So a lot has happened in the last few weeks in Gambia, ending overnight with the final stepping down of Yayah Jammeh who had released a statement on June 16, 2015 that he should be addressed as “His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh”
Here are five lessons from the fall of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh:
- Never force service. Jammeh’s cabinet deserted him, his lawyer advised him to step down, his VP resigned, his army chief announced support for the new president and emphasized his unwillingness to lose his men in a ‘stupid’ fight. I mean, it’s really actually stupid to confront a 7,000 ECOWAS strong troop with your 2,500 soldiers. In spite of all these, Jammeh still insisted on holding on to power. If the people are fed up and have said it in every way possible, they really are. Never force service on anyone, group, organisation or country.
- Nothing lasts forever. In an ever dynamic world, change is the only constant thing in life. One day, the people you consider docile, those who you maim at will, arrest at any provocation and whose will you never respected will wake up and say enough is enough.
- Never lose touch with reality. Jammeh lost touch with reality. He was so sure his army will fight for him, his money will buy him support and the arms he had stockpiled on his farm will save him. His stay in power for 22 years had obviously made him delusional to start thinking he probably owns The Gambia. So your idea, product and services is reigning and you have begun to see yourself as the ultimate supplier, the one without whom no one can do anything. Here’s my advice, get off your high horse and never forget that you rose in the first place because you put the people at the centre of your work. Never lose track of reality.
- Power belongs to the people. Jammeh was extremely confident he had the support of the people. The only problem he didn’t realize was that the people however saw it as an opportunity to end his 22 years of impunity and liberate themselves.
- We are the solution to our own problems. Notice that ECOWAS stood up to Jammeh and majority of the countries within the region contributed troops and resources save for some countries like Cameroon’s Biya for obvious reasons. He’s the second president of Cameroon and has been ruling for almost 35 years with intention of contesting the upcoming elections!?
All my respect to ECOWAS who enforced the will of the people without firing a single bullet! Today, I am rising with a renewed hope and faith in Africa. Gambia is an example of what we can achieve when we are united!