An influential opposition woman wants President Yahya Jammeh to understand that Gambian mothers are not scared of his security and their guns. “Let him [Jammeh] understand that we bring his gun-wielding men into this world,” Aja Yamundow Yarbou tells an opposition rally in Busumbala in Kombo North.
“Tell Yahya Jammeh that we are not scared of him and his soldiers, we are the very women who give birth to them, breastfeed and care for them until they have joined the military,” a defiant opposition women’s leader from Busumbala adds. Many people describe Aja Yamundow as “the bedrock of opposition” in Busumbala.
She says the UDP women think it is about time Gambians put an end to the culture of fear that has gripped the nation for so long. “We the women of UDP want the people to halt this culture of fear. We must not fear the security officers loyal to Yahya Jammeh. Are they not sons of women serving in all the security units?” she asked, wondering why mothers, for whatever reasons, fear their own sons.
“We pay for the school fees of our sons and daughters through gardening, selling vegetables at the markets, farming and doing every known hard labour, yet what is it that Gambian service men and women do?” another opposition woman from Mandinary, Nyokoi Njie of Mandinary, asks.
“Our sons are farming in Kanilai and herding Jammeh’s cattle. He uses them as slaves, yet we call them soldiers. What is the relevance of soldiers who cannot even defend the rights and dignities of their oppressed citizens? Clearly, we – us and the so-called soldiers – are in the same boat; we are both victims of Jammeh’s mistreatment or oppression. All we want is to get our seized constitutional rights,” Nyokoi Njie says.