Running an economically bankrupt government, in the face of political turmoil, is a daunting task. Instead of the regime focusing on alleviating poverty, fixing the crunch economy, and the decayed infrastructure, now it has been confronted with another problem of much greater magnitude. The impoverished nation of The Gambia, has been rendered economically and politically unstable, in view of recent political developments gripping the country. Protesters have taken over the streets. Hardly a day passes without people thronging the streets or court premises demanding for regime change. Jammeh’s government has been threatened politically.
It is imperative to note that Yahya Jammeh has been cornered. Here is a guy, who used to arrest Gambians for merely congregating in streets corners, and now the main opposition UDP, has defied that culture of state brutality and persecution of innocent citizens. For the past couple of days, the UDP followers have sealed off the court house premises in Banjul. Streets were also occupied in Banjul and Serrekunda.
The security forces dared arrest anyone this time around. The handling of Ebrima Sandeng and co arrest case, has taught them a lesson. The state cannot afford to have detainees dying in its custody. It also doesn’t have the resources to accommodate more detainees. There is no available budget to cater for an increasing prison population.
It appears that Yahya Jammeh is unable to manage the mounting political crisis, which is likely to cause his downfall in the not too distant future. That’s one of the reasons why he is still holding Darboe and co into custody.
The trial of Darboe and his co accused persons have taken a political dimension. The mere fact that the presiding judge, is denying the defense counsels to make an oral submission before an open court, goes to show that Jammeh is apparently exchanging notes with the mercenary foreign judge. The judge’s impartiality in this matter has been put to question—in view of his failure to give compelling reasons as to why he doesn’t want the public to hear addresses made by the opposing counsels.
It is an understatement to say that Gambia’s political climate is tense. Even the court presently hearing Mr. Darboe’s case, is very mindful of further complicating the already tense political environment. Hence, it has resorted to censoring what counsels should say in an open court.
The trial by camera is purely aimed at denying the public’s right to hear Mr. Darboe’s version on the trumped up charges brought against him by the state. It is also aimed at mitigating the possible reaction of Darboe’s followers in hours to come.
Yahya Jammeh’s game plan to contain any given crisis; is the use of force. If force fails, he would resort to distraction. Hence, that’s why he decided to picky back behind the visit of footballer Alhagie Diouf’s visit to the country to distract the dissatisfied youths. Unfortunately for him, the distraction card is not working out well for him this time around.
When an oppressed population revolt, it is hard to contain them. It would require a matured and democratic leadership to be able to manage the crisis, without any collateral damage.
Under the circumstances, Jammeh lacks the wisdom, virtue, humility, and commonsense to find a lasting solution to the mounting political crisis. As we speak, Jammeh is clueless when it comes to managing the Gambian Spring Revolution.
Some members of the security forces are beginning to understand that real power belongs to the people and not the out of touch Jammeh status quo. The Gambian Spring Revolution, will no doubt translate into a historic revolution if the protesters remain unshaken.
Gambian women have set the pace rolling. We salute them for their love for country! This was amply demonstrated on their Wednesday’s protest march. Women across the Greater Banjul Area stormed the court premises in Banjul, chanting regime change slogans.
To Yahya Jammeh, he should consider his safe exit route now. There is no way that the will of the people can be subverted. It is time to pack and leave Jammeh. We rest our case!
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai