Women of Substance

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Yaya Jammeh Bish!

By Saul Saidykhan

I’ve called him a half- baboon severally in the past   to the disapproval of a friend of mine. But as I stated, nothing about Yaya Jammeh’s behavior is re-assuring to anyone that he is a member of the civilized human race. Today, he is the butt of jokes around the world as a certified lunatic. Even by African autocrat standards, Yaya Jammeh ranks high among the ugliest.  Which is why when he quickly called the victor of the presidential poll, President-Elect Adama Barrow and conceded defeat last week, I was genuinely shocked and pleasantly surprised. I wrote a short note on my Facebook page saying I’m glad to be wrong about how I thought it will all end after publication of my “Denouement” piece. Alas, it was too good to be true.  The aborted concession call was one of several surprises about the elections.

Even more surprising to me is the fact that Yaya Jammeh agreed to On-the spot-counting! This is what did him in to begin with. You see, one needs to understand how Yaya Jammeh thinks. Particularly not how he is, but how he wants to be seen. Yaya Jammeh wants to  be  seen as the super Alpha male, a man who isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. When I wrote about how he rigs elections in Gambia with the aid of his own hand-picked security team and complicity of Electoral Commission officials using the cover of darkness and the opportunity his agents avail themselves by needlessly transporting all ballot boxes to central counting locations, I was hoping to tick him off to bait him into agreeing to the demands of the opposition to allow On-the spot-counting. I know for a fact his agents monitor my activities - evidence of which are too numerous to go into plus I’ve always regarded them as fools anyway.  My opinion of Yaya Jammeh is very low, so agents of such a man who try to hack into my accounts or befriend me on FB from Gambia pretending to be from elsewhere are pathetic creatures in my view. Anyhow, the last thing an Alpha male likes to accept is to be told at the Bantaba that he is a coward. But given what is at stake for him, I thought he’ll ignore the provocation, and pretend he didn’t receive the challenge. His foolish supporters may not know how he “wins,” elections but he does, and he knows some of us are onto him because Gainako Radio also reported on the ballot scam operation. So why risk it all?  I told someone there’s no way he’ll ever agree to take the bait. I was wrong. Turns out, I’d underestimated the man’s ego.  It was the same person who called to inform me that Jammeh had agreed to the opposition’s call for On-the spot-counting.

A bloody version of what is currently playing out is what I expected because like I told my friend, Yaya Jammeh will lose the election ANYTIME On-the spot-counting is adhered to. I don’t understand why many reasonably intelligent Gambians seem surprise when you tell them Jammeh has NEVER won a single clean election in Gambia. But doubters will get their answer from those that helped him rig ALL the past four elections in our country by June 2017. The revelations that will come out will shock any conscientious person. Just like the revelations on how he amassed the 900 million dollars in the Panama Papers isn’t the only outrageous scandal this crook has pulled on us. I shall dilate on some clues about that topic later posts.

The extent of Yaya Jammeh ‘s criminality is simply jarring. That is why for most of his time in office, it’s been my belief Jammeh could only be removed through force. And that hasn’t happened not for lack of trying.  For twenty-two years, he has held the people of our poor little Gambia in modern day bondage. During this time, as he galivants on our public stage in religious garb, in private, he looted our common weal mindlessly in the most primitive way as if to make up for everything he missed due to his modest beginning in life though that experience isn’t unique to him in any way in our country. Worse, Jammeh isn’t only cruel, he is spectacularly so. When he falls out with someone – which is frequent, Yaya Jammeh is never content with simply relieving the person of their position, he does everything possible to destroy their live, livelihood, and to hurt them personally in the most humiliating ways. Stories abound of Jammeh summoning wives of those he fell out with to his Kaninlai residence to rape the wife as a way of getting back at the husband. I’ve even heard of an instance where he made a husband sit and watch while he raped his wife in his presence. The Gambian emigrant community is full of former close associates and confidantes of Yaya Jammeh who have shocking things to say about what THEY SAW!

His quirky nature is a product of a bloated, but very fragile ego. Behind the façade of the tough guy - Alpha male act he puts on lies an utterly insecure man: Insecure about his looks; Insecure about his education and knowledge of global affairs; Insecure about his culture; Insecure about his social status; Insecure about his religious knowledge. These insecurities explain Yaya Jammeh’s obsession with sprucing up his personal look and image and leasing himself a trophy wife; insisting on being addressed by honorary academic titles; incessantly attacking cultures he believe to upstage his, and bribing corruptible religious figures to be bestowed titles they have no powers or authority to bestow on him. In many ways, Yaya Jammeh is more like a little boy trapped in a middle-aged man’s body. Twenty-two years in State House has not had ANY civilizing impact on Yaya Jammeh! He is as crude today as he was when he first intruded into the Gambian public space over two decades ago. The main difference is, he is richer and more narcissistic.  The fact that he thought he could summarily annul the results of such a high-profile election unilaterally or snap his fingers and constitute a nonexistent supreme court speaks to Jammeh’s obtuse medieval mindset.

It also shows the quandary he is currently in:  Yaya Jammeh does not want to leave office. Yaya Jammeh cannot leave office. Yet Yaya Jammeh MUST leave office no matter what!

Regarding the current crisis, his personal situation is analogous to a drug peddler in any American city. When a drug dealer messes up, he’s better off getting caught by the cops than the competition. Jammeh better hope and pray that the regional authorities that he’s been thumbing his nose at get to him first. At least they’ll follow due process. Some of the players in the mix now trying to find their bearings won’t even bother with any of the legalese the regional authorities will.

Bottom line, the coalition SHOULD NOT grant Yaya Jammeh any immunity! Let him play all the little stupid antics that fill his brain like he’s used to doing to us hoping he can distract us from our goal. Our message is simple: We need ALL our money back plus by committing a treasonable act in attempting to once again subvert the will of the Gambian people, Yaya Jammeh should be held to account for EVERY crime he has committed since 1994. To those that might argue that he has immunity before last week, remember that this man has been using COLONIAL laws to lock up Gambians on trumped up charges. One of the prisoners he executed in 2009 was sentenced to death in the 80s during the Jawara era! It’s about time we give Yaya Jammeh a taste of his own medicine.

Enough of this man’s madness and nonsense. As my maternal grandma likes to say when she feels exasperated with someone: Bish!