As the presidential elections enters its final stretch and a great possibility of a coalition with a solid candidate of exceptional leadership qualities, surprisingly begins to rejuvenate the hope of a big surprise win in December elections— the second birth of a free Gambia swirling around, Yaya Jammeh and his counter parts — Russia unveiled their plans last week in response to the uproar by signing defense cooperation agreement. Yaya Jammeh naturally use to find solace in our division but this time around, he has to call for a backup. Instead, Yaya Jammeh is now on his heels working on second option plans. At the very least, the news should remind Gambian voters that power belongs to the people if we all come together as one. In the same context, conversely speaking, this should put the statement or overstatement that election cannot possibly remove the dictator kind of outlandish. We know the election will be historic in deciding the faith of our nation because these are unsettling times for our country. Yaya Jammeh have made it very clear some time ago by lifting his eyebrows with arrogance and spit drooling and foaming at the end of his mouth that— he will be more dangerous because— Gambians haven’t seen nothing yet. Will Gambian voters allow themselves to be insulted by Yaya jammeh who underestimates our common sense, took us for granted by the divisiveness he has created and made fools of us into giving him the mandate to continue his terror on those who are hardly a mortal threat to the republic? Are they willing to kiss death it is face again? The scandalous issues of Yaya Jammeh have been boiling the country into heighten temperatures and now, we as a whole nation continue to be on the losing side?
In the last twenty-two years, leadership of APRC has been at play, reorganizing everything, destroying every pillar of our nationhood, denying their responsibility to the Gambians while at the same time changing their rhetoric. Our once-great institutions no longer work in the interests of the people. The scale of tragic events that continues to engulf our nation, the mounting debt, the painful tug-of-war against our citizens, the demographic makeover through social re-engineering, the isolation Yaya Jammeh has put us through, the office of presidency reduced to laughable extremes by scandals, all the tears shed through killings and torture of our women— demands more than politics as usual. The Gambians have lost confidence in this regime long time ago. They have open everything to Yaya Jammeh and set the bar so low for him just to demonstrate compassion or even doing the minimal standards of compliance of moral behavior, but these seem to be very hard for Yaya Jammeh. We need a new direction and serious leadership to seek solutions in ending conflicts of all kinds that have engulfed our country, put in serious effort in uniting our people towards achieving shared goals, reorganizing our broken institutions, focus on inspiring the current generation of [ Students, victims of Yaya Jammeh and diasporians including backway trekkers] the regime failed and guide the next generation to prosper beyond the shores of our river. So far, we are thrilled that the level of maturity of our aspiring candidates to lead our country are the people we need to wipe our tears, square our shoulders again and help us move on with life as a nation.
There is plenty to learn from military decapitation of our democracy since 1994 and It did not take a long time to see how it is the greatest mistake Gambians made as a nation collectively. Now everyone should be familiar with— the political axe of Yaya Jammeh swings at both sides and politicians are considered threats to national stability. The sharp failure of our country without the leadership quality it needs for the past twenty-two years has set back our country beyond what anyone could have imagined. Gambians have seen firsthand the politics of Yaya Jammeh at play and the challenges that it bore for our country. The abject disgrace it put our people through is very humiliating. The culture of self-interest and the unethical conflict of greed has enlivened our institutions. The patriotic feelings of trusting one another has hit an all-time low, violent crime that knocks our doors steps, setting up people for humiliation at the dictator’s knife edge becomes routine and the wiliness to overlook any atrocity because people are so infatuated with wealth and position. The regime has made sure nasty politics by its very nature prevailed and thrived over our morals, such that people ignore immoral acts and softens description of our problems with “Gambia Nice” so as not to offend Yaya Jammeh. The politics of APRC has failed Gambia miserably and their leadership thrives on conflict to advance their selfish interests of holding on to power despite knowing very well the burden it creates for the nation. The regime continues to demonizes, blame and vilifies citizens on nation television to disgrace them out of their manhood. Gambians have suffered the greatest disillusionment under this regime.
The key to understanding the problem of Gambians or recognizing our dissatisfaction with this failed system of APRC governance is to personalized our problems. That’s what makes someone a great leader, problem solver and a solution driven kind of a person. The concern of our nation are not about to slow down anytime soon as long as Yaya Jammeh occupy that office. It is impossible for Yaya Jammeh to isolate himself and his family from all problems he has created. He does not even pretend to appreciate our struggles nor understand them because — none of his children are among us to give him the honest truth about anything. Does he really know anything about the issues we face daily or our struggles? As for Gambians living in the out skirts of greater Banjul, they are only seen as votes needed to break a tie or provide landslide victory because– they only focus on their labor and votes for the next elections whiles neglecting their needs. There never have been periods in Gambian history when our communities and villages are all ghost cities due to brave citizens taking the risky backway journey to quench the thirst of their parents. So Yaya Jammeh who has served neither the interest of the Gambians nor their solution, is again asking Gambians —whom he insults, humiliate, turned most of the population into orphans, divided communities and kill us like roaches– to entrust the highest office in the land to him again. Plus, he feels Gambians owe him so much? Really! Meanwhile, he is relying on those same trends that are swelling the support of the opposition as his vague calls for development. Yaya Jammeh could not control his compulsion of being very unpopular and therefore miscalculated thinking that killing the Solo’s, and jailing of Ousainou Darboe with UDP executives along with others will give him the much easy ride to state house again.
Gambians don’t like mean and ill willed people. That’s the nature of Yaya Jammeh and cannot be change by the presidency but divinely. A man who would proudly turn off electricity at opposition rallies whiles ignoring the patients lying on beds in neighborhood clinics or not being sensitive to moms going through labor. A man who will instruct his agents to poison our water tanks with Lead (PB) or spiritual water to propel Gambians into a spell whiles ignoring the safety hazard it brings. A man who will not paused for an ounce of a second, to reflect on giving executive order to kill a soul but will ask for the body to be thrown into pool of hungry crocodiles whiles enjoying the painful tug-of-war on the body of a Gambian being crushed around. A man who would order the bodies of forty-four Gambians resting in peace after Muslim ritual performed on their bodies. He turns around, gave orders for their bodies to be dug off and transported to Ghana as a compensation for killing their son. Imagine finding the body of your parents in a church or whatever else traditions or beliefs, that nightmare unintentionally reviving echoes of your love one’s cries in strange grave across oceans. Yaya Jammeh the master propagandist blows the sweetest sounds of whistle into Gambian ears to distract them. Behind everything he says comes with a price tag we have to pay dearly.
We desperately need a truly united coalition today to take on the dictatorship but also need to win the hearts of the voters as much today as we did then. In the past, we didn’t understand what our noble oppositions leaders were going through and for the past decade, the campaign of Yaya Jammeh labeling them with names kind of worked against them. Unfortunately, it led to the creeping collapse of confidence Gambians have in them. Not many Gambians who have been left behind of their progress/ opportunities where active on Social media, less chalked up to anger by the dictatorship secret killings then and most of us were comfortable with Yaya Jammeh’s narrations of events because there were not alternate voices to show us the reality of events. For years, Yaya Jammeh runs to his medium “the daily observer” and our state television to led the way in telling stories to Gambians. Nothing slows him down because he does not fear GOD or have the decency to level with the Gambians. Praise be to GOD because there’s little doubt that Gambians in the diaspora and the youngest voting generations at home have a lot to complain about the dictatorship—from our failing education system, the lack of job opportunities, immoral happening in our societies and beyond. However, no doubt it is little more depressing to say the least that— some Gambians will lose sight of all their problems and others will be bribed—giving away their initial upsurge of unity and optimism. The unparalleled cynicism of some surrogates of the regime, the APRC surrogate’s spewing pessimism about the short comings of opposition leaders and political dirty tricks of fear that the regime does to create division among us, will affect some weak minded citizens. Dictator Jammeh continues thumping his chest on Gambians because he knows— he has killed most of the heavy weights, jailed those whom he fears and half of the patriotic young youths have been lost backway journey. I am hopeful this time around we will present one candidate to send the Dictatorship packing.
By Habib ( A Concern Gambian)