Commentary: The State is Yaya Jammeh
Friday 2nd October | Omar Bah
Gambians have been clamouring for a system change since the birth of the “NEW GAMBIA”. Until mid-2019 the public outcry stayed centred around a push for system change, later a total step down is asked of the head of state. These cries are as a result of the sheer incompetence of the state resource management and heightened frustration of the masses.
One must not necessarily be an expert to know that the man whom the whole country rallied behind during his return from his monastery in Senegal is not the man Gambians envisaged (I should probably say most). The attitude of this leadership is no different from the past regime. The difference is that Gambians have refused to be silenced or intimidated. The once silent Gambian, intimated, killed, maimed and disappeared under Jammeh is no more a docile, frightened caged bird. The contemporary average Gambian refuses to subjugate himself to any form of dictatorship whatsoever.
Therefore, the perpetual cries on social media sites remain sustained by this pledge of never again.
However, the regime is still Yaya Jammeh, and Jammeh is the regime. These claims may seem egregious to some pro-government political die-hard and even pestiferous to the image of the Barrow-led cabal. Again these otherwise preposterous claims are as unambiguous. Elucidating on both governments and their governance structures would highlight the facts of my assertions.
Our nation has been and continues to be mired by individuals keen on always eating away the soul and heart of the country through corruption and other ills of enriching themselves from public resources. These are individuals at the top of the food pyramid entrusted with our hard-earned tax monies.
The tactic of employing terror to censor critics is a Jammeh thing to muzzle dissident. This mechanism had Deyda Hydara killed (God rests his soul), the April 2000 students protesters got dispensed with the same fate of brutal repression. The TRRC is a testament to these facts. The 3 Years Jotna executives got thrown at MILE 2 because they voiced the inhibited desire of the masses. More than 30 youths faced a similar fate when they protested against police brutality that resulted in the death of one Ousman Dabo a father and husband. The murder of famed UTG student, Kebba Seck, is the product of police violence, and these are aspects of the Jammeh form of governance. The arrests of Dr Ismail Ceesay and Madi Jorbate for voicing out their opinions which are in actuality facts are Jammeh days governance structure of intimidation. Thus, it is evident we have but Barrow as the new face at the helm of our affairs with the rest remaining the same.
The politics of regionalism and tribalism are the fabric of Gambian society. Yaya Jammeh, however, brought it to the next level. The sad fact is that your tribal affiliation is a ticket to privileges that you would otherwise not enjoy and to this day that persists. These are mechanisms of canvassing votes, and Barrow is now an expert at it. The invitation of the (Tabital Pullagu) to the STAY-HOUSE is just an old playbook in a shelve somewhere inside the STAY-HOUSE expertly used by its former inhabitants. So while we do not have the jungulars executing the bidding of Barrow, he is replicating all the tactics availed to Jammeh to remain in power.
We should therefore make it a point to vote in a party that would usher in a NEW GAMBIA for all. A NEW GAMBIA that would address the increasing poverty, check the insane corruption in government institutions. The new Gambia whose future stays guaranteed by checking the Chinese fish meals and the destruction of marine and wildlife in the country. Whatever that party is, it should have the right policies to oust Jammeh for good.
On another development, there is a question I have to extend to the government officials responsible for the parliament approved student relief funds, and that is, why is it that most students are yet to receive their allowance?
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