By Mariam Sankanu
Madi Jobarteh, a vocal human rights activist on Monday told a symposium that former president Yahya Jammeh cannot be referred as a tribalist because his key collaborators can be found across all the ethnic groups in The Gambia.
Mr Jobarteh added that “no ethnic group in this country was spared by Jammeh in ways of brutality.
“So there is no ethnic group in this country and particularly his own ethnic group that he has not caricatured to the highest level.
“I’m sure when we get down to documents, the casualties of Yahya Jammeh within his ethnic Jola community are more than any other community in The Gambia. So how do you now define or claim the man was tribalist?” he asked.
Jobarteh went on to describe tribalism as an act of corruption that politicians indulge in, using their people’s lack of ‘political awareness’ to make them believe they are serving the interest of the people.
He warned that care must be taken by people when dealing with tribalism because instead of fighting against tribalism, they might become tribalist themselves.
“One needs to be very careful so that we don’t get distracted because of the wrong analysis and perceptions. A lot of folks have become tribalist themselves in seeking to condemn tribalism without realizing that they are really being bought into the tribal narrative of those dishonest politicians and corrupt public officials.”
Jobarteh stressed that if that ‘narrative’ continues, Gambians will continue to suffer in the hands of poverty, injustice and will continue to live in a society that is exploited.
Madi was speaking on the topic at the faculty of law Auditorium.