The Spotlight: Yaya Jammeh Can Come Back to the Gambia to Face Justice; Part Two.


By Yero Jallow

“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest,” (Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former President and apartheid Hero).

Again, wonders will never cease. We are told another reason for the recent protest in Kanilai from a cross-section of Jammeh’s loyalists is because the day Gov’t through Justice minister, Ba Tambedou, a respectable and humble person by all standards, is “freezing” Jammeh’s assets. Oh well, let us dissect this to foster understanding and help seat this matter well. I am just afraid that things are being blown out of proportions. On one end of the triangular apex, you have Jammeh’s supporters who only see that their one time fun master’s assets are being taken; and that is big in their view, probably to land in some corrupt idiot’s hands, and that is the end of story. On the other end, you have a Gov’t that should exercise patience, recognize citizens’ sensitivities, especially the manner and nature of change that saw Barrow to power. A dry stick might not bend easily; watch out, it might break. Do not use justice as a witch hunt, just exercise true justice. On the other end of this triangle, you have some emotional citizens flying around with some dangerous patterns; dangerous patterns due to the divisive rhetoric and some hidden agendas, in their effort to control, divide, conquer, and oil their faces, some fat ego that is very worrying. Our fabric of societal bonds must be left intact; we must not allow the foolishness to spoil our nation, and such is a sign of emptiness. No one says you cannot opinion about matters. I have heard some comments that are very worrying. Look! I will say, not in my name, and I hope every decent citizen raises the flag in support of only one thing – Justice.  Revenge and retribution is not justice. Those that have superior complexities for pride of identity and/or wish for forceful dominance, I hope you revisit, and dissect things to what truly represents a nation and its citizens. If you don’t do that, you would have failed our nation and generations yet unborn. There is just something fundamentally wrong for anyone to margininalize any person or region. That is criminal and those struck in the unfiltered and poorly thought euphoria must as well liberate themselves from the type of heavy burden; as it is too heavy and poisonous to carry. That is for you to decide.

Issues dealing with Jammeh’s assets are very complicated; it is made even more complicated because of the greedy person Jammeh was, over the past 22 dry years. We have first hand information where Jammeh forced some business men to sign off their property deeds to him, conducted under forceful atmospheres. A leadership that calls itself a Gov’t and its responsible citizens must take note that there is that chance that Jammeh took some of what he has forcefully from others.  Should that be returned to them? I think so.

On the side of the Gov’t, they must not take these properties to use it for their own. There is a formula we can adopt to resolve this matter. That should be strictly followed. Gov’t should not reduce justice to some mockery to score political points; and their deliverance of justice should not be done in a way that provokes and mocks the other party, in way that creates filthy reaction. Your goal is to enforce law, between those wronged, and the one that wronged them. Some of the exaggerated fear and hate monger with it becomes quite unnecessary and unfruitful. It comes with serious consequences. There is no need to bluff about it either, just deliver justice fiercely and that is it, as no one person is the law, and any that feels he is wronged, have a right to petition for justice redress. That is why some of us were quick to call out on the Gov’t with the recent divisive approach through one of its ministries, or at least people claiming to be behaving that way in the name of Gov’t. I think a responsible Gov’t will refrain from lying about its citizens and using arrogance/emotions; especially where murder of a citizen occurred without a court order, such a matter must not be downplayed, or taken lightly. Simply, the highest is Gov’t, and that responsible Gov’t must properly oversee. Remember you will always not agree also, there is a day when you will disagree, whether right or wrong, and march to the streets, should we call for the security forces to shoot you down? I don’t think so because there should be law and order.

In my view, if Jammeh took anything (property, money, animal, house, car, etc…) from anyone, such people by now should start opening petitions to get their properties and/or items back through good faith claims. The rest of Jammeh’s assets should be used to compensate his victims, most of whose family members are still waiting for justice to be served. If at all, Jammeh’s current absence hinders progress, he should be charged in absentia, and proper justice served on his fate. If anything remains after compensating his victims, everything else should be safely deposited in the national coffers. To Jammeh’s defense, how much did he legally earned over the years if at all Gov’t will consider such an unusual element due to Jammeh’s nature? Will that be roughly estimated and cleared to him? Will it help true justice triumph? It is matter of arbitration and I don’t think anyone citizen have all the answers.

Watch for the next part on this; ECOMIG. Coming soon …


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1 Comment

  1. But when shall we actually stop talking about the past, about Jammeh, and start the difficult task of nation building?

    Jammeh looks like God send to those who would rather be talking than engaging in fruitful work!

    We need to move on to show the world what we, as a nation are capable of achieving in spite of 22 years of Jammeh, rather than, as now what we are not capable of achieving because of 222 years of Jammeh. After all, all nations have hard their Jammehs, and have been able to move on. China has had their Chairman Mao, South Africa have hard their Apartheid, Uganda have had their Idi Amin, and counting, dso we are not going to fool the world by endlessly talking about the Jammeh era, when it is plain to see that, like Jammeh, or unlike Jammeh, depending on one’s point of view, in the Gambia, at present, we dont have any action plan with which to moving forward (all plans are on paper, and like all paper plans, the world over, can only continue to gather dust for want of implementation), and prove to the world that unlike Jammeh, we are serious about ensuring that the less than $2 a day economy, the functional illiteracy, the appalling health conditions that continue to see an acceptable level of infant mortality rate, including women deaths during child birth, the appalling states of our correctional centres (Prisons so bad that the government has no alternative but to release inmates back into the community with no supervision – one can assume that only foreign nationals (most probably wrongly jailed in the first place) are left to rot in prison), high levels of robberies, will be a thing of the past.
    Justice has never been anywhere, what the law says it is, rather, justice happens, when people feel vindicated in their believe systems, their traditions, and their values. English Common law was founded on such principles and luckily in the Gambia we have had very good believe systems, great traditions – save for a few practices (no need to name them here), and in fact as good a value system as anyone, if not better. We are generous, magnanimous, accommodating, live happily with anyone next door. etc
    The only thing we are lacking is leadership, Gambia has never had the leadership it truly deserves. Every leader has always without fail, quickly taken Gambians for granted, and have either patronised them openly or have rode rough sod on their hope and aspirations – all of course made possible by a misguided international community, who have consistently looked on this down trodden people as one to be stabilised in their chronic poverty, and allowed to die peacefully where possible at the ripe age 50 years. That to me is the hate message that we as a nation have always been subject to

    Deep down in the recesses of my soul, I sometimes can feel that if this was in the 17th Century, may be Adama Barrow and some members his government could actually trade slaves! After all the Gambian ruler was so notorious for selling their own people into slavery, the British were prompted to intervene by buying the Gambia river and putting a stop to that horrendous trade. Fast forward to 2017, and you will see from selling our Oceans, and unique deep water ports, and other national heritages that we don’t even know about yet, that we are back to slavery – just of a different kind.

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