Jammeh and Sabally

President yahya Jammeh frowning at his trumpet blowing former minister

The one time darling of Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh has awfully fallen from grace. Apart from being demoted from the position of Secretary General and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Momodou Sabally was also stripped off as the Secretary General of the ruling APRC of President Jammeh. And now to nail the coffin, the man who brags as the Gambian Pen, is in security net.

As we piece together this story, authoritative sources confirmed that Mr. Sabally is still being grilled at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in Banjul. “He was arrested and escorted to his office where he was asked to hand over his ministerial responsibility. NIA then whisked Mr. Sabally into a waiting vehicle and drove him to their headquarters,” our intelligence sources corroborated.

The Gambia government later announced the sacking of Sabally, the newest guest of the NIA. He is currently being investigated for “giving false information to the Office of the President and abuse of office.”

Momodou Sabally had earlier allowed himself to be used as a weapon by President Jammeh to the extent of insulting his own ethnicity. To add salt to injury, he hauled the insults live on national television. Here is a man who had blindly followed orders that were too scandalous for any sensible educated person to fathom. Sabally’s sacking and arrest may be the tip of the iceberg but the social stigma that follows will be his biggest sadness.

Momodou Sabally is among the list of many educated Gambians whose taste for power leads them to accept brief and unpredictable jobs of President Jammeh. Gambian leader is highly experienced in making fond of the so-called educated elites. He toys with them, gives them false assurances that he appreciates their efforts and actions, only to unceremoniously betray and leave them at the mercy of his heartless security machinery.

Momodou Sabally spent exactly one year in as the Secretary General before President Jammeh’s electric broom struck him.

The details of Sabally’s predicament will be clear in the coming days. However, what no one can deny is that the larger Mandinka community will nod their head and say repeatedly “we’ve told you”. It is the same Mandinka people who say “elephant never trample upon its own trunk.” Nigerians also say “a child that refuses to listen to the elders will surely follow lizards to the grave.”

Momodou Sabally is the fourth Secretary General to be detained during the Jammeh era, a record unheard of in the Gambia. Two of the past Secretaries General – Njogu Bah and Burama Jammeh – were jailed in MIle II Central Prisons. The young wannabe has now tasted the bitter pill of wanting fame, wining and dining with the devil. It is now time for him to face the gallows on the lonely steps. We leave him with this wise Mandinka saying: “Taba jambo siyata baringwu daatile” [Taabo leaf is way too big for a nanny goat to chew].



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