Of Mad Logic and Equation of Power – A Satirical Approach to Dictator Jammeh’s rule in Gambia.
While we mourn the recent barbaric killings of our heroes like Solo Sandeng,we should not be surprised at the bloodthirsty nature of the tyrant we have as our head of state in Gambia. In fact, he had warned us all how far he is ready to go in perpetuating his rule over us and our peace-loving nation. I remember in early 2006, just before the attempted coup of March 2006, Yahya Jammeh addressing the nation on Gambia television, said that he would kill twenty-five thousand Gambians to “save” the over one million Gambians that would remain as survivors.
According to his narrative, this “saving” involves the supposed “transformation of The Gambia through his “The Gambia incorporated … Vision 2020, a strategy for socio-economic development that aims at raising the standard of living of The Gambian population by transforming The Gambia into a dynamic middle –income economy by 2020. For this, Jammeh wants Gambians to believe, he is prepared to put democracy, good governance, accountability, and all best practices and even the Constitution aside and jail, maim and kill citizens to achieve his aim. To Jammeh, the whole thing is simple logic and arithmetic. If you kill 20 to save 20 000, no one would blame you. The only guys who would are those who are after your seat at State House. As you must know, most people are of the opinion that power is sweet. But don’t mind them; such are innocent people who know nothing about the pressures that holding of power means. They should remember what two late former Presidents have said about the sweetness of power. Both Milton Obote when he returned to power in Uganda of the 1980s and Samuel Doe of Liberia, in an interview with the BBC in the same decade have explained that power is not as sweet as many think and look at how they ended up.
Many holders of power can be seen getting prematurely old as soon as they assume it. Because you are in power, most people meet you with fear. Because they are afraid of you they cannot be frank and honest with you. And you soon discover that everyone is hiding something from you. You keep on wondering what everyone is hiding from you. Some of them you did not know when you were out of power but some you know even before then and you recall that they were not like that before. So what has changed, you keep on wondering. You soon realize that what changed was nothing but the fact that now you are the one in power. As noted above, you are now holding power and they fear you. Yes they all fear you but they do not all approach you with fear. Some cannot approach you frankly and look you straight in the eye, not because of fear alone but because they are not being honest to you and they are afraid it would show if the eyes meet. Some do not look you straight in the eye out of reverence. So it is not easy for you in power because you ought not to lump all of them together. I mean the people you have to deal with. For instance, erstwhile henchmen of Yaya Jammeh such as Almamo Manneh, Edward Singhateh, Ndure Cham, “Jesus” Badjie, Lang Tombong Tamba cannot just be lumped together.
Ndure Cham wanted my position, and perhaps Lang Tombong also did, but Almamo wanted my wealth, so did Edward and “Jesus”. If you lump them together you are bound to make a mistake. But if you want to separate every bit of grain from its chaff, you will have little time for other matters, and that pre-occupation may drive you mad. As many suspect you are, at this material time. You are not only mad you are childish and immature. This is why you cannot hide your emotions. Remember when the under 21 Gambian football team won a cup in Algiers and you held some kind of an open air reception for them at the McCarthy Square in Banjul. You had these packet of biscuits commandeered from the Kairaba Super market were childishly throwing them at everyone who graced that gathering but there was Lang Tombong by your side. But it was so clear to everyone who saw the program live or on television that yo two were heading towards a showdown.
Being in power means a lot nowadays. It is not like the time of the ancient ruler of Fuladu Musa Moloh and the like when all you had was the palace, the court and your entourage. Now you have the cabinet, the civil servants, heads of departments, parliamentarians, the army chiefs, police chiefs, diplomats, party officials, fire service bosses, traditional chiefs, governors and all the trappings.
All of them pretending. In cabinet before you join them for the weekly meetings they are always whispering, biting you behind your back. Sometimes you had to plant in listening devices, without their knowledge of course. They divide themselves in small groups whispering lies and rumors against you. When you hear what they say against you and discover their perfidy and you sack them they start to wonder what they have done. Perfidious hypocrites! That is what Gambians are for you. They bite the hands that feed them. Before you would, at the end of the cabinet meeting invite them to enjoy two or three lambs slaughtered for afra, attaya just for a collegial ambiance, but you put a stop to all that nonsense when you discovered they were not genuine, not sincere, jealous and ill-intentioned. So sometimes you leave them sitting in the cabinet for hours waiting and then send your aides to have them disciplined like small boys and girls. At those times I hate seeing their ugly hypocritical faces.
By the way, how do you always succeed in getting only stupid characters into your cabinet? People who are not smart enough to realize that you may have listening devices planted in cabinet. Okay the hidden cameras they may not know, but the audio devices! Of course they should realize that since they are not frank and honest in your presence naturally you would like know what they say in your absence, when they think you can’t hear. The more learned, the more stupid. Oh how you detest the academics like Sedat Jobe! They bring nausea all over you. But let them wait. Already you have made an order to have secret devices installed in the offices of all cabinet offices and top civil servants. Hope they are secretly installed before the end of these coming rains. The hell with them all!
These toubabs make them want to shit in their trousers. May be it was because they were born in the days of colonialism. The old pa’s!. But you know that you are not that type of African who is afraid of these homosexuals. You dare them to come and force you to free Ousainou Darboe or take you to task for killing Sandeng like a dog. You will kill them all, these tribalist Mandinkas. It was after that Monday when they came from their goddamn congress in Basse and they dared parade around, provoking. Now they will know that you can do what you like with any citizen who misbehaves and no one can do anything about it apart from the Almighty Allah. Allah is the only one worth fearing. You are bent on showing the whole world that you are not to be messed around with.
But you know there are many doubters and they are being joined almost daily by Gambians who used to support you. They are of the belief that you are merely out for perpetuating your rule as a personal project of self agrandisement and self-enrichment. Your militant denunciation of the West is not because they interfere with the sovereignty of the nation but with your personal plunder of the nation’s wealth and resources. And they, your detractors I mean, are of the opinion that the more you have been plundering the nation, the more your greed is aroused and becomes insatiable. The doubters are beginning to think now that enough is enough. Your rule has been based on terror; terrorizing your subjects, intimidating them into not caring about your misrule. But what you perhaps don’t know is that fear is never absolute, never remains the same quantity and quality for all times. Fear is not a permanent human character but a human condition that is volatile and can’t be relied upon to build reliable statecraft on. Ask about former Romanian communist dictator Nikolai Ceausescu, or your former mentor and sponsor Gaddafi. Because neither knew that fear was an impermanent condition they ended up being hounded, chased and lynched.
Power makes one not only corrupt, but mad, as we have already noted, and blind mentally. You are unable to see the subjects as a collection of individual citizens but as an amorphous mass of nonentities and zombies.You see, power is an equation with very volatile parameters including fear on the side of the subjects and illusions on the side of the dictator, so it is not dependable. It depends on the citizen’s fear factor and the dictator’s assumptions. So more and more doubters now think that your day of reckoning is no longer far off.