Gambia's military chief of staff OusmaneBy Sulayman Touray 

I want to take this opportunity to appeal to our security men and women, in particular those in the Gambia national army. This message could not have come at a better time than at this crucial moment of our country’s history. I would like to remind our uniformed men and women that that they come from homes; they are the very people whom we share the same bowl of early morning porridge before rushing off to attend our various lessons. And after school, they are the same people who play together in all sorts of games one could imagine. We drink from the same cup when brewing our local ‘hattaya’ [China Green Tea] while taking a mick at each other. In all honesty, we are people who get along all in aspects of our social life. This clearly tells one who we are: one Big Gambian Family.

Gambians are closely related through inter-marriages, which strengths our bond to the extent that we see each other as blood brothers and sisters.

However, some of our brothers and sisters choose a career that involves protecting and serving the Gambia and her people. Others choose to become teachers, accountants, nurses and carpenters among others. It takes people from all walks of life to build and maintain a nation. All of them work for the betterment of one Gambia.

For 22 years, we have one man who has taken the entire country hostage. No sector or calibre of Gambian has been spared Yahya Jammeh’s whip or wrath. In fact, the security forces who provide security and support for him have beco e and continue to be his biggest victims. Some of your friends are already having tears with their ancestors, some incarcerated in mosquito’s infected Mile 2 prisons while large numbers of your colleagues roam the streets of Senegal, in search of jobs to fill their bellies. These scores of people were in the same position you’re in today. Can’t you understand that the fate that befalls on these people awaits you as long as you continue to work and associate with Jammeh? Hence the guy has no idea of loyalty in his small head.

We are calling on you to join us to salvage our country from Yahya Jammeh’s barbarism. There is without your support for a man who promises to bury you 9 feet deep is done under duress. If you men and women in uniform withdraw your support from this satanic figure of Jammeh, he would have been gone sooner than we expect it.

The writer is not advocating that you shoot Jammeh on the head – at least not at this stage. I am urging you to defy his order on the second of December when we will be marching towards the state house after our electoral success to get him (Jammeh) arrested for the crimes he has committed to Gambians and friends of Gambia. That day he will see and feel citizen’ s power.

Men and women in uniform, help us in our efforts to get rid of Jammeh so we can start healing and rebuilding our country in way that will work for all of us. The post Jammeh era will strengthen the independence of all our institutions from political monopoly. The security forces will be the biggest beneficiaries of this rebuilding exercise. You will never be forgotten in this process. We will make sure the nepotism and favouritism that exist within our security apparatus today are the things of the past. Promotions will be based on one’s ability to do your job or competence instead of on allegiance to a single soul as we are currently experiencing in today’s Gambia.

We can all attest to the fact that the only people enjoying are those within Jammeh’s inner circle. Most of you are unable to look after yourself or your family. We know you are suffering. But we know this is not down to your lack of efforts or not doing the job you are assigned to do which is to protect our collective interest. In fact, you are working harder. In the army today, large numbers of you are working outside of your job description. Yahya Jammeh has turned you into his personal entity, enslaving you without pay. You will be taken away from your families for two weeks or more for duties outside your job description. Jammeh will make you stand on road to Kanilia under the weltering sun for hours on end without food or basic human necessity. Is it not us your brothers who you beg for your lunch money while under that burning sun? Despite doing all these for one man’s selfish interest, you will not receive any form of appreciation. All you are rewarded with is abuse abut instead what you get is abuse and neglect.

My uniformed brothers and sisters, our country is suffering and crying profusely for help. We the ordinary citizens are ready to answer to that call and make an end to the total barbarism that besieged us all. But as you’re part and parcel of us, we urge you once again to join hand with us. Together we can make an end to the Jammeh brutality and total disregard of Gambia constitution. Thereby you will no longer be crying foul on the streets of Darkar for all the wrongs you aided and abetted Jammeh against your fellow Gambians during the time of your darkest hour. At the time, you think you were in a position of privilege.

The Gambia is facing an extraordinary situation and it is only in such situation extraordinary times that patriotic sons are born. So the time is here for all the true sons and daughters of the Gambia to rise up against one man’s unending impunity.

Ends

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