Some of the deaths in our hospitals were/are due to corruption. Some of the accidents on the roads were/are due to corruption. Our youths die crossing the Mediterranean partly due to corruption. Corruption may not put a plastic bag over a head and choke life out of it, but corruption kills Gambians. Yes, there’s probably no direct proof to link some corrupt practices to the death of individuals, but you don’t need direct proof to know that a substandard road will cause accidents and people will die. You don’t need proof to know that helping Yahya buy a mansion in Washington while EFSTH lacks basic lifesaver machines will lead to the loss of Gambian lives. There’s a reason some people put to death those convicted of corruption! Corruption kills! Those who helped Yahya bilk Gambians are the financial Junglers.
I find it amusing that some of us want the “military Junglers” to be imprisoned (even if rightly so), but we turn around and embrace the financial Junglers who also helped Yahya in his corruption, knowing very well corruption is killing Gambians and has probably killed more Gambians than the military Junglers have. Or do we think that it’s okay to embrace the corrupt because they didn’t directly kill anyone? If that’s the case, I guess the military Junglers can also make the argument that their actions didn’t kill anyone since no one determined the exact cause of the death of their victims! As much as that may be a silly proposition, it may find grounds in our reasoning and refusal to take any responsibility for anything!
And that brings me to the Legal Junglers. They are the ones that gave Yahya’s evil machinery the powers to violate Gambians. Some of them worked in the Ministry of Justice, others were magistrates, and yet the others were prosecutors. Like many, these Legal Junglers were also just doing their job. They never questioned any orders they were given, and never questioned any task they were assigned. For them, they were just doing their job. And if the job entails the bastardization of the legal process to abuse Gambians, then so be it. Only God knows how many Gambians died as a result of being imprisoned or tortured because the law allowed it.
Then you have the parliamentary Junglers. Those are the ones that hurriedly passed any and all laws Yahya wanted. When the Legal Junglers crafted the abusive laws, they gave it to the Parliamentary Junglers who eagerly sealed the abuse. These Parliamentary Junglers basically stamped the laws that allowed Yahya and his surrogates to detain Gambians at will, and for however long Yahya wanted. Only God knows how many Gambians died as a result of their actions.
And then there are the Silent Junglers! Those who chose silence in order to self-preserve. They focused on themselves and obeyed the status quo. They are the “good” citizens. They never saw, heard or felt anything about the abuse of Gambians. And when they saw or heard anything, it was never loud or bright enough to prick their peaceful conscience. They insisted on maintaining the “peace” or “the law” because they were not affected by the violence of Jammeh and his government. They chose silence while people were being killed. They’re quick to remind everyone that they “hate all forms of violence”, missing the point that their silence was essentially siding with the oppressor.
If one is going to be outraged, by all means be outraged, but please take note that some of us also see through the inconsistency nicely cloaked in hypocrisy! If we abhor corruption and value Gambian lives, it baffles me how we can condemn “direct” killers but embrace “indirect” killers! See, we can all pretend as if all the human rights abuses and corruption that happened in Yahya’s dictatorship is Yahya’s fault, and his alone, or we can all take responsibility and start by acknowledging that every single one of us could have done better by our dear nation. That we could have all done better is not meant to water down the roles of those who actively took part in abusing Gambians. The enablers are not the same as those who were victimised or those who followed their conscience and refused to be a part of any of the abuse. The only way we can move ahead as a nation is to hold each other accountable for our actions and inactions! Yaya’s enablers were not some aliens from Pluto, they are right here among us, and sanitising themselves as if they’ve done nothing wrong! Sadly, because they’re our family and friends and political party mates, we conveniently try to absolve our friends and excuse our associates! Interestingly, we are quick to condemn the family, friends and associates of others but we clamp up when it comes to the enablers we are close to.