Women of Substance






By Brahimi Mbodji

Finally, Yaya Jammeh is discovering for himself the fullest, most authentic nature of the Gambian people. I beg that no one gets me wrong; for I am one of those who continue, despite all that has happened, to believe that Gambians, as a people, are fundamentally descent and good.

Yet we must come to terms with the serious intellectual [if not moral] flaws that, alas, too many among us have exhibited during the past 22 years! The callousness, hypocrisy and egoism of too many in our midst ["intellectuals" or "religious leaders"] certainly contributed to the Jammeh we know now, and to his 22 years' most sanguinary, most macabre rule.

Otherwise, how would one explain the most senseless fact that at NO point in time during his 22 years' rule, Jammeh was unable to fill [with so called intellectuals] a single post in his deadly administration. The fact that most of his acolytes [intellectuals deprived of any conscience] weren't even deterred by the gruesome assassinations of Koro Ceesay or Dida Hydara is to me still mind-boggling! This shows the truest dark nature of the Gambian people: a nature that isn't entirely perfect but instead remains an amalgam of decency traits with certainly some serious character flaws.

So too, as far as I am concerned, I continue to find it incredible that anyone [and literally I mean anyone] could join the Jammeh murderous cabal following the facts on the death of Koro Ceesay [and, even more so disturbed, after Dida Hydara's bloody assassination.]

But, today, as many of us have predicted, the dictator's past deeds are catching up with him. That accounts for his electoral volte face. A situation that won't save him no matter what he does, come January 19, 2017. Hardly, a day goes by without the defection of one of those who, once upon a time, used to call themselves Jammeh-Baifals, meaning Jammeh loyalists. These so called intellectuals [from ambassadors, to ministers, to business partners, and other co-criminals self-dubbed Professors] are jumping ship, so to speak, faster than the clock can tick.

But then the real question remains: What do we as a nation make of this new change of heart by Jammeh loyalists [who used to call us Jammeh skeptics?]

I believe the Gambian people and the incoming administration should be very weary of these folks, sycophants of soon to be a bygone era. I predict that most of these folks, beyond reasonable doubts, will remain true to their truest nature, even as they will try to remake themselves. To this effect, there is a well known adage that says "few people change after the age of adulthood."

Certainly, I do not believe in [unlawful] retributions. However, if the new administration does not learn from the mistakes of the past ones, then it shall be bound to repeat them at its own peril.

To conclude, I would like to add that some of these religious leaders I mention earlier [be they Muslim or Christian] aren't necessarily evil, but their silence [when the Gambia was facing her most deadliest, most treacherous times] was outright complicit if not duplicitous. For indeed, in MLKJ's word "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

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