By Yero Jallow
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me” (Martin Niemoller, 1892-1984).
The eloquent Pastor Martin Niemoller challenged world Citizens, the German leaders and the intellectuals in his memorable quote of his he is greatly remembered for, reminding them the danger of being complicit through silence on the Nazi’s aggression on millions of people notably the Jews. Hitler was indeed an undesirable element whose criminality couldn’t be inked to historical accuracy, at least the level of his aggression. World leaders especially African leaders and intellectuals must be challenged to the same standards when it comes to Gambia’s current political predicament in the hands of a criminal brute, Yaya Jammeh, and failure to do so, the noted class would have failed Gambians. Neutrality and sitting on the side bench is unacceptable, as it is not only political hypocrisy, but criminal by complicity in silence thereby enabling to some degree.
I was surfing the Freedom Newspaper on my daily dose of news and as usual came across the following distasteful article with its abominable contents. The contents are unfortunate, and very telling of a person who claims to be the leader of country as respectable in terms of ethnic and religious tolerance as the Gambia. I wanted to condemn Jammeh’s marginalization and continued attack and dehumanization of the Mandeng (The Mandinko), an ethic group with large population in West Africa, especially the Gambia. Jammeh’s direct attack on the Mandeng resembles the late Guinea’s Saikou Touray on the Fulbe of Guinea. Touray, who paraded himself as a Pan-Africanist was a brute and an iron-fist ruler of the highest magnitude who killed OAU’s first Secretary General, Telli Diallo, and brutalized a lot of Fulbe dispersing them the far and while within the region.
“I prefer five Wollofs to work for me than one Mandinka. I also prefer four Fullas to work for me than one Mandinka” (Yaya Jammeh, Freedom Newspaper, 5/14/2015. Web link Source http://www.freedomnewspaper.com/Homepage/tabid/36/newsid367/10902/BREAKING-NEWS-JAMMEH-SAYS-HE-PREFERS-FIVE-WOLLOFS-TO-WORK-FOR-HIM-THAN-ONE-MANDINKA/Default.aspx).
Let us look at the problem of the irrational mindset in Jammeh, a power-drunk whose rotten egos are dead criminal, goes a long way in putting other Gambian tribes including the Jolas in harm’s way, if not now, possibly later, because of the likely backlash such comments are likely to cause. Without much analysis, it is conclusive that Jammeh’s bigotry comments are malicious, criminal and without substance. Such comments have the tendency to tighten tensions and create hatred among existing tribes in the Gambia. A good reference of chaos that tribal fighting can bring is recently Kenya, and that should serve a good lesson that Citizens must not get so disparate and helpless that they will be cornered by such unfortunate comments coming from a criminal mind to the point of reciprocating such towards other citizens by default of their tribal belonging.
There is a reason for Jammeh’s attack and such is not far-fetched. For a fetish and paranoid person like Jammeh, it is not a guess work, not a brainstorming exercise either, almost conclusive that the end is drawing nearer, with the arrest claws getting closer to his neck and hands, and the only option for a drowning criminal who won’t rehabilitate, is to hallucinate on his fears and wallow in lies and fabrication, in an effort to justify his criminal actions continually. More to it is that Jammeh is an attention-seeking criminal, a pathological liar, and an unyielding criminal ruler whose inferior complexity makes him mentally imbalanced and phobic enough to purse his perceived enemies. Armed with Gambia’s State resources (power, the military, funds, the state media, etc…) gives him the ready recipe to even execute his hate, divide and rule, and prey on more citizens in an effort to keep the throne. Without doubt, the December 30th 2014 alleged Coup in the Gambia touched his egos, and increased his paranoia greatly to the level to where he thinks even the noise that comes from his shoes are after his power grip.
The Mandeng like all other Citizens must raise their eye brows beyond the horizons and notice that Jammeh is just being him, a divide and rule criminal ruler, who won’t settle at nothing other than coming after his perceived enemies, in whatever manner to justify his criminal actions. Jammeh’s latest directive criminal comments, just like his previous, is enough to send a warning sign reminder to Citizens on the Gambia’s deepening wounds, a recipe for continued conflict. Jammeh’s recent comments are not new, matter of fact, not long ago the same was done through Momodou Sabally on GRTS. It is becoming an un-challenged norm, if not for the Diaspora who took liberty in taking Jammeh heads-on on the dangers he continues to pose in today’s Gambia.
Jammeh’s bad mouthing at Citizens continually must not go un-challenged. Sons and daughters must rise, Citizens must rise, and the nation as a whole must rise to confront an immediate danger in the loose criminal Yaya Jammeh. His continuity in power signals an impotent nature and timidity of some of Gambia’s citizens, while many others will take to their comfort corners thinking life is all good, as long they weren’t directly affected. Oh well sooner or later, the lashes of the criminal ruler somewhere somehow touches on the very enabling force and you keep hearing the late outcries.
I encourage Citizens to keep their participation active and to challenge Jammeh’s continued criminality locally, petition international organizations and Governments about Jammeh’s nature, and create a heightened environment that empowers citizens to rise up with the backing of the country’s military to eventually do a minor political surgery in ousting Jammeh.
Here you go again fellow Citizens. Power is you, and power is your face and hearts. It is in your hands and you must not fold your hands or take to silence. You all can make the difference by making your opinions heard. Accepting defeat and retreating to an armed bandit like Jammeh in today’s Gambia equals to accepting being bullied. While you can be physically eliminated, your ideas will live on, and that is more desirable than unhelpful physical presence.
Jammeh grew up as a bigot and unfortunately those who knew him in his early days as a personal protection officer of former president Jawara security details failed to recognize this character. I believe his unfortunate childhood experience made him a bitter man and arrogant . He is Hateful , lack self esteem , lack empathy , selfish and bigotry. These are learned behaviors which later on in life becomes his personality and characters. From psychological point of view , one can see these characters of Narcissistic personality disorder in Jammeh . Mandinkas being the majority in the country, Jammeh developed special hatred towards this group but what he failed to understand is that , it is the tolerance and support of mandinka people that is why he is still the president. Clearly his stupidity and ignoramus attitude or characters would not incite tribal conflict. It can create suspicion among tribes especially against mandinkas which is his overall hateful objectives resulting to discrimination , exile, and systematic reduction of mandinkas population in the country. His desire to create new social order by purging of mandinkas out of our country and systematic introduction of his tribe from southern senegal to our country has been going for past decades. These individuals are now his sole protectors and their blind royalty makes it extremely difficult for our Gambian born military to take him out. As the Yero jallow pointed out, Saikou touray did the same thing to fula people in Guinea . It is past time , every decent Gambian including jolas in leadership positions in his government to denounce and repudiate Jammeh’s divisive and bigotry message against mandinkas.
I echo Yerro Jallow’s article with 100% recognition! Now the ball is on our side, and the youths should start now putting all their weight behind any credible group in the Diaspora.
“I prefer five Wollofs to work for me than one Mandinka. I also prefer four Fullas to work for me than one Mandinka”.
What does the above statement imply … mathematically it does not mean what it seem to imply. Hence the ratio/scale 5:1 could be interpreted in many ways. The only constant in the relationship is that 5 is bigger than 1.
So, fancying 5W to 1M could mean, what 1M can do is equal to what 5W can do. Or 1M is equal to 5W in strength. Or it is cheaper to employ 5W than 1M. Or in terms of danger, it is safer to have to do with 5W than 1M … as you can see, I am confused by the above statement……heeeeeelp
Well, so, you see, the statement, if it is a quotation, I mean, if it is written as it came from the horse’s mouth – could be interpreted differently, than the one insinuated by the saidman.
So, if, and only if, it is not a quotation, then who is peddling tribalism – the saidman or the horse?
Lastly, look, there is no PURE BREED in my country – except in the realm of wishful thinking, which does not make it less toxic … but even more … you know.
A mad head of state i know try to make me some kind of a clown by putting me to task in finding solutions to his idiot equations or scales of tribal preference. Jammeh is more educated than me maybe that he can read and write better than me but obviously not more intelligent than me. I have an idea how they do in the west and how they do at home so I don’t even need to mathematically work out any tribal equations or preferences lunacy.
We have a problem in the Gambia; Gambians should keep thinking for a solution. We don’t have a problem in the Gambia; then lets all go home and watch tv and stop writing wishful thinking.