“Freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody”- Malcolm X
By Ousainou Mbenga
The sticking point question for our struggle should be: To what end? Are we struggling and fighting for freedom for a selected few and let the rest of other political prisoners rot at Mile 2 prisons and the other unknown dungeons where the Jammeh regime continue to torture the sons (rarely daughters) of our beloved country, even in the face of trumped up charges of treason and other seditious charges? I think not. Our struggle for freedom should end when we attain a civilized society in which human life is of the greatest value and that no other human being has the right to violate any other human being’s dignity. Though, some human beings, like Jammeh, during the course of their lives rid themselves of dignity by engaging in outright barbaric behavior against the Gambian people.
The recent letter from Sheriff M. Tambedou to Jammeh asking for clemency on behalf of his clients, Lang Tombong Tamba and his co-defendants, unleashed a hornet’s nest of criticisms in his capacity as a lawyer.
Aside from his attempts to canonize Jammeh into sainthood and the typical sycophantic rubbish that Jammeh was “god send”, Tambedou’s request for clemency is in line with a lawyer fighting for the freedom of his clients.
In my view, it’s not any different from what Jessie Jackson did to secure the release of the two “Gambian – Americans”, Amadou Janneh and Tamsir Jasseh, who are now, back into our embrace. Anyone’s guess is good as mine as to What Jackson said or did to secure their release.
But the real matter of importance is that the Gambia has become a “nation behind bars”. So if you are not already in captivity at Mile 2, Kanifing and George Town prisons, in addition to the other unknown dungeons possibly used for the U.S. rendition program that Jammeh was paid for, every opponent or even supporters run the risk of becoming a captive of the Jammeh regime. In short, everyone runs the risk of becoming a political prisoner.
The fact that Lang Tombong and co. are once upon a time “enablers” of the rotten Jammeh regime, must not disqualify them from freedom. They are indeed political prisoners in every sense of the word. In my view, even if the false accusations of attempting to overthrow the AFPRC – APRC (which overthrew the democratically elected Peoples Progressive Party – P.P.P) were true; Jammeh and his fellow “tin – soldiers” should remember how they came to power.
After 20 years of treachery towards each other as soldiers and against the Gambian people, we hope all of the current “enablers” and the “once upon a time enablers”, soldiers and civilians alike learned their lessons from the parasitic relationship they supported AFPRC – APRC for. There has never been any moment in human history that an inherently rotten system was changed by “good will” or “good intention” people from within. You either end up like them, rotten to the core, or they chew you up and spit your bones out.
Finally, justice for Jammeh’s victims should include every single victim, from murdered, assassinated and disappeared. We have come to a closure with the dead victims (koro Ceesay, Saidibou Hydara, Deida Hydara and many other soldiers) but the daily torment of not knowing what happen to Chief Ebrima Manneh, Saul Ndow, Mahawa Cham, Ndure Cham, Ebou Jobe and Mahmood Ceesay is reason enough to make this fight for freedom and justice inclusive.
We must take on this campaign at the biological (family) and national family levels to give it the impact it urgently deserves. In unity lies strength. We should unleash the fury of the wives, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers of the missing / disappeared as a mighty force of resistance against the Jammeh regime. Let’s us make 2015 a decisive year to snatch our beloved Gambia from the clutches of tyranny.
JAMMEH MUST GO!