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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Allergy attack

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With Aisha Jallow

Let me tell you a little about allergy. Allergy occurs when a person reacts to substances in the environment that is harmless to most people. These substances are known as allergens.

Allergens are found in dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, ticks, moulds, foods and some medications.

Examples of allergies include allergic rhinitis (hay fever), eczema, hives, food allergy and asthma.

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This information is taken from a medical website and is speaking about physical symptoms. Let us twist and turn this a little and go back to the case Adama Barrow versus Madi Jobarteh. There is still something to say about this case, because it is more serious than you might think. There are lots who respect and admire Madi Jobarteh for his perseverence and his never ending committment to highlight all the craziness in The Gambia. There is no one who can slap him on the fingers when it comes to reciting the constitution. Mention something and Madi will reply with the correct section and paragraph. It doesn’t matter if the information he gives you won’t suit his own case, he will tell you that anyway.

There are no twists and turns with Madi, he is straight forward and annoying as hell, but I will never stop respecting him for his great knowledge and passion for the truth. People in The Gambia, especially those is power, are so used to follow their own truth as it suits them, so of course they don’t like it when someone points a finger at them and questions their sayings and doings. In the beginning of our friendship , Madi’s and mine, I used to refer to us as the mosquitoe in the darkness of your bedroom. One tiny creature, annoying as hell and powerful enough to keep you awake the whole night.

Speaking about mosquitoes; there is one very interesting metaphore by the Chinese philosopher Confucius saying:

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”It is only when mosquito land on your balls that you realize there is a way to solve problems without using violence.”

Confucius lived more than 2000 years ago, but his wise words are still as valid as back in his time. My advice to President Barrow is to begin to study ancient philosophy, he has a lot to learn from it.

Why did I begin this essay with speaking about allergies? Because of an article I read in The Standard Newspaper where a prominent Gambian pro-democracy activist, Jeggan Grey-Johnson, said it’s apparent that the Yahya Jammeh syndrome of an allergic reaction to truth and objective criticism has now settled in Barrow’s political DNA.

Very interesting and I love when people use metaphores, we go back to ancient wisdom and spice it up with modern days experiences. Physical allergy gives you various symptoms, as you could read on the top of this essay, so how about mental allergy? That is the kind of allergy our president suffers from, and I wonder what kind of symptoms he has?

Suffering from an allergy can be rather easy to handle, perhaps only avoid eating the kind of food you are allergic to or buying some remedy at the pharmacy.

If we look at the symptoms President Barrow has shown, it seems like he has become allergic to the truth. There is a diagnosis called paranoia that many African leaders suffer from. I will give you a list from another medical website, and unfortunately we can tick all the boxes when we read about the symptoms. Read it and judge for yourself:

Symptoms of paranoia:

o          be easily offended.

o          find it difficult to trust others.

o          not cope with any type of criticism.

o          assign harmful meanings to other people’s remarks.

o          be always on the defensive.

o          be hostile, aggressive and argumentative.

o          not be able to compromise.

o          find it difficult, if not impossible, to ‘forgive and forget’

I wonder if the president showed any signs of these symptoms before the inauguration, or if there is something contagious in the State House that slowly creeps into his mind and changes it? Perhaps it would be a good idea to demolish the State House and build a new one, without any hidden poison that is affecting one’s mental health. Next time there will be an election; please find candidates that are qualified for the job and not only those who believe they have the correct qualifications. I know that there was only one candidate they could agree upon in 2016, but please learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them.

During this time, President Barrow has had too much time to study himself in the mirror and admire his own reflection. The only reflection he should search for is the one he could have had from his people if he had done a good job and showed that he cares about you.

He could also be reflecting on which signals he is sending to the citizens of The Gambia when there has been so little done to improve anyone’s living conditions. I read that the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat NK Bah, has disclosed that President Adama Barrow made a commitment to create one hundred and fifty thousand jobs to stop irregular migration.

That is why, during his trip to Mecca, he signed an agreement with the Saudi government for Gambian youths to go there and work.

The government has also taken the responsibility to train Gambians at schools of nursing, the Gambia Hospitality Training Institute (GHTHI), and the University of the Gambia schools of agriculture, science, and technology on skills that would help to propel the country forward.

This came as a reaction to the recent surge in numbers of Gambian youths attempting to reach Europe, but instead they died in the Mediterranean Sea. Well, well, well, one step in the right direction, but why does it take so long before the information about all the suffering reaches the president?

It is old news that young people flee the back way, but it seems to be news for the president.

So how do I combine all these random ends in my story? If you begin to reflect, you will find that there is a common thread, it can be a bit tricky to find, but this is how my mind works. I began to speak about allergies, then a little about Madi Jobarteh, spiced it up with symptoms of paranoia and ended with some complaints about the president to amuse myself. Go back to the list of symptoms of paranoia and write the name Madi Jobarteh at the bottom. At the moment it is Madi who is the victim of Barrow’s mental issue, but trust me – there will be more. If you allow President Barrow to puff himself up like a bullfrog, you will soon find that there will not be only Mile 2 prison, you can add a number or two after that.

When you look at the list of symptoms of paranoia, you can add the names Yahya Jammeh and Adama Barrow next to the name of the diagnosis. People with great power need a great and stable mind. They need to be educated and skilled in so many areas. Only the ability to promise a lot, shower you with nice words and give you a free meal and a T-shirt is not enough. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled once again. Learn from your mistakes or the mental allergy the president has will make you as the victims at his next attack.

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