(JollofNews) – I am not claiming that he is an acquaintance, or a friend, but we shared a mutual friend, and that has brought me and the then young sergeant into contact with each other a few times.
In each of those few times, our conversations have always been political – my passion. His rhetoric has always been empathetic to the common man. He always manifested a strong love and loyalty to his country, The Gambia. He believed that the country was so small and that there should have been enough to go around for everybody.
He calls the Jawara administration…Jawara and his gang, and that they needed to go so the country can be restored to the people. He said Gambians should be leaving in paradise if Jawara and his gang were not a bunch thieves. He dreamt of fixing the problem some day and give people the peace and prosperity they deserve – that, he said is the promise of The Gambia flag.
On July 22nd 1994, he, a full lieutenant, and four 2nd lieutenants peacefully overthrew the Jawara regime in a bloodless coup. I remember where I was, saddened at the news of a military coup. I am no fan of military governments, and never will be. At this time, I didn’t even know who the perpetrators were. Upon hearing the names of the coup plotters, I was filled with disappointment. The peaceful man I knew chose the gun to effect the change he yearned for, but I was comforted by the fact that not a single shot was fired – guess he was still the man of peace.
President Jammeh from when he was the chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council has claimed to be a patriot; he even named his party “Alliance for Patriotic, Reorientation and Construction”. Patriots advocate for peace, they are vigorous supporters of their country and they know when they need to defend it against enemies or detractors, and when to give up what they hold dear for her peace and tranquility.
Jammeh giving up his present point of contention does not make him an indecisive man or a coward; instead, it reinforces his patriotism, his love for his country. “Such are the sacrifices men have cheerfully made for the existence, the honor, the prosperity of their country. But perhaps the power of patriotism is shown in what it makes them give up, than what it makes them do.”
I strongly believe that President Jammeh, the patriot, will ultimately choose peace, because he loves peace, and he would not want to see the country he loves, the country he worked so hard to improve, be nothing short of the Smiling Coast of Africa.
Congratulations!! To President-elect Adama Barrow, and good luck on your inauguration on January 19, 2017. May Allah bless us all with peace, good health and prosperity, and may Allah bless the Republic of The Gambia.