By Sanna Camara
“It is not enough to drive him away. We have driven him away but his ghost is still lurking around. We need to keep fighting the ghost of Yahya Jammeh as a nation,” Gambian author, journalist and professor of history said on Saturday.
Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow’s latest book, Defying Dictatorship: Essays on Gambian Politics was launched at the Law faculty, University of The Gambia. The book was published by a Gambian based agency, Center for Media Research in Africa (CENMEDRA).
Baba’s latest book is the tenth addition to his name as author. His writings led to his fall out with his employers even before he became a full time journalist. He became editor of the Daily Observer in early 90’s and co-founded the private bi-weekly, The Independent. Jallow became a foremost critics of dictator Jammeh even when he went into exile over 15years ago.
One of such ghosts of Jammeh is the fear factor, that is shown even today on the cleaning exercise, he told the gathering. “People are afraid to go out because of fear associated with such events under Jammeh. We need to get rid of that fear out of our lives. We have to fight collectively to get that fear from our lives from among us,” he said.
Jallow said other ghosts of Jammeh include the broken economy, broken civil service, broken system, all of which needs to be fixed. “I think that the current administration needs to take steps to fix those broken aspects of our lives,” he said, arguing that Gambians have to fight collectively to get that fear from their lives.
Book reviewer and English teacher, Musa Bah, said the purpose for which this book was published has been “very comprehensively” put in one of the essays entitled ‘Deconstructing Yahya Jammeh’.
Deconstructing Yahya Jammeh
The author wrote that the purpose of deconstructing Yahya Jammeh is not to merely criticise, however justified such criticism is. Nor is the purpose simply to vent anger, however justifiable, at his systematic abuse of rights and responsibilities as Gambian citizens.
“We deconstruct Yahya Jammeh to highlight the many contradictions that characterize his political character and his assertion of absolute power over Gambians while denouncing the absolute power of his colonial predecessors,” the author expained.
“We deconstruct Yahya Jammeh to demonstrate that Gambians have come of age, and that we will record his history for current and future generations of Gambians so that they will be empowered and never allow any single individual to abrogate their God-given rights of citizenship the way Yahya Jammeh has done for the past twenty years.