Traits such as honesty; empathy, integrity and fairness are basic tenets of human decency and civilization. We are often judged on how we treat and interact with our fellow human beings; how we accord them the respect and dignity they deserve and in return earn their respect and trust. One of the most important traits of leadership is how they treat people who work for them; hang around them and how they interact with their counterparts both domestically and International. As the saying effectively sums it “If you want to know what a man’s like, look at how he treats his inferiors.”
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh can be fairly and justifiably judged by the letter on how he has treated his associates and subordinates since he came to power. A man who was pretty much underprivileged and has always relied on others for everything during his days as a soldier was largely known to be a loner and isolated individual who believed in some supernatural mysteries and harbors lots of envies in him. His accidental rise to power overnight brought out the real man anybody barely knows much more understand.
The first and most unforgiven betrayal Yahya Jammeh demonstrated is one to our nation which was faced with unprecedented challenges of shaping a future for our country when our first republic reached its useful political life cycle. Upon taking over power, young Jammeh said everything the nation wanted to hear; accountability, transparency, restoration of civilian rule, democracy and rule of law. He promised he wasn’t a politician and that ruling a nation “for more than 10 years was more than enough”. He promised swift accountability for the nation’s looted assets, uncontrolled spending and domestic and international borrowing. He claimed to be a soldier with a difference. Yahya Jammeh betrayed every word he uttered to convince the Gambian people to support his inexperience and power tasty junta. He failed the basic test of human decency and moral right to continue to lead our nation.
The second revealing characteristic of Jammeh’s shady leadership trait is his loyalty and commitment to the very people who helped him attained power without which he will never see the light of power. Jammeh’s deliberate efforts to eliminate every one of his fellow soldiers he took power with show the greed and level he is willing to go to do anything to stay in power. His false accusation of former second in command Sana Sabally, jailing and ultimate killing of Saidibu Hydara in Jail, the firing of Edward Sighateh and Yankuba Touray, elimination of Lt Barrow and others and his systematic eradication of senior Army; police, National Intelligence and top seasoned civil servants was only the beginning of his quest to conquer and strengthen himself in power. He betrayed every one of these people and their families regardless of his relationship and how far he has traveled with them.
Jammeh’s third and most opportunistic trait is how he deals with our long traditional partners and international donors. Without a drop of experience in dealing with International world politics and diplomatic relationship, Jammeh jumped from one van wagon to another searching for free goodies to enrich himself. He cozied with Libya’s fallen dictator Muhammed Gadhafi, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela’s Chavez, Guinea Bissau’s Ninor Viara and few other rogue leaders to gather as much weapons as possible to protect himself. When he was caught with illegal arms shipment he distanced himself from Iran, threw Gadhafi under the bus and engineered arms unrest in Bissau and later acted as the mediator.
Jammeh’s check book diplomacy and deceptive love relationship with the People’s Republic of China (Taiwan) was a dream come true. He milked the blinded and desperate Taiwanese as much as possible until he became too greedy for their cash before he severed relationship with Taiwan. His lack of understanding and unwillingness to learn basic diplomatic relationship and international protocols made him the most clueless and laughing stock at International conventions. He did all these by luring seasoned citizen diplomats to promote his amateurish agendas for his selfish gains. Whenever he attains success or failure, he fires and betrays these servants and plant distrust with every International partner he needed to continue development projects in the country and carry on his personal ambitions for wealth. He needed to be taught diplomatic 101 for the interest of the Gambia but he only managed to alienate every donor nation the Gambia needs to stand on its feet.
The ultimate nail on the coffin which exposes bare a leader with deep hatred for his people and humanity comes when he continues to deny his citizens not only the freedom, dignity and liberty to live in their country but to even refused them proper burial in their own land when they pass away much more give them a State Funeral. As people of faith we are taught that forgiveness is a virtue commanded upon us by the Almighty. That when people wrong you they can asked for your forgiveness and when you wrong people you equally ask for forgiveness. Those who are able to forgive are the people of God and are the complete human beings. Yahya Jammeh’s battle against his fellow citizens simply for opposing his regime and for having dissenting views has reached a level beyond any human comprehension.
This is a man who supposedly prides himself in promoting religion and yet his every action violates the common teachings of Islam. His advocacy for religion takes a public view taking several people to Mecca and donating millions of State resources just to be seen as a promoter of the religion- That is exactly defined as a religious hypocrite who does things for the public recognition rather than for God and country. Yahya Jammeh has betrayed every trust the Gambian people has given him. He is not only afraid of our citizens’ challenge to his government but he is even scared of us in our dead caskets. The evil in him is venom directed to Gambian citizens alive and dead. President Jammeh is the ultimate betrayer and every Gambian must see him for what he is – An evil man who lacks the compassion and moral judgement to lead a country. The final judgement between the Gambian people and Yahya Jammeh shall ultimately be rendered on a clean slate. What goes up must come down.