How Jammeh Exports Enmity, Divided Groups
This is serious! Think how many former Jammeh accomplices have been exiled. Think how many of them live in USA, UK, or elsewhere. Think how many composed praises for him, but now hurl curses at him from these same Western sanctuaries. Think how some of them got too immersed in the loyalty pond to even espy a different tomorrow. In fact, some online papers used to whiz cannon balls at them. But here’s a trend for imperative considerations:
Charging from New York, North Carolina, Seattle, London, or elsewhere, some former Jammeh apparatchiks are now his new enemies. The U.S doesn’t care if you ever danced for Jammeh, slept with him, or serenaded him with flattery. They give you asylum if you qualify—a frustrating, threatening, and insecure wait in an applicant’s life which may take years. And asylums could be hardest to get than any other U.S immigration benefit according to attorneys at law.
Upon approval, some former Jammeh enablers remain awkward to some strong anti-Jammeh figures they now share a new country with. Their relations bear trenched gashes hard to heal while reconciliation defies prospects! If you’ll take any piercing message from this article, this is it! And perhaps, it’s because a pro-Jammeh history fractures the courage to share the same table with his adversaries. This division threatens unity. I write! You think!
NEW FRIENDS, OLD ENEMIES
A former APRC henchman now hosted by an exiled UDP functionary may find some strong solace in this ‘Polar Covalent Bond’. With a slightly greater electronegativity, this friendship can be more thrilling. It’s where the inner-voice sermons both parties, “Hey, please forget your differences!” A synergy of two who used to bite thumbs at each other might evolve! In fact, they could form an ionic bond against Jammeh after one loses electrons (a Jammeh allegiance) to his new friend. I write! You think!
OLD FRIENDS, NEW ENEMIES
While in the civil service, some Gambians sabotaged, hated, and fought one another for Jammeh’s perks only to be later fired, arrested, or exiled. Some of these were even friends, but alas! What does Jammeh give them to auction such friendship for what boon? Usually, they both later run afoul of the kanilai creature and find themselves seeking asylum in the United States or elsewhere.
For aye, these two will seldom cherish seeing eye-to- eye! The only force of attraction left of them is but a ‘Hydrogen Bond’ of very weak Van Der Waals Forces. And worse, that attraction is only for keeping posted with bad rumors of each other: “Hey, I heard he now works at a gas station in The Bronx!” So sad for a tiny population of 1.7 million where, almost, everyone can be related! I write! You think!
OLD FRIENDS, OLD FRIENDS
Some Jammeh enablers still find their friends in the diaspora. Call it ‘Non-Polar Covalent Bonding’ where the same Jammeh elements now away from him equally share the same convictions. Simplified, a former APRC magnate earlier arrested but later finds his way to Madison, Wisconsin will welcome with open hands another Gambian with a similar transcript. The bond between these two isn’t necessarily exciting because of the weak electronegativity factor! Still, it may last long. I write, you think!
NEW FRIENDS, NEW FRIENDS
Possibly before the advent of Jammeh, most Gambians in the diaspora were apolitically cohesive. That doesn’t mean they never had their differences. But such differences could be safely diagnosed. I was a teenager when Jammeh took over. So, it might be helpful if those who witnessed the PPP, NCP, GPP, and PDOIS politics write rejoinders and dwell on how diaspora Gambians used to fare pre-1994. But I suppose there were very few Gambians exiled then. This doesn’t hint all Gambians abroad today are exiled!
It won’t be wrong to think Gambians always make new friends among other Gambians as soon as their planes touch JFK, O’Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson, Gatwick, Heathrow, De Gaulle, etc. Like other useful bonds, this one can also contribute to a unified diaspora. The sad thing is how vengeful politics inserts indignant polarity.
A trend is in motion. A new Gambia is being slowly formed abroad since 1994. It’s also swayed by Jammeh’s export of enmity. This doesn’t signify he premeditates it. In fact, it suspends his breath to see his former enablers flee to discuss hidden skeletons. But this comes with some dangerous corollaries. A serious rift is being doctored among Gambians abroad. And is there anything harder than asking a child whose father disappeared in The Gambia to forgive one who might have played a role in the crime?
You think any imam or pastor will easily placate a family member of Korro Ceesay to sip Coca Cola in Scotland with anyone with Korro’s blood on their hands? And some of the accused for that intelligent Gambian’s gory end now live abroad—and yes, as diaspora Gambians! What about Daba Marena’s family? What about Deyda Hydara’s? What of Chief Manneh’s? Does the list end any time soon?
The point is, some Gambians committed diabolical crimes against other Gambians under Jammeh—crimes too ghoulish to forgive for anything. If your family member is only fired and rendered poor by Jammeh, please thank Allaah he or she is alive and not even in Mile II. It’s going to be very difficult for us to forgive some Gambians. And that threatens the diaspora, like it or not. It makes it harder for us to come together abroad to rescue our country. And this threatens Gambia, like it or not!
But still, we need to come together. Perhaps we need words more therapeutic than these to soothe bruised souls. Doesn’t it bother you each time so many organizations emerge abroad for, by and of people from such a tiny country? Is 1.7 million a big deal for unity? Look, the division is even more serious abroad. And how many are we—more than the official 1.7 million back home? We can’t even unite the lesser version of that 1.7 million. And we loudly bark about dislodging Jammeh, calling it “The Struggle”? No, the struggle is collectivism first—develop an intelligent mind, be subtle, sophisticated, and devise well!
What’s so wrong with one organization as to compel you to form your own? If you see fault in a group, can’t you write to them and share your thoughts if you really have Gambia at heart—and not a quest for leadership? Are you really working for a better Gambia, or a leader-you? Or maybe even an affluent-you or a popular-you?
Appealing to U.S and U.K legislators will seldom help. Why? Oil! And yes, oil! If Gambia had U.A.E’s quantity of oil or some mineral the big powers usually glut on, Yahya Jammeh would have been gone long since! Our online newspapers wouldn’t have worried about writing a dot about dictatorship in The Gambia. We would all have seen Fox News, Sky News, CNN, NBC, Time, NY Times, L.A Times, Chicago Tribunes, etc., all trumpet how horrible Jammeh is—how dangerous he is to humanity, blah blah blah!
Rupert Murdoch, with a lift of whatever pen he uses would have been at the pinnacle of “Going to The Gambia”. By now, every kid with internet or television access on the globe would have known the evil of Jammeh. But look, people, Gambia is geo-politically insignificant. NASA doesn’t even have its emergency landing station there anymore. And guess how much they used to pay Gambia and the Alkalo of Bafuloto near Yundum for such an important thing? $2,000! Seriously!
Those Gambians with sense and higher reasoning will, Wollaahi, understand this. Those shallow and difficult will only act the same characters posed by key players in Europe’s Great Schism. And, people, Gambia may have a greater schism if Jammeh leaves right now while our attitudes, cognitive and thought-processing skills aren’t in order. Do you have to think too much to see that coming, considering how engendering unity against this dictator always fares? How many of us remember or even heard of the August 23rd 2001 YMCA talks? It will require a special piece of its own. I write, you think! And let others write too—so I can think!