By Sarjo Bayang
Popular opinion suggests no 5th term for overstayed dictator
Using deadly weapons to dislodge a sitting elected government is not only undemocratic but most barbaric way to usurp political power. That is exactly what Yaya Jammeh did on 22 July 1994. He promised returning to barracks and to continue serving in the national army. It is now more than 22 years as Yaya insists he will rule for 1 billion years.
Transition period of four (4) years was forced on Gambian people using bogus committee set up by the military soon after their coup to seek public opinion on how long before returning to barracks. Yaya who claims to be righteous by carrying around what many are made to believe copy of the Holy Quran wants to be taken for someone sincere and genuine. To allow Yaya Jammeh another or 5th term in office will spell doom for Gambia. Popular opinion holds that Yaya Jammeh must not be allow taking part in any more elections.
Let us examine some compelling reasons why in next or future elections Yaya Jammeh must not be a candidate. As he claims to know truth, let Yaya reason with Gambians by pursuing the right course of action; leaving without extending further trouble the nation so bitterly endures for over 22 years iron fist dictatorial rule amidst shameful scale of corruption.
Politically incorrect to allow 5th term for Yaya Jammeh military rule
It is troubling and considered most politically incorrect that Yaya Jammeh is seeking 5th term of office after rigging on 4 occasions to ensure he clings to power. In the course of 22 years since his forced rule began Gambia is transformed to worst dictatorship leaving everyone so disappointed that a man who plays sweet by lip service turns so bitter in his dish on the empty plate of hungry Gambians.
Looking at Gambia’s politically active population it defies all sound reasoning that one person insists on life time presidency. There are thousands of very capable persons with higher integrity who are willing to serve as Gambian leadership position most decently.
Yaya seized power without lawful occasion. He should have been punished for that barbaric political misconduct. Gambians thought they could give him benefit of doubt to see how he performs on this most demanding task of presidency. Now there is now doubt he failed everyone’s expectations including those seen standing by him in thick and thin.
Yaya has to be reasonable enough and to accept he is not the right person in first place. Worst of everything, he already failed so woefully. If he is sincere to his loud pronouncements claiming love of Gambian people and nation, then Yaya has no reason staying for another day. Gambians are truly forgiving people. They know Yaya failed by design from wheat is known. If he should submit to the will of people by what popular opinion dictates, it is possible life goes normal for him. To insist staying in forced rule will only bring about more serious troubles that could consume Yaya Jammeh and his enablers at a time they least expect it.
Over the last 22 years political awareness of Gambians has grown to critical proportions. Even those born after 22 July 1994 coup already know the history of this undemocratic military rule perpetuated by Yaya Jammeh and his unflinching cohorts.
More willing and highly committed persons are ready to rebuild Gambia from this gigantic political earthquake lasting 22 years. Even those who pose as supporters of Yaya Jammeh want to see him go away. They may be enjoying crumbs but without peace of mind.
A new proper political dispensation will preserve more peace and stability while assuring everyone protection against arbitrary rule characteristic of this police state military regime.
Popular uprising may be inevitable
Not anyone’s choice but by compelling circumstances, if Yaya Jammeh insists clinging on power for any longer it may lead to political turmoil. Majority of Gambians are completely exhausted and want change from military dictatorship.
News about what is happening in other countries tends to fuel hopes that unless Yaya Jammeh acts in good enough time by relinquishing power graciously he be compelled to encounter unceremonious exit.
Social media is the platform of exchange where political events around the world are widely shared for discussion. Opinions are being shaped through exchange of ideas about the way forward.
Not everyone in Gambian army prefer dictatorship
What may surprise lot of people is the fact that truly disciplined members of the Gambian army will not back Yaya Jammeh in any event of popular uprising. There is high speed undercurrent talks suggesting that majority in the army may not accept being used against innocent Gambians especially after seeing what happened to those they thought as close loyalists.
Many in the army feel very much disappointed while preferring to keep quiet. They only talk to trusted colleagues and family members.
Good news about Gambian army rejecting to protect dictatorship is that they see the innocent civilian population as helpless victims of prolonged dictatorship.
While Yaya Jammeh deceives some members of Gambian army that a civilian government is not in their favour, he already failed to convince right thinking disciplined ranks who already know what is at stake.
Good reason for the army to be part of civilian population
Talk to any army ranks and you will be amazed how they feel as part of civil society. After all they are family members; brothers and sisters to rest of the population. They are aware that at end of dictatorship doors are open for their integration.
Some of the army personnel have acquired good vocational skills very much needed in any properly established order. They have all rights to sign out after serving their terms. It is encouraging that some of these highly disciplined members of the army will continue serving in more fitting roles after their call of military duties. Those competent good members of the army will not permit few selfish individuals dropping bombs to destroy a country they have been sworn to defend. Very hopefully end of dictatorship may not mean war as Yaya Jammeh and his gang wish to impose.
Defections in the Libyan style
Record number of defectors already threatens the support base of Yaya Jammeh and his ruling military government. Situations like this breed lot of mistrust amongst the skeletal remainder of window dressing loyalists.
Already Yaya Jammeh is fully aware that life is no longer the same. He does not know whom to trust. Those who prefer temporal gains will give him the impression that all is fine.
Some of the pretenders blowing hot and cold air to give Yaya Jammeh false hope only want taking advantage of the void. Lot of them have no more confidence and simply anticipating when the ticking time bomb explodes and not doubting if it will not.
Votes rigging before elections
Going by what key personalities in the ruling party keep saying that they already won elections ahead of votes what more will anyone expect? They are ready to rig any election their usual ways.
Writings on the wall clearly indicate that those thinking of Jammeh serving another term of office are determined to see him sweep the votes by hook and by crook in their usual trickery.
Experience of vote rigging is done in many ways. Those appointed by the dictator Yaya Jammeh are made to believe that unless he wins they will not stay in their jobs. That includes civil servants, district commissioners, chiefs, and other public office holders. They are brainwashed by inducing fear of insecurity if Jammeh is defeated through elections. That same notion is what some army personnel are carried by.
Everyone calling for peaceful end to dictatorship
Word is going round at fast speed conveying popular opinion rejecting any more elections for Yaya Jammeh as candidate. By adding your good voice to this call loud enough it may be the end of dictatorship everyone yearns for.
Where truth prevails, Gambia does not require a dictator in first place. To permit dictatorship for more than 22 years is politically incorrect and most unbearable. Consider also squandering of public resources by the dictator Yaya Jammeh over the years in his forced misrule.
Most bitter insult added to the political injury of every right thinking Gambian is to imagine one person forced rule with no light at end of the tunnel. Going to any more elections with Yaya Jammeh after his 22 years dictatorship amounts to political mass suicide. Don’t let 5th term for already overstayed dictator who failed to serve public interest in pursuit of his selfish personal economic drive. The choice is yours.