Yahya Jammeh understands his regime has left behind a well-documented record of corruptions, retiree benefits shriveled, state murders, thousands of youths that fled the country, angry victims, Gambians who feel cheated into dictatorship, rigged system, quick fire sale of our prides to foreigners, and a seriously broken society in which the leaders are the least intelligent, have questionable backgrounds, clueless, Cassamance diasporians, unethical people whose hands are stained with crimes. With these kind of people leading our prestigious organizations, Yahya Jammeh become ever more powerful and able to lash out in all directions at any provocation. He would roll over laws with the help of mercenary judges to earn conviction, buy off his critics “who has no shame” with materials and give positions to those who shall turn a blind eye to the continued oppression. As a result, 22 years later, nothing works. Racketeering on all levels seems never-ending. Broken ferries which some sail backwards only to reach the wrong destination. Glass is half-full development visions slogans only gives us blackouts around the corner, never out of mind but always out of sight. Depressing realities as Kanilai is more develop than Banjul- the city of Gambia, and broken education system failing our future generation.
For one thing, Yahya Jammeh understand Gambian mentality and we get the practical reality now. In every institution, he will commit the most horrendous crime to drive away principle people and make seats available for unprofessional people who unreservedly see him as a savior or he puts his lineage in leadership positions. Independent Journalist and bright aspiring young Gambians whom would have jumped directly to the top of the journalistic pecking order, all ran away because their institutions were either burnt to ashes, their colleagues killed and others tortured. The same goes for our once cherished institutions such as Ports, Nawec, and Gamtel. Most of their season directors are either embarrassed to death , jailed in mile two for months and some exiled. Those people appointed by the regime now who assumed directorate positions — are helping the regime to be more dictatorial by — spying on Gambians, blocking services or reducing internet, mixing the nation’s drinking water with “Safara”, selling cash powers instead of returning their instructions to their glory days of being — one of the best in Africa. As for the military, court of public opinion verdict is out there for everyone to see. Make no mistake: In truth, there is compelling evidence in the wake of April 14th/16th events that the service men shamefully choose sides to support oppression and dictatorship. That’s another lengthy topic which I will discuss in a future piece.
Yahya Jammeh knowing very well that the power to reshuffle all his stacked deck lies on elections and there is only one place he can’t escape his opponents, the ballot box. All his misdeeds on Gambians have thrust upon him, and it remains to be seen if he can match his rhetoric with reality because — we have seen Dictatorship at his best which left us in events of crisis and brought our country to the bottom of the barrel in freedom. So he worked very hard to make IEC the most broken independent organization, compromised its credibility and entrust the organization in the hands of the very unethical people — uninterested in any change. His folks at the IEC go beyond constitutionally to make sure they aren’t shaping any policies that will be fair to the other parties. They dismissed every help given to APRC along the way as irrelevant whiles they ensure Gambian opposition parties are certainly walking on a perilous tightrope with painful measures towards the elections whiles allowing apparent intruders in the nest with relaxed rules along the way. The policing arm of the IEC whom are the lawmakers in parliament, tasked with oversight but are rubber stamp unfit members. A more modest reform that would give opposition and ruling parties equal voice are all eliminated. That is fundamentally unfair, and ruling party see loopholes to exploit the system with their marbles.
Although our believe is that — the opposition going into elections after Solo Sandeng’s death and jailing of UDP executives raised legitimate criticisms but not to the extent of shelf-destructive episode some are making it to be. Once again, people should understand that the opposition in Gambia have never been or not always treated fairly especially the UDP. So many party members died in the line of duty serving their party honorably. It’s hard to gin up much enthusiasm but we need to pick up were the great heroes left off and continue the fight to victory and fix the catastrophe APRC manufactured in our society. Those heroes held firm against intransigent, pugnacious and irrational APRC regime to say a loud “NO” to dictatorship. Whether you like or abhor the idea of going to election as a chance to stop the madness in our country, it would be unconscionable to achieve it by not continuing the quest of our fallen and our elders in prison. It is not enough at this moment to acknowledge the efforts of our opposition because we all have identical desire and interest to see Gambia free out of dictatorship. I am sure Darboe and Co in prison would be appreciative if we all come out in massive numbers to vote for opposition, offer moral support to their families and free our tortured women in jail.
Anti-dictatorship feeling is more intense than ever, gaining strength each day and bringing new voters to opposition camps. The much landslide the regime talks about seems shakier as evident of opposition support growing because Gambians are just fed up with this system. Majority of Gambians believe that opposition leaders now grasps their problems and fears in ways the nation’s current leaders do not. UDP took considerable courage and put the regime to task. The military are tired of killing their brothers and they are now talking. They now see Yahya Jammeh and his Generals as people who do not have the interest of the country but only to help themselves becoming wealthier, marrying two wives, ambushing Gambians for sacrifice, deducting their salaries and having endless girlfriend with worldwide dramas. APRC regime is in crisis and need awards as a source of motivation but as the old saying goes “Never let a crisis go to waste”. If they are confident of winning the elections, let APRC buck up the courage to stand behind their record on every decision they have made and release all the oppositions in prison.
Lastly, I will discuss three events briefly recorded in history off memory to help inspire people. The first event. When Ala ibnul hadrami ( A companion of the prophet(S.A.W)) whom was on a mission reached a place called dahna, all their camels ran away in the middle of the desert. He raised his hand and supplicated with these words “ Yaa aleemu , Yaa Haleemu, wa fee sabeelika harajnaa”. Before he finished his supplications, all the camels came running back towards them. Also, they came at another standstill, when they encountered a deep river to cross. They did not give up either. He ordered everyone to get back on their horse as he raised his hands up whiles reciting that same supplication. His followers were astonished by what they saw — their horses were walking and galloping on river waters. Let’s move to the next event. When al ansh” A dictator” at a point in time threatened abaa idris ibnul alhawlaani to disbelieve in GOD or else he will throw him in fire, the man refused. He was thrown in fire and GOD called out the fire to “cool like it did with Prophet Ibrahim”. He came out of the fire days later unburnt and people where surprised. Moving to the third event. When they refused Amadou Bamba to pray on their ship, he took out his mat or hide, made supplication and pray in the open ocean without drowning. These people were not prophets but held on to their faith in the time of need. So Gambia, this is our moment. We have the truth on our side. Let us stand together and cross that bridge on December 1st by holding our hands together. We can do it. We have been hurt for so long. We have cried for 22 years. We have buried too many of our citizens and now we don’t even have bodies to pray on. Let’s not get intermediated anymore. Here is a chance for that son, daughter, or relative you haven’t seen for years to come back home and pay respect on their parents’ graves. Let’s start knocking our neighbor’s doors to bring out the vote. We will encourage our opposition to dissolve the political bands and unite as one for the shake of our country. We cannot afford anymore lone wolfs snatching one of us away. We gave Yaya Jammeh every opportunity in life but he wants to take our lives and deny us opportunity. Let’s pack this monster and send his away with his family to live in peace. Let’s go to the polling booth with courage of Martin Luther king, let’s be patient with the long lines and lets show our independent mind once we get inside to vote against Yahya Jammeh.
By habib ( A Concerned Gambian)