaper contrary to Yaya Jammeh attitude.

Those we need to hold to account are indeed Gambians either as public officials or private citizens who have taken decisions and executed actions that directly harm Gambians. For example, Momodou Sabally has made official statements that insult the dignity and integrity of the Gambia and her citizens. As recent as few weeks ago, Sheriff Bojang has not only denied, but went further to defend the atrocities of this regime openly in response to the US State Department’s report on human rights in the Gambia. Other individuals like Imam Fatty or the Imam Ratib have not only failed to provide good counsel to Yaya Jammeh and condemn the un-Islamic nature of the regime and actions of Yaya Jammeh, but went ahead to defend and cleanse Yaya Jammeh as an Allah-fearing individual. We do not even have to mention others such as security men and women who carried out actual acts of violence in the name of Yaya Jammeh. For example Bai Lowe did confess that he was part of the assassin team.

But even where such individuals did such, what needs to be born in mind is that when such an enabler finally breaks off from Yaya Jammeh for whatever reason and now finds it prudent to seek the removal of Yaya Jammeh, we the people must welcome such individuals. Bai Lowe just demonstrated that he is prepared to give his life away to see to it that Yaya Jammeh is removed. This is noble of him, indeed! They can only add value and strength to the struggle than otherwise. By their willingness and readiness to seek change in the Gambia is clear testimony of their acknowledgement of the misrule of this regime regardless of their previous participation. We cannot therefore forsake such people. They are Gambians and they have a right to take part in the development of this country. We cannot claim holier than thou attitude to shun them. After all many of us would have acted similarly or even worse than the people we accuse of being enablers if our circumstances turned in a certain way. In that case we would have also become a terrible enabler. But it won’t be justified for us to bar such people when after everything they decided to join the struggle to save the Gambia.

No Gambian has the authority to determine who should be part of the struggle or not. Each and every one must do his or her part and be your own judge. So long as one is not continuing to engender the regime and directly harm Gambians by your individual actions, any individual who now seeks to bring about change is an arsenal that must be accepted and utilized.

If we do so then we will all become Dis-Enablers of the ENBALERS in which case we are all therefore enabling the regime directly or indirectly. Think about it…!