We all saw the video. The video of Saul Badjie performing ablution and swearing by a Quran that he was not only loyal to Yahya Jammeh, but that he was never part of any efforts to undermine Yahya in any way. He specifically mentioned the December 30th attack saying he wasn’t part of it. Yahya loves to talk. And he loves talking to different people. At different times. Such that when one becomes the chosen one he’s talking to, Yahya would make them feel as if they are the most important person to him. And then he would abruptly halt all communication. Cold turkey. Moving on to the next person. The abandoned will be left wondering in fear and trepidation what they might have done wrong. They will try to reach out to Yayha to no avail. They will reach out to others that are close to Yahya to find out what they might have done wrong to offend Oga but Oga knows how to keep them in suspense. Ask the Sayyindi Jatta led APRC/NPP. Yahya maintained control by keeping those closest to him on their toes. He kept them wondering and guessing what his next move will be. To prove their loyalty to him, those in his immediate circle would lie about each other, undermine one another, spread calumnies about others and report some others. There were many times when we hear that someone close to Yahya is arrested and no one will know the reason why. In the world of Yahya, there are no guarantees and it’s a sycophant eat sycophant world. Saul Badjie knew that. And he survived it for a long time.
That video was supposed to soothe Yahya’s fears, to assuage any doubts Yahya incubated about Saul’s fidelity to him, to assure Yahya that Saul Badjie remains his most loyal ally, even while they both languished in exile in Equatorial Guinea. If anyone knows Yahya Jammeh, it is Saul Badjie. Yahya Jammeh made Saul Badjie into what he became. Yahya Jammeh plucked Saul Badjie out of the wilderness of nothingness and made him into a rich man with a mansion by the Atlantic Ocean, made him a General in the Gambian army, made him his most trusted aide. Saul Badjie was, for all intents and purposes, the number two man in The Gambia. Saul Badjie owes Yahya Jammeh a lot. And Saul Badjie paid Yahya Jammeh with unthinking loyalty. Saul killed for Yahya Jammeh. Saul tried to set Gambia ablaze for Yahya Jammeh. Saul did everything he could to satisfy Yahya Jammeh’s voracious gluttony and lust. Except, with Yahya Jammeh, as many who were once close to him found out, there is no satisfying of his dark desires. Yahya Jammeh knows no limits. He is a self-conflicted person who is always right. Yahya was as good at building people as he was at destroying them. Yahya was as kind as he was wicked. Yahya was as thoughtful as he was heedless. Yahya was as generous as he was greedy. Yahya was as loving as he was hateful. Yahya was a walking contradiction. Many found out how sadistic he was a bit too late into the game. Wandifa Barrow and co would find this out the hard way when they reported for guard duties in Equatorial Guinea and Yaya would refuse to even open his doors for them! Before them, Sana Sabally, Sadibou Hydara, Edward Signatey and Yankuba Touray, Yahya’s erstwhile colleagues with whom he seized power, found out that Yahya Jammeh could never be trusted. Many people in government also found out in subsequent years. Sayyindi Jatta, the old fool, would find out when his greed came face to face with Yahya’s desires for power. But Saul Badjie thought he could be an exception. Whether that was because he felt he had no choice but to be loyal, or because he thought given all that he has done for Yahya Jammeh, Yahya could not afford to betray him, all indicate a certain level of naivety in Saul Badjie that almost defies logic. If anyone should have known better, Saul Badjie should have. History is an excellent teacher if anyone cares to learn its lessons.
After five years in exile, we were feted to Yahya Jammeh loyalists celebrating the election “victory” of their former comrade in Adama Barrow. The celebrants were led by Wandifa Barrow, a one-time ardent loyalist of Yahya Jammeh who went through hell in the hands of Jammeh. Saul Badjie was not in the video. The video was a genius of a campaign strategy! But beyond the campaign, the video also indicates that Yahya Jammeh’s life is not ending well. He’s a lonely man in a mansion slowly going insane in a foreign land. After that video was released we soon learned that the Barrow government will facilitate the coming home of the self-exiled Yahya loyalists. Anything to get back at Yahya Jammeh, even if it is couched in wayward humanitarian reasoning. Barrow feels aggrieved that his “best political decision” was thrown right back at him by Yahya Jammeh. And so come home the one-time loyalists did. Along with Saul Badjie. What did the Barrow government promise Saul Badjie, given what he represents to Gambians and the international community? Did Saul really think that he would be walking a free man when he comes home? Were things so terrible with Yahya that he would risk it all to come to The Gambia and go to Mile Two? What did Barrow’s NPP/APRC promise Saul Badjie? Is Saul so angry at Yahya’s betrayal that he is going kamikaze on him? According to reports, Saul Badjie already acknowledged that “he was in touch with two people in a plot to carry out attacks to disrupt the elections.” Certainly, Saul is not some type of guinea pig for Jammeh. You know, as in Jammeh tells him, “Karafa, you go first and we will see what will happen to you…my decision to come or not depends on your fate. For now, I’ll continue to claim that I am on vacation.” A five-year vacation must be a Guinness World Record of sorts! Certainly, Saul is not that naive. If you ask me, I will say neh amna Saul loom yakarr deh and I bet my life neh du Yallah!