Baba Galleh Jallow
Baba Galleh Jallow

(JollofNews) – You grand panjandrum. You call yourselves our saviors, yet seek to butcher our souls. You plant your malice-soled boots on our throats, yet claim to give us voices. You seek to cut our tongues with machetes of greed yet proclaim that you are teaching us the speech of freedom. You slouch in the dark and stab us from behind but claim that you are watching our backs. Now listen to what we have to say.

You grand panjandrum, masters of deceit and pretension. Your white robes cannot hide the dark, baked scales of the devil’s hide that bites your flesh. You cannot hide the hot streams of dark blood rushing beneath the white enamel of your teeth. We see the green malice flowing in the veins of your heart. We know that in the dark of night you become your true selves and melt into the darkness of the night. And you go about setting fire to our stores of knowledge and cutting short the lives of the innocent. You profess to be carriers of truth and wisdom, yet your minds are bursting with the slime of ignorance. The light of wisdom burns your souls and you would have us live in the perpetual night of ignorance, for therein lies your salvation.

You grand panjandrum. You pretend to be philosopher kings and guardians of the lost. But you mortally dread the light of knowledge. Facing the truth is, for you, like staring at the blazing midday sun. The truth burns your eyes; knowledge scorches your souls. So you frantically catch and lock and burn. You run amok with the indelible blood of innocents on your hands. You frantically search for the magic wand so that with one wave, you can extinguish the light of wisdom and keep us all in the darkness of grand ignorance. For only in darkness can you grow and thrive.

You grand panjandrum. You profess to be clad in the mantles of truth, but your palace is built with bricks of lies. Pillars of falsehood hold the skies of your world. The very legs of your thrones are built of deceit, the pillage and plunder of the blood and sweat of innocent souls. You chant songs of peace, but you think thoughts of war against all who would not bend down to the dictates of your perverted reason. You claim to feed the hungry by day, but steal their meager grain by night. You snatch the livelihood of the poor and wallow in the stench of ill-gotten wealth. You stuff yourselves with the choicest meats while keeping locked the granaries of the starving poor. You encourage greed and mediocrity among us. You claim to unite the land, but work to divide the people. You dish out meager crumbs to the unprincipled with orders to shred our social fabric to make us too weak to see your evil deeds. You have failed, grand panjandrum, for we see you in all your ugly nakedness.

A cartoon of President Yahya Jammeh holding a human skull. Photo: RNW/Damien Glez
A cartoon of President Yahya Jammeh holding a human skull. Photo: RNW/Damien Glez

You grand panjandrum. You claim to liberate us, but try to shackle our minds with the chains of ignorance and unquestioning docility. You claim to open our eyes, but seek to pluck them out with spears of deceit. Arrows of poison fly out of your mouths, even as you chant your songs of life to us. You purport to build a nation of giants, but can only stand the growth of dwarfs. For it is only among unquestioning dwarfs that you can thrive. You cannot stand the towering size of truth. You are too meek to face the real questions of the day. So you gather around yourselves only those who can ask no questions or can ask only lame questions or questions pertaining to how great you are, how you are taller than the rest, more righteous that righteousness itself.

Your excellencies sir, are you not really great? Those who dare to ask tough questions you brand as thieves and liars, evil forces that should be decimated, enemies of progress according to St. Power, threateners of the peace. The peace of unquestioning mental slavery and damnation. The only kind of peace that you can thrive in. You sirs, are the real enemies of peace. You specialize in waging war on innocent souls, and gloat over your malicious victories over unarmed and harmless innocents.

You grand panjandrum. You erect mountains of immorality and call them the highest pillars of morality. You set up monuments of seething hypocrisy and call them the highest standards of honesty. You insist that your acts of cruelty are acts of kindness. You paint your unjust actions with a fake veneer of justice. You claim to give us life and happiness, but bring death and misery to the abodes of the weak and innocent. To talk of life in your presence is to talk of that which will never end. For you, the end must never be contemplated. You live in a never-ending stretch of a fantastic present and madly crave for a never-ending future, a future that will be the present unchanged. You insist that we all swallow your stinking lies as truth. No sir, we refuse to obey you.

You grand panjandrum. You want us to weep and beg for mercy, to quake in our boots and tremble at the prospect of offending your weak sensibilities. No, we will not weep, for we know what you are. And we will not be silenced either. We will forever chant the dreadful truth in your tortured ears. We will shout it into the smoldering halls of your tortured minds like the deafening tolls of ten thousand gongs. We will shout the truth to silence your glorified lies. Your claims of omnipotence we will lay, like tiny grains of nothingness, beside the Illuminated and Illuminating Majesty of the Ultimate Truth – the Great Bestower of peace and freedom, the Awakening and Sustaining Glory of the Great Subduer, the Terrific Majesty of the Eternal Presence who fires us with the love of truth. And you shall lose. No, you shall not live forever. The end must come one day. So get ready, O you grand panjandrum! For you cannot avoid tomorrow.

Written by Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow

This piece was first published in 2009.