The conviction and subsequent sentencing of the opposition United Democratic Party leadership, supporters and opposition activists has again reminded us about the Jammeh regime’s callousness, cruelty and disrespect for human rights and the rule of law. The regime’s heartlessness have over and over gone over the roof. It has simply reached the Tipping Point. The fundamental question that must be asked is: for how long do we allow the people who swore to serve our collective interest jail, rape, disappear or murder innocent Gambians and non-Gambians (remember more than 50 would-be immigrants, including 44 Ghanaians were hacked to death by the same regime) at will? What is gone with us as a people? Unless we find a legitimate answer to this question, tyranny will tear apart the little Gambianess that’s left in us. The Gambianess our forefathers have handed over to us includes defending the Truth, Justice, Compassion and Sympathy. If all these evaporate in thin air and replaced by Hypocrisy, Hatred, Cruelty and Bad Blood, where then is our Gambianess?
Our fallen forefathers who vigorously fought for our independence might be turning in their graves. They must be disappointed for freeing the Gambia — a small territory once dubbed an Improbable Nation — only to be ruled by a Slave Master three decades while Gambians watch simply because their immediate families are not directly affected. Our selfishness, a character our ancestors have not given us, is our Enemy. In the days of our ancestors, the entire community would come together to erect a house for families. These are the communities where no one goes to bed hungry. The lack of rising smoke in a neighbour’s kitchen will stimulate a close neighbour into action.
Unfortunately, we are today dealing with a totally different Gambia where selfishness has eaten the souls of the majority to the extent that three interests matter: Me, My Wife and Children. That’s why we are seeing people living lavishly while their close relatives skip essential meals. Is this the Gambia we have inherited?
Our willingness to keep away from one another has and continues to benefit Dictator Jammeh. That’s why he succeeds in striking us at will, knowing fully that no one cares except immediate relatives. Jammeh is like a Sniper who doesn’t attack unless he backstabs. Who are backstabbing for him other than our blood relatives and friends?
Ousainou Darboe and co have taken the heat for all Gambians. Like most Gambians, Darboe too is disappointed that the law could not guarantee his rights. He has not regretted for being slapped with undeserved prison term. The verdict makes sense only in Yahya Jammeh’s Gambia where justice is twisted and buried. A country where judges cannot deliver verdict without getting the greenlight from Yahya Jammeh who uses everything under the hot sun to punish his perceived political enemies. He hates and punish his victims even when they lose their souls. If that’s not the case, why is he still keeping the dead bodies of death row inmates and December 30 attackers?
Gambians from all walks of life have since been expressing their anger and frustration over this miscarriage of justice. So many people have sounded their opinion on the wrongful verdict but Foday Jawla rightly put it that “if you are fighting for Darboe not to be jailed, today marks the end of your struggle because darboe is jailed.
If you are fighting for the justice Darboe and Solo stood up for Gambians, your struggle starts today to free Darboe and recover the of Solo and free Gambia from tyranny.”