By Sarjo Bayang
Published on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 conditions have not changed any better since. That being good reason to revisit the past.
Gambia on wrong side of history
Those familiar with the behaviour pattern of Yahya Jammeh know very well how he refuses to play by the rules. That is because Jammeh raided Gambia’s political space with intent to bring down the whole system and structures of democratic governance at no invitation by the people.
All the years in his unlawful occupation of the nation’s highest political position, Jammeh’s personal ambition to rid himself of acute personal poverty landed on everyone in The Gambia at very high cost. Examination of how matters reached alarming proportion with gruesome killing of prison inmates became a tipping point the world could no longer keep mute about.
Destructive ways of Yahya Jammeh
Breaking The Gambian laws in the 22 July 1994 coup, Jammeh, along with his cohorts, knew what they did was wrong. Out of panic and guilt, coup leader Yahya Jammeh has since been unable to recover or get composed.
After wilful destruction of the entire state governance infrastructure, nothing else comes more serious.
Crime and criminality consequently remain normal conduct of life in The Gambia at such alarming destructive proportion. Does that excuse anyone changing for better after nearly 20 years misconduct at high cost to the people, life, and public property? Of course, it does not.
Hate and cruelty meted out to diverse unsuspecting victims in years since Yahya Jammeh invaded the nation’s peaceful life, cannot be condoned any further.
Only Jammeh can tell why he so much loves everything for his selfish possession drive. Wanting everything and bullying or even denying other people to reach their potential is one incredible manifest of selfishness.
Looking at ways that Yahya Jammeh takes everything belonging to everybody and still behaving as though it is his right, this goes to explain a mind-set the best of psychologist may battle to understand.
When Jammeh is finally gone or even while he rolls downhill, the University of The Gambia has occasion to look into fabric making his style of rule. At least The Gambia will preserve something for posterity, whatever that means to curious scholars. Jammeh has very strange ways that attract critical attention.
Curious observation reveals that from maiden days of the coup in 1994, Gambians have been inundated with sights and scenes of brutal killings carried out by ruthless persons.
Less than six months, precisely 11 November 1994, there was a claim of coup at army barracks in Bakau. Those allegedly involved were reportedly killed.
Attempts on the lives of journalists by arson attacks, enforced disappearance without trace and some other terror-like conducts demonstrate how much The Gambia’s environment breeds fear.
Further deaths include brutal murder of Finance Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay whose charred remains were abandoned at outskirts of a village far distanced to his normal travel route.
Five years later, in the year 2000, when the world was bracing up for what uncertainties the new millennium had in stock, Gambians woke up to witness with deadly consequences with brutal shooting of more than a dozen young school children by armed forces under command of President Yaya Jammeh. “Kill the bastards” was the command to shoot. Those who survived are now wheel chair bound with their career prospects severely diminished.
Trends of unsolved killings continued when on 16 December 2004, DeydaHydara, co-proprietor and Managing Editor of “The Point” was gunned down few yards from 24-hours security alert police station at the most visible location of urban Gambia, along very busy and regularly used highway leading to and from Banjul the capital.
Alleged torturing of inmates seems to characterise the nature of state prisons in The Gambia. In the absence of official figures, any guess is as good or less than what really obtains.
It was in 2008 when Amnesty International broke grounds, unfreezing the silence on part of the Gambia government with a report that shook the Jammeh administration. This report by Amnesty International “Gambia Fear Rules” still stands the test of times with devastating consequences at the foot of Gambia’s leader and those sticking by him. They know the truth but will not submit to reason largely because of momentary selfish gains.
Appearing on national television with highly provocative public statements was rather unfortunate. Let this be clear to Yahya Jammeh that Laws of Gambia are not made for him to toy around with. The world is peopled by very smart and curious observers. Remember that anyone who occupies the post of national leader is bound by legal and constitutional requirements to make statements in conformity with policies and procedures. Jammeh is contemptuously defiant of obeying Gambian laws just because he thinks as president he is above all laws.
On private matters, anyone has free space and time. On public platform, it is rules to play by. Everything the occupant of public office says may render harmful, sooner or later.
It was and still Yahya Jammeh who gave corruption and longevity in public office as reasons for rocking the nation by 22 July 1994 coup. Now, he overstayed and the operations of his government can be seen most corrupt. That is one body of evidence confirming Jammeh deceives Gambians without remorse.
Gambia is not a newly discovered territory even though money launderers, drug dealers, and arms traders have found new partnerships in the country led by Yaya Jammeh.
The Gambia is destination for very dangerous and harmful operatives. They come from around the globe, hibernate and growing their illicit wealth in The Gambia with potentially very serious consequences, now or later.
Gambians would like priding on the indulgence of a tolerant nation. That is not good for any extremist to take advantage over good citizens. What the average person considers tolerance is seen by Yahya Jammeh as fear. It is already too much for people to accept.
So much has been neatly recorded that in next 100+ years, competent Gambians will benefit from archives to sort out every mess. All of the people who want to tell you they are serving the nation may not have clean intention.
Some of them are very much aware of what is wrong and still prefer hanging around for gratification of immediate selfish desires.
All Jammeh ministers are culpable
Every state minister and some key public position holders in The Gambia government under Jammeh leadership are culpable. Each of them has opportunity to resign as show of remorse. Yet they stick by the anticipation that Jammeh turns around punishing them. It is not possible to enjoy best of two worlds.
The Gambia is going through extremely difficult times and people of the regime must not forget the verdict of history. Now it tastes sweet for them. When bitter fruits ripen for consumption, those who deserve it can’t complain when served on their rightful plates.
Justice Minister Jobarteh misleading Gambians
Regarding matters of judicial dispensation, Gambian Justice Minister Mr Babadinding Jobarteh chose misleading the public when he quoted the Constitution below:
Section 18 (1) of the Constitution of The Republic of The Gambia states:
“No person shall be deprived of his or her life intentionally except in the execution of a sentence of death imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction in respect of a criminal offence for which the penalty is death under the laws of the Gambia as they have effects in accordance with subsection (2) and of which he or she has been lawfully convicted.”
Now then Mr Jobarteh, tell Gambians and curious citizens of the world regarding the statement of threat by Yahya Jammeh when he vowed to kill death row inmates by middle of September 2012.
For goodness sake, any statement by a sitting president has serious policy implications. Not only that, but why would it not have to be Justice Minister of a sovereign republic to relay such information? Truth is that you Mr Jobarteh and many other persons in the legal confines choose to ignore or fear to challenge wrong doings of Jammeh.
We are dealing with national issues and nobody in public position can equate even the single positions occupied, not to mention the state as shared entity that Yahya Jammeh thinks belongs to him alone.
In all requirements of sincerity, the most fitting response by any genuine Gambian serving under Yahya Jammeh is by choosing this opportunity to resign.
Jammeh, too, has to muster courage and decently resign. Occasion for resignation of entire Jammeh regime is no less timing than soon after hearing him utter those words.
While families mourn the death of those executed by command of President Yahya Jammeh, let this serve as occasion for a nation united against tyranny. Future of Gambia under Jammeh is most unsustainable and dangerous.
President of republic, you must not kill any more.
Indeed Jammeh continues killing and even readier to carry out more. This article was published on Daily News Gambia Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Justice Minister Babadingding Jobarteh who sought to justify the prison killings quoting Laws of Gambia is himself prisoner for some time now. May be he is already thinking different. The entire judiciary remains in shambles as Gambia shrinks to lawlessness.
On 30 December 2014 Jammeh killed fellow Gambians accused of plotting to unseat him by coup. Jammeh vows to slit the throat of gays and lesbians in Gambia. He still refused handing over dead bodies to families. Making matters more painful, some family members including parents and children of those killed are also detained without trace since December 2014 as the clock ticks on.
Apart from rampant killings, it is now undeniable fact of matters that through his corruption, money laundering and mismanagement of public resources, cash flow situation of Gambia confirms the economy is dead too. Jammeh as sitting president is printing fake Dollars and other currencies and pretending to be rich.
While Gambians may be tormented right under the nose of a brutal president Yaya Jammeh to face persecution in various forms, his money laundering and fake currency dealings will no doubt affect developed countries whose financial systems are used in cleaning dirty money. This invariably amounts to keeping the richest president of poorest African country building his personal fortune through illicit financial dealings. Will the world continue watching?