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City of Banjul
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The rise and fall of a dictator: Babili Mansa!

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By Dabakh Malick “Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths Proverbs 3:5-6 #powerverse ….I hold no anger towards Jammeh but what I feel for him is pity after he lost a great opportunity to be celebrated and remembered in the good side of history, at just 29 years old a young Lt. from the Gambia National Army with four other colleagues seized power in a bloodless coup from the democratically elected government of Sir Dawda Jawara. At that age Jammeh had the opportunity to make institutional reforms, constitutional reforms and institute a two five-year term limit for the Presidency. According to them they made the coup to make reforms that would end corruption, nepotism, business patronage for political support. At that young age he could have learned from the case study of Cpt. Valentine Strasser of Sierra Leone and Cpt. Amadou Tumani Toure of Mali, the former followed the advices of some political opportunists that made him see any dissenting views as opposition and we’re muscled with power, while A.T.T went on to reform Mali and organized a free and fair election that would usher in a democratically elected government. Years on, he was called on to stand as a civilian President and was voted in to power, this time democratically. His AFPRC junta was received with open arms by almost every Gambian, as they PROMISED to deliver a Gambia that was far from corruption, nepotism, partisan politics, tribalism and unnecessary plundering of our meagre resources. It was a merry beginning and few years down the line, things started to go the wrong way. Soon news of the death of Koro Ceesay, arson attacks on media houses, unlawful arrest and detention of journalists, torture, unaccounted disappearances of citizens and with time, such rumors continued to be a daily gossip on the online media. As years gone by and he continued to surround himself with people who, instead of telling him the cry of the farmer at the remotest village in rural Gambia, the widows and orphans that continue to wait everyday thinking their husbands /fathers would come home anytime, journalist and media houses continue to go out of business/employment due to harsh media laws that continued to be used to prosecute them while in the front line of their work. Citizens being unlawfully prosecuted, jailed and killed for speaking up against the wrongs of the regime. As he gripped unto power, a system he ruled the tiny nation with of almost two million people with an iron fist and would go to the extend of threatening citizens with prison and death live on national TV, he has gone to the level of believing that he would rule for a billion years and not election, coup d’eta or armed conflict could remove him from POWER. The moral lesson that we all need to learn from Jammeh’s fall from grace is to always REMEMBER that the only everlasting power and kingdom is that of the Lord. In whatever capacity God has entrusted us with power/authority we must be seen to temper justice with mercy, treat those we govern with utmost respect and equal judgement amongst them, be accountable to the finances we manage, prepare ourselves for the day our throne would come to an end as these would make us prepare to set a legacy that we would be positively remembered for generations to come. What has befallen Jammeh must be a lesson in behaving when we are entrusted with power/authority at our homes, offices, marriages, schools, societies and communities. We should never abuse such powers for it belongs to those we serve. God bless The Gambia!]]>

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