There is not a town in The Gambia Yaya Jammeh didn’t burry “Jujus” or some black magic portion in. Many Gambians already know this. He sent army officer Solo Bojang to carry it out. He later arrested him. Although Gambia has numerous votaries of scripture, the country awaits those with the wisdom to explain widespread black magic on a nation, its people, crops, rain, even fruits and trees. Black magic angers God a lot. While it works, its side effects can harden a subscriber’s heart into that of a demon or a mentally-challenged sociopath. During maniac episodes, a client of black magic can make bizarre claims (I can cure AIDS, rule Gambia for a billion years, burry people nine feet deep, etc.).
Unfortunately, most Gambians do subscribe to black magic. Even to win a soccer match, go to the embassy, or search for a job, we have to consult dark forces? Part of the price we are paying is twenty-two years of inexplicable deaths and disappearances under the tutelage of a “Black Magician-in-Chief”. This does not mean Yaya Jammeh understands black magic. He only purchases it with his incumbency factor. And this is not to say all of Gambia’s problems are black magic or Jammeh-related. The Blackman has been black before Jammeh. In case you might say, “But not all Gambians practice black magic or even believe it. Why are most of them afraid and groaning under Jammeh?
Only nine men in the city of Prophet Saalih hamstrung the she-camel. But Allaah destroyed the entire city: “There were in the city nine men of a family, who made mischief in the land, and would not reform.” Qur’aan 27, Suratul Naml Verse 48. You know Jammeh has been bragging that no mortal force will remove him, right? “But the wicked are not called (immediately) to account for their sins.” (Qur’aan 28, Suratul Qasas Verse 78.) Some bought-out Jammeh loyalists may argue, “How can you prove Jammeh is wicked and this verse applies to him?” Proof: If he wasn’t directly involved in Koro Ceesay’s murder, he was given clear information of the killers. He refused to prosecute them and on the Day of Judgment, he has questions to answer—from Koro Ceesay to Chief Manneh, Ello Jallow, Solo Sandeng, Solo Nkrumah, etc. Besides, he’s still sequestering kins—kids from fathers, wives from husbands or even Imams from mosques.
WHY BLACK MAGIC WORKS
Satan rallies mankind around him by offering certain gifts. Remember, he’s not human. Allaah granted him certain capabilities not even prophets had. “Lead to destruction those whom thou canst among them, with thy (seductive) voice; make assaults on them with thy cavalry and thy infantry; mutually share with them wealth and children; and make promises to them.” But Satan promises them nothing but deceit.” (Quran 17, Surat Al-Isra also called Surat Bani Israel, Verse 64.) But for Satan or his junior devils to work for man, man has to do extreme evil to displease Allaah.
Ever think why Jammeh defiles virgins? With the kind of money he lavishes, you think he can’t afford courtesans from India, Thailand or even Manhattan? Jammeh doesn’t need those young girls for sartorial pleasure. It’s all a prescription from his sorcerers. Sometimes Quranic verses are written backwards with virgin blood just to displease Allaah. The demons in turn will carry out the subscriber’s demands. This is why I’ve been telling Gambians never announce your moves against Jammeh on air or any site. In fact, Allaah encourages us not to say our supplications too loud, or yet in a very low tone, but to follow a middle course when asking things from Him: “Neither speak thy Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between.” (Qur’aan 17, Suratul Isra, Verse 110). Devils have a tendency not to leave man alone. By listening to what we say, they have potential to inform sorcerers.
Few years ago, a certain crop disease descended on groundnuts in the Gambia. In later years when rain destroyed many homes, it also poured on dry groundnuts waiting for threshing on the November farms. Remember, farmers in The Gambia dry the groundnut on the farm for a certain time before they “beat them” to separate nuts from twigs and fodder. This usually happens when rain has finally stopped. But for that particular year, God waited till farmers accumulated groundnuts on the farm, waiting for further steps of processing, he then rained on them at the beginning of the dry season to destroy crops—too strange for even a farm boy like myself! This was the year the U.N declared Gambia at risk for severe food shortage.
Last year, a certain disease descended on Gambia’s mangoes in some towns. It is either serious rain shortage, or too much rain that destroys homes and livelihood. But the biggest is sudden deaths of Gambia’s male youths. That does not mean the female is excepted. Walk into a government department and you can count sudden deaths of young staff. In GRTS alone, I counted numerous. And what did the Black Magician-in-chief say in 2009? He accused “witches.” Consequently, old women and men were rounded up all over Gambia. I helplessly looked at a New York Times photograph of the Alkalo of Jambur near Brikama, helplessly sitting with his wife in bed, accused of witch-craft by Jammeh’s witch-hunters!
MUSA SAIDYKHAN, PA NDERRY MBAYE, FATOU CAMARA, ESSA BOKAR SEY, GAINAKO NEWSPAPER, JOLLOFNEWS, KIBAARO, etc., please listen to your brother—a brother who does not seek recognition or vainglory; a brother who would jettison his individual priority to confront the homeland’s tapestry; a brother who is often choked with guilt each time he raises a spoonful, while Gambians pay a fortune for a loaf of bread; a brother poking at Africa’s rise, but wants charity to begin at home; a brother obsessed with Gambia’s manufacture and guarantee of peace and stability besides 21st Century marvels; a brother who would beseech Microsoft to invent a program to let him write his homeland’s agony with his tears.
MUSA SAIDYKHAN, PA NDERRY MBAYE, FATOU CAMARA, ESSA BOKAR SEY, GAINAKO NEWSPAPER, JOLLOFNEWS, KIBAARO, you can easily write to the UDP to rally behind any Gambian capable of removing Jammeh. If that soul is Halifa Sallah, Sedat Jobe, Sidia Jatta, Hamat Bah, O.J Jallow, Mama Kandeh, Waa Juwara, etc., please so be it! I started this material with special reference to black magic. Do you guys ever sit and think why the UDP and other parties never agree? You think their rally grounds are free from Jammeh’s sorcery twenty-four hours before their meetings? You think their names, pictures, or any form of identification for devils are not with Jammeh? Ever ask yourself why Jammeh brags that no mortal force can remove him from power? Even though such claims are eccentric, he brazenly hinges them on preternatural accessories.
Please write to the UDP! Please do so! A curious matrix of Jammeh’s magical portion is to make the opposition as polarized as possible. For the UDP to ask Halifa to lead them is easier than Bernie Sanders joining Hillary or Ted Cruz endorsing Trump. And we complain about racism, but look at the white man! He knows how to get what he wants. God knows what devils tell certain individuals that they have a birth right to the presidency! You see, Jammeh has a pig-headed obsession with power. He thinks he has a birth right to it. Since 1996, the opposition could never synergize a whit, thus thrusting his claws deeper inside Gambia’s endothelium. Look, he even raised the registration fee of a political party to D1 million. Would a normal human do all that Jammeh has been doing? And the UDP and other parties can’t sacrifice egos and deep convictions for the nation to tarry safe?
MY DEAR CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Yaya Jammeh isn’t a Muslim quintessence. Please, let his actions not anger you about Islam or Muslims. You have seen veritable Muslims and lived with them for ever. It was early Christians who saved Islam and Muslims in Abyssinia when persecution and slaughter sent them into exile. Jesus’ prolonged prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane when he knew of plans to crucify him always reminds me of how Muslims pray. Please see Jammeh as the sower of weeds in Mathew 13:24—43. If you wish to tackle his charlatanry in anger and blame religion, you won’t learn from this wonderful parable of Jesus. “Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.” (Mathew 13:24—43). Therefore, when the right time comes, you will be able to separate Jammeh from the best of Gambia’s Muslims and tomorrow charge his inveterate wont of today.
THE ERGONOMICS OF A UNITED FRONT
I was there on August 23rd 2001 when the 2000 Senegalese opposition coalition stirred a spill-over effect to the Gambian shores. The YMCA in Kanifing was the venue. This was the meeting attended by the then Deputy British High Commissioner to the Gambia, Bharat Joshi, who was thenceforth kicked out of the country—perhaps ushering in Jammeh’s ultra intolerance-on-steroids. The late Sheriff Dibba later explained everything! The joust was between the UDP and NCP willfully shrouding any joint communique to a hearse, and with it, went Gambia’s first chance to get rid of Jammeh through a ballot. Remember, Jammeh wasn’t as nasty then. He still bore rivulets of the milk of human kindness.
I sat inside Sheriff Dibba’s house later, upon his call, and listened to measured English of a lone-rancher. Wollaahi, I never knew Sherrif was this eloquent. But alas, as Gambians, we did our Gambianess by not immensely benefitting from his mind. Sheriff argued it was PPP that hastily endorsed Ousainou Darboe to his chagrin. Perhaps this was the only meeting that had all of Gambia’s opposition parties under one roof—including Dr. Lamin Bojang (Bolonding) of Brikama. In epiphany, how I now wish Darboe and SM Dibba never fell out! That rare opportunity never presented itself again. Later, I had to listen to Ousainou Darboe too in his Pipeline home. There is not a key political figure in the Gambia I have not sat with and talked (Even Jammeh). As stupid as I’m, I think I can say a bit about each.
In 2003, I was in rural United States—in a place very difficult to see blacks or immigrants. Like Wordsworth’s “bald top of an imminence”, was settled a Taiwanese-American upon whom I chanced. This is a part of America no one knows about Gambia or its people. This man drew closer and asked where I hailed from and I replied, “Gambia.” He continued, “Oh I know Gambia.” I was cocksure he was lying until he added, “I went to school here in America with a very intelligent Gambian. His last name was Sallah. He was extremely smart. The whole college admired and respected him. I heard we went back to Africa to be president.
Gambia! Gambians! Living among people who don’t give a rat’s tail about Gambia can be hard. What if you finally meet someone who didn’t only know Gambia exists, but also met a very intelligent Gambian. The moment he said Sallah, I furnished the first name with almost tears in my eyes. Listen, Gambians. If you live in metro or mega cities, you may not understand this because people in those areas are open-minded and sometimes know about Africa. But come to where I live. Be my guest and find that there are still those that believe that the Blackman is only one-eight of a human being. But then here are people telling me about an intelligent Gambian in different places in America! Like Assan Musa Camara, Garba Jahumpa Sr., SM Dibba, are we always letting our resourceful Gambians go to their graves without making best use of them?
Fast forward to 2015. In a shopping center, I was stopped by another man in grey hairs, who, seeing I was black, engaged me in a conversation in another town far away from the 2003 small town where I attended college. Again as the norm, this new man asked where in Africa I came from and upon hearing Gambia, he retorted: “I went to school here in America with a very intelligent Gambian. He was Muslim. He used to pray on campus and fast too. He was super-intelligent and everyone respected him. His name was Halefa and his last name was Sala.” Such was how he pronounced them. “Ha…leh…fa” and “Sala.” The old man also added that Halifa left for Africa and was supposed to be president.
I went to my car and before starting the engine, I thought of the man I had met several times in native Gambia being celebrated by the world. Yet Gambians hold him in such low esteem while he never touts his ego. No one in America ever stopped me to praise Yaya Jammeh. But I hear cries of Gambians—cries of that child made fatherless because his father perished in Mile II; cries of that widow whose sweet nights exists no more because her late husband was picked up at 03:00am, somewhere in Serrekunda, Brikama, or Bakoteh and his body hasn’t been found since 2005; cries of that little girl who used to eat to her belly-full but now hangs around a neighbor’s lunch table because his father also disappeared since 2005.
In 1996, he was perhaps at the threshold of middle age. He dedicated the rest of his life to removing Jammeh, even in the absence of strategy. He should not spend his last years serving Jammeh’s law. When he thought it politically-prudent to pick a phone and congratulate Jammeh after the 2001 APRC victory, he dared march ahead of his time to imitate what those who brought elections to The Gambia still do. I commend his courage for exhibiting such level of maturity still elusive to many in Africa’s political theater.
He heroically inscribed his level of political seasoning on Gambia’s transcript by tendering his resignation and detachment from Jammeh. I spoke to him few hours later and he beseeched that I publish not whatever he had to tell me about his resignation. Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay recommended he rescind his decision and apologize to Jammeh. For what? What crime? But Sedat was a chaste diplomat. His choices were bigger than Jammeh’s vista.
Not interested in neither luxury, nor power, he overlooked choices of living in the United States or coveting a leadership in the UDP. He speaks to every Gambian youth like his own son, including my silly self. He is among those that can say a lot about Gambia’s politics from the first republic. At a UDP rally in Cedar Club Junction in 2001, he summarized Jammeh’s extravaganza like none ever did: “Before 1994”, he posited, Jammeh didn’t have D150 (One hundred and fifty Dalasis) in his pockets.” Can I add that today, that Jammeh is riding in a Bentley or Rolls Royce, thinking he worked so hard for it?
He said this: “I’m not going to be a president that will force labor from military personnel on my farms the harvest of which they never even see.” Gambians, just think of what happens in Gambia today. If you’re in a key government position, better work at Jammeh’s farm or risk losing your job and Mile II. Later, a top Jammeh aide told me Mama Kandeh was kicked out of the APRC because he never wanted to work at Jammeh’s farms. Please, Pa Modou Bojang and who ever bashes this man, there is a special chapter in the Qur’aan called “Al-Mumtahana” which in English means “A woman to be examined.” Allaah sent down this Surat because some women married to unbelievers in Makkah were migrating to Madinah to embrace Islam.
The Prophet succumbed to agitations to send them back to Makkah. Allaah asked the muslim Ummaah to thoroughly “examine” such women. If they were true believers, please send them back not. They were not rightful spouses for the unbelievers. So please, Pa Modou Bojang, let’s thoroughly examine Mama Kandeh. He has undertaken a political emigration. It doesn’t matter if he was once APRC. Look, almost the entire Gambia was once AFPRC. For the sake of unity, please stop attacking this man unless you are sure he is working with Jammeh. But I’ve done my own findings. Look, even the late Baba Jobe was once APRC.
He is wisely funny or funnily wise—with a rare grain of humor. Two of his wives argued and one splashed water in the other’s face. Hamat came to the Observer, asking us to publish the story. If every husband does that in The Gambia, perhaps there will be few quarrels. Later, his yatch at Denton Bridge sank and he came to us again to publish it. Hamat doesn’t give a cr***! He doesn’t have an ego.
The last time I saw his picture, he was getting consumed by age. Even Halifa is. But so is every life! It is sad that all these men aren’t being used by Gambia to their fullest potentials. And under Jammeh, the contours of the country benefitting from the potentials of her sons’ brains are still under the flood. My high school teacher used to quote, “We live by dying slowly everyday; and we die slowly by living everyday.” How many bright men have we lost to time? How many to Jammeh? Koro Ceesay died abruptly. So did Ello Jallow, Deyda Hydara, etc.
Where are those Gambians with tender hearts softened by the Qur’aan? Where are those Gambians with bigger lens to see that the price of basic commodities inflating 300% means we burry our egos and party differences just to make sure Jammeh is gone and none that resembles him ever returns? Not just Halifa Sallah, there are many intelligent Gambians.
MUSA SAIDYKHAN, PA NDERRY MBAYE, FATOU CAMARA, ESSA BOKAR SEY, GAINAKO NEWSPAPER, JOLLOFNEWS, KIBAARO, etc., you are all part of a history being made with control over your choices. You can either make good or bad choices. It is my humble hope that you will wisely set all irrelevant affiliations aside and write to the UDP. Once a candidate is picked, we can all contribute money for the campaign. The diaspora doesn’t need so many clubs and organizations all clamoring about Jammeh. Gambia’s politics is a Democratic Centralism or Third-World variance. It’s not a politics of selling an intelligent manifesto to a population too hungry to think, but interested in affording the next Benechin. Our homeland is bleeding!