Arguable Causes of the Kanilai Protest

              Captain Ebrima Cambi

By Captain Ebrima Cambi

A simple security analysis coupled with a bit of impeccable intelligence from the period of the political impasse to the day of the protest, shows that the protest was not intent on getting rid of the soldiers as the primary motive but a catalyst to an attempt in solving a looming SELF INFLICTED humanitarian crisis in Kanilai and environs, HUNGER, which if not handled quickly could lead to serious starvation in the area.

Synopsis: Kanilai and environs were use to;

  3. free FOOD (Rice, oil and other condiments) particularly in the month of Ramadan
  4. freelance employment at the various farms and facilities of the former tyrant of a president.
  5. Intelligence gathered confirmed that clearing the bush from Kafenda – Mayork towards Kanilai with primary intention of building an airport – Kanilai Airport Park (KAP) was naturally a major source of income to the residents of Foni Kanilai​ in particular, at a rate of D1000.00 per day, per person ( every 10 days worked on the site = D10,000.00), therefore most of them totally abandoned farming for this lucrative venture.

They also resorted to using the tractors given to them by the tribalist, vengeful, sectarian, vindictive, despotic but very intelligent sadistic tyrant for their charcoal and firewood businesses, another source of income. These are tractors provided by the Government of Japan to THE PEOPLE OF THE GAMBIA!!,
All these came to an abrupt stop, it’s RAMADAN and rainy season is also crouching in; unfortunately for them they were betrayed by the same person they call their own, when he drove the international community into forcing him out because of his intransigence towards the verdict of the people.

How did he betray his loyalists in Kanilai and Foni, I said loyalists because I can bet my bottom dollar that majority of the Foninkas have now come to terms with reality and do not subscribe to the violent protests by the residents of Kanilai.

When AJJ finally succumbed to the pressures both internally and externally, he sadly left his LOYALISTS badly unprepared for a Gambia without Jammeh and his sectarian benevolence.
They had no seeds for farming, no food stored, and had never thought that a day would come when they could not access the properties and assets amassed by AJJ during his 22 years Reign of Terror.
Another arguable reason for the unreasonable cause of the protest is HUNGER ; a disaster waiting to happen in Kanilai.

He also betrayed our Foninka brethren by arresting and parading their elderly (men and women) accusing them for being witches and wizards, forcing some of them to flee to evade the so-called witch doctors.

He also betrayed Foninkas by unnecessary arrests, torture, disappearances (marked as dead) jailing and illegally firing the same people who called him their own.

AJJ also betrayed these people by not being truthful to them, leaving them with the false hope of a movie star “I will be Back” yet still a small fraction of the Foninkas pledge loyalty to a man who has meted all these on them, their parents, uncles brothers and sisters.
The Crunch: From what I would call ulterior motive of the protesters; intelligence gathered revealed an alleged plot during the impasse when AJJ accepted the results and a few days later made a U-turn purportedly after receiving assurance from the rebel group that they are prepared to back him to the later. Fantasizing the destructive capabilities of a rebel joining hands with the merciless members of his Jungler unit, loyalists in the Army and PIU and the mercenaries imported from afar, AJJ decided on the path of war, not knowing what war is all about and can bring about in a nation.

The Mystery: WHAT happened to an alleged truck load of weapons from State House headed for Kanilai during the political impasse??????

Observation: Where are all those able bodied men who use to flood the street leading to AJJ’s palace at Kanilai?

Opinion: Could it be that the truck load of weapons was delivered to the rebels in Sinjang/Jibijorr forests with the assurance of support to the despotic leader? If so which soldier/driver delivered the goods? Could it also be that these weapons have been distributed among the rebels and those able bodied men from Kaninlai (bread winners) with the intention of joining hands with the notorious Junglers and the numerous AJJ loyalists in the Army’s rank and files to fight for the dictator? if so could it be that these men (family bread winners) got stranded in the forest with the arrival of the ECOWAS forces and could not return to their families for fear of being recognized and arrested?

Food for thought: Could this be the real reason for wanting the soldiers out of Kanilai and environs to enable these men return to their families once again as bread winners and avert the hunger and suffering their families are experiencing? Otherwise I can’t see any sense in wanting soldiers out who are a source of protection to them and their families and given that the number of soldiers and other servicemen and women in Kanilai were over 5 times the population of the village and there still was harmony.

Recommendation: Government must not allow Kanilai or any part of the country to hold the nation to ransom by this kind of behaviour. A thorough investigation into the incident should be carried out in order to eliminate any speculations and misgivings. Government must not set a bad precedence by letting these people go free in their quest for peace or to appease a fraction of Foninkas. In the same vein Kanilai is part of the Gambia and despite the senseless protest, H E Adama Barrow is their president whether they like it or not, therefore I would like to appeal to the Government look into the food situation in the village and assist where possible to avert a humanitarian crisis especially in this Holy month of Ramadan. This could be channeled through any charitable organisation or even the Gambia Red Cross Society. The president is everybody’s president even the criminals. SHAME ON THE PROTESTERS WAAY AKH!!!



  1. Dodou Jawneh

    This analysis has provided so much clarification. The government needs to take the recommendations very seriously. Personally I have always maintained that a joint Gambia/Senegal permanent security installation should be stationed in Kanilai to provide security in the troubled region.

  2. Kinteh (Kemo)

    These explanations are indeed the key in understanding the outbreak of difficulties in Kanilai and its environment – it may not be the whole picture, but rational observation leads to these conclusions. The assumptions can also be supported by the manifested unpreparedness of Kanilai and Foni as a whole, for a Gambia without Jammeh – at least not so suddenly.

  3. For 22 years they were given free food, free men, free women, water, free electricity and every thing free. They forgot how to be responsible for their own lives but defended entirely on their only evil son who provided illegal stuffs to them. Then who is to be blamed other than themselves. Everyone in the country worked hard for their living except them. I hope president Barrow would not make mistake to continue to give free food, free water and other free services to these people. Let them find jobs or go back to farm to feed themselves. Eat what you grow,and grow what you eat. This slogan must be carried out in Kanilai. They should learn how to be personally responsible for their lives.

  4. Sensible insight & call to action, indeed; in attempts to undo the FILTHY DEVIL’s making…
    But if free food is accorded to kanilai & Foni regions only, what if Kiang, Jarra, Niumi, Badibu, etc protested too, will they be accorded the same…?
    The government must strive to attend to all & sundry inclusively BUT can’t & mustn’t start something unsustainable…
    Thank you

  5. Max…

    Why are you sounding so callous and evil? Are you suggesting that the people should be left to die of hunger and starvation? Have you forgotten who Yaya Jammeh was? Do you think anybody in Foni or Kaninlai will live to narrate the story if they dared reject Yaya Jammeh’s “gifts”?

    I agree that in the long term, the people should fend for themselves like almost everyone else, and truth be told, they had always fended for themselves, until Jammeh appeared on the scene and made them addicted to freebies. Have you forgotten what he did to Foni and Kaninlai? Didn’t he take all their farm lands and forcefully reduced them to labourers and farm hands, thus making them completely dependent on him to survive daily? How can you blame people like that for their sudden and tragic situation?

    • Bax, I think Kanillia Alkako should talk to you because according to foroyaa, he said they are suffering in the village , they have no enough food and worry about water and electricity since the sole provider has left them unexpectedly. I think it is good for them to experience what everyone have experienced, that is people worked hard while they were partying, free food, water , electricity and healthcare, plus free sex party where condoms were provided for free . All these was going on while some of the villagers were killed and no one cared . There is no humanitarian crisis in kanillia , it is just laziness and lack of personal responsibility. In fact there should be no help for kanillia. The kanillia Alkalo told foroyaa reporter that they want to negotiate with the president Barrow, which I believe is an insult to Gambian people. Who are these people to negotiate with president Barrow? Where is their moral values and sense of purpose in life if they refused to work hard for their living? Jammeh is gone , now they can go back to farm and work .
      Bax , I notice you like free stuffs , I hope you don’t live your life on free stuffs in U.K. because it is against your religion be living on the sweat of others when you are able and healthy . People of kanillia are able and healthy , they just have to motivate themselves to work hard . The government should give back the lands to those whose lands were seized from them . This is their right but no free food to encourage laziness. Jammeh failed these people and they failed themselves because they have the brains to think what is good for them. The rest of the country used their brains well and ensure that they live a decent life. This is teachable movement for kanillia and Foni and the country.

  6. Come on Max, you need to be a bit more sensible and humane. Think about the children, the elderly, the sick and the pregnant women. If it is true that they are facing hunger and starvation, then government needs to intervene, either directly or indirectly, to avert any catastrophe. It is our collective duty to help people who are in desperate need of food, regardless of their past. Our humanity demands it; our good neighbourliness demands it; and our religions (Islam & Christianity) demand it. We cannot, and should not, let these needy people down.

    And helping out could be the best way for solving the security and other challenges that Foni may pose to the administration, as there may not be a better way of winning a people’s heart, than through their stomach. The hungrier they are, they more endearing to their heart, is the good Samaritan. So, this an opportunity that should also be grabbed with both hands. No expense should be spared to achieve peace and stability.

    • Bax , it is disappointing that you are encouraging dependency and laziness when you said that there “is no better way of Winning people’s heart than through their stomach.”.
      This was exactly what Jammeh did in kanillia for 22 years, people became slaves and lacked basic purposes of life which is to live a decent living through hard work. They saw Jammeh as their only hope since they failed to be responsible for their own lives. It is this kind of attitude which is why today people of Foni are causing trouble . Such behavior is anti-religion , anti-development and it clearly indicates lack of purpose in life . I don’t blame you because you live in the country where free stuffs are easily accessible and available. In USA , personal responsibility and hardwork are the keys to success here , I do not support the welfare state where people are just lazy . Kanillia people should blame themselves for their hunger . This was the worst statement you have ever made. I hope you retract this statement. it is such attitude which is part of PDOIS socialist ideology. If you look at the core values of PDOIS, this is their main political ideology, a welfare and socialist state concept which contribute to underdevelopment and laziness through freebies . It is the same reason PDOIS leadership are secretly against the freezing of Jammeh’s stolen assets.

      • Max, If I had any doubts about the type of person you are, those doubts have completed been removed by your attitude towards a welfare state. I don’t have any further comments for a person who would happily let people die of hunger and starvation because he thinks they are lazy.

        You come across as a person who believes that poor people are to blame for their poverty because they are lazy. I suppose you wouldn’t mind going to bed with a full belly, whilst your next door neighbour dies of hunger.

        • Bax , I have never stated that I will let people die of hunger and starvation because they are lazy , that is your statement but not mind . In kanillia there is no hunger or starvation as at now , there is agitation because they still want the same VIP treatment to continue. They had special treatment from Jammeh and you want to continue that legacy. This is because you want to win their support through feeding them which is dependency . This is not the kind of political rhetoric we should hear from someone who claimed to be a supporter of a party which portray itself as educated people. In essence you are advocating for what Jammeh did , that is Jammeh saw himself as a Good Samaritan who everyone must depended on. We do not need that in The Gambia, we should advocate for every to take personal responsibility for their lives except those who are sick or unhealthy. I believe that people in kanillia should be given their lands without conditions so that they would go back to farm . Africans underdevelopment is partly cause by handouts we continue to receive from the west and also too much dependency within the country . This is the culture we need to get rid off . I hope you will retract that statement.

    • Bax said ” there may not be a better way of winning a people’s heart , than through their stomach. The hungrier they are , they more endearing to their heart, is a good Samaritan “.

      The above statement represent corruption, outdated politics , slavery, lack empowerment and every evil practices which is against participatory democracy. It was this statement that jammeh threw biscuits at innocent children while his motorcade ran over them . It was this statement that people of kanillia never learned personal responsibility during Jammeh’s regime . It was this statement that jammeh enslaved kanillia people. It was this statement that Jammeh claimed ownership of The Gambia . Jammeh thought he was a Good Samaritan when he was in power. Think about this quote above .

      • Any sincere person can see that the statement you quoted was made within the context of averting hunger and starvation; not taking advantage of people’s situation to control them.
        The meaning/implication being that the affected people in Foni may change their attitude towards the new government, if it helps to prevent a food crisis and safe them from hunger and possible starvation. Who wouldn’t show appreciation for such a humanitarian gesture?
        I have made it quite clear that the intervention is only for the short term until the people can get back onto their feet, as they are quite capable of doing that. I don’t know why you want to lie about the statement representing corruption, slavery, and all that crap. You need to stop this foolishness. Seriously.

        • Bax, once again you failed to take responsibility of encouraging the new administration to enslave Foni through so-called Good Samaritan gesture which is a form of enticement or corruption. Never mind the short term dimension of your encouragement, such efforts will serve as motivation for other parts of the country to embark on similar problem. At this crucial time when we should be encouraging citizens to live a decent life through hard work and sacrifices, we don’t need to reward people who had special treatment during the past 22 years or who had different political beliefs. Using government resources as a free gifts to entice some sections of the country to switch their political beliefs is corruption of highest order. This was exactly what Jammeh did and it was the same reason he coined the term “no vote, no development in your area”.
          Your explanation that given free food and other services to Foni will help to change their attitude towards the new government is not only itself corruption but it is preferential treatment, it encourages laziness, dependency and violate the basic principles of democracy. Remember that majority citizens have already decided and voted for the new government. The consequences of your statement is far greater than the imaginary starvation you talked about. This betray the change we have fought for. Just think about it.

  7. Luntango (Degaleh Wagh, Tabaa Bung Bang Yekumofo)

    Dodou, Kinteh, EXCELLENT points. And indeed, Kanilai may infact become a PERMANENT ECOWAS MILITARY BASE to provide security for the whole sub-region – with a Rapid Reaction Force of, let’s say, 1,000 well-trained soldiers to put down a coup in, lets say Bissau. Such an ECOWAS BASE could also underpin the economy of Kanilai Village providing jobs and customers for agricultural produce. I am sure the Govt of The Gambia – and indeed ECOWAS itself – is thinking that too. I leave Max in the capable hands of my In-Law(LoL!).

  8. @Max…”Bax , I have never stated that I will let people die of hunger and starvation because they are lazy…”

    You may not have uttered those exact words but it is quite clear that this is the implication of your views and position.

    The writer has made it clear that there exist a looming food crises in Kaninlai and people are experiencing hunger, which has been corroborated by other sources on social media. He even appealed to government to help avert the crises, either directly or indirectly, through charitable organisations like the Red Cross, etc.

    You opposed any kind of help to these starving people and wanted them to either go find jobs or farm, even emphasising that point with Yaya Jammeh’s slogan of “eat what you grow and grow what you eat.” You claimed, by implication, that the people are lazy and irresponsible for 22 years because of the free everything they were receiving from their evil son.

    So, if you are going to deny people who are facing immediate threats of hunger and starvation any food assistance because you think they should go get jobs or farm to feed themselves, then you are actually saying, by implication, that they should be left to die of hunger, because even if they manage to find jobs today, they will not receive any salaries until end of month. And even if they start farming today, it will be months before their crops are ready for harvest.

    That’s why it is good to think carefully about what you are going to say.

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