14 May 2011

Gambia: A storm brewed over The Gambia

By Doko Wato Sita
A storm brewed, and came over our little beloved nation in 1994. At first this impending storm was greeted with much dancing and joy in the streets, in villages throughout the length and breadth of the land ,for indeed a great drought had persisted for many years, where lack of transparency, accountability, and proper administration had made everyone yearn for a day like this, and where everyone thought that indeed the day of reckoning had arrived.

When the dust subsided, out emerged five young army men. They called themselves soldiers with a difference. Out of the core grew a man, reminiscent of Stalin, ignorant, ugly, ignoble, vicious, and calculating, bent on distorting the dream, if there was any; bent on eliminating all those who came with him from that impending storm. Where is Yankuba Touray, Sanna Sabally, Edward Singate
y, and Sadibou Haidara? So also must we ask ourselves what happened to these who were with Stalin after Lenin’s death? This man, who is now the spitting image of Joseph Stalin, reflects all that is bad about The Gambian; greedy, selfish, jealous, mean, arrogant and materialist to the core. Now he sits and reigns supreme, over all and sundry, where none dear speak against him, not even cough up words of condemnation against him.

A bandit in sheep’s clothing, a buffoon in alligator shoes, with a name so long, that all hyenas and wolves in The Gambia can comfortably fit into. These hyenas and wolves are none other than the notable mafia clans and families who came to lend support to the dictator. Well educated and well exposed Gambians who have read better, and should know better, but taken with materialism, greed and the urge to ape the colonialist become the extended family to the dictator, working tirelessly in the boiler rooms of his government and administration, pouncing on innocent victims, yet heaping all the blame on the President. Let us take the case of Beatrice Allen. It hurts me so much that I weep as I write this letter.

A noble, clean spirited woman as Beatrice Allen, wanting to just pursue the right way, is maligned, humiliated and brought to court on trumped up charges by a corrupt clique of hoodlums. It would seem that for The Gambia, it is the women who are becoming the true defendants of justice, and the ones crying out for justice. Now we have another innocent victim Mr. Touray of Prestine Consulting, who left his comfortable and highly successful career in the United States to return to his homeland to contribute to that nation’s development. Let us face ourselves and tell the truth, Yaya did not put that man in jail, Gambians did, as they have done with many who came back home with intelligence, a new vision, a new product, or a new business, not of their own and not from their own (the mafia clan that is), and who they then see as threatening to their entrenched status. They are then impelled to seize on that returnee’s idea, concept, or assets. They are the mafia families, and from where Yaya draws all his technocrats.

 It is Gambians who put Mr Touray in jail. You see these morons, have no originality, no new ideas, no innovation, and like alligators, they wait for their next feed in terms of what other expatriate Gambian returnee with fresh concepts or ideas comes to establish himself or herself in The Gambia. These people feel that they are the divine ruling class of The Gambia. Unfortunately, Mr. Touray did not belong to the ruling families of The Gambia; he was neither a son, nor nephew of one of the powerful mafia clans, notwithstanding the fact that the sarahuleh community invested in him. That is the truth behind his arrest and broad daylight attempt to seize his rightful property and investment. Beatrice wanted to do things the right way. No corruption, no diverting of funds, and The Gambian does not like that. You don’t stand in his way to grabbing the money, and this is why she landed in trouble, and one man Yaya Jammeh cannot be responsible for it. It is the Gambians who put Beatrice in jail. How many Gambians have already suffered in the same manner, and how many more will these morons go after. I even venture to say that most of these people languishing in mile 2 were put there by Gambians, either out of jealousy, greed, selfishness, and indifference. What is the reluctance in us to call a spade a spade?. Why do we hide behind these long tirades against the dictator whilst leaving out the mafia ruling families? We shall not advance one inch in our war against the Jammeh regime without exposing these rotten, and evil clans dominating both the public and private sector in The Gambia. Who are these Gambians? A bunch of super morons, perpetuating a mafia clique of “ man am na, yow amu lo, yow bokulo, teh warulo am” mentality. I ask you, who is worse? the dictator, or the perpetrators and advantage takers under his rule, who use the system created by the Dictator to harass innocent citizens.

We must go beyond the realm of “Masla”, and start calling a spade a spade. I am itching to expose some of the members of this mafia clique. When the President pounces on people’s property, he is encouraged and emboldened by the policies of these mafia families, as they greedily line up behind him, waiting for the pickings and the apportioning of seized assets. If Yaya has his way and takes over Libya’s assets in The Gambia, watch how these vultures stay close behind him, to eagerly devour the pickings. There is reluctance with Gambian journalists to write about these mafia families; they remain sacrosanct, untouchable, as all the blame is then put on one man –Yaya Jammeh. Yaya is just head of the pack, and when regime change comes, these same mafia families will adapt and clinch to a new leadership as bees to honey. They will be the first to throw stones at the departing government, and profess their hypocritical allegiance to the new one. Therefore getting rid of Yaya Jammeh would not necessarily solve our current problems. As the noted African economist George Ayittey explains, the “vampire African states” are “governments which have been hijacked by a phalanx of bandits and crooks who would use the instruments of the state machinery to enrich themselves and their cronies and their tribesmen and exclude everybody else.” (“Hyena States” would be a fitting alternative in the African landscape.) Africa is ruled by thugs in designer suits who buy votes and loyalties with cash handouts.” You mafia clan families. We are sick and tired of you and your antics. Your fighting for leadership in the sports business in The Gambia landed Beatrice in trouble. A friend told of how he shared a flight with one of you, a short one from Dakar. There you were with your daughter. I am sure you were not on any official trip, yet there you were being picked up by that stupid status symbol “ VIP car”. It is this bourgeois attitude on the part of the mafia, privileged clan that is holding back the development of our country. You hide behind the dictator; quick to curse him privately, but ready to look like a follower in public. You have imposed yourself as the new colonialist on your people You mafia clan families, and ex-ministers, I am threatening to expose your names in my next article, as you sit there in The Gambia, munching discreetly and quietly on their mountains of wealth; I ask you where have you thought of reaching out to the masses, or contribute your own quota and money to The Gambia’s development? Haven’t you seen what the Bill Gates, the Ted Turners and countless of your counterparts in the Western world, from where capitalism and democracy came, are doing with their wealth? Government is not the sole driver of economic growth. It is the private sector that drives growth, and the wealthy play an enormous role in it.

Africa’s elite, with their burgeoning wealth never benefits the continent’s growth . As Mathew Jallow,our Gambian journalist, writer and Human Rights Activist noted “ African politicians and government officials have engaged in corrupt practices, and a 2004-2005 World Bank Report showed that $148 billion were embezzled out of Africa by politicians and bureaucrats; a significant amount being aid and loans earmarked for development activities to benefit Africa's vast poor”. now how selfish can you get? What did John F. Kennedy say to us, “ if a society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot protect the few who are rich”. But mark the words of our Rasta singers “ a hungry mouth is an angry man” The uprising we see in North Africa will be different when it comes south. Ours will be characterized mainly by “burning and looting”. That’s right. Go ahead and build your mansions, amass your wealth, and continue to ignore the masses.

 Go to your Fajara clubs, play your tennis as the colonialist did, and have your wives drive their cars with stupid vanity plates; spend your time throwing lavish parties; spend your inordinate time in these dark, and dingy “dakas”, drinking and whiling the night away; go to the mosques, dressed in resplendent khaftans exuding false religiosity and see if that will protect you when the mob comes. Who can protect you when the time comes?, when the dispossessed and long neglected youth from the interior of the country lose patience and invade the capital, I ask you where do you run to? A second storm is on the way, mark my words, and none of you backward Gambians shall be spared. Mother Africa shall exact from you, what you have failed to bestow upon her. Mark my words. 


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