By Sulayman Touray
I think two things make Yahya Jammeh the most brutal, dangerous and unique dictator among many dictators in the past. He uses religion to the best of his ability. In that he hides behind Islam to do his manipulation. A dictator who suffocates of all the business spaces in the country so he can advance his business interest.
Yahy Jammeh’s punishment knows no boundary. Apart from prostituting our young girls and women, he raides media houses, kills, persecutes and disappears his political opponents. Not even the military officers are spared Jammeh’s wrath. Some were sent to their ancestors while others forced to retire or jailed for crimes they have not committed.
Despite the horrible and horrific nature of these crimes, you would find that most dictators in the past committed these crimes, although no one expects anyone to act heartlessly in the 21st century. It is the era of democracy that gives room to human rights, the rule of law and good governance triump.
It’s only in the Gambia where you would find a dictator like Jammeh whose tyrannical impunity has no boundaries. If one looks closely through the history, you would find that most dictators in the past are mainly concerned about their power base. As long as one doesn’t challenge that power by posing imminent threat to unseat them, they wouldn’t harm you in anyway. But that is not Yahya Jammeh. He is different in many aspects because no Gambian is able to escape the brutality of this idiot so-called president. Jammeh infiltrated all our state institutions by making them his personal properties. He doesn’t immune our business people, potential investors, religious way of life, or our cultures and traditions of doing things from his dictatorial tendencies. There is nothing that Jammeh spares, even the layman in our villages is all suffering in one way or the other because of him.
Yahya Jammeh has been using Islam all these years to deceive Gambians. This started the first day he overthrew the democratically elected government of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. The first thing Jammeh did was to build a mosque in state house. This was purposely done not for his supposed love of Islam nor was he (Jammeh) a true Muslim but to elevate himself as an Islamic Ruler (Khalifa) over us. Because he knew this would allow him to gain the support of majority of Gambians who are mainly comprising of Muslims. Then he started to distance himself from politics, describing it as a dirty game knowing fully well that he is dirtier than politics.
As the Gambia being a majority Muslim and conservative society, he created a mantra and used it to his advantage. However, our opportunism and gullible nature also doesn’t help, as it allows and still continues to allow this bloodthirsty zealot to maim, torture and kill us en masse. Yet, some Gambians still believe that we have to follow and obey Jammeh because God made him a Messiah over us and that he will go when his time comes to an end. Mostly you will find people who say these types of stuff making reference to Islam. In actual fact, it should be our collective responsibility to get rid of this rotten dictator and save our country from (Fitina) destruction.
I am not blaming Islam here, far from it. Being a very devoted Muslim myself, I know Islam is one of the purest religions on earth. Islam is a complete way of life, therefore one needs to have knowledge to understand the interpretation of the scripture. But in the Gambia today, that’s not always the case, for many take Islam for granted because their forefathers were Muslims, and those who may know and understand it, at times use it to fulfil their interests and heart desires. Jammeh knows this which is why he’s still hell-bent on making the Gambia an Islamic State to advance his dictatorship agenda.
Occupying the business space
Unlike other dictators, Yahya Jammeh is competing in every business sectors of our society, selling everything God sent down to Gambia and her people. This has had a profound effect on our well established business men and women not to mention the immerging entrepreneurs. You must be in Yaya Jammeh’s good books or his business partner in order to excel in today’s Gambian business environment. Our farmers, women in vegetable gardening, bakery operators, commercial drivers all affected due to Jammeh sear greed. This is having a devastating effect on us Gambians, because having controlled all the state institution hiring and firing whom he wishes which alone has serious job insecurity among our public servants but to be selling sand, gravel, meat, fish bread, lectures, you name it, finally put the nail on the coffin. In effect, Jammeh has turned the Gambia into a land of beggars. He qualifies himself to be the giver and taker of everything Gambian.
What do you expect from a man who is as poor as a church mouse battling fears to do when he sees religious leaders bowing down to a man dressed in white outfit holding the bead and Qur’an? While these religious leaders know what they are fallling for a liar and deceiver, they continue to act recklessly by allowing themselves to be trapped through socialising with a dictator who worships idols. These socialisation allow Jammeh to corrupt their minds to the extent that these clerics see the devil leader as a saviour of Islam.
The one fundamental question that Gambians need to ask is: how long shall we allow this dictator to continue killing, incarcerating and exiling us as if he alone owns the GAMBIA?
My fellow Gambians, let’s stop dilly-dallying and take care of a single soul before he brings civil or tribal war in a country where everyone gets along until July 1994 when discrimination base on tribal lines. The time is now or never. Our failure to do the right thing at the right time means perishing in thin air. We cannot afford five more years of Jammeh dictatorship. This fight is not for us my country men and women but our future generation because Yahya has already destroyed our fathers, mothers and brothers and now destroying even children who are born under his leadership. Let us see Gambia my fellow Gambians, put aside our egos, tribal line, self or group interest and safe our beloved Gambia from sinking beyond recoverable. I will urge all stakeholders, interest groups and political parties to put aside their differences and find a common ground especially in this hour of need.
December election is just around the corner, it will therefore be paramount for all political parties to come together and form a unified force against Jammeh. Even though, we all know election has been rigged already bu coming together as one people will give us unprecedented momentum which could easily chase the brutal dictator out of state households. Therefore, flexibility on the part of all political parties in this crucial moment cannot be overemphasised. All should be prepared to give up their short time benefit and see the Gambia which is bigger than each and every one of us.
May Allahu (SWT) shower his blessing on the Gambia and her people and make an end to the calamity of Yahya Jammeh and his cronies! Ameen
A very impassioned plea for the Gambian people to look at really what’s happening to them and not waste the chance to make the change needed to survive one man’s mission to ‘rule forever’. I have visited the Gambia many times and see that the potential is being sapped out of the country; leaving people desperate in many ways. ONLY THE GAMBIANS CAN MAKE THIS CHANGE HAPPEN.