If you really know President Jammeh, you’ve known a very straight forward and honest person, who will never sweep the truth under the carpet. Just forget about his tone of voice and focus on his message and surely before long, you will come to realize that everything that come out of his mouth is the simple truth.
When approached by a friend of mine complaining about president Jammeh insulting Mandinkas, I was left speechless for couple of seconds before any word came of my big mouth. He stood right in front of my counter where I work, searching for a youtube video where he claimed that president has threatened the end of Mandinka governments in the Gambia.
After listening to the speech, I came to realize, why many people depend on twisted information instead of simply using their God given skulls to think and rationalize whether something make sense or not. On that youtube video, President Jammeh never meant to ban Mandinkas/Mandinka from running the affairs of our great nation. In fact, the number of Mandinkas serving in his government is more than the entire number of wolofs, Fulas and Jolas combined that served in the former government. When the president said that ‘there will never be a Mandinka government in the Gambia”, he was right because there is no Jola, Wolof, Fula or Soninke government in the Gambia and will never be. Gambian governments belong to all the Gambian people and not a particular group or tribe. And the funniest thing is, when I asked him whether he wants to see a Mandinka governemnet in the Gambia, he answered in the negative. This tells us how vulnerable people are in digesting false information. In fact, this statement is not different from the twisted statement that he issued several years ago, blaming “some unpatriotic Mandinkas” in the diaspora. Did he refer to all mandinkas then? Absolutely not! Why are we not talking about his statements against the unpatriotic members of his own tribe, the Jolas, the unpatriotic wolofs and Sereres? Of course, at that time, he was referring to the unpatriotic Mandinkas just like he had previously referred to the unpatriotic wolofs and Jolas. Why are the Mandinkas taking everything personal?? There is no tribe in the Gambia that has received criticisms in his government more than his own tribe tribe, the Jolas. I am sure you have not forgotten his comments about Jolas not improving their livelihoods in the early 90s when all or most Jolas were seen as second class citizens whose jobs were only House-maids or watchmen. Wisely, the Jolas took it as an advise and a challenge and that is why they came out of that shadow stronger than ever before. There’s nothing wrong with pointing fingers to certain bad elements of a tribe or society especially when you are doing it to your own tribe and that is exactly what the president is doing. If you don’t like it, be a good citizen and get into his good books.
Unless we realize the struggle of the devil to poison the minds of the vulnerable, we will forever live in darkness and miscalculations.