Kanilai. What is it with these anti-establishment wannabes? Surfing around the Gambian social media to divine the reactions to the unprecedented Kanilai Riot against the presence of ECOMIG and wanting Goloh Ajuma back, it was succinctly agreeable that urgent security solution is required by your leadership to house these spirited, reckless and disoriented simpletons in their rightful home. Yes every Gambian has a constitutional right to have his/her own thoughts and feelings about how their government reigns. Similarly, Gambians are allowed to have an opinion on what their government does to and for them. But bullying the government into thinking and doing things your way is a truly obnoxious position that only most oawlish oxymoron would take. The government would sometimes make decisions and do things that some of us don’t like but it is in the general interest of the majority, development, peace and stability. Most importantly, no amount of protests and/or riots will ever bring back Goloh Ajuma except to answer to his chilling atrocities in a competent court of law. Additionally, the ECOMIG is not an illegal force occupying Kanilai. They are here to help strengthen and stabilise our security for the duration of their mandate. So get over it Kanilai.

How could our intelligence services miss this Kanilai Riot well-orchestrated by Goloh Ajuma and Binta Kujabi? In a video she posted on Gambian social media, she admitted that she was in close contact with the ringleaders of the Kanilai Riot for a whole week prior to its staging. It is hard to discern but two equations quickly spring to mind. Either, the heads and a bulk of our security services still owe allegiance to Goloh Ajuma or they are just headless chickens with no intelligence clue. Another reasonable explanation for the Intelligence Services failure to pick up the Kanilai Riot at its inception is the continued privatisation of our international gateway to a scrupulous Swiss company, MGI. MGI is controlling the international gateway and, as a result, it would be difficult to trace calls outside to the Gambia without their permission. Suffice it to say Goloh Ajuma still has a direct share and influence on our international gateway. He can be communicating directly to anybody on a daily basis in the Gambia from his comfort zone in Equatorial Guinea without our intelligence services picking up his calls. This, therfore, necessitated the reclaiming of our international gateway and to be manned by GAMCEL. Come to think of it, Goloh’s only advice to Barrow prior to his reluctant departure was not to compromise security of the country. Legit advice. But on a second thought, was it a code warning to Barrow that “I will go but make the country ungovernable for you?” Perhaps, it is my security instincts that are restless here but we all know that he was prepared to fight and this is exactly what he is doing from afar. I am beginning to connect the dots. When Sulayman Single Nyassi announced he was retiring from active social media and closing his Facebook account, he equally warned “Be prepared for a day of national outrage”. Was he also alluding to the Kanilai Riot? Our Intelligence Services were better during Goloh’s era or was it due to the fear of the historic brutality. What has changed? Is it personnel incapacity or material?

When Hon Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty, chants about overhauling our security services to measure up to acceptable standards, one is left impressed and looks forward to a formidable professional security services. Lamentably, one is now forced to deduce is he another high sounding oaf who hasn’t got a clue of what security actually entails or doe he lack what it takes to overhaul the security services? Oh I got. Name change. Is that how he intends to overhaul our security services? Nonetheless, whenever I watch or hear him speak, I wonder could he be Gambia’s next President? He has the aura of one both in charisma and quick response to issues of national concerns. He is accused of being fierce and overstepping his limits but leadership requires audacity and fixing what everyone wants someone else to resolve. In all honesty, Hon Fatty is more Presidential than Barrow and all his cabinet colleagues. Therefore, why is he wasting time in overhauling the security services?

The murder of Haruna Jatta, a 54 year old, during the Kanilai Riot must not be excused by any means. It must be fully investigated and his killers be prosecuted accordingly. His life is not less important than any of Goloh Ajuma’s victims. A post mortem must be conducted to determine the actual cause of his death. His family must equally be fully informed of the circumstances surrounding his murder. Hon Fatty, as Minister of Interior, rose to the occasion by cutting short his official visit in Liberia to address the security concerns. What many found astonishing is why the President is yet to address the nation on the issue? May be he needs to swap role with Hon Fatty because he is more Presidential than Barrow.

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK