Of recent, we have witnessed some brazen steps taken by some of our compatriots to sell tribalism in a somewhat subtle and disingenuous manner. An on-line paper published a list of names purportedly belonging to the Jola tribe, occupying high offices in The Gambia. I have also read an article on two other online papers referring to the Jawara-era as a “Mandinka Hegemony”. I am therefore, tempted, one more time, to add my voice to those calling for objectivity and reasonableness in discussing tribalism, especially in a small country like ours. Most importantly, however, I am more concerned with the authenticity of the claims being published. For I believe, it is only when facts about “Tribalism in The Gambia” are established, that we can find meaningful ways of addressing the menace.
Whilst reluctantly admitting the need to discuss tribalism, I am of the view that such discussions should be conducted within the framework of moderation, civility and with the genuine intention promoting harmony amongst the various tribes, given that The Gambia belongs to no one particular tribe, but to all tribes living therein collectively. I have always refused to be a party to campaigns aimed at inciting one tribe against the other, for at the end of the day, there is no winner in such an immoral campaign. We all become losers. Now to the things that drew my attention.
The List of “Jolas Hegemony Government”: – Number One on this list was Abdoulie Jammeh, the MD of GCCA [Gambia Civil Aviation Authority]. There is nothing bad in him belonging to the Jola tribe, but the indisputable FACT is this: he has never been one; not in any of his seven generations. Historically, the family comes from Badibu and resettled in Brikama where he went to school. They have always been Mandinka. There were four other names on that list who have no connection, whatsoever, with the Jola tribe. So the very point of departure on this tribally loaded article is absolutely false. However, how many of the readership know this fact? What effect has such a bogus claim had on the readership? It appears to me that this author just looked at surnames and conclusively and conveniently boxed them into a particular tribe. This is wrong, as nowadays, surnames generally do not define one’s tribe. Camara, for instance, is found in Manding, Serahule/Soninke, Fula/Fulani and Jola. So how can one bare-facedly categorise people into tribes by simply looking at their surnames? This is why I am calling for maturity in discussing sensitive issues like tribes and tribalism. This act, in my humble view, is more of incitements of all tribes against one particular tribe rather than finding ways to infuse ethnic and tribal harmony among the various tribes living in The Gambia. Do we also realise that by putting out such distasteful and inaccurate information for public consumption we are inadvertently alienating our innocent Jola brothers who have never been part of the madness in The Gambia? As a matter of fact, this may have a boomerang effect. The “Struggle for Gambia” or rather “Scramble for Gambia” needs numbers from all tribes because all tribes endure the hardship in our tiny country. If Jolas are made to feel that at the end of the day, the “Struggle” or “Scramble” is about all tribes but them, they would join Yahya’s camp as a matter of survival.
I have said in my previous articles that Yahya Jammeh only employs tribalism in so far as it works for the attainment of his personal agenda. This is what people should understand and thus refuse to be used as tools. In the pursuit of his personal agenda, President Jammeh has dealt with anybody, irrespective of their tribal affiliation, who, in the figment of his twisted imagination, is (or wants to become) an obstacle in the achievement of this personal agenda. We have heard sordid stories of him exterminating his own kith and kin. So what tribalism are we talking about! The so-called appointments of his tribesmen to senior positions is only to garner support from them in the pursuit of his personal goals. Is he getting that support? To some extent, yes. Nevertheless, majority of Gambian Jolas have become very much aware of Jammeh’s schemes and are no longer amused, although they dare not say it openly.
“Mandinka Hegemony”:- One article said before the Jola hegemony, it was the Mandinka hegemony. The mendacity of some people is truly baffling, to say the least. One disease that continues to eat away the Gambian society is lies. I have consistently said that Jammeh remains in power due to our hypocrisy and our propensity to spin lies. I am not a big fan of former President Jawara but truth be told, he led an all-inclusive government, to the point where some of his Mandinka folks felt disappointed considering the circumstances that led to him becoming the head of the then Protectorate People’s Party. His cabinet comprised all colours and shades even if some of those brought on board had very doubtful characters from the word go. We need to stop this mudslinging; it is not going to take us anywhere. The fact that one tribe could not get the presidency does not mean that the tribe that got it should be vilified at every opportunity. That makes this Wollof saying so apt “Lekko Chi Ndap Warultah buga chey kopu suuf, Ngirr buga kor hagn kenen”. At the time of the 1994 coup, the third most important person in the country, who was in fact the Number One man in the Civil Service, was not Mandinka. This most important non-Mandinka personality was in charge of the Gambia’s Civil Service. Sixty to Sixty-five percent of the Parastatals, at the time, were headed by qualified non-Mandinkas. Therefore, this distorted narrative of “Mandinka Hegemony” should be debunked and jettisoned to where it properly belongs – the trash can. This brings me to my last point on tribalism.
Tribalism pre-1994:– Was there tribalism in The Gambia pre-1994? My answer to this question is an emphatic NO! What we had in The Gambia until 1994 was rivalry and petty jealousies between the Mandinkas and their cousins – the Banjul Wollofs. I qualified this statement because elsewhere beyond Banjul and its suburbs, these two tribes have continued to live harmoniously. The Fula, Serahules, Akus, Jolas, Manjagos and the Serers were never involved. The rivalry and the petty jealousies between these two tribes stemmed from the 1950s and it is normal that in a not-so-much economically endowed country like ours, usually the two most influential tribes compete for economic and political power resulting in petty jealousies and rivalries. When all is said and done, there is a set of people from both tribes that is inseparable: a Wollof woman and her Mandinka man. God being so good, He made sure there is no other force that can separate these two people. In reality, therefore, there was no tribalism in the Gambia before 1994. We all have that affinity with our tribes. I am proud to be Manding and I have no problem seeing a Fula or Serahule who is proud of their origin. The point of conflict is usually when one tribe begins to entertain the bogus idea of superiority to all others and therefore look low upon them. The bitter truth, however, is this: there is no Mandinka/Fula/Wollof/Serahule/Jola/Manjago/Serer/Aku republic. The geographical territory called The Gambia belongs to all of us equally. Therefore, our discussions should be tailored towards the need to reinforce respect for each other’s tribe; encourage harmony among the tribes and extol the virtues of each tribe, which others can emulate. In my opinion, the Mandinkas and the Banjul Wollofs should focus on their areas of commonality and use that to foster harmony between them. I am Manding, I have my Wollof friends from childhood who have never had any problems with my ethnic identity, and they know I do not joke with my Mandinka ethnicity. On my part, I have never had any problems with them being Wollof. My Wollof friends speak Mandinka very well and I speak Wollof fluently, although not like “Ollof Njie” from Walo. Over the years, my friendship with this group has blossomed to the point that we are now a family.
In concluding my thoughts on the above subject, I would like to state the following:
We should refused to lose our heads because of one man’s abuse of his privileges. Let us promote tribal harmony for that is the only way we can restore The Gambia of yester-years.
Those who are clueless and have nothing to offer their people resort to tribalism and tribal bigotry. We elect our political leaders to represent us and improve our lot, not to use tribalism as a red herring to divert our attention from the realities of life in The Gambia. Educated people cannot be blowing tribal trumpets at a time our country is looking for salvation. Never in History has the promotion of tribalism led to the salvation of any country. So it must be discouraged at all cost.
Those whose livelihoods depend on writing and publishing stories must understand that they have a responsibility towards society. They should be using their pens and platforms to promote public good and not the opposite. Remember, you cannot erase what has already been written in this digital age, and not only shall we be judged by history but society shall hold us accountable for our contributions in turning our peace into pieces. When war starts, no one may be immuned to the consequences.
Aaah! Janko Camara “Yilleh”, you havn’t said anything new or different from the sources you are quoting from. Yes ,but…is all you said here nothing new at all.
However, it would have been more honorable and nice to post your article on freedomnewspaper to give chance to the authors that generated your reactions to reply to your article and concerns.
Here is where you went wrong and I quote you; “I am proud to be Manding and I have no problem seeing a Fula or Serahule who is proud of their origin. The point of conflict is usually when one tribe begins to entertain the bogus idea of superiority to all others and therefore look low upon them.” Pride is a misplace priority for any african to show off, why? because when the toubabs came to Africa, they colonize each and every tribe regardless of class, cast or social creed. So where is the pride for a prticular tribe? Aaaah!
Here is another blantant red herring of yours and I quote;”This most important non-Mandinka personality was in charge of the Gambia’s Civil Service.” This person called Sara Jangha had a boss who could fire him without questions ask. Now tell me who could fire the president? no one except the verdict of an election or coup d’etat. You see Njanko, you are far from convincing.
In all honesty, tribalism is a reality all over Africa but as you rightly concluded it should be handled with the sole objectif of preventions and warnings. Both hate and love reside in one single heart, one should not pretend that all is OK.
Deyda AKA Bakary Bojang :Your lack of understanding of Gambian tribes, and your ignorance about Gambian last names, should be the first warning sign for this self proclaim Editor, But only if he himself knows any better, You said and I QUOTE: Firstly let me clarify that I use the anonymous name Bakary Bojang as the author of the series of articles for two reasons. 1- to make myself a Jola , Lord has mercy, Are you even a Gambian?? No seriously are you Mr. Haidara/Bojang??
The second point : Do you really think to say that you are proud Aku or Njako you entertaining superiority over Mandinkas ?? I don’t know what you suffering from, Mr. Haidara / Bojang but is either inferiority complex , or low self esteem. And for your information I’m not Zienab’s facebook friend , I hate her Gut .
Hahahaha! stop speculating my identity…by doing so you are bound to make mistakes.
For your infos I have two wives one Mandinka and one Jola and our children are simply Gambians because I am netheir one of the above tribes. My next wife will be a Fula or Naar, so you are disqualified.
Finally do not hate Zeinab for she is just enjoying her material luck with JK the punkhead. Hate should only go to killers and nothing else, reason being no one can replace a lost life.
Thieves, liars, hypocrites, opportunist etc.. are bad habits to shurn but do not deserve hatred, because change is possible. If you are a muslim, please read the surat ” The hypocrites” and hear Allah’s words.
Bye for now F Girl or M Boy.
Solo, you are back on, factually vibrant as ever again…. This “tribal hegemony” nonsense list may contain some jolas as we all know but one name the Omar Jatta of Central Bank in particular is Mandingo from all his generations back…. In short I too can’t see the similarities between murderous yaya devil jammeh tribalism manipulations for selfish greedy aggrandizement to where one can BLATANTLY FABRICATE one for the first republic under Jawara. I can vividly recall a particular editor in the habit of fabricating this tribal lies in some public spat with some Mandingo which was put out on the pages of the various online papers…. This particular editor, as everybody follows is also notorious of fabricating lies upon lies trying to destroy & tarnishing anyone he falls out with in vendetta for whatever reason/s be known to him…. WE THE OBSERVERS INDEPENDENTLY OWN OUR MINDS & CAN READ BETWEEN LINES… My fervent words for a wise; it’s one thing to be opportune with being an editor of paper & totally another to separate this opportunity from being overshadowed & influenced by personal grudges & egocentrism deviating from objectively serving the truth without influenced by hidden agendas …. History will judge us all by our actions & utterances; remember whatever is said & done today comes to haunt us tomorrow…. The Gambian community as a country being wronged by such distasteful acts, & the individuals directly stained in particular, all deserve the rights to redress legally in post dictatorship…. History is, & continues to record… Thank you all. God bless & helps Gambia; Ameen.
Deyda Haidara, I write for an open-minded audience, for I know there is no way I can get my points across to an audience whose hearts and minds are closed to the truth. Such people prefer living in the past when the world is moving forward. So I will not be provoked into any debate with you. The beauty of this space is that it allows you to react if you do not agree with a person’s view. Since I haven’t said anything new, nothing stops you from writing a rejoinder and bring forth a new dimension to the subject. Maybe (and only maybe) we will eventually discover the untainted truth and allow the readers to make their own unbiased judgment.
Hello Janko, I must admit you are a very level headed person and a calm one too. However, I will not write a rejoinder to your article but would also beg you to open up more to accomodate divergent views. You should be the one who can open closed hearts and minds to the truth for you have the capacity and the intelligence to do so. There is one irrefutable fact that all Gambians agree to, that is DK Jawara was never a tribalist and has never shown or condone any sign of tribalism during his tenure. However this does not means that other people in his regime did not practice tribalism in their own way, people can narrate details of tribal encounters in their lives in the first republic. Yaya Jammeh too is not a tribalist per se but criminally minded as he is, he uses tribalism to his personal advantage. By letting tribalism thrive unchecked, he opens the the road for his tribesmen to go full scale tribalism without fear. Tribalism in the second republic is real menace and a timing bomb and should be adressed and put on check. So please let us not pretend that tribalism does not exist in the Gambia today.
Going forward, we should be accomodating in the third republic failing which vengence will be the order of the day.
Bye for now
Thank you Mr. Janko. This is the truth; take it or leave it.
This is why I think it is an ability for one to be able to locate in the right side of his mind and heart.
There is no problem in being proud of one’s tribe. The only problem in being proud of one’s tribe is when people of a tribe lack to understand the difference between the definitions of pride, arrogance and ignorance.
I too, never felt any tribal barriers between me and my Wollof, Fula, Aku or Jola etc.,… friends.
We still have to learn to understand what the ills of our society are in other to improve positively on them.
My question to myself always is; why is the Gambia such a small country and yet, remains a very difficult task in uniting its people towards a commun sense?
Once again, thanks Mr. Janko for being relevant by hitting the nail to the head.
Any attempt to down grade the status of mandinkas in The Gambia to second class citizens rather than equals should be condemned and exposed regardless of who is behind it. As a proud Mandinka, this is my solemn stand.
People need to wake up to this issue. Otherwise, these mandinkaphobic idiots will put our country into flames.
If the writer of that list categorized vs classified the following surnames: Sonkos, Jammehs, Sannehs, Colleys, Camaras, Sanyangs, Mannehs, Bojangs and Jattas as Jolas has already reduced the Mandinka tribes down to 35-45%, because the Tourays and Ceesays could also be classified as Fanna Fannas! Therefore, we should be focussing on how to get rid of Yaya Jammeh and his corrupt Mandinkas, Fullas, Wolofs and Jolas, then move forward to re-build our country with sustainable economical society for our children and grand children.
May the Almighty Allah guide and bless the Gambia and her people.
It doesn’t matter if the Mandinkas are 100% or 2% in the country. The point is; no tribe should be subjected to discrimination, insults and bullying for political reasons.
Mandinkas cannot be relegated to second class citizen status in The Gambia, and the Mandinkaphobics need to understand that.
Well said brother and thank you for giving us the right forum to discuss this perceived tribal hegemony, that is supposed to be running The Gambia…
First, let me start by saying that I think there is a genuine struggle in some quarters to achieve meaningful change in The Gambia, but I don’t think the same can be said about every voice that has a platform out there…
Those who want meaningful change know that it will eventually come, but through a gradual and well managed process….Others though, don’t care what sort of change comes. ..They just want it now…Today, tomorrow, next week, regardless of how and at what cost, and the loudest of these lot can be found in the diaspora…
It is.this group.that use every trick in the book to advance their cause. …and the use of the tribal card is one such trick…The aim being to stir up conflict between communities (not necessarily against the Jolas ) so that law and order can break down, and that they think, will lead to Jammeh’s removal….It may very well lead to Jammeh’s removal but what will be the consequence of such a change..? They don’t seem to care…
There is not much I can add here that brother Janko has not already covered because he had done a fantastic job..I totally agree with his views expressed here….
Those who make the claim that The Gambia is a “Jola hegemony” must explain what they mean by this…They must explain how the appointment of some Jolas to top government positions constitute a “Jola Hegemony, if hegemony really means what it means : the domination of one.group over all others…In this case, the Jolas over every other tribe…
Those who claim that Jolas have preferential treatment under Jammeh must show how this is the case….
What preferential treatment does a Jola mother and her child get at the Faji Kunda Health Centre, over a Mandinka mother and her child..?
What preferential treatment does Jola NAWEC customers get over non Jola NAWEC customers when the lights go out…Or when food prices go up….or when drugs are not available….etc
Tribe, culture, philanthropy, generosity and religion are all cards Jammeh has used to advance his cause to remain in power ever since he consolidated his position…And the beneficiaries are from a cross section of the country and across all tribes…
Janko camara , one thing I agreed with you is that Jammeh has planted tribal favoritism for his own interest . In doing so , one can argue that it lead to tribalism or jola preferential treatment in the form of employment opportunities , education and promotions in both civilian and military services . This is where tribalism comes in . I do not totally agreed with author publications in freedomnewspaper about appointments of some individuals he classified as Jolas because I know few of them were mandinkas. example Binta jammeh sidibeh has never been a jola because her parents came from baddibu who settled in Banjul long time ago . However , I also believe that there is tribal favoritism or tribalism in Jammeh’s government . This is evidence by majority of senior civilian and military leadership positions being occupy by Jolas so that they can help to safeguard jammeh’s interest only . This is The fact . We can all denied that there is no tribalism in The Gambia just to save face but it is now well known facts , jammeh has succeeded in implementing tribalism/ tribal favoritism in the Gambia . The good news is that Gambian tribes do not talk about it and are silenced about it just like the majority Gambians do not talk about crimes committed by this regime. Jolas are the number one victims of jammeh brutal rule . This is evidence by the fact that some of those killed and are in prison are Jolas .
Tribalism in Gambia is created by jammeh alone to divide Gambians so that he can continue rule and terrorize the population. The strategy used by Jammeh is to use both Jolas and non Jolas selfish Gambians to promote and safeguard his interest . If any of these individuals go against Jammeh’s interest , they end up being fire , jail or exile .
As Gambians we have to be aware of this facts and acknowledge that we do have tribalism under this regime so that we can solve the problem post jammeh amicably and professionally . In solving any problem , there has to be acknowledgement that the problem exist so that necessary interventions can be taken to prevent its consequences. This is why I beleive it is very necessary to talk about it in a civilized and carefully manner not to categorize every jola as a tribalist . Every Gambian tribe has a stake in this process and more emphasis should be placed on Jolas participation in this process but not to antagonize them all. The effect of dictatorship is division and scare tactics to terrorize the population . This division comes in the form of promotion of some segment of population or giving more oppportunities to some individual based on tribal , ethnic affiliation , royalty or nepotism to protect , promote and safeguard the sole interest of the dictator . This is why it is dangerous to have a dictatorship in any Country.
Bax, if you or anyone are in denial that there is no tribalism or preferential treatment of Jolas in The Gambia , you must be living in a dream world or you have no idea what is going on in the gambia for past decades. I understand nobody want to be called tribalist in as much as the same way the racist individuals do not want to be called racist . The fact of the matter is there is tribalist president who has deep rooted hatred aganist other tribes especially mandinkas . Tell me if president Jammeh is not tribalist why would he singled out mandinkas in his hate speech in many of his outburst ? Let us stop political correctness to speak the truth as it is . Pretending that there is no tribal preferential treatment of Jolas is the highest political hypocrisy one can show . Unless you do not want to admit the truth , that Jammeh used his tribe for his personal interest and at the same they are his number one victim. The Jolas hegemony you refused to admit is evidence by appointments of Jolas in majority of key senior civilian and military leadership positions and promotions . Looking at the statistics of Jolas populatiion compare to the number of senior positions they occupy , it can be mathematically and analytically concluded that there is something wrong when you compare the same figure to other tribes who are large than Jolas in total population. This analytically conclusion is tribalism and tribal preferential treatment that Jolas recieved from the tribal president to protect , promote and safeguard his interest . Using irrelevant example of how Jolas and non Jolas customers are affected when light goes out or when price of the food goes up is another distraction unless you are advocating for complete tribal segregation where there would be distinct community for each tribe. Dictators in every country where there is dictatotship , uses tribe , religion , personal mystification , authoritarian rule to advance their interest .
Bax, if you believe that “tribe , culture , philanthrophy , generosity and religion are all cards Jammeh has used to advance his cause to remain in power ever since he consolidated his position .. And the beneficiaries are from the cross section of the country and across all tribes ” . Why would Jolas occupy majority senior positions compare to their population size as well as other tribes occupying senior positions . Are you implying that Jolas are most capable , qualify Gambians to fill those positions? Your acknowledgment of jammeh using tribe to advance his cause but at the same time your refusal to admit that he uses his tribe in the process which resulted to jola hegemony is another political hypocrisy that you manifested here . Iraq sassdam and lybian Gaddafie all used their tribes and religious sect to remain in power . This is the historic fact you need to know so that you can educate yourself about dictatorship and how it works . Today , Jammeh most trusted aides are all Jolas and this is the fact you cannot deny either . These includes his Chiefs security and intelligence aides which he depend on daily . Why would jammeh trust jolas in his security and intelligence than other tribes if he is not tribalist leader? Tell us where Jammeh made any prouncement about Jolas being against his rule as he has done to mandinkas in many occasions by indicating that there will be no mandinka president ever to replace him ? As I said , we have to acknowledge our problem first before we can solve it . Truth shall set us free .
Hi Marx, good to hear your views on this topical issue. The point I (and I assume Bax) try to put across is this: Let us not lose our sanity because Yahya Jammeh is playing the tribal card. Yahya resorting to tribalism is an acknowledged fact in my article. The point to note is that he is not using it as an end, but rather as a means to achieve an end which is “beneficial” only to himself, not even his tribe. Furthermore, this “individual benefit” is very short term. Therefore, we must not be pushed into doing anything that we will all regret tomorrow. Gambia is more important than our individual vaulting ambitions.
Secondly, the list that was put out for public consumption was faulty. You if want to preach against tribalism (which I doubt was the intention of that author), you don’t start on a wrong footing. Get your facts together because there will certainly be a fairly sophisticated readership out there who will scrutinize your article beyond it being a mere passage. They will challenge and test the veracity of your assertions therein. You don’t put out a dangerous and inciting article like that when all of your premises are far from the truth. I personally know a number of people on that list who have no connection with the Jola tribe. They are not (and have never been) one.
Marx, the statistics you are alluding to is indeed interesting because if we were to use the same statistics, then Mandinkas might be accused of tribalism because they are the majority in The Gambia. Except we manipulate census figures, it is an established fact that Mandinkas are about 35-40 percent of the population of The Gambia. So going by your logic, do we have to give 35-40 percent of the country’s available Public Sector job opportunities to the Mandinkas alone? How many people will agree with the proposal that, henceforth, 35-40 of all public offices must be allocated to Mandinkas for the simple fact that they form the majority in the Gambia. Certainly, that is an invitation to trouble. My point is: emphasis should not be placed on this ethnic balderdash when it comes to appointments to public office. Rather, emphasis should be on RELEVANT QUALIFICATION AND PROVEN INTEGRITY. Integrity is crucial. We have seen some of our “qualified” people work for Jammeh, some of whom have shown to all and sundry that they have no integrity and are willing to do Jammeh’s biddings so long as it enables them secure their jobs, irrespective of the consequences of their actions on our collective wellbeing. You see, we must take a cue from the Nigerians. After “turning and turning in the widening gyre” which led to things falling apart in that country, the Nigerians have come to the indisputable conclusion that it is only Integrity that matters at the end of the day, so they voted for the man with integrity. General Buhari’s highest qualification is a High School Certificate. But he has one thing going for him; Unquestionable and Proven Integrity. In the end, that became the deciding factor in the 2015 elections.
Gambians must stop living in the past and strap our boots to move our country forward. No one will do it for us. If we further mess our beautiful country beyond the current mess we are already in, our children will never forgive us for bequeathing such a mess to them.
Maxs, May Allah bless and reward you for standing for the TRUTH. May your like minded persons multiply exponentially to be the majority Gambians in the third republic. From your intervention I would deduce that you are firstly an African, then a Gambian and thirdly a brother in thoughts and actions.
You are the new Gambians in thought we need to shape and develop the Gambia in the third republic.
May I inform you that Jammeh will be no more in few months time…you can take my statement to the bank.
Thank you brother.
I don’t know whether you find it difficult to understand my views from my style and choice of words, or you simply lack the ability to derive meaning from content and context….
Either way, it is inexcusable to accuse me of hypocrisy when you completely misunderstood my views and in some instances, are actually stating the same views as mind….And for this reason, I am struggling to keep my cool right now, but I will try because I have great respect for this forum and for the paper….
You claimed that I.am living in.a dream because I am in denial that there is “no tribalism” or “preferential treatment” of Jolas in The Gambia…
I did say and.I still maintain that the Jolas, as an ethnic group and in their entirety (because when you say Jolas, you mean the whole tribe) do not receive preferential treatment in The Gambia today…You have to show that they do if you hold a different view…Pointing to.a.few Jolas in.high positions, regardless of their population percentage, does not prove your position. …All.it shows is that Jammeh uses the Jolas (for reasons best known to him) more than any other tribe..
But where did I.say categorically that there is “No tribalism” in The Gambia..? Provide that evidence for me please…
Here’s my position on tribalism in The Gambia..
I know very well that tribalism has existed in The Gambia, in various forms and manifestation, long before Yaya Jammeh was even born…. and even after years of existence as a Republic of equal citizens (at least by law), there are still individuals who harbour tribal sentiments and would not hesitate to exploit these to achieve their life’s goals….Yaya Jammeh happens to be one.of those….
I have witnessed Alkaloship struggles where tribe was used….I have even.witnessed VDC Chairmanship struggles where tribe was a factor..
The tribalism that exist in.The Gambia today is only in the use of the tribal card by individuals (or whole groups) to exploit tribal sentiments and other considerations, to achieve their personal.or group goals…
Gambians don’t care one.little bit what tribe their next door neighbour is…They live together, they marry freely, they befriend each other and they are inter – related…
Do I think the Jolas (again as a whole group) receive preferential treatment in The Gambia today..? My answer again is an emphatic “NO”..
Why did.I say “No”..
When you claim that Jolas receive preferential treatment in The Gambia, then what you are saying is that in whatever sphere of life Jolas compete with other tribes, whether it is in jobs, education, health, commerce, agriculture (public service in general), they enjoy an unfair and undeserved advantage over everyone else…
You must therefore be able to demonstrate how (and.prove beyond doubt), a Jola mother and child will enjoy preferential treatment at Faji Kunda Health Centre (for example) over a Mandinka mother and child..Or how a Jola customer of NAWEC will.enjoy light at the expense of his/her non Jola neighbour and purely because he/she is a Jola…This is not a distraction at all, nor is it a call for segregation…It is to demand for proof of preferential treatment that Jolas enjoy….. and if you can’t provide the proof, then your claim must be seen as a.false one and nothing else….I hope I have myself very clear to you..
Now, let me directly respond to some of the things you have said in.your.comment…
Quotes from Max. ..
(1)…” Tell me if president Jammeh is not tribalist why would he singled out mandinkas in his hate speech in many of his outburst ?”
Response…I do not know what Jammeh is except that he has used tribe to entrench himself..He is therefore a person who did not hesitate to use tribe for his personal gain…Whether that makes him a tribalist or not is unclear to me…
What is clear to me is that , if this makes Jammeh a tribalist, then.he is a strange type of tribalist because his love for.his tribe is not reflected in.the composition of.his own family, the dearest entity to his heart…
In fact, to this day, Jammeh has never married a Jola woman….Since a man’s wife is probably the dearest to his heart, Jammeh’s wives would have been Jolas if he loves the Jolas so much, but this is not the case…
His first wife was a Faal. ..His second wife is a Suma. ..His third wife is a Sallah…I know surnames don’t determine tribe any more but even a man will not associate these surnames with the Jola tribe. ..
If he truly loves his tribe more than any other tribe in The Gambia, this is some way to.show it, isn’t it..?
Why will he single.out Mandinkas in his hate speech, you asked..?
Again, my answer is “I don’t know” because I am not in his mind..but I have a view and I have to be very careful not.to be misunderstood..
Many observers who witnessed Jammeh’s “evolution” from the AFPRC to the APRC, followed and listened to the political messages/discourse/propaganda from that group, especially during the period leading to the 1996 Presidential Election, know that they have always branded their main rival, the UDP, as a Mandinka Party (and this is where I need to be careful)…
I not saying that the UDP is a Mandinka Party nor that the AFPRC/APRC is right to label them as such…The UDP, like any other party, has a membership that cuts across all tribes and.is a National Institution. ..But this was, and still is the.mindset of the AFPRC/APRC…
So my view is that the.”anti-Mandinka” rhetoric was directed at the UDP rather than the entirety of the Mandinka ethnic group….In fact, the statement alleged that the UDP was a Mandinka Party, created and funded by Western Governments to remove Yaya Jammeh. …All lies, of course, but it shows the state of “mind” of this government. ..They were definitely not referring to the Mandinkas that support Yaya Jammeh….This is.my view but I may be wrong…
@Max…(2)… “Unless you do not want to admit the truth , that Jammeh used his tribe for his personal interest ….. ”
@Bax…. “Tribe, culture, philanthropy, generosity and religion are all cards Jammeh has used to advance his cause to remain in power ever since he consolidated his position… ”
Response….Are you saying anything different from what I said..? How can you accuse me of not wanting to admit the truth that “Jammeh used his tribe for his personal interest,” when I stated the same thing very clearly: that he uses the tribal card to advance his cause to remain in power….”? This type of.argument is futile and not befitting a.serious discussion forum like this one…
@Max… “Why would Jolas occupy majority senior positions compare to their population size as well as other tribes occupying senior positions.
Response….I don’t know why that is the case..? I don’t even know if this claim is true..? You have yourself admitted here that some of the so called Jola names on the list that prove a Jola hegemony were not Jolas…However, like I said earlier, if it is true, all it shows is that Jammeh uses Jolas more than any other tribe…and his reasons are best known to him. ..
@Max…” Are you implying that Jolas are most capable , qualify Gambians to fill those positions?”
Response. ..Are you really serious..? May be this is in.your mind…definitely not in mine..
@Max…”Your acknowledgment of jammeh using tribe to advance his cause but at the same time your refusal to admit that he uses his tribe in the process which resulted to jola hegemony is another political hypocrisy that you manifested here ..”
Response….You see.what I’m saying. ..? One moment you claim that I don’t want to admit that Jammeh used tribe for his interest….Now.you claim that I acknowledge this but because I don’t connect it to a Jola hegemony, I am therefore a hypocrite. …
Max, whether Gambia is a Jola hegemony or not , based on current political and other realities, is a matter of.personal.opinion and down to individual understanding of the term “hegemony”.
To make the claim therefore, that whoever differs with your opinion and understanding of the political reality in The Gambia is a political hypocrite, is to demonstrate arrogance, ignorance, intolerance and utter stupidity. ..
My understanding of.”hegemony” is complete dominance by a country or social group..For there to be a Jola hegemony in The Gambia, the Jolas, as a.group, must dominate over every other group…If you can show that this is the case in The Gambia, then.your claim of a Jola hegemony will be true….A few Jolas in.senior positions does not qualify the system of government as a Jola hegemony, nor does it transform The Gambia into a Jola Republic…
@Max… . “Today , Jammeh most trusted aides are all Jolas and this is the fact you cannot deny either . These includes his Chiefs security and intelligence aides which he depend on daily . Why would jammeh trust jolas in his security and intelligence than other tribes if he is not tribalist leader? ”
Response. ..You know what is going on in the state house more than I do…I don’t even know who Jammeh’s aides are, let alone the most trusted ones…I.do.know from open sources that he has some close non Jola buddies…For example….Alagie Martin is said.to be a trusted ally….Also, the person mentioned in the.foiling of.the December 31 attempt is a certain Musa Savage…So there seem to be non Jola officers close to Yaya Jammeh…Again, if true, it comes down to the fact that he uses Jolas more than any other tribe..Why..? Best known to him…
@Max….”Tell us where Jammeh made any prouncement about Jolas being against his rule as he has done to mandinkas in many occasions……”
Response….Jammeh terrorises Jolas who show open hostility to his rule or style of leadership…Haven’t you heard about the two Foni Youths who got murdered for questioning the sense in working on his farm..? Many Jolas will be happy if open opposition to Jammeh results to just “a pronouncement” against them…
@Max…”by indicating that there will be no mandinka president ever to replace him ?”
Response. ..Do you take him seriously. .? What other stupid sayings of Jammeh do.you take seriously..? All I can say is that it is your right to cling onto and swallow whatever garbage comes from Yaya Jammehs mouth…Sensible people don’t take him seriously…
In my opinion, tribalism dwell in the heart of the man who feels it.
Resolutions to tackling ethnicity and tribalism in the Gambia; Let each and every tribalist Gambian put him/herself to task by taking a break for just one hour and go back home and consult their inner levels to properly find themselves within themselves.
Otherwise any other means of challenging these frightening ills of our Gambian society will likely take a long and a very complicated road.
All that awaits tribalism in any country’s political process is a war of ethnic cleansing and destruction which cannot be imagined taking place in our tiny Gambia.
The freedom newspaper is a casuality to the concept of freedom of speech and the natural right to freely express oneself in my opinion.
Here you have an editor who insists on expressing his right to say whatever he thinks with no care as to whether what he is saying is trampling on the rights/dignity of others or what the possible consequences his carelessness might breed….
Jammeh is the problem and not the jola people. The Jola people are fantastic people only if one has the opportunity to know them.
Our dear Gambia harbours an even much bigger problem than that of monster Jammeh come the third republic since a good number of Gambians especially those in the west are still bent on continuing the futile fight theirs fathers started in the first republic. it seems a good number of us Gambians (in the west in particular) are only good been negative/difficult. We must not allow that to continue. who ever will be the next president must be very fair but very very firm with the interest of the people at heart. The gambia in the third republic must not entertain time wasters and people whose only view of society is us and me….
my opinion. thanks
Karamo, diaspora Gambians did not bring tribalism in the Gambia, so to blame them is a non-starter.
Jammeh uses the tribal card so are some of his jola loyalists using same in their area on influence.
Janko camara , I totally agreed with you that Jammeh is using tribal card for his personal interest . As I said , in doing so he created tribal favoritism or tribalism at the detriment of other tribes to promote jola hegemony. If you keep giving your tribe , majority of senior positions , scholarships , job opportunities compare to other tribes , that is tribal preferential treatment . This preferential treatment lead to better economic and social status of Jolas in the gambia . Jolas better economic and social status through better and higher position jobs leads to their dominance in our country than other tribes . Jolas dominance in higher economic and social status has also lead to Jolas hegemony we are having today . This is the fact we have to recognize and acknowledge . One of the greatest fallacies in african politics and society is the acknowledgement of the problem (truth) we are facing . This is why it is taboo to tell truth to elders even if they are lying in your face and there is no one who is accountable . The same thing apply when it comes to issues of tribes , especially our current predicament when you have only one man using his tribe from both inside and outside Gambia to promote , protect and safeguard his interest.
Looking at American political and social system , one thing I learned is the acknowledgement of the problem and this is why they have leaders who talk about social justices and better treatment of all even though the system is not perfect. So in our Gambian case we first have to acknowledge the fact that Jolas have better treatment under this regime than any tribes . This is not to say those who make this pronouncement are tribalist but are meant to emphasize our constitutional call for equal treatment for all citizens irrespective of tribal affilliation .
Mr camara , the statistics I highlighted prove that Jolas shouldnt be occupying majority senior positions when you look into their polulation size compare to other tribes . Why would Jolas today occupy 75 percent of most senior positions in the country when their population size is less than 15 percent ? This is the question many would not answer and they would result to that backward thinking that Jolas are not to be blamed and it is Jammeh who gave them the opportunities . Why would Jammeh do that at the detriment of other tribes ? Do you think if majority white people think blacks are not entitled to civil rights in USA , would there be black empowerment or black president ? Or if majority mandinkas think that jammeh is not one of their own , would Jammeh succeded to be president in the first place ? Lets call a spade a spade . majority mandinkas didn’t have tribal sentiment as Jammeh is portraying in our beautiful country . I think our Jola brothers and sisters has responsibility to stand up for democratic Gambia where tribal affilliation has no basis for social existence . This is why I called upon their participation in post Jammeh and not to antagonize them . This is what Mandela did in South Africa after decades of white misrule .
So mr camara , I am emphasizing the need to acknowledge that there is tribal preferential treatment which lead to jola hegemony in our country today . This is the fact .
Bax, I wholeheartedly share your observations on this issue. I am also of the opinion that tribalism and tribal politics is an academic or intellectual construct; it is only argued and employed by people who are engaged in a political struggle to determine the destiny of their nation. And they are mostly the educated elite.
You don’t see the majority of Gambians who are struggling everyday to etch a living talk about tribalism much less to argue about it. It is all about political control and power. The reason why our societies are continually in a state of struggle.
The existence of tribes and people belonging to different tribes is part of our social reality, and we are blessed that we do not have any tribal conflicts of a major proportion that can bring our nation into chaos. And I strongly believe that it is going to be like that into the foreseeable future.
Our social, cultural and religious dynamics that hold our society strongly together, I believe, can withstand the efforts of the few who only want to ignite the flames of national disintegration to achieve their political goals.
But as you said, there is also a genuine struggle to bring about meaningful changes in our political disposition and reality. At the end of the day, this struggle tempered with reason and a sense of purpose, will win.
Our country is very poor, and by all standards the majority of the people who belong to the different ethnic groups are poor. Therefore no ethnic group can claim superiority over any other ethnic group, and this has never been the case. In fact the intermingling and the harmonious relationship that exist between the different ethnic groups makes a mockery of any attempt to create social discord or tribal hatred. Gambians do not have the time for that.
The monopolization of the state bureaucratic organs of government, by a new class ( and there are always classes in every given epoch or period) has elevated their status socially and economically; and they are divorced from the pathetic social and economic realities to which the majority of Gambians of all ethnics groups are consigned.
The dynamics of power, and the power relations between those who hold it and the one who want to deprive them of it, our contending social classes, is the only conflict in which our politics is engaged. And some do appeal to an ethnic bias in the state machinery of governance. Or in our political dispensation.
This has nothing to do with our poor ethnic groupings. It has nothing to do with the poor farmers who are trying to earn a living to support and educate their children. It has nothing to do with the fishermen; the market women; the cattle herders etc. etc.
By and large most of the educated people, who are now engaged in these tribal discourses, have the benefit of a good education and an upward social mobility. All they should asked of our harmonious and cohesive ethnic groupings is their vote. In my opinion how we want to organize ourselves to resolve our political dilemma is our problem. We are the only ones who should own it.
Kamalo, are you serious, you said: “Bax, I wholeheartedly share your observations on this issue. I am also of the opinion that tribalism and tribal politics is an academic or intellectual construct; it is only argued and employed by people who are engaged in a political struggle to determine the destiny of their nation. And they are mostly the educated elite.” and bla bla bla all the rest. Tribalism is a reality, it is a problem, it is timing bomb. Read history of other countries that went thru traibal wars and then come back and comment.
Kamalo, we have a double tribal problem in the Gambia today.
1- We have the Gambian jolas some of whom practice tribalism in their arears of influence within government and
2- You have the foreign jolas from Casamance that intergrated our security institutions in the hundreds of thousands. This category is the most problematic as they came to support and protect Jammeh and no one else. Can you imagine 50% of your army, police, NIA and inmmigrations being manned by foreigners?? Can’t you see the problem in having gun holders parading all over the Gambia to keep a population in bondage?
Can you imagine, Mandikas bringing the Bambaras from Mali to do the same?
Can you imagine Fulas briging the Fulas from Guinea Conakry to do the same in the Gambia?
Can you imagine the Wolof bringing woloffs from Senegal to do the same in the Gambia?
My concern is not Gambian jolas per se but the many imported jolas from Casamance and enrolled them in our security institutions and this is the real DANGER that Gambians are faced with today.
Oh Boy!, I wish you see them parading in our streets and public places and official ceremonies to hold your breath and realize the naked INVASION.
Is this an academic or intellectual exercice you alluded to??
Karamo, please stop dreaming, there is a big problem in the Gambia today and all of us who live in the Gambia see it, feel it and are mad at it each and every day.
Bax, if Jammeh is using tribe for his personal gain , can you please tell us which tribe is that other jola tribe ? Why would he use this tribe for his advantage ?
Bax , I think you are contradicting yourself here , you believe that tribalism exist in the gambia and you also believe that jammeh Is using tribe but still failed to acknowledge that he is using his tribe in the process , that is political hypocrisy I am talking about unless you mention another tribe different from jola . Try to present your case logically and clear concise manner . You are the one who mentioned that jammeh use tribe to advance his cause , so you should be bold enough to tell us which tribe he is using . What benefits do this particular tribe derive from him in relation to him using them ?
Hegemony and preferential treatment you refused to acknowledge is as a result of jammeh appointments , promotion , jobs opportunities and scholarship to jolas for them to protect , promote and safeguard his sole interest and if anyone of them goes aganist his interest , his brutality comes to play .
Again you have not answer any of my questions above but to continue to deviate and not giving clear answer by stating that ” I don’t know” and “I don’t know what Is his mind “.
Also your argument that jammeh rhetoric was directed at UDP party not mandinkas ethinicity is another political hypocrisy in your latest posting . How can jammeh singled out mandinkas in his hate speech and yet you refused to acknowledge that it was directed at mandinkas people. Jammeh clearly mentioned mandinkas in his numerous outburst and this is pure hatred and this is what a tribalist president would do.
It doesn’t make any sense to assume that jammeh didn’t marry a jola and therefore he is not tribalist . Do you know jammeh female sexual preferences? He might not need a jola wife but he can used jolas to advance his interest . Jammeh sexual desire to have a particular wife has nothing to do with his desire to stay in power forever. This is the fact .
I do like to engage people on any topic I feel strongly about, but I don’t think I have time for this sort of attitude you continue to demonstrate in our engagements…I do sympathise with you because I can see what your problem is, but I can’t be of much help to you if you don’t change your attitude…The problem you have is quite obvious to see and it comes down to these…
(1)…Inability to derive meaning from content,context and structure and so you misunderstand the view that is being expressed….;
(2)…arrogant stubbornness by injecting your understanding, or rather, misunderstanding into what someone says and insisting that yours is the right understanding and nothing else…;
(3)…pointless argument (even against yourself at times) leading to contradictions without realising it….;
Here’s my reasons for the points I identified..I do not intend to make.you the subject of our exchanges but this is necessary to show why your attitude, especially when you attack me for falsehood and hypocrisy, is unacceptable. ..
(a)…You have consistently claimed that I am not clear in the way I expression my views, but I have engaged many people and I understand many also follow.me.on this blog, yet you are the only one that make this claim…The problem therefore is with you….
(b)…In one of our earlier encounters during the CORDEG statement discussions, I made the following statement. ..
“Given that there is nothing their association with Cordeg can achieve that they can’t achieve without Cordeg, can anybody see why it is in the opposition’s interest to steer clear of Cordeg? ”
According to you, this statement is implying that there is nothing their association with Cordeg can achieve. ..”
But anyone who can derive meaning from structure can see that your understanding of this statement is wrong…
What this statement is implying is that “they can achieve something with Cordeg but whatever it may be, it can equally be achieved without Cordeg…”
I tried to show you how the structure of this sentence makes it impossible to convey your understanding by producing a sentence that could convey your understanding, side by side, with one that has a similar structure to my statement, thus…..
(1)…As a footballer, there is nothing Max can achieve with Liverpool. (Full stop)
(2)…As a footballer, there is nothing Maxs can achieve with Liverpool, that he can’t achieve without Liverpool. ..
I asked you to show me what you understand from each sentence and.whether the two convey the same message but you failed to do that and continued to maintain that how you understood my view is actually the right understanding. ..
In another encounter after the 31 December incident, I made a statement as thus….
“The fact that an entire government was formed and in waiting, even before any consultations with various stakeholders was conducted, does seem to suggest that the aftermath could have been problematic had they succeeded in removing Jammeh “
You.responded by giving the impression that what I was implying here is that the attackers should have consulted everyone before they launched their attack…
I.explained that this was not what I meant…That what I.meant was that the organisation (military and political) did not have.to form a government . That could have waited until Jammeh is removed so that all stake holders could be consulted to avoid problems…
You again refused to accept this explanation and insisted that how you understood my view actually represents my view..
I would admit, that given the structure of the statement, the point at which “consultations” should take place is left to interpretation, if it is read in isolation to the rest of the comment…But if read in context, there will be no doubt that this was referring to “post Jammeh” period…
Maxs, this not only demonstrates that you have a problem of being able to.derive meaning from.content, context and structure, but also constitutes a sort of stubborn arrogance…
(2)…I.have already shown how you inject your misunderstanding into what someone says and then stubbornly insist that this is the right understanding…Let me show you one.more example…
@Max. …”Bax , I think you are contradicting yourself here , you believe that tribalism exist in the gambia and you also believe that jammeh Is using tribe but still failed to acknowledge that he is using his tribe in the process , that is political hypocrisy I am talking about unless you mention another tribe different from jola .”
Comment : In the above quotation, you made the following points….
(1)…I believe that tribalism exist in the gambia. …
(2)…I believe that Jammeh is using tribe….
(3)…I failed to acknowledge that he is using his tribe in the process….
When we look at your points 2 & 3, it becomes quite baffling to see how you can make the inference that “tribe” in (2) does not include his tribe (Jola)..
Maxs, unless I make a specific exemption of Jolas from tribe in. (2), how the hell did you arrive at the conclusion that I.”failed to acknowledge that he is using the Jolas in the process ?”
Didn’t I express the view that if your claims are right… that all his trusted aides are Jolas…..then rather than prove a Jola hegemony, all it shows is.that Jammeh uses the Jolas more than.any other tribe…. (JAMMEH USES THE JOLAS more than any other tribe)…..And then you call me a political hypocrite. …!
The worst of.your.problems.is when you argue against yourself without realising it…
One of your claims is that Jolas enjoy preferential treatment under Jammeh because they occupy an.unusually high number of.positions in government, given.their.small.size compared to other tribes…
Another of your claims is that the Jolas suffered the most victimisation under Jammeh…
How do you reconcile these two claims..? Given the small.size of the Jolas, how does their most “victimised tribe” status reconcile with their “preferred tribe” status..?
Isn’t it totally contradictory and logically flawed to claim that a most favoured tribe, who constitute a small number of the population, are also the most victimised..?
Wouldn’t it be more logical that a favoured tribe, even if they constitute the majority of the population, would be.the.least victimised. .?
Your arrogance is again abundantly demonstrated in your very last posting but I will not.waste my time.on that any more. ..
I have asked you to explain.what you understand by the term,” hegemony” and to.show.how.the appointment of few Jolas (less than 10% of Jolas) into high positions fit with your definition of “hegemony”…
@Max. …”Again you have not answer any of my questions above but to continue to deviate and not giving clear answer by stating that ” I don’t know” and “I don’t know what Is his mind “…”
Response….You are asking me questions to.which I.have no answers…Do you want me to lie..? How do I know who Jammeh’s trusted aides are..? How do I know what his sexual preferences are..? How do I know for certain, why he does what he does..? I don’t have that information so my response of “I don’t know ” or “I don’t know what is on his mind”, is a fitting one, unless you don’t mind lies…
@Max. ..”Also your argument that jammeh rhetoric was directed at UDP party not mandinkas ethinicity is another political hypocrisy in your latest posting ”
Response. …I have searched for the actual APRC Government Statement to quote from but unfortunately, I couldn’t find it…
However, I.have found an article on.Mr Sidi Sanneh’s Blog on that statement, written on Friday October 4th 2013…This is a reliable 3rd party source to arbitrate between me and you to show who is a hypocrite and/or who is a liar…
The title is….”JAMMEH ACCUSES UDP OF TRIBALISM AND A FRONT FOR AMERICAN.AND UK INTEREST.”
In paragraph 3 of the said article, Mr Sanneh made these statements….
“According to the government statement, the UDP is to represent foreign oil interest should it gain political power….
What could be seen as a desperate move to stoke the fires of tribalism, the statement (here’s my own emphasis) LABELLED THE UDP AS A MANDINGO GROUP that’s out to seize power and to re impose it’s political dominance….”
Who is the hypocrite and liar…?
@Max. ..”It doesn’t make any sense to assume that jammeh didn’t marry a jola and therefore he is not tribalist .”
Response…This again is.proof that you lack the skill to understand what people are saying…All I said, in reference to marriage, is that his love for his tribe above all others, which essentially is what a tribalist is, is not reflected in what should be the dearest to his heart : his wives…That to me, makes him.a strange type of tribalist…
@Max….” You are the one who mentioned that jammeh use tribe to advance his cause , so you should be bold enough to tell us which tribe he is using . …..”
Response….Before you put pen to paper to argue with anyone, I have advised you before, that you must seek clarification on.any point (s) that you are not clear about. ..
Though the phrasing of your statement is not right, a testimony of your arrogance again, this should.have been.your first act…to.ask me to explain what I.mean by the use of the “tribal card”, if you are not sure..” To assume that tribe here does not include the Jolas has created a huge problem for you…
I will quote from Karamo, who has presented a very logical and relevant view point here to show how Jammeh has played the tribal card to entrench himself…
@Karamo….”The monopolization of the state bureaucratic organs of government, by a new class ( and there are always classes in every given epoch or period) has elevated their status socially and economically; and they are divorced from the pathetic social and economic realities to which the majority of Gambians of all ethnics groups are consigned…..”
That is the answer to your problems…Jammeh’s ascension to.power deposed.the old social class and created a new one..But unlike advance societies, where social mobility could be achieved through personal enterprise and hard work, social mobility in The Gambia is entirely dependent on connection to the regime for many people, since the environment for private enterprise is non existent…..
Jammeh has used the tribal card to create a new social class that includes members from almost all.tribes and he.made no secret of.it from day one..In this way, he has created an environment where all want to be seen.as.loyalist to climb the social ladder..He would also.use this to garner support from the tribe or community of benefiting individuals..
He.would point to the appointment of a Manjago Minister, for example, and claim that the Manjagos have been marginalised, to win the sympathy of that tribe…
@Max. …”What benefits do this particular tribe derive from him in relation to him using them ?”
Response…The tribes don’t benefit as a whole…Except for family members and other relatives of the individual beneficiaries, no one.else from their tribe benefit…
The appointment of Yankuba Badjie, as NIA DG doesn’t protect theJolas from the harassment of the NIA…May be Yankuba ‘s family, relatives and friends.will be safe until they annoy Yaya Jammeh…That’s what you lot.got to.realise.
Kamalo, are you trying to dismiss the fact that there is no jola preferential treatment under this regime ? Or are you trying to imply that the current regime is not using tribal card to entrench themselves in power?
We all understand that most Gambians talkless about tribe just like they don’t talk about crimes committed under this regime . Does that make it right to have complete sillence about tribal preferential treatment that Jolas are receiving from the dictator in his appointments , promotions and educational opportunities ? In the same way , why are we talking about atrocities , corruptions and brutality of this regime since most Gambians do not talk about these issues in gambia today because of fear and intimidation. Gambians don’t talk about tribal preferential treatment of Jolas because of the fear that one might be seen as tribalist . Blaming others who rightly pointed out the reality of gambia today won’t solve any problem . The poor farmers you mentioned might be instructed to speak jola language at the military checkpoints as it happened to me when I visited my cousin at yumdum military barracks which was a resulted of military dictatorship headed by jola hegemony. This is where security tribal preferential treatment and intimidation of other tribes comes in . In the same vein , tribal militia president jammeh castigate mandinkas to intimidate and instill fear so that his political and personal interest can be protected and safeguarded . This irresponsible statements was condemned by opposition parties in their joint press conference except by your party pdois . So the elites who are advocating for harmonious and peaceful relationship between tribes spoke up and put the dictator on notice for his hate speech against the mandinka ethnic group . So for you to suggest that it is the elites who want to gain vote are the only one who engage in tribal politics , I think it should be directed to president jammeh who is using his tribe for personal gain . I think you should also be bold enough to condemn those politicians who do not engage in condemnation of president jammeh in his outrageous behavior towards mandinkas . I would be glad to hear which political elites in The Gambia is engage in tribal politics apart from the militia dictator tribal president jammeh . We have to acknowledge that there is a problem in our country before we can come up with interventions . Even in the NIA torture chambers , there is tribal preferential treatment as highlighted by ousman Bojang , a former nia operative . Let us be honest to ourselves and understand the reality . I am talking about it because I want my fellow citizens including my jola brothers and sisters to be aware of the fact that dictator is using some of them for his personal interest. But to dismiss it completely that there is no tribal preferential treatment or jola hegemony as indicated by Bax , is outright false and is highest political hypocrisy in my opinion .
Haidara, thanks for your compliment . I share your frustration and understanding of the issues at stake here . Political correctness and hiding behind the idea that I am not going to offend some in stating the truth and reality of Gambian predicament , I think will not do us any favour to advance our country . Tribal issues is part and parcel of our social and political process and we must talk about it for the advancement of our country. Civilized and advanced societies have dealt with this issues , why not Gambia and we are acting as if all is well because some don’t want to be seen as tribalist or don’t want to talk about it . Saying oh well , everything is fine , Gambia no problem , when we have a silly dictator advancing tribal agenda for his own selfish interest . This is exactly what is happening in Lybia and Iraq because they have idiotic dictator who used tribe , religion , nepotism and fear to stay in power for long time. Gambia is facing similar problem because some people believe that jammeh will leave power without a fight , I for one will see that as a miracle. Looking at jammeh security details , he has already plan this very well and knows that he is not going to be like JAWARA who is living comfortably in the gambia and nobody cares about him . This is because Jawara has no damn blood in his hands while the idiotic dictator’s hand is completely soaked with innocent blood. I believe Gambian Jolas are also victims just like the rest of the population but the dictator is using them and giving them preferential treatment to promote , protect and safeguard his sole interest . This is my main point. Jammeh trust no tribe better than jolas. Most of these Jolas are not originally Gambians to further buttress my point. I think the author of Jolas hegemony has some points but I don’t totally agreed with him in his write up. I think it is constructive to discuss the issue now so that we can acknowledge that it is a really problem which needs to be addressed post Jammeh. If we fail and pretend that nothing is wrong , we will see the replica of Lybia in The Gambia . I don’t understand why we Gambians are Afriad to have honest discuss . Underestimation and dismissal of our problem is what lead to our current predicament . As Obama former chief of staff will say ” don’t let crisses go into waste” , during his first year in office . we should be using this opportunity to assess , educate , highlight and come up with interventions strategies so that tribal relationship will be back to normal as it was 20 years ago .
Bax, in all honesty you just love to argue for argument sake and along the way you keep agreeing and disagreeing just on petty details in trying to put a point across. The fact is there is tribal preference on Jolas against other tribes in the Gambia. We must also remember that Jammeh is not the only one using tribalism, many of his jola loyalists also use the tribal card unbeknowing to Jammeh on the lower strata of government. Lest we want confuse ourselves in adressing a problem, we must accept that the problem exist first before venturing on its diagnostic and cure.
I live on the ground and see tribalism nakedly being practiced in many sectors of society.
Seeing is beleiving. If you have not visited the Gambia recently, please take a trip and see for yourself. I can bet your perceptions will change to your surprise.
Maxs, is telling the truth and nothing but the truth as we live it today.
It is a sad situation back home and as I said before there is hate in the air and GOD forbid its explosion in the coming third republic.
If you are going to make a claim,you better make sure you get your figures right…
-@Deyda….” You have the foreign jolas from Casamance that intergrated our security institutions in the hundreds of thousands. ”
Does anyone have to be in The Gambia to know that this figure is not true ? Does the entire Gambian security apparatus even number 20,000 personnel…? I doubt it very much…
Yaya Jammeh is a big problem and because he toys with the tribal card whilst in power,he is also a dangerous problem for Gambia’s .homogeneity as a nation of different ethnic groups…But you people are as equally dangerous as Yaya Jammeh because you are hiding behind his stupidity to fan the flames of tribalism and tribal hatred against the Jolas, a group that has suffered more than any from the madness of their own….. One only has to cast the mind back to the irresponsible use of the media in Rwanda that fanned the flames of hatred, to understand the danger that you guys pose to the Gambia…
You need to sit down and ask yourselves the all important question of whether you actions is contributing positively or negatively towards the efforts to effect orderly change in The Gambia….
Gambians know what our problem is; we know how we got to this problem and God willing,we will solve it,without scapegoating any tribe or region…
Bax, you are a really dangerous person. Never did I say anywhere that hundred of thousands of Jolas are in the army. What I said is more than 50% of the security institutions are composed of Jolas specially those from Casamance.
I said that hundred of thousands of jolas from Casamance were imported into the Gambia.
Bax you are the few Gambians that bury their heads in the sand and play the politics of the ostrich,and wanting to be relevant. Well catch the simple brains but not us. We are not followers.
Well keep being in denial and keep dreaming in your confort zone, the day you wake up, you will have no one to blame but yourself.
We the Gambians living in the Gambia know exactly what we are going thru on the ground and do not need your distant confused views and distortion of facts to add salt to injury.
Time will tell.
Have a nice weekend.
Deyda. …I have gone back to satisfy myself that I didn’t misquote you, and I am 100% satisfied that I did not misquote you….I reproduced your statement, word for word….and here it is again…:
-@Deyda….” You have the foreign jolas from Casamance that intergrated our security institutions in the hundreds of thousands. ”
Comment….It is clear that you are talking about the Intergeration of Foreign Jolas into our SECURITY INSTITUTIONS in the hundreds of thousands….
@Deyda… “I said that hundred of thousands of jolas from Casamance were imported into the Gambia.”
Comment. ..Yes, you did… but what did you say happened to them afterwards. ….”They integrated our security institutions”…It is.here in black and white and no chance of misunderstanding the message that is being conveyed..
I can accept your explanation that it is.a.slip and.not what you actually meant to.say…
@Deyda. .. “Bax, you are a really dangerous person. Never did I say anywhere that hundred of thousands of Jolas are in the army.”
Comment. ..I.did.not say that either….I never even mentioned the army. .
Here’s what I wrote…
@Bax. ..”Does the entire Gambian security apparatus even number 20,000 personnel…? I doubt it very much…”
No mention of the army… .I hope.this issue is settled…
Who is living in the Gambia peacefully after turning down Yaya Jammeh’s job offer, being it Jola or whatever tribe? or has any one even ever turned down his job offer yet? I don’t know.
NO tribe is at fault by being disproportionately employed in key positions in the the brutal dictatorship of any country.
Tribalism is far from being academic or intellectual but instead, indicates the lack of sanity in a person.It is backward and dirty. It is the most ignorant behaviour (tribalism and ethnicity) in our today’s Gambia and Africa as a whole.
Right now, I have no intention at all to assimilate Yaya Jammeh in his ignorance and I urge my dear brothers and sisters too, to refrain themselves too,from the horrible negativity.
Bax , thanks for calling me arrogant , stubborn and lack understanding to derive meaning from context or structure . You claimed that I am the only one who always misunderstand you in this forum , therefore I have a problem . I don’t think that is relevant explaination to attack me as arrogant or stubborn ., I can say exactly the same thing about you since it is only you who always accused me of liking to argue for the sake of argument without giving me any clear explanation to my question . Bax , if you think you are an expert on everything Gambian , then that is all good for you. One thing , I will assure you is that if anyone write any ambiguious statement , I will response to seek clarification , criticize constructively and engage you. You have diagnose me as arrogant and stubborn which is personal attack and I am happy about it . I have never said anything to your personal character because I don’t know you and I don’t care to know you . Your self contracdiction , unwillingness to state the truth in your postings and unclear writing in suspension and ambiguity is what I always find concerning to say the least . Let me tell you something , unless you quit this forum , be ready to get follow up posting from me about any ambiguity , unfounded statements or lack of stating the truth in your presentation. I will engage you or any one for that matter . I am independent minded guy who do not have rigged political ideology to push any agenda . At one time , I was defending halifa here when our good friend Lafia Touray accused him of propagating tribal sentiment , I am glad you never called me arrogant at the time. So please let put personal issues aside and talk about The Gambia . This is why I am here . We have to agree to disagree , this is what civilized people do . None of us is always right on every issue .
Now back to the topic under discussion .
I have always maintained that Jolas are used by jammeh for his personal interest and in the process , they are his number one victim . Why do I said this ? This is because they formed the majority in his national security apparatus and as well as civilian leadership positions . So when they fall out with him , those individuals and their families becomes victims of the system they helped to protect , that is what makes them number one victim . If you look at foni , you will not see any significant oppositions as it used to be when JAWARA was in power . Jammeh has succeeded in transforming this area as non go area for opposition politicians because of simple believe that every jola must support him or else you are term as an enemy . Even mere suspicion of being an opposition member in this area can lead to disappearance or murder. How many fonikas went missing since jammeh came to power even from his own village ? Bax, I would encourage you to please take a trip to Gambia now and see for yourself what Is happening . Gambia today is very different from gambia it used to be in every aspect . Jammeh has succeeded in putting in place new social order based on tribalism , jola hegemony and nepotism . Today most of the protocols at statehouse are jola Boys and girls who are serving Jammeh’s interest. The key security apparatus in The Gambia are Mann by jola boys , the three badjies , general soul badjie for stateguard , ousman badjie of defense staff and Yankuba badjie of NIA . How can this be possibility in The gambia if Jammeh didn’t have much trust in this jola boys than other tribes ? Please answer Bax. The strategy Jammeh used to eliminate other tribes in the military especially educated and most experienced ones who didn’t intend to harm , is to send them to foreign mission. This is why you have General Yankuba Drammeh , masanneh kinteh and many others in overseas foreign assignments . For those older military officers he didn’t like or scare of , they are either framed or fire . Jammeh now used young jola boys and send them overseas for military training and when they finish their training , they return and give full royalty to the dictator . This is what jola hegemony works in The Gambia today. At the university of The Gambia , nia operatives are in every class or course taken , this is why the university is the extension of Jammeh’s royalists from both military , police force and nia. I am sure you are not aware of this fact but those who atteneded this university will attest to this point . Jammeh is expertise in security and knows what to do . The jola hegemony is display in every branch of the government and in our social life.
This is not the first time you and I have engaged each other and I hope it is not the last time…I am not an expert of anything,nor have I ever claimed to be one…I express my views on issues that are of interest to me and I do not claim any monopoly over anything…
You have repeated called me a hypocrite and a liar and even when I tried to explain my position to you,after realizing that you may have misunderstood me,you still refuse my explanation and call me names…That’s why I said you are arrogant and you will have the same right to call me arrogant if I behave the same way…
Maxs,when an individual expressed an opinion that is not properly understood by me,the best person to give the proper explanation is the individual themselves…All I can do is to agree or disagree with the individual but if I insist that the individual’s explanation is not right and that my understanding of their view is the right one,then I should be called arrogant…Because that is arrogance and that’s what you do…
I have given you reasons why I think you argue pointlessly…If I say that Jammeh uses the tribal card to entrench himself and you argue that I refused to acknowledge that Jammeh uses the Jolas for his personal interest, isn’t this a pointless argument because we are both saying the thing…Why should you assume that the TRIBAL CARD I mentioned does not include the Jolas when I did not exempt them…
Maxs,I have never, and will never deny that members of the Jola tribe,particularly those from Foni, have benefited from Jammeh’s favoritism more than any other tribes,given the proportion of senior jobs/positions they hold in government…I have also stated that I don’t know why he does this but my suspicion is that he feels more comfortable using the Jolas because they are his tribesmen…
Where I disagree with you Maxs,is that this constitutes a “Jola hegemony” but you even called me a hypocrite for disagreeing with you…I challenged you to define what your understanding of “hegemony” is because I understand “hegemony” as the “Total domination of one social group over all others”..But you failed to do this and continue to talk about a “Jola hegemony” as if it is some divine concept that cannot be explained…
Maxs,I will eat my pie and change my position if you can show how the appointment of some Jolas ( may be 5% of Jolas) into top jobs transformed the entire Jola ethnic group into this domineering social group over all other tribes…I don’t have to visit Gambia to be abreast with the situation…
My view on the political dominance of the APRC in Foni is this…
(1)..Many Foninkas support the APRC because Yaya Jammeh is from Foni and therefore they think they must support him…
(2)..Many Foninkas also have been denied the freedom of choice to belong to their party of choice because of fear,so they unwillingly support APRC….;
(3)..The opposition parties,for whatever reasons,have decided not to challenge this political apartheid that have been imposed on Foninkas and so the situation became accepted…
(4)…There are many overzealous APRC Youths (Foninkas and non Foninkas) who feel that Foni must be a no go area for the opposition and they are being encouraged by the regime..
But I will disagree with anyone who holds the Jolas responsible for this…Certainly,some Jolas are happy with this status quo because they are benefiting but there are many,whose farm lands have been confiscated (for example) and who have been reduced to slave labourers,that cannot wait to see the back of Yaya Jammeh…So we need to be very careful in what we write and say…
You see Maxs, I am new in this forum, but can quickly dissect the truths from the lies or better the old erroneous perceptions of what obtains in the Gambia today. Bax does not have a clue about what is happining in the Gambia today and instead listening and learning from those that do, he prefers to write kilometric reactions based on heresay and sentiments.
As you rightly said let these people take a trip to Gambia and see for themselves instead of contradicting people just for discussion sake. They are very far from the realities of the Gambia today.
Helas! we have to keep repeating ourselves, I hereby ask those that understand what the Gambia is going thru to please be patient with us.
Have a nice weekend.
Deyda, you are free to make any assumptions you want….You have absolutely no certainly in whether I go to the Gambia or not…and whether I rely on hearsay or not is unknown to you…That’s the fact..
And as far as I am concerned, I do not need to learn anything about tribal co-existence in The Gambia, from those whose actions can stir up tribal conflict and undermine the homogeneity that Gambians have enjoyed for so long…
The Gambia is not an island or located in far away space, such that you have to physically set your foot there to know how it is…Gambians who live on the ground, like you (if indeed you are on the ground) are as easily accessible as anyone with access to phones…So what’s the big deal about being on the ground as far as information is concerned…?
Bax, I refuse to reduce this important issue to an empty rethoric. Bax you have a right to position yourself but it stops where our rights begin.
Tribalism in the Gambia is a reality and a menace to be exposed so that it does not degenarate into CHAOS come the third republic, that’s all we are saying nothing more nothing less.
“Kamalo, are you serious, you said: “Bax, I wholeheartedly share your observations on this issue. I am also of the opinion that tribalism and tribal politics is an academic or intellectual construct; it is only argued and employed by people who are engaged in a political struggle to determine the destiny of their nation. And they are mostly the educated elite.” and bla bla bla all the rest.”
I take it that you don’t have any other opinion to proffer different from what I stated. Otherwise you would have argued why my statement that tribalism and tribal politics is an academic or intellectual construct is false; and that it is always used by educated people in their struggles to win and control political power.
I used the word construct as a deliberate and intentional act by educated people, who used tribe and their tribal affiliations as a means to exhort, cajole and appeal to other members of their tribe to support and sustain their position in any conflict situation. And in most of the cases the conflict situation is always political. And we also know the reasons why we always have a conflict situation.
“Tribalism is a reality, it is a problem, it is timing bomb. Read history of other countries that went thru traibal wars and then come back and comment.”
The existence of tribes is a reality. The people who form the nation-state belong to different tribes. They also belong to different interest groups. They also share different loyalties and may entertain different social and political orientations. All these people have a shared destiny to live together. They interact with one another to pursue their culture and their religion in an atmosphere of peace and tolerance.
This is the ideal nation-state. In the event that the nation-state is not ideal, and people used their different interest groupings; their different social and political orientations to create a situation of conflict, more so when they appeal to other members of their tribes to support them in these conflict situations, the tendency for tribalism to be real and to become a problem cannot be dismissed especially in nation-states that have failed.
And again it speaks to the question of what role and to what extend people who are educated contributed to the problem.
” Kamalo, we have a double tribal problem in the Gambia today.”
May be you are the one who see a tribal problem, but most other Gambians do not. I certainly do not see a tribal problem. Most Gambians too do not have a sense of a tribal identity apart from the fact that they were born into one.
” 1- We have the Gambian jolas some of whom practice tribalism in their arears of influence within government and
2- You have the foreign jolas from Casamance that intergrated our security institutions in the hundreds of thousands. This category is the most problematic as they came to support and protect Jammeh and no one else. Can you imagine 50% of your army, police, NIA and inmmigrations being manned by foreigners?? Can’t you see the problem in having gun holders parading all over the Gambia to keep a population in bondage?
Can you imagine, Mandikas bringing the Bambaras from Mali to do the same?
Can you imagine Fulas briging the Fulas from Guinea Conakry to do the same in the Gambia?
Can you imagine the Wolof bringing woloffs from Senegal to do the same in the Gambia?
My concern is not Gambian jolas per se but the many imported jolas from Casamance and enrolled them in our security institutions and this is the real DANGER that Gambians are faced with today.
Oh Boy!, I wish you see them parading in our streets and public places and official ceremonies to hold your breath and realize the naked INVASION.
Is this an academic or intellectual exercice you alluded to??
Karamo, please stop dreaming, there is a big problem in the Gambia today and all of us who live in the Gambia see it, feel it and are mad at it each and every day.”
The above is the kind of politics that I do not wish to engage in. Never have been and I will not start it now. I have absolutely no interest in any of the things you have enumerated above. I want to deal with the politics of issues.
Good Kamalo, if you have nothing say, just read, learn and keep quiet.
I have no time to argue with dreamers.
Have a nice weekend
Bax: ” But unlike advance societies where social mobility could be achieved through personal enterprise and hardwork , social mobility in The Gambia is entirely dependent on connection to the regime for many people, since the environment for private enterprise is non existent”.
Who are these people and families who are connected to the regime apart from Jolas who occupy majority senior government and military positions that lead to their social mobility ? Going by your explanation, one can see that jolas climb to high Social status can be achieved through their appointments , promotions and educational opportunities they receive more than other tribes from Jammeh due to their connection . Their high social mobility resulted to new class of jola hegemony I am talking about . Because they have better economic and social class through the very connection you talked about in the above statements . You see Bax , truth can never be hidden because you have clearly stated the very connection I was referring to which has to do with nepotism , royalty , preferential treatment using tribal card to advance Jammeh’s sole interest and those individuals who are beneficial of this connection. You have clearly spoken for me based on my analysis of your above statement unless you want to accuse me of misunderstanding you again . I always try to find logic in your statement and make analytical conclusion based on data you provided.. Please read extensively about dictatorship and its implication on the society and the people then you will have a very good idea what is current Gambian situation .
Maxs…I lost my cool because I am human and can only take so much..You kept attacking me as a hypocrite, for no reasons, and you are still doing it…Anyway, I apologize because I shouldn’t have lost my cool…I don’t know you but I suspect I’m older than you…I will try to have a thick skin from now on…I do sincerely apologize…
I have noticed something here and I need to pick on it before I put your criteria to the test…
@Maxs…”We have tribalism implemented by jammeh as evidence by his appointments and hate speeches, and you refused to acknowledge that and now you are accusing us being dangerous and to fan the flames of tribalism and tribal hatred aganist the Jolas , this is your another political hypocrisy I was talking about .”
Comment…Even if what you allege against me here is true, how does that make me a hypocrite…? Do you really know what a hypocrite is…? The person you described above is one who is said to LIVE IN DENIAL…I don’t know the English noun for that,but it is not HYPOCRITE.. A hypocrite is one who pretends to possess virtues that he/she doesn’t practice…Yaya Jammeh is a hypocrite because he pretends to be a devout Muslim when his actions contradict the virtues of a devout Muslim…A person who says “dung dung” here and “dang dang” there is a hypocrite…
I have always been consistent in my position that I recognize that tribe may be a factor in Jammeh’s appointments, given the unusually high number of Jolas in key senior positions, in relation to their size, when compared to other tribes…..Where I differ with you is that somehow, this constitutes a “Jola hegemony”, meaning that the Jolas as a whole, have become the most dominant social group in The Gambia, in every sphere of life..Some even claim that somehow, the Jolas are responsible for this and they should remove Jammeh or face the consequences, when Jammeh is removed by others…I challenged you to show this audience how this is so and it seems you have done that now..So let’s put your criteria to the test…
@Maxs…”Who are these people and families who are connected to the regime apart from Jolas who occupy majority senior government and military positions that lead to their social mobility ? ”
Comment…I have to ask you to clarify whether when you say “majority senior positions in government and military”,you really mean that..It is not a slip at all…? If you do Maxs, then we will have to be specific and define what offices fall under the category of “senior position” in both government and military….Under what office or rank do we draw a line..?
When I get your answer, we might ask the members/followers of the forum to put our efforts together to identify who occupies what senior position in government and what senior rank in the army…Kaironews might even help us to determine the truth…
For example, a quick search on google reveals the cabinet and the composition is as follows…: Jolas/possible Jolas: (1) Yaya Jammeh; (2) Abdou Kolley; (3) Pa Ousman Jarju (may be Jola); (4) Dr Edward Saja Sanneh (may be Jola); (5) Ousman Sonko; (6) Alieu K.Jammeh (may be Jola)…
Out of 22 members (including Deputy Secretary General & Secretary to Cabinet) , more than 11 will have to be Jolas to make your statement ( that Jolas occupy majority of positions in government) true for the cabinet, the most important institution of government…But you have failed miserably,even with the inclusion of some persons who may not be Jolas…
If your statement, that is supposed to prove the truth of a Jola hegemony in The Gambia, cannot pass the test of the most influential and most powerful organ of state, where do you stand with your claim..?
@Maxs…”Going by your explanation, one can see that jolas climb to high Social status can be achieved through their appointments , promotions and educational opportunities they receive more than other tribes from Jammeh due to their connection . Their high social mobility resulted to new class of jola hegemony I am talking about . Because they have better economic and social class through the very connection you talked about in the above statements .”
Comment….OK Maxs, correct me if I understand you wrong.. So are you saying that ONLY when Jolas climb the social ladder, does this result to this new “class of Jola hegemony ?” What about when NON JOLAS climb this social ladder and thus uplift the status of their family,relatives and friends…? Does that not count as a “whatever hegemony”…?
Bax what is the power of a minister in Jammeh’s cabinet?? come on you think ministers can override Jammeh’s decisions. So to say that there are more non-jolas in the cabinet doesn’t change a thing in his dictatorship power and tribal game.
A nation’s strenght is measured in its military might; North Korea is a poor country but no power on earth dares attack them.
Saudi Arabia is one the richest countries but still depends on western powers to protect her from its enemies.
Yaya Jammeh made sure he controls and holds a tight grip on his army, police and NIA and entrust the senior positions to his jola tribesmen, why?. This is the area his survival depends on. Jammeh is not stupid, he is simply a criminal and plays his cards right in all spheres of society.
Jammeh is the problem, not the jolas. Once Jammeh is removed his old set up crumbles with it, just as Blaise Compaore’s set up is now history in Burkina Faso.
Deyda,there is no government on this planent, at least not in the civilised world, where a Minister can override the President…And I don’t know why the Gambia should be different….
No Deyda, Jammeh is not the problem… Jammeh is part of the problem and because he squats in the office of the President, he is a very big part of the problem…
Like I said earlier, those who understand why we got to where we are today, know the problem and its source(s) and God willing, we will solve it…All of us together, because it requires collective efforts under a focused, enlightened, mature, able and selfless leadership…
Bax “But you people are as equally dangerous as Yaya jammeh because you are hiding behind his stupidity to fan the flames of tribalism and tribal hatred against the Jolas , a group that has suffered more than any from the madness of their own”.
Really Bax, you accused us being dangerous when we are only highlighting the very problem every Gambian is aware of . This is the most irresponsible statement from your myopic and narrow mind . Where in any of my statements I did tribal hate speech against Jolas or fan the flames of tribalism ? As I said at beginning , nobody want to talk about tribalism because of fear that you might seen as a tribalist . This is exactly what you are doing . We have tribalism implemented by jammeh as evidence by his appointments and hate speeches, and you refused to acknowledge that and now you are accusing us being dangerous and to fan the flames of tribalism and tribal hatred aganist the Jolas , this is your another political hypocrisy I was talking about . You have accused segment of diaspora group of instigating tribalism and yet you refused to identify which group is that , which show that you have very myopic and narrow rigged view of our current predicament . Stop putting yourself so low with your outdated and I’ll-conceived view about Gambian situation . How can we create a better society if we cannot talk about the problem we are facing as a country . This is why truth telling become huge problem in our country .
Bax , we need to talk about tribal issues without antagonizing any tribe which I already stated in my previous postings . Please go back and read . It is Complete lie and false to claim that there is no tribalism or tribal preferential treatment under this regime . The question is , do Gambian people talk about it openly ? The answer is big NO , because of fear of the regime and not want to be seen as tribalist . Does that make it alright not to talk about it ? The answer is no , because it is out in the open for all to see. . In uk , where you are now , the reason you are able to have greater freedom and opportinities than Gambia , is because they have dealt with this issue and similar one in their history . So sitting in your little apartment in uk , think about how you would replicate the same or better society for gambia so that there would be equal opportunity for all regardless of tribal affilliation . This is why I am talking about it so that we can educate people and try to prevent conflict post jammeh. My friend try to be open-minded about issues but repeating the same talking points will highlight your ignorance .
@Maxs…”Where in any of my statements I did tribal hate speech against Jolas or fan the flames of tribalism ? ”
Comment….You DO NOT have to be hateful to incite hatred….All you need to do is to create the environment by shaping public perception in a given way, that bigots need to perpetrate their madness …In this case,against the Jolas, by claiming that they are the beneficiaries of a Jola hegemony when the majority of Jolas grapple with the same economic and physical conditions as any other tribes ..
Maxs, a case in point is the Rwandan genocide…Do you know that the Hutus and Tutsis have lived together for centuries,speak the same languages and even inter-married…Ever wondered how such a people turned upon each other…?
Believe it or not Maxs, this was engineered through years of shaping public perception against each other by an elite who were,on the one hand,desperate to stay in power, and on the other hand, determined to get into power…In the end, one group achieved its aim but at a massive cost…
Today, many immigrant communities in many parts of the Western hemisphere are under siege because the main media has created a certain perception of immigrants, in the name of news reporting, that is fueling anti-immigrant feelings,leading to physical attacks on immigrant communities by bigots everywhere…
Do you think the journalist who prints a front page report every time an immigrant is caught cheating the system is anti-immigrant…? I don’t think so… but he/she is creating a certain perception and when the report makes general statements based on these minority immigrant offenders, then a general animosity against immigrants, as a whole, can begin to develop in the public.. .
This is the reason why I stated that what you guys are doing is dangerous and therefore you are as dangerous as Yaya Jammeh,as far as Gambia’s tribal co-existence National homogeneity is concerned…
Bax, if you go to a doctor and hide your real ailment (for whatever reason, say a desease in the anus or penis) the doctor may give you the wrong medicine thereby destroying what was good in you. Now add this blunder to the hidden ailment, the result of which will be certain death.
What we are saying is that we should not wait until the third republic to start showing our disgust against tribalism. Unless you beleive there will never be a third republic, you can keep your position but also remember that change is permanent. Only Allah will not change.
Bax, I called your position or view as political hypocrisy when you refused to acknowledge Jammeh’s tribal preferential treatment of Jolas , jola hegemony as well as Jammeh’s hate speeches towards mandinkas ethinicity which you indicated that it was directed at udp party . I have never called you a liar and I will never call you one . What I have emphasized is , if anyone claim that there is no tribalism or tribal preferential treatment of Jolas in this regime is factual lie. Political hypocrisy is to pretend that something is not happening while in the reality it is , examples is tribalism and tribal preferential treatment of jolas. I hope you understand my point .
Bax, I would like to engage you in civilize and respectful manner so that we can agree to disagree . You did mention of keeping your cool in your posting above which I found rather unfortunate to lose your temper on issues of national concern. That said. You and I have agreement on the points you have explained as indicated below:
1. Many fonikas support Aprc because Yaya jammeh is from foni and therefore they think they must support him.
2. Many fonikas have been denied the freedom of choice to belong to their party of choice because of fear
3. Political apartheid that have been imposed on fonikas
4. Foni must be no go areas for the oppositions and was encouraged by the regime .
Bax, these points above highlighted the reason why Jolas are the number one victims in The Gambia because of fear and the dangerous jola hegemony Jammeh has mastered minded in order to create jola enclave due to foni closeness to southern senegal ( casamance). This is where his personal security and survival as president depend on . It is also in this region where he used rebel forces to join our military to help secure and protect him. This is why Jammeh is very very comfortable at kanilali because of reactionary rebel forces which are ready to fight for him. This rebel forces/ militia are 100 percent composed of jola tribe which has been fighting senegalese military for three decades . This is situation you and anyone in denial needs to understand . I for one recognize this security/military and geopolitical setup created by jammeh as well as unfortunate rebellion in southern senegal which is huge benefit to jammeh. It is also the same reason that I have very little hope that an election will remove Jammeh from power and therefore I am in the camp of every options on the table including using our young beautiful women as last resort to get rid of him as it was done to Nigerian sani Abacha .
Bax, Jammeh is very security conscious and knows what to do for his personal and family security and this is why even his mother didn’t know much about his activities and that of his family as indicated by pa bojang. This is how The Gambian dictator works.
@Max, Thanks a lot ! It’s like writing it for me, the way I could have never been able to do for myself.
The truth is, constructive discussion is broad mindedness and the least minded will argue.
We must be ready to challenge all the menacing problems of the Gambia in solution finding discussions and not arguements. Isn’t it great agreeing to the facts when you have to? That is what fair people do when they are contructively convinced with points in any important issue. I ‘ll be so proud of myself if all of us as Gambians demonstrate an exemplary maturity in our political discourse of recent times.
…..And thus the caption of the forum is ‘The Irresponsible Sale Of Tribalism In The Gambia’ as a freshener to all followers of the forum. If I am not mistaken, I can say, there are no sales taking place without the merchandise in stock. For that being the case, we cannot evade to realise the fact that, we have a very dangerous, backward and dirty commodity on sale in the Gambia.
Therefore, in my opinion, it is every responsible Gambian’s duty for that matter, to reach ourselves from within and seek for self awareness in other to able refute such an ill in our individuals and that is, tribalism and ethnicity, as the world watches Gambia through to the third republic.
Once upon a time, I was tribalist and ignorant and thought my tribe, is on top of all other tribes for a reason I never bothered myself to think about it. As a decendant of the great Manding empire I sometimes even comtemplate on conquering back my ancestor’s empire then. Now I am grown up and wiser. I have a wife and not belonging to the same tribe and never realised before, how much idiot I was untill I fell in love with her.
Now no political or socially applied tribalism can play with my mind. Thank God, I am fluent in one more Gambian language and yet my dear wife is the good mother of my beautiful children. Wassup my brethren???
Bax , political hypocrisy is a claim or pretense to hold certain opinion which in reality does not hold . I know if I tell you that in The Gambia you will beat the hell out me (lol) . I am sorry if you don’t like the phrase but it is only meant to show that your claims that there is no jola hegemony or preferential treatment does not hold . This is my point .
Bax, when I said majority senior positions ,I mean those in leadership positions , heads of departments , ministers and those who lead institutions be it civilian or military . Example , Nia , army and stateguard and so on . Since majority of these leadership positions are occupy by Jolas through their royalty , nepotism and tribal preferential treatment , they are connected to the dictator . This connections lead to high positions and better pay which also result to better economic and social status .
Bax , I think I explained well enough what I mean by senior positions and I won’t go into ranks or branches of leadership positions as you implied. Though it is really funny to me for you to even mention it and want detail . In the house of common or parliament in uk , I think you know very well what a senior leadership positions are , and this is what I mean when you take the whole country into consideration .
Maxs….Fair enough…..If you don’t want to be specific about senior positions, that’s your prerogative, but I think it is still a vague term unless we can all agree on.the appropriate offices or ranks..
You may think that it’s pointless but I do like to argue on evidential bases, and if I don’t have the evidence, I avoid using definitive terms….And I will disagree with anyone, who makes definitive claims without supporting evidence, regardless of whether they describe me as this or that…
Our brother, Deyda, has made a definitive claim that “foreign Jolas from Cassamance have flooded The Gambia in their hundreds of thousands”. ..I haven’t seen you disagree with this claim, so may be you agree with him..Just may be..
I don’t believe this figure but I can’t argue against it as it is a bit vague from my perspective, because he hasn’t said when this mass flooding was supposed to have started and how frequent the numbers reach a hundred thousand….Is it a hundred thousand every year or every two years or every three years..?
The statistics, though, say a different thing altogether…According to latest census figures (July 2014 est.), the Gambia’s population is approx. 1,925,527 (one million, nine hundred and twenty five thousand, five hundred and twenty seven people) .. .
The Jolas constitute 10%…….10% of 1,925,527 is approximately 192,553 (one hundred and ninety two thousand, five hundred and fifty three individuals)…Less than two hundred thousand…The term “hundreds of thousands” imply several hundred thousands or at least, more than two hundred thousand. ..
Maxs, it’s quite obvious that even if there were no Jolas in The Gambia at all, before this mass migration started, the claim of “foreign Jolas from Cassamance”, arriving in their “HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS”, is not supported by the evidence. ..
I have decided to point this out to you because Deyda has addressed you in one of his comments, where he claimed to be able to “dissect the truth from the lies or erroneous perceptions”….The lies and erroneous perceptions purportedly coming from me or from those who differ with him….
Maxs, I’m I wrong to.say that I do not believe Deyda’s figures and that they constitute what is called “fear mongering” against the Jolas..? And don’t you think that fear mongering, against an entire tribe is a dangerous thing..?
The biggest problem of Gambians in general, is that we live in denial.
As we remember the innocent youths killed in cold blood on April 10-11th, as we wonder why Yaya Jammeh is not handing over the dead bodies of the fallen freedom fighters of December 30th to their families for burial, as we shout our disgust why Yaya Jammeh arrest their parents, sons and families, let us make the solemn call that come the third republic we will elect leaders who will serve the people, with respect, dignity and rule law.
For those Jolas foreigners who are serving in our national army, police and NIA we will ask them to resign failing which they will be fired.
This will be the last comment I will make on this article, and do hereby thank the author for providing the opportunity for us to discuss a burning issue in our hearts and minds yet scared to talk about it openly.
To Bax the hot-headed proud Mandingo from the expired Mali empire, thank you for hiting where details are needed. To Maxs the fierce and uncompromising truth teller, thank you so much for taking the right stand come what may.
Finally to my sweet G-Girl who wanted to know who I am, well I will keep hiding until the butcher of Kanilai is gone and I hope you will understand that fighting a dictator is not an eazy task. Thanks also to all those that posted comments.
To all of you readers out there, thank you for reading us and hope we made sense to you.
I’m a Fula man….with connections to Mandinkas, jolas, Akus, Wollof , Susu and Sererres. ..No exaggeration. ..My family cuts across all these groups…
Bax, here is yourself pointless and contradictory argument on tribal preferential treatment and favoritism which lead to jola hegemony you don’t want to admit . In your own words you believe that there is favoritism and Jolas disproportionally benefited from jammeh more than other tribes and you suspected that jammeh “feels more comfortable using the Jolas because they are his tribesmen “.
Here is your statements below :
Bax: “maxs, I have never , and will never deny that members of jola tribe particularly those from foni , have benefited from Jammeh’s favoritism more than any other tribes , given the porportion of senior jobs / positions they hold in government .., I have also stated that I don’t know why he does this but my suspicion is that he feels more comfortable using the Jolas because they are his tribesmen”.
Here is what I said in my postings above;
Maxs; “janko camara , I totally agreed with you that jammeh is using tribal card for his personal interest . As I said , in doing so he created tribal favoritism or tribalism at the detriment of other tribes to promote jola hegemony . If you keep giving your tribe , majority of senior positions , scholarships ,jobs opportunities compare to less than other tribes , that is tribal preferential treatment ”
My another quote :
Max; ” I believe Gambian Jolas are also victim just like the rest of the population but the dictator is using them and giving them preferential treatment to promote , protect and safeguard his sole interest. This is my main point. Jammeh trust no tribe better than Jolas “.
My another quote below:
Max: ” Going by your explanation , one can see that Jolas climb to high social status can be achieved through their appointments , promotions and educational opportunities they receive more than other tribes from jammeh due to their connection” .
Bax , these three quotes compare to your quote above , tell me the difference here?
We are talking about the same thing in each case . Favoritism and preferential treatment are the same thing in this context . You mentioned favoritism in your above statement . The consequence of favoritism and preferential treatment is higher advantage over the other tribes . Higher advantage and dominance in both economic and social status Due to favoritism ( your word) lead to hegemony I am talking about .
Stop pointless and contracdictory arguments. This is why I have indicated that your writing are unclear , ambiguitious and self contracdictory sometimes . Looking at the above statements , there is no disagreement between us , we are talking about exact the same thing . Please try to think very hard before you engage in any meaningful debate .
Readers will be the judge here to decide whether we are talking about the same thing .
We are saying the same thing, as far as the number of individual Jola beneficiaries of Jammeh’s favouritism is concerned, given the proportion of Jolas in the population. ….
Where we differ is the leap you make to connect this to a Jola hegemony…..That’s our point of difference and I don’t think we can ever reconcile that…So there’s no point in going round and round in circles.. ..You can see “contradictions ” where there are none, as far as I can see…I.have always said that Jammeh uses tribe, including his.own, but that does not equal Jola hegemony….
Come to think about it, If more Jolas benefiting from his appointments and other forms of.inducements constitute a Jola hegemony, then if we flip the coin round and see that more Jolas are victimised than any other tribe, what would that constitute. ..? “Jola persecution” ? You think about that…
Perhaps, it will.be good to.end here and take the next challenge, proposed by Janko…: “what can be done.to eliminate or minimise the dangers that come with tribalism to ensure a safe and peaceful Gambia….”
I think we are demeaning the importance of this forum with these personal attacks. We should be able to debate issues affecting our society without resorting to the use of obscenities I am now reading. The forum, as I understand, is to debate on issues with a view to proffering solutions or possible ways forward. If it is not leading us to anything or anywhere positive, then it has no benefit. Let us narrow down on the areas of agreement and begin to work from there. To set the ball rolling, I would like to re-focus the debate on the following:
It is an acknowledged fact that Yahya Jammeh has introduced tribalism in The Gambia purely to facilitate the achievement of his individual objectives, not even that of the tribe being used (the Jolas). Now, the next level for this debate should be:
What can we genuinely and peacefully do to eliminate or at least minimize the dangers that come along with tribalism to ensure a safe and peaceful Gambia. This has been my objective in this debate. What do you the readers think? The Gambia needs your positive contributions to finding solutions.
I have given my views on what I think should be the way forward in ensuring harmony amongst the various tribes in our beloved country. Bax, you have a very powerful sense of reasoning and The Gambia needs that. What do you think is the way forward? Marx, you have been very vibrant with your opinion on the topic. It indicates how dear the topic is to you. So, what in your opinion, is the way forward? Remember The Gambia needs peace today more than ever. Gambia is crying for help. What help can we give?
Mr.Janko, I’ve my opinion on, and my proposed resolutions for the issue of tribalism in the Gambia and that is; for all citizens to find their positive selves from within themselves which only the individual citizen can do for him/herself. I think here in the west too, there is ethnicity in some countries if not categorically tribalism but, but you can hardly say it’s being applied or even indicated in their day to day lifes and party politics.
Tribalist and ethnical sentiments in no way should find themselves much more, be applied in our public space and institutions as it is a dangerous and dirty trade that, in my opinion at certain political and social levels, should be illegalised and the act be branded sanctionable. In doing so, petty problems of hypocricy and egocentrism too, can probably be dealt with in the process.
Remember what defines us comes from within our hearts and there ain’t no escaping from it.
Very well done again Mr Camara. I totally agree with you that the sad issue of Jammeh’s tribalism should be debated with regards to how we can handle it peacefully, and with an open heart and good faith etc post his tragic regime. This does not mean that justice will not be done, but be done in a fair and none retributory manner. after all we are indeed all related in many ways. I do believe that none or most Gambians do not want to inheret a gamiba that will under go the sad and tragic experiences of our sister nation of Liberia for instance.
In my humble opinion, we must all try to refrain from putting blame on entire group (s) of people as generalisations are almost always faulty. As your caption rightly stated, we must refrain from the irresponsible sale of tribalism irrespective of whether we think/believe its taking place etc.
we must try and identify the real problem which I believe is Jammeh and his gang of half brain criminals and opportunists. yes Jammeh’s criminal gang is largely Jola but they are still a very small fraction of the jola tribe. this gang members also include other tribes too lets not forget. The jola tribe just like all other tribes in the gambia are held against their will by Jammeh.
in a nut shell, I think among other things, avoiding generalisations and facing issues with an open heart and good faith to start with, can and will be able to address Jammeh’s tribalism post his regime. Cooling our tempers down and that of others especially of those that may look up to people/institutions of influence like the online media groups etc can not only avoid blind hatred but also can have the power for positive and constructive relationship building.
Lets be among the few model nations of the world who, after a period of experiencing the tragidy of dictationship and all its evils, build out of it a nation of peace, progress and brotherly/sisterly love. we have plenty of opportunities and cases to learn from around the world.
My little opinion and am sure other brothers and sisters will share with us their wisdom and ideas too.
Bax: I am inclined to share your views on the issue of tribalism in the Gambia. Let me say that i believe that tribalism exists in every society if the definition is: simply having a strong cultural or ethnic identity that separates one member of a group from the members of another group as Lafia said is his motivation.The phrase “i am a proud Mandinka” is a tribal statement because it is showing a very strong affinity to an ethnic group separating that group from other groups.
This is a very wide topic but i believe Janko is simply interested in the political aspect of it, using tribe to advance one’s political interest. If that is the case i believe Janko is right when he said Yahya has mastered the art which has worked to his advantage to some extent. Whether it will continue to do so remains an open question.
Now, for a system to be called a tribal hegemony, it has to run purely on tribal lines. I don’t think one can safely say Jammeh is running his government to serve the interest of the Jola tribe alone. I think hegemony may be too strong a term since he has assimilated all other members of other ethnic groups in his cabinet and in the civil service.
My point of view is that there cannot be a tribal government since the GRA is collecting tax from every body and not separating it from each other, and since the revenue when utilised to build a hospital cannot deprive other ethnic groups from receiving service etc.
As for preferential treatment, yes, i think Jammeh has done so to some extent when he said that electricity is free only in Kanilai and when food aid is sometimes distributed to the inhabitants of Foni when the same food aid is sold to other parts of the country. What should be acknowledged is that the Gambian president pretends to do favor for the Jola ethnic group, of course to also curry support from them in turn which sometimes becomes obligatory or imposition and those who manifest skepticism openly are given the stick to discourage others from following suit.
So Tribalism as a State System does not exist but a leader giving favor to one group and appearing to deprive other groups is a blatant practice of the president and he does not hesitate to say it in public. “If you don’t vote for me you will not have development” is one such pronouncement. But this can take both tribal, regional and party considerations during implementation.
Bax said it very rightly when he said the ordinary Gambians cared less who is Jola, Mandinka, etc and they live together harmoniously and inter marry, etc. The problem is with the opportunistic elites who use tribe to build their political base like in Kenya or Rwanda etc.
I think Yahya is exploiting the unique strong relations of proximity and kinship within the members of the Jola tribe which goes to cement strong feeling of identity as a small ethnic group, by pretending to be their spokesperson by virtue of his position as president and amplify the inner bygone feelings to earn their sentiment and support. He has also done this for the other smaller ethnic groups like the Manjagos, Karoninkas, Sarehules and even to some extent the Wollof and tried to pit them against the majority mandinkas to garner support from them.
What Lafia and others may not know is that no one can match Yahya in that scheme because of his domination and influence over resources and positions in government and the fact that the Mandinkas and Fulas do not share that strong bond among them like the Jolas do. But sooner rather than later, the people are beginning to see the hypocrisy and the possible consequences for allowing such a status quo to continue less it becomes a backlash which we must all avoid as Janko advised.
Wallahi I’fanaa yaa Abarika, Karamo.
Yerro ba, are blacks not paying taxes in South Africa and United states during the time of apartheid and segregation in both countries ? if they did, your explanation of every one paying taxes to GRA in relation to tribal government ( which I do not subscribe) need to be cleared since I do not indicate that we have tribal government . What are you implying in this explanation?
Another point , who are these opportunistic elites who use tribe to build their political base Since it is well known fact that it is only Jammeh who introduced tribalism and tribal preferential treatment? Please provide the names of these elites . I have raised this point because when Jammeh did his hate speeches against mandinkas ethinicity, responsible political elites came together and condemned such an outrageous behavior. I want to know what you think of those political elites who kept silence on this hateful speeches .
Janko camara ,the way forward is to first acknowledge the chief perpetrator and beneficiary which is Jammeh that we all agreed on , however other beneficiaries like his appointees/ those in leadership positions who helped in tribalism or tribal preferential treatment ,and their roles cannot be underestimated. The problem here is if you want to find solutions to the problem but you are unable to acknowledge who are beneficiaries to the problem and what is their role in this problem then it is going to be difficult to solve the problem . You and Bax have similar thinking about this problem and that is why you agreed with him. It has to be acknowledged that Jolas has significant role to play in this process since they are secondary beneficiaries apart from Jammeh , this is why we acknowledged that there is tribal preferential treatment. Other tribes should also recognize that tribalism is the consequences of military dictatorship we have and Jammeh is the chief engineer.
I think the solutions Includes discussion of the issue in the radio , and television as well as newspapers so that the population can be educated .Civic education policy which emphasize the constitutional guarantee of equal opportunities for all regardless of tribal affiliation should be encouraged at schools and community centers .
National Assembly should also formulate strict laws to discourage tribalism and these laws should includes significant fines and prison time for those politicans who want to use tribal card or tribalism for their personal agenda .
In conclusion, we first have to acknowledge the problem, discuss it in an open mind , identify the beneficiaries and come up with interventions as outlined above to avoid problem post Jammeh . If we fail to tell the truth because we don’t want to be seen as tribalist or offend someone else , the problem will continue. I know In our Gambian culture truth telling is huge problem and this is evidence by the cultural belief that young people do not point out lies spread by the elders or authority figure .
Karamo , I appreciate your foresight and open mind on this issue.
Yerro Ba, hegemony simply mean predominance of one group over the others within the society or government , in this case I am referring to leadership positions, power and influence of jola leadership in majority institutions which dictate political , social and economic situation of our country . I am not saying that the system is running purely on tribal line as you implied but what I emphasized is tribal dominance , tribal preferential treatment and tribalism . Please you guys needs to look up the meaning of hegemony so that you can have better understanding of it . In our military or security / intelligent instituions, Jolas formed tribal hegemony as evidence by the leadership of Jolas in all our national security apparatus. This is known to everyone who is aware of Gambia situation . Google the meaning of the word hegemony . I am sure Bax fail to do that , that is why he engage in repeated pointless and contracdictory argument .
@Maxs….”Google the meaning of the word hegemony . I am sure Bax fail to do that , that is why he engage in repeated pointless and contracdictory argument .”
Comment….Actually, I did check the meaning of “hegemony” and found that your application of the word to what is happening in The Gambia, is not right…
Various dictionaries define “Hegemony” as “dominance of one social group over another..”
However, the Thesaurus adds a bit of explanation to clarify the appropriate use and meaning of “hegemony”….So I chose that definition..
According to Thesaurus..
Noun 1. hegemony – the dominance or leadership of one social group or nation over others; “the hegemony of a single member state is not incompatible with a genuine confederation”; “to say they have priority is not to say they have complete hegemony”; “the consolidation of the United States’ hegemony over a new international economic system”
According to the Thesaurus when a single member has priority over others in a confederation, this would not constitute (complete hegemony)….This is relevant because we are dealing with the preferential treatment of individuals from certain ethnic backgrounds,who are given priority over other individuals by Jammeh….And the beneficiaries come from all ethnic backgrounds…
Here’s another definition…
Merriam Webster online dictionary defines “hegemony” as follows…
“Full Definition of HEGEMONY
: preponderant influence or authority over others : domination
: the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group ”
Look at qualification (2)…”the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a DOMINANT group….
Is this what the Jola ethnic group have in The Gambia…? Maxs, you can remain stuck in your conviction of the total social, cultural, ideological or economic domination of the Jolas in The Gambia, but I know better than that…
Maxs, if we are not to belabor the issue at hand, we have all agreed that the Gambian president gives preferential treatment to the Jola ethnic group but our disagreement is the word hegemony. One does not have to look at the dictionary to know whether there is a Jola hegemony or not. I would rather say there is a Jammeh hegemony because in our situation, only Jammeh truly benefits from his misrule. He is simply using every occasion, everybody who is willing to be used, every ethnic organization be it Jola, Mandinka, Wolof, Fula etc as long as that would serve his interest. So it is Jammeh who has hegemony over everybody rather than the Jolas having hegemony over other ethnic groups. What we are running from is to bundle all the Jolas into one homogenous group as an ethnic group consciously working with the sole object of dominating other groups. No it is not like that. It is Jammeh misusing state power and consciously using it to dominate not only the Jola but all other Gambians irrespective of ethnicity, gender, region or political affiliation as long as that particular group is not ready to be used to satisfy his ego. This is why i said Yahya is exploiting the unique strong relations of proximity and kinship within the members of the Jola tribe which goes to cement strong feeling of identity as a small ethnic group, by pretending to be their spokesperson by virtue of his position as president and amplify the inner bygone feelings to earn their sentiment and support. And he has also done this for the other smaller ethnic groups like the Manjagos, Karoninkas, Sarehules and even to some extent the Wollof and tried to pit them against the majority mandinkas to garner support from them. And lately, he has dished money to the so-called Badibu mandinka and Banjul Mandinka who are ready to be used to serve his interest as well gainako kafoos in URR, CRR etc. I hope we have now agreed on that.
In my narrow view point, Max only spoke his very own mind, probably from his personal experiences by being inflicted with bad tribal sentiments hence exaggerating in his derivation of the phrase ‘Jola hegemony’. My doubt is, if people in the Gambia during the first republic, ever been blatantly exalting political tribal hates in mandinka with sayings like, ( Mandinko Maa ………………Nying ….) I just want enlightenment!. Such sayind from our half minded brothers (who so ever utters such a tribally and politically motivated insult irrespective of the tribe they consider themselves to be) however, should be forgiven and not to be held responsible for their lack of intelligence and oppurtunism, and such a class of our people should be reached and helped mentally being it in the first, the second or the forthcoming third republic.
Some have gone as far as relating academism and intellectuals to tribalism which does not hold water in my frame of mind and therefore have to be refuted. There are no philosophies of life as immature and less profound as tribalism. The biggest adversity to us as a country is, for our trusted and educated citizens to lack that honesty in their hearts today, to refrain themselves from this horrible and nation ruining ill of a country. Once again, I want to remind fellow citizens, all our political parties’ members and members of the civil service and the main street Gambians, for our need to reach ourselves from within and INSHALLAH we shall together, see the comforting light to our new dawning.
Ggapm Agapm , the assumption you made about my personal experience being inflicted with bad tribal sentiment hence exaggerating jola harmony is completely false . I have no bad personal experience not in my daily interaction with jola people , of which I have very closed friends and wonderful ,hardworking neighbors but my experience was institutional one like when I was instructed to speak jola language at military checkpoint . I am really confused about this assumption because at one point , you were thanking me for my stand to highlight tribal preferential treatment , tribalism and jola hegemony as indicated by your statement below .
Ggapm Agapm; “maxs , thanks a lot ! It’s like writing it for me the way I would have never been able to do for myself “.
What made you to thank me if I am talking from my own personal experience and you still indicated that you won’t be able to do it for yourself?
I have explained well what I meant by jola hegemony and would encourage you or anyone to look up the meaning of hegemony and apply it to Gambian context in terms of political , social , econnomical , and power of jola leadership dominance in the Gambia .
Though I am happy now even Bax who was in denial now agreed that there is tribal preferential of Jolas , favoritism , and Jolas benefited most than other tribes in Jammeh’s implementation of tribalism which he initially dismissed . Please go back to his postings you will see it yourself. The only argument/disagreement is the word hegemony which simply mean predominance of a group ( in this case leadership positions , power and influence) .The problem we have is that once you begins to talk about tribal issues, you are accused of being dangerous , tribalist , a bigot or inflaming hatred as it was done by Bax and now you are also making assumption that I had bad tribal experience . When you want to tell The truth , people will use all kind of names to describe you because you don’t fit in their usual pattern of thinking .It is the same denial , lack of standing for the truth and naviety that we still have jammeh . Jammeh is Gambian creation , how can we blame him entirely for everything when we all refused to take personal responsibility to stand for the truth and justices . Some will be Preaching peace in The Gambia and the same people will never advocate for justices as I have noticed in this forum and many other forum . We should always our lives on path of truth and justices .
Come on……Max, I said ‘probably’ in that sentence of mine you referred to and hopefully that will give you the impression that I was only giving the hypothesis that, our individual experiences in the Gambia through out the second republic, like the horrible say that, ‘ Mandinko maa………………nying si…..kang’, can provoke me too in branding the status quo in banjul a Jola hegemony if I like….,independent of when someone might called it a Jammeh hegemony or whatever.
I said thanks a lot and even felt you did it for me because I really liked your open mindedness. I did not dispute the fact that their are tribal favoritism, preference for Jolas in the Gambia, but in my opinion too no tribe or tribes should be held responsible for being disproportionately employed into key government positions in any state of dictatorship.
If Jolas in the military can oblige me to speak Jola at sparodic ocassions in the Gambia, me too can call it a Jola hegemony even if the term could be seen as exaggerated by others. The terms and phrases contributors use in characterising Yaya and his regime, in my opinion so far so good, exaggerated or not are all adequate in purpose though liable to`public debate and discussion.
Be rest assured that there are no material contradictions in both our comments though giving opinions in a forum like this needs real focus which I do lack sometimes and must improve on. Please keep up with your invaluable contributions because you are doing it for your country and that includes you and me.
to say ………………’and that includes also, you and me’
Ggapm Agapm ,
I appreciate your foresight and understanding of the Gambian situation . We all have responsibility to educate each other and work together as Gambians to ensure justices , fair play and equal opportunity for all establish in the gambia . Thank you .
Now that is funny
I am more of a persistent late comer. this was closed a long time a ago,….thats no problem. But you just said, ‘NOW THIS IS FUNNY’. What the hell is funny here after so many months.
Say something @student. This was a not the best of forums though impòrtant. ‘NOW THIS IS FUNNY’,…………and you went down the valley of the shadows. @Student, you are abstract as confusing and mixed up.