Yerrem Wuh is a Wollof expression meaning to beat about the bush. It is one of Gambian’s biggest failings and was instrumental in the consolidation of Yaya and Zeinab’s power. Many of us in the diaspora, notably Pa Nderry were accused of being “bad sons of Gambia”, rude and many other things over the years of the struggle. Too many, especially our Moslem Elders preferred to be bought off or bury their heads in the sand. The Gambia Islamic Council in particular. Silence is acceptable in the face of a threat, but to condemn those who speak the truth is a sin before God in both Islam and Christianity. The Bible says that “he who knows the right thing to do, but does NOT do it commits a sin”
Almost everyone wished to see President Barrow succeed and have given him the benefit of the doubt amid worrying concerns as to his ability to do the job. From some unknown reason, Gambian men find it difficult to control their wives. Senegalese men traditionally have had most if not all their wives live in one compound with with them. It takes a real man to have 4 wives living with him in his compound and keep them all under control! I take my hat off to such men. Gambian men seem to maintain no control at all over their wives, and Barrow is a classic example.
Judging by the reported incident of Mr Waggeh driving Former President Jammeh’s Mercedes who is running the show? Obviously the car was under the control of the security services who quite rightly refused to hand over the keys. While not under the assets freeze, it was clearly not the personal property of Mr Barrow or the Gambia Government. How could he overrule his own security services and instruct them to hand over the keys to someone who is neither a Gambian civil servant nor has any official post?
Who is this Mr Waggeh? What is his position in the Gambia political or otherwise to request the illegal use of the former presidents car? What is his relationship with Mrs Barrow that she should make this request on his behalf? Is he the new Baba Nding Sissoho, later shown to be thief and criminal? Is history repeating itself with Mrs Barrow taking up where Zeinab left off. What is the matter with us as Gambians especially men?
I marvel at how quickly Gambians can forget. Who was the brain behind Yaya? Zeinab. Is Mrs Barrow the brain behind our president? With Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang as the shadow VP, and his wife at his side, is Barrow the man for the job? If a man cannot rule his own home, how can he rule a country?
I have nothing against Mr Barrow and wish him every success, but Gambia cannot slide back into the past and worse. On a personal note, I left Gambia in 1977 due to the incompetence and corruption of the PPP government. I welcomed the junta coup in 1994 and for a few years had high hopes for a better Gambia to which I could return and live with my family. When the truth became clear, I fasted and prayed for over 10 years for better Gambia. I planned to go to Dakar and meet with Sheikh Sedia Bayo prior to the December 2015 disastrous attempted coup. My plans for 2017 were to rent a house in Kotu and spend 3-4 months of the year there perhaps to retire for good. In the light of the last few months, I’ve decided to allow my Gambian citizenship to lapse and given my sons strict instructions never to set foot in Gambia. My father sacrificed himself and his family to make Gambia a better place for every person to live. It has been my hearts desire to see this for 61 of my 66 years but no longer. It is impossible to help people who refuse to help themselves. We have highly qualified and competent Gambians who could rebuild the country within 5 years, but they are like lions led by donkeys, and not welcome in Gambia. Instead the preferred people are those who suck our country dry.. Messrs Bazzi, Samba, Massary, Waggeh and the like.
Many of us in the diaspora shared the desire to create a better Gambia for all, notably but not exclusively Pa Nderry and Freedom contributors. Our contribution, which played a major part in removing Jammeh has never been publicly acknowledged by the new Gambian government, nor the crucial role of Senegal throughout the Jammeh years and his final removal. Barrow’s response was an immediate and public snub to Macky Sall in refusing to attend the Senegalese celebration. The same Macky Sall to whom he owes the presidency, if not his life. A Wollof saying is the “the throat does not remember last year’s food”. Sadly it is typically Gambian.
Ingratitude is one of the hardest human experiences to bear. Shakespeare wrote “blow, blow you winter wind, you are not as cold as man’s ingratitude”.Ceasar said to his close friend Brutus, who assassinated him “and you too Brutus? Then die Caesear”. Senegal need us to settle the Casamance issue, but it’s another bitter experience repeating the 1981 coup.
In short, Gambia’s problems are self-inflicted. We are our own worst enemies: our culture of greed, selfishness, a total and shameless lack of morals. The Bible says that righteousness (good morals) lift up a nation, but sins bring disgrace to any people”. Under “President” Barrow we could be headed for more disgrace… but then I’m no longer Gambian (although sadly, from it). I voted with my feet in 1977. I don’t matter, but how many more good people will leave or never come back? Bad government drives out good citizens – the back way or any other way. The PPP, then Yaya, now Barrow. Is there any hope for YOUR country?
Deggah kanni lah, why ki la wahall moi sa bokah.
(The truth is like pepper, but the one who talks to you is your relative).