In Equatorial Guinea: Barrow meets Jammeh

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By Alagie Saidy-Barrow

The plane lands and Jammeh forlornly looks at the Gambian delegation as they majestically come down the staircase of the plane in their beautiful and well-creased haftans. He immediately recognizes some of the faces in the delegation and a sense of sadness overcomes him. “I made some of these people into who they are today”, he’s says to himself. “Look at how they all betrayed me.” Some in the delegation deliberately avoided his eyes. But this is not the time to show my anger, I must pretend to be nice to them, he says to himself.

As Barrow got closer, Yaya rushed to shake his hand and have a word with him but he was stopped by security. Barrow whispered in Tangara’s ear and Tangara hesitantly approached Yaya. “Adama said he doesn’t want to be seen talking to you in public. We will send you word on where to meet in private.” Yaya vigorously nodded and stepped back in line grinning from ear to ear even as he was seething with anger inside. This Tangara, he thinks to himself, I made him who he is today and look at him! But I’ll teach these leeches a lesson.

The meeting


Adama: Jeh, Yaya, how are you doing my friend and how is the family?

Yaya: HE, I am very fine thank you. My vacation is going well especially since those ungrateful people left me here. Did you see them dancing after the election? They say I was mistreating them!

Adama: How is Madam Tuti, eh I mean Sainab?

Yaya: Hehehe… You Fula people; her name is Zainab. She’s doing fine. But you know how these modern-day women are. They stay with you only when times are good. She’s between Morocco and Guinea now enjoying our money.

Adama: Jeh, “fordee” he doesn’t come see you here?

Yaya: He who?

Adama: Sainab

Yaya: Yes, sometimes she comes down but this place is not ideal for her and the children. Mostly, I’m alone here. But listen, about this White Paper in which you want to prosecute me, this is not what you agreed with Seedy Njie and the Tombong executive of my APRC!

Adama: You know it’s your fault Yaya. Like Lang Tombong said, if you just took your time and aligned with my NPP, I would have been able to help you but you went on air and called me a donkey. Ask Tombong Jatta, I told him that we will not prosecute you and we will bring you back and give you all the benefits of a former head of state. But you called me a donkey even after I visited your home in Kanilai and tried to show my sincerity.

Yaya: I was misled by people. Billai wallie tallie. You know how Gambians are. I’ve never seen a more unprincipled group of people anywhere. They are very misleading and sweet-tongued. I was told you were just using me to get votes and after you get what you wanted, you will betray me like you did your kuwalison partners and Ousainu Darboe. I think it’s good that you did that to Ousainu Darboe because I don’t like that man and he deserves that. He will never be president in this country!

Adama: President in Equitoriyal Jinneh, that’s impossible. But listen, don’t discuss Ousainou here, this UDP people are everywhere following me. For you, I had no such intentions of betraying you. Did I betray Tombong or Seedy Njie? Look at the position I gave them. Now they both have jobs and will be my watchmen in parliament. There was noise about their nomination but no one can do anything about it.

Yaya: I don’t care about Seedy or Tombong. They are all traitors. Those two don’t believe in anything but where to get the next meal. Whatever it takes. I want to know what you intend to do. Do you really want to prosecute me?

Adama: Listen, we cannot discuss this kind of thing around people. But you know I have lots of pressure on me especially from our donor partners. If I don’t say I’ll persecute, eh prosecution you, they will stop giving me money.

Yaya: So you are not going to follow through?

Adama: Aye Nko, we cannot discuss this sensitive matter here. I have political considerations to make. I have to be careful how I implement this white paper.

Yaya: I was also told Saul Badgie is cooperating with you to prosecute me so you gave him alumni; I mean amnesty!

Adama: I didn’t give anyone alumni. What alumni. Let me tell you something. I am a political animal. I didn’t give anyone immunization to persecution. I will surprise everyone. They don’t know me. Just sit here and don’t be making noise. And don’t ever call me a donkey again!

Yaya: Sorry, sorry… sometimes I think I am still the president you know and I can say anything. Belie you see, this life has three days: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. I saw how some of the people in your huge entourage even avoided my eyes. They cannot even look me in the eye! These people are nothing!

Adama: Is ok. Let me go to my meeting and I will send message to you through Seedy Njie or Tombong Jatta. Belie those two still love you too much. You should start talking to them again.

Yaya: Ok, I will be waiting to hear from you sir. I want my vacation to be over now.

Adama: Nsallaw, we shall see

In Equatorial Guinea: Barrow meets Obiang

Barrow: Tell him I admire him and thank him for the very warm welcome and hospitality. They have a very nice country here and my delegation and I are grateful to be before his excellency!

Obiang: Gambians are welcome here anytime. As guests or refugees or both.

Barrow: Tell him the food was very good too. His cook must be from Drammeh Kunda. Hehehe

Obiang: Why is he asking about my cook’s name?

Barrow: No, no ,no, in my country we have joker mates. Drammeh’s are my jokers. Just like the Ceesays and the Wallys and when I summon my Fula ancestry, the Jolas and the Serers.

Obiang: I don’t understand. Anyway, good to have you here. We have matters to discuss. Your foreign minister has been here a few times already since the days of my special guest, Jammeh. He built our relationship beautifully.

Barrow: Yes, Tangara. He’s a special wheeler and dealer. He told me you agree for us to have diplomat positions and relationships for bilateral and mutual benefits. I need to hire a friend and make them honorable so they can come to Equatorial Guinea and twiddle their thumb like most ambassadors do!

Obiang: Yes, in my country, the poor people eat a lot of peanuts or what you call groundnuts. I hear that’s your natural resource. We have mutual benefits because we also have natural resources.

Barrow: Yes and I have a new nurse that’s in charge of my agriculture, but in Gambia we call nurses doctors. We will produce fat and juicy groundnuts for you because we need your natural gas.

Obiang: Excellent. We will exchange natural gas for peanuts. My people are very giving. The war in Ukraine is what’s causing hardship here otherwise our guests come here for vacation and end up extending it for five years. It’s a very nice place, ask Jammeh.

Barrow: You are an elder statesman and I want to learn from you. How did you do it?

Obiang: Well, I came to power through a coup. I betrayed my own uncle and killed him to seize power. After that, I perverted state-sanctioned terror and unleashed it on the people. I made sure they remained poor despite all the oil we have. If you keep people poor, they are more likely to keep fighting one another than what keeps them poor. I tolerated no criticism or dissent and always made sure I win every election so that I can say we have democracy. Your best weapons are duplicity, betrayal and cronyism. They keep everyone on their toes. If you have a son, make him your number two, and don’t trust anyone! That’s my formula to success!

Barrow: Wow, just wow! Bari Nko, You truly are a “jinnous.” Alagie Ceesay, ayeh meng for, Asafay

Obiang: Hehehehe, I know. That’s what everyone tells me. That’s why African leaders are here to discuss coups, terrorism and suffering of the masses. I’m an expert at all three you see. I came in through a coup, I terrorize my people and I make them suffer but blame it on outside forces. Now about Jammeh, he’s not too well these days. What do you plan for him?

Barrow: If I could, I’d just say kill him like you killed your uncle, but you cannot do that, can you? Jammeh called me a donkey. Can you imagine? I don’t have a problem with him; it’s all these donor partners and so-called CSOs after my neck to proslicute him and others, but I am not sure. In fact my constitution said I cannot proslicute him without too-tats in parliament so they have to go outside the country to do so. But I need votes in Foni. I already have my political mentor and nephew in parliament to make sure there’s no proslicutuon! I will send your friend Tangara to seek your wise cangsul.

Obiang: Yes yes yes. Anytime. Tangara knows the way and shows the way to anyone here. Just take your time; drag your feet. Your donor partners will make a lot of noise, but they’ll always donate funds and give you loans so you can enjoy. You know they have been after my son in America and France because they said he stole money from our people. How’s that their business? They still donate and we are still enjoying. Hahahaha

Barrow: From now on, you’re my role model. You said my best weapons are Du who?

Obiang: Duplicity, betrayal and cronyism

Barrow: Alagie Ceesay, as safay bang!

Barrow: As they say in my language, ajarama buii mawdoh!