By Sarjo Bayang
Unveiling thick layers of deception and failed promises as presidents loots the nation
Over 20 years failed promises and still making compact majority of Gambians believe that heaven on earth comes the kingdom, it is now time to take stock. Gambia sinking as the president builds his personal fortune means something is missing. We now examine all cupboards where skeletons of truth may he found by curious scrutiny. It all starts by close look at factors that may be responsible for rise of a president from rags to riches in 20 years while the nation sinks deeper at sea bottom.
Even those pretending as die hard supporters of Yaya Jammeh already know he is fooling them along everyone else. Talking about a complete novice who in his life has not managed the smallest establishment, the risk of letting him take possession over entire national economy, finance, and all public resources is fatal.
Yaya Jammeh is using Gambia as experimental platform to test his crooked notion that once a president all public funds and resources belongs to that person.
No wonder Yaya makes promises about transforming Gambia into superpower nation of first class economic standard knowing fully that is impossible. He makes such promises because there is no accountability about resources being grossly abused for his personal grab.
In more than 20 years Yaya Jammeh made lot of statements aimed at fooling Gambians the way the biggest of political demagogues will dare not. While he is busy getting rich quick by diverting public funds and national resources for his selfish use it is clear that Jammeh takes every Gambian real big fool for longest time. Take a look at some of the promises and void hopes that Jammeh raised while looting public resources to build his massive personal fortune around the globe including purchase of high value properties in America at places reserved locations for filthy rich home owners. Jammeh’s property fleet and material possession transcends geographical boundaries in diverse locations at home and abroad.
Suppressing Gambians politically and exploiting the nation by milking away entire public finances, Yaya Jammeh still expects unsuspecting followers to believe about bringing world class development for a nation relying on peanuts as main cash crop with chicken change from tourism part of the year.
Empty promises and deception
Jammeh’s loud pronouncement that Gambia will become envy of the world is red nose dive with closed eyes. Over national radio and television Jammeh raised empty floppy disk while telling Gambians about oil discovery that was meant to bring unseen developments. According to Jammeh oil reserves of Gambia is more than what the nation requires.
Demonstrating without blinking his eyes for one moment, Jammeh told Gambians that the floppy disk he held at hand contained details of oil discovery and how the proceeds will be used in bringing unheard developments. It is more than 10 years when Jammeh promised such developments as though about to happen less than 2 years.
Rather than apologise to Gambians for his many failed promises Jammeh who is busy more about increasing his personal fortune through open corruption still comes with more amazing tales about making Gambia heaven on earth as people experience hell in silence.
He promised the superpower development would have materialised 20 years after his military invasion by staging a coup in July 1994. According to him, he had a vision of transforming Gambia into world class economic superpower, technology giant, and tourist paradise sustained by an enterprising population. He called that Vision 2020.
Having failed to deliver his fantasised wild dream of Vision 2020 making Gambia world class superpower nation, Jammeh turned coat and came up with another promise. This time he is talking about not just feeding a nation that due to his mismanaging public resources battles with starvation. He promised that by next year (2016) Gambia will become food basket of the world that will feed other nations. With the clock ticking and time speeding to 2016, it is now clear that Jammeh’s Vision 2016 of feeding the nation and beyond is just another empty talk; pure hoax just to keep fooling everyone. All Gambian experts put at Jammeh’s disposal are not capable of raising the skeletons of economically dead nation making his wild dream come true, with due regards to every hard working Gambian out there.
Unstructured, Unsystematic, Arbitrary rule in Gambia
In the absence of structures and proper systems a nation does not develop on lip service. Since coming to power by that 22 July 1994 military invasion and dislodging an elected government with guns, Jammeh in the process dismantled all structures of systematic governance. He relies on crude power and arbitrary rule in mismanaging public resources; causing so much fear that nobody dares talking about that.
Even a small one person enterprise requires systematic management to thrive on. It is therefore not feasible that a nation can develop without structured administration in dispensing public services and managing the economy or financial systems.
Jammeh is largely confused about use of public funds or rather indulged misusing resources for selfish greed.
Given another 20 or more years all indicators are that Jammeh wants building his personal finance and material empire at expense of the Gambian nation.
What he takes for his personal use is never returned to the public. In that process, Gambian economy and finance dives deeper at sea bottom while Jammeh raises his financial profile as richest president on earth in custody of the poorest nation around that part of the world.
Taking public resources as personal belonging is where everything is going so bad for Gambia as Jammeh shows no signs he will relinquish political power while that remains his sources of economic and financial power. All these are possible because there are no structures or systems in place to scrutinise and sanction a sitting president equating the presidency to amassing private wealth.
Corruption of public officials and senior citizens
Diverting public funds and shared resources for his personal misuse is possible by engaging other crooked hands of public officials that are ready to do the dirty job of corruption.
Some senior citizens and those in public office are willing partners in milking public funds to keep Yaya Jammeh richer than the nation.
There is no magic or devil play in this whole affair. Everything is done by crooked hands of public servants who pay allegiance to Yaya Jammeh and not Gambian people or state. They are made to believe that by aiding a sitting president loot public resources will keep them on payroll as matter of job security.
By twist of irony, lot of people who participated in looting the nation to keep Yaya Jammeh rich ended in bad experience of being fired, arrested, jailed, and others may have died as a result of possible torture.
If that is not enough warning for those still lined up to carry on destroying the nation in satisfying a corrupt president and his sinking regime, time will tell.
Financial mismanagement and inevitable economic collapse
Considering the level of corruption especially by presidency since Yaya Jammeh invaded Gambia with guns to dislodge an elected sitting government all indicators are that Gambia is sinking deeper beyond rescue.
All financial wells are getting dry as cash cows die off unable to sustain excessive milking. Cooking figures to impress donors and development partners could not balance the books in long run.
At this crucial stage of Gambia’s economic collapse and financial meltdown, Jammeh will be seen doing most prudent by surrendering with little dignity rather falling apart in pieces beyond repair.
Every Gambian is taken for big fool by Yaya Jammeh
Viewed from all angles by realistic assessment the bottom line reading shows that every Gambian is taken as big fool by a president who was sworn in to secure everyone and all public resources but chooses diverting everything for his personal misuse.
Those who could have done something to correct the situation have taken to their heels by physically running away and leaving the situation to decay. That count of runaway Gambians include highly trained experts in various disciplines now serving abroad for personal economic security. Also included are entrepreneurs, engineers and other competent Gambians chased out of the country. The other runaways are increasing numbers forming part of Gambia’s share for migration crisis Europe cries about.
In short, for one person to take possession of collectively shared resources and getting richer than the state, that person is really taking everyone else big fool.
Recovery of Gambia is only possible when Yaya Jammeh is unseated
Talks are fuming up about recovery of Gambia in the event Yaya Jammeh is unseated. Opinion is divided about immediate redemption soon after undoing 20 years Jammeh in abuse of power. Hopes are dashed off by fears that pockets of dangerous elements cultivated by 20 years police state will unleash terror once their master is unseated.
There are people out there who are capable and willing to take the driving seat once their safety is assured in the event of unseating Jammeh.
The investment climate at this moment is dangerous and unsuitable. Some people are willing to encourage others in ploughing back huge reserve of Gambian expertise, material, finance and human capital to rebuild from 20 years of ruin. To the very capable that is no impossible mission over reasonable time span.
For now, every concerned Gambian including those forming the crowd around Jammeh wants to see a better nation. They hope and pray that dictatorship and abuse of political power for selfish economic motive will end forever. Time remains best healer.
Will the whole nation accept being fooled any longer after more than 20 years failed promises by a president getting richer as Gambia sinks deeper at sea bottom? What is your take ?