Yahya Jammeh came to power on a Friday, in July of 1994, through what he often calls a “bloodless coup.” Ironically, Mr. Jammeh vacated the presidency on a Friday, January, 20th, without a bloodshed. His farewell speech was dominated with messages of peace, unity, brotherhood, and goodwill.
Arguably, this was one of the best speeches ever delivered by a Gambian despot, who has caused an enormous harm, pain, and suffering to his countrymen; he is today trying cajole with such an appeasing and condescending speech.
The good news is that: Mr. Jammeh has finally relinquish power after weeks of Ping-Pong game with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the international community. Jammeh has come to his senses that he cannot fight an entire world; let alone a united country. Power belongs to the people. The voice of the people is the voice of God. And Jammeh, has finally reckoned with such a naked reality.
Mr. Jammeh’s legacy is an ugly one. His despotic rule will continue to hunt him for the remainder of his life. He has left behind a distressed nation; a divided nation; a panic-stricken nation; a poverty stricken nation; a nation of orphans; an economically bankrupt nation; and an infrastructural decayed nation.
In a prerecorded speech aired on GRTS, on Thursday evening, Jammeh said: “All these while, as Muslim and a patriot I don’t think it is necessary that a single blood is dropped. Since the beginning of our political impasse of our dear nation, I promised before Allah SWT and the entire nation that all the issues we face currently may be resolved peacefully. I am thankful to Allah SWT that up till now there is no single causality that has been registered. I believe in the importance of dialogue and in the capacity of Africans to resolve among themselves all the challenges on the way towards democracy, economic and social development.”
True, there was no recorded causality during the political impasse. But Mr. Jammeh should be honest with Gambians and accept full responsibility for the atrocities he perpetrated during his twenty two year dictatorial rule. It is hypocritical and disingenuous on the part of Jammeh to use the political impasse that he created to credit himself as a man of peace, and for the peaceful settlement of the political standoff.
Conversely, Mr. Jammeh should have used his farewell speech to apologize to Gambians for exposing them to such a cruel, brutal, and barbaric rule over the years. But knowing Jammeh, he lacks the humility, compassion, sincerity, honesty, and empathy to say: “I am sorry to Gambians for wronging you all these years.”
The truth be told, Gambians across the board are living with the Jammeh agony; mental and physical abuse. This is a broken nation. Jammeh has teared families apart; set neighbors against each other; created an environment of fear, hostility, and mistrust during his decadent misrule.
Today, the Gambian emperor, who onetime told his countrymen, that he will continue to rule for one billion years, is flying out to Guinea, where he intends to use as his new home. Reality and God’s divine intervention is catching up with the buffoonery Gambian despot. Jammeh has lost power, and he is a virtual stateless person.
To the new government, let us continue to live to the letter and spirit of our National Anthem: Let justice guide our actions. Accountability, transparency, and probity should be the government’s watchwords. We cannot afford a replica of the Jammeh regime. Corruption, abuse of office, and lawlessness was the order of the day under Jammeh’s rule.
It is imperative to note that this is not the time for political retribution. There shouldn’t be any vengeance. Let us allow the rule of law to prevail.
From now on, we should seek to reunite our divided nation, and correcting the wrongs of the past through the setting up of a Truth and National Reconciliation Commission. We need to heal the wounds perpetrated against our people by fugitive Yahya Jammeh, and his partners in crime. We rest our case Gambia.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai