I often get flabbergasted and even frustrated shaking my head in disbelief whenever I hear people say “Yaya Jammeh has brought development to the Gambia.” I cringe with pain, asking whether people peddling this so-called belaboured argument know their level of naivety or delusion. Do they forget that meaningful development starts with respecting human rights and guaranteeing freedoms? So any leader who has brought carnage and destruction of the human fabric should be ashamed of championing development.
Yaya Jammeh’s 22 years of misrule presents us nothing but death, robbery, fornication, en forced disappearances and legimitisation of lies. Even after leaving power, it will take Gambians several decades before they know the full extent of the disaster and backwardness Jammeh and his criminal regime have brought to this once Oasis of Peace, Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law. Once everything comes to light, Gambians will ask why they have not acted fast on getting rid of the murderous regime.
I wish to take the readers down the memory lane with a view to drawing comparisons before arriving at a decision. For instance, I want to duel on the Jawara and Jammeh eras of Banjul, particularly the Albert Market. We may not understand the story well if efforts are not done to showcase how Banjul fared before Yaya Jammeh and his small boy soldiers stole our mantle. Truthtellers and defenders will attest to the fact that the capital and the Albert Market were in a far more better shape than today. The Albert Market looked better 22 years ago. It used to be a place where life was bustling; it served as a bisiness hub for not only the Gambia but the entire subregion. The Albert Market provides an avenue for drama, with shoppers always queuing in rows bargaining to buy goods. The temportal wanterr season made the market evenues more conjested, requiring one a great deal of patience to manoeuvre your way around or else you would walk over people. The Albert Market was also a place where laughter and banter were the order of the day. It was a very vibrant centre, a money making engine for our economy and ordinary Gambians as a whole. Due to its financial attraction, ambitious Baddibunka saw Banjul as their heaven on earth. They started chasing money as soon as they cross the sea. For them Banjul was a place where they could amass wealth and bask into the delicious Benechin flowing from the swarm of Tobacco Road [a predominantly Baddibunka settlement in Banjul] to the Albert Market.
But what’s the state of Albart Market today Gambia? I could not hold back tears when I toured the market complex couple of years ago. It was totally abandoned and turned into a ghost town. I could not literally believe what I was seeing. And to my annoyance, the sound of the few sewing machines accompanied me throughout my tour. Who in his right mind will call this a development? Are we really missing something here?
Maybe those who were born under Yaya Jammeh leadership could get away with making such frivolous claims because they have not seen how things were like before this criminal (Jammeh) robbed our dignity in a broad daylight. But even to them I will say no, because if things are as normal as they should be, these Yaya Jammeh generation of young would not have risked their lives in search of their dreams in Europe.
Secondly, I want us to look at the infrastructures of Banjul 22 ago and compare it to its present situation. Is it any better or is it going backward? Jammeh blatantly ignored Banjul and transformed Kanilai as our capital city overnight. With all due respect to those from Kanilai and anyone who might feel offended, Jammeh’s place of birth is a hamlet which is not fit enough to be the capotal of Foni region let alone replace Banjul.
Today, Gambians feel ashame to introduce Banjul to non Gambians as their capital city. Banjul has not only gone backward, but also presents the worst health hazards to its inhabitants. The entire road network in Banjul has totally collapsed and the drainage systems are in their worst state. When it rains in Banjul today, you cannot help it but to feel for the people who live there. Even in the dry season, certain parts of Banjul have now become no go areas due to bad drainage system and poor road networks.
Fellow Gambians, the time has come for us to team up and get rid of this insane and heartless dictator who insulted our collective intelligence by pathetically proclaiming himself as the dictator of development. Let us do it before it is too late. This coming election is not like any other election because the future of our children and our viability as a nation are on the line. Voting for Jammeh for another five years would be the worst mistake of our lifetime. It could take us hundred years or more before we could rebuild our country back up.
Let us say no to Jammeh and his white elephant projects. Even the gullible among us should by now realise that he (Jammeh) has run out of money. To be honest, I feel like vomiting whenever I drive pass that disastrous Arch 22nd, which serves no purpose.
Please do not sell your voter’s cards. Come out in droves and vote for anyone but Jammeh. But if we can have a unified front, better for our course to give birth to a new Gambia. A Gambia where we can start a real and proper development by first allowing minds to flourish whi h breeeds divergent views and ideas. By that time we will all proudly call the Gambia home.
To be continued….