The saying goes: “show me your friends and I tell you who you are”, I would like to humbly add this: “read Samsudeen Sarr’s book – Coup D’etat by The Gambia National Army – and you know who he really is”.
For those who seem to have been surprised by the Retired “Colonel”’s move, I urge you to read his own book and you will come to the following conclusions about him.
1. He is not a soldier in the real sense: – In his own book, the “Colonel” unwittingly explained his own disappointing comportment in circumstances when he is expected to exhibit qualities of a soldier. Read the various chapters of this book, and you get a confirmation of what I am saying. In fact, the alleged description of Samsudeen by Lt. Sheriff Gomez as the type who “sit in the air-conditioned office” portraying himself as a soldier is a perfect cliché and it reveals a lot about him and how the younger officers see him. Worst of all, the man’s own description of himself as being “vulnerable” at the State House once the coup rumours began to circulate further indicates how much of a ceremonial soldier he had been. With this kind of chicken-hearted behaviour, one wonders how he became COLONEL. In fact, as the mutinous soldiers marched towards Banjul, what was going on in the “Colonel”‘s mind (in his own words) is: “….. my wife, kids, mother, and sisters all lived outside the city. I could not imagine being stranded in the island with the bridge closed”. With this sort of mindset, he took off from Major Saho’s office at the Marines Unit in Banjul. Time and time in his book, he explains his desire to move for greener pastures within the Armed Forces. So whilst true soldiers were trying to see what could possibly be done in the unfolding circumstances, our “Colonel” was busy thinking of running away from Banjul before “the bridge closed”. So it is not out-of-place to call him the “Fu Nekh Rek” Soldier.
2. He is self-conceited:- throughout his book, the “Colonel” keeps degrading people he has interacted with professionally or otherwise. He tries to portray his colleagues, juniors, superiors, etc. as not deserving of their positions and/or titles. He spared no one, from President Jawara to his Nigerian bosses in the GNA. This is sheer arrogance. When one concludes that everyone else is of inferior mentality except oneself, it becomes absolutely necessary to do a self-assessment to confirm one’s own state of mental health. Even those he praised in some pages of his book, he ended up down-grading them in subsequent pages. It is truly ironical that a man from the then GNA, which, according to “Colonel” Sarr, was considered the only place for the “low-class” and the “not well-to-do” jetsams of the Gambian society could himself forget those humble origins to start scorning others. Under such circumstances, one can excuse the Jawara Government, (the Privilege Class in Sarr’s twisted mind) if they looked low upon the “low-class” GNA soldiers. It appears to me that Samsudeen thinks he exclusively deserves all things good and where he does not have his way, then the process is flawed and unfair. This, in itself, is a sign of self-centeredness.
3. He is an Opportunist: – Samsudeen’s preamble (background to the coup) was not the least generous to the PPP regime especially the leader, President Jawara. He elaborately described how inefficient and corrupt that regime was which eventually led to its demise. Let’s agree, for once, with the “Colonel”, that indeed that regime was ineffectual and corrupt. However, as a matter of principle, one would not have expected the same Samsudeen to want to use the PPP and/or President Jawara to boost his chances in seeking asylum in the US. That means, for our ceremonial “Colonel”, anything goes. Therefore, morality can be selectively applied so long as it serves his purposes, that is to say, a moral about-turn for survival does not really matter. This sort of comportment is what has kept our professor in power and, I am not being pessimistic, but he shall remain in power for as long as we continue to exhibit this chameleon-like comportment.
4. Downright Tribalist: – people with limited education, experience and exposure can sometimes be excused for expressing tribal sentiments. However, when supposedly intellectually-minded individuals like Samsudeen Sarr goes tribal, it is a cause for concern. For me, this brings into question the usefulness of his education, exposure and experience – the 3Es. All over his book, Samsudeen appears like a tribal warlord using the pen (hidden choice of weapon) to advance his tribal agenda whilst lambasting the Mandingos as if they are foreign invaders who forcefully took his much cherished sugarcane off his mouth. Imagine such baseless and untrue statements – Jawara’s National Guards were all Mandingos; English and Mandingo being “official” languages in the State House; Samsudeen being discriminated because of his Wollof origins. I wonder why he ommitted the supposedly chief tribalist’s (Jawara) wives. Were they also Mandingos? This is very disingenuous of the intellectual that Sam would like to portray himself. Properly educated people fight for the advancement of their societies not their tribes.
Therefore, when one considers all of the above qualities in Samsudeen, one cannot but conclude that what our “Colonel” has done is normal in his world and should therefore not be blamed.
Sadly though, he is not alone in this kind of behaviour. What the “Colonel” has exhibited is a typical Gambian character. Without generalising, I dare say a lot of us Gambians are like the “Colonel”. If given the same assurances and possibly some mouth-watering sweetners like the “Colonel”, we will decamp before one could say Jack Robinson.
ANOTHER EBOU JALLOW TYPE GAMBIAN I SAY……… YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.
THERE WERE MANY PEOPLE LIKE SARR WHO WERE SO CONSUMED BY TRIBALISM THEY SPENT ALL THEIR TIME DOING NOTHING BUT LOOTING, MILITANCY AND HATING. HE PROBABLY GOT THAT FAR DUE TO JAWARA’S SENSE OF FAIRNESS TO ALL GAMBIANS. MOST OF THE HATERS NEVER DESERVED THEIR JOBS OTHERWISE ……….
I DO HOPE THAT IN THE NEXT REPUBLIC, GAMBIANS WILL DEMAND THAT ONLY PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE RIGHT QUALITIES AND CAPABILITIES WORK FOR THEM.
I PRAY THAT HE LIVES LONG SO HE CAN CONTINUE TO TORMENT HIS SOUL HATING AND BEEN TRIBALIST. MANDINKAYA IS HERE TO STAY AND EVEN THE SO-CALLED PRESIDENT WILL ONE DAY DISAPPEAR OFF THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH AND LEAVE THE MANDINGOS BEHIND……
Very well said Janko. But I am afraid you have unwittingly publicised Colonel Sarr’s book; so more royalties for him.
On the main issue, while I agree that there are many disagreeable opportunists and some may even be unprincipled bigots, the Gambia remains largely free from real tribalism. Members of all the tribes appeared to have been victims of unacceptable nepotism both in the first and this republic. I see no difference between Colonel Sarr and ex SG Modou Sabally insofar as their public utterances are concerned. I don’t suppose that Colonel Sarr has been any selfless defender of Serers or Fullas rights.
Maybe the Colonel didn’t fall out with the Professor on principles rather than for what he couldn’t get for himself.
Interesting piece Janko. But you know that His Excellency Prof Dr Alhaji Nasrul Deen Yahya AJJ Jammeh would rather reconcile with YOU than with anyone else in the Diaspora. When will YOU reconcile?
The struggle must go on,leave the so_called colonel alone.Welcome back to Banjul.The colonel is not satisfied with the life he is living.He too wants his hands in the cookie jar.If the professor didn’t send him to GHOE otherwise known as mike 2, -we Will send them together.Their reunion was a sign.When I am ready I will not need no Gambians.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SAMSUDEEN WAS NOT EVEN A COLONEL, HE WAS A LIEUTENANT COLONEL WHEN HE GOT FIRED. THE RANKS ARE NOT THE SAME EVEN IN THE RAGTAG GAMBIA REBEL ARMY.THIS GUY IS NOT A SOLDIER, HE IS A SELFISH COWARD. IT DOES NOT TAKE A LOT FOR ONE TO BE EVEN A GENERAL IN THE GAMBIA, SITTING IN THE AC AND RIDING AROUND IN BIG CARS AND SCARING CIVILIANS IS NOT ABOUT BEING A SOLDIER. SO MANY OFFICERS IN THE GAMBIA ARMY WILL NOT EVEN BE SERGEANTS IN A PROFESSIONAL ARMY LIKE THAT OF THE U.S.
AS JANKO SUGGESTS, READ SAMSUDEEN’S BOOK AND YOU CAN KNOW WHAT KIND OF A SOLDIER THIS SELFISH COWARD IS. BUT HE CAN NEVER TAKE BACK THE WORDS HE HAS SAID OF YAYA JAMMEH, SO I HOPE YAYA WILL FEED THIS COWARD TO THE CROCODILES AT KANILLAI.
James Kujabi, Bro, with respect, my Marabout tells me you are “JANKO”! Textual analysis my dear, inspite of the caps!!
There is a hide and seek game about to be played here. Watch and see. Despite all the sweet talks none of these two trust the other. The only thing is, who will strike first. If Sam strikes, then that will be the end of Jammeh and the beginning of another era of tyranny in our homeland. These two are all the same. I know one thing, Jammeh is not stupid. He will not let Sam come too close to him. Sam has his reasons for going back and am smelling brewing. May be that will be a good news to Lang Tombong and Sarjo Fofana. Let’s stay on the sideline and Watch the next few months what will happen. The safest thing for Jammeh to do is to send him in the foreign mission and forget him. More over, the only brave man on the day of the coup was non other than my boy Ebrima chongan. I wish I was there when he laid the armbush against the souldiers at radio syd with an AK47 in my hand. I am so proud of him. God bless him.
Dida, thank you for your very good sense of humour.
I would like to state that I am not James Kujabi. I am Janko Camara and I have always used this name in all my online contributions.
OK, Janko, you win … only because I have no TANGIBLE evidence for my observation! Still, I just can’t thinking …. aaahhh, forget it!