I have stated it before, if we do not understand Yahya Jammeh’s tactics, we play right into his hands. For over two decades it has been the same tactic replayed over and over and over again. Those familiar with it will see the theory of philosopher Georg Wilheim Friedrich Hegel at work, it is known as the Hegelian Dialectic.
The technique works in three steps as follows:
Create a problem
Generate a reaction
Propose a solution
In the original work the author referred to these stages as
Thesis – create a problem.
Antithesis – generate a reaction, usually opposition to the problem (fear, panic and hysteria).
Synthesis – offer the solution to the problem created by step one.
This solution or change could not have been implemented or imposed on the people in anyway unless they are properly conditioned psychologically to accept the change, and this is why step 1 and 2 are critical, for without them step 3 will be impossible to come to.
Let’s apply this to our Gambian situation as it plays in Yahya Jammeh’s mind starting from step 3 backwards.
Step 3. Solution to the current political situation in The Gambia (Synthesis) – arrest and detain the coalition leadership, possibly kill them while in detention (death in detention).
This scenario will be impossible without a ‘just cause’. It will be unacceptable to any Gambian as well as the international community and friends of The Gambia. So how can it be achieved with minimal condemnation and resistance especially from the army? Enter step 2.
Step 2. Generate a reaction from the opposition camp and their supporters that could justify arresting them. under the justification that they were inciting violence and compromising the ‘peace and stability’ of The Gambia. This is the antithesis to the problem that is about to be conceived. So in his mind, he’s thinking what can we do to make them panic, be fearful or hysterical, because if we can get them to that stage, we can force them to react on impulse. That reaction will be enough justification of arrest under the pretext of inciting violence and compromising the ‘peace and stability’ of The Gambia. With that, Yahya can impose a state of emergency and subvert the will of the people. What better way to do that without any insinuations than get the coalition supporters and preferably their leaders out on the streets in protest to some decision or proposal…. Enter the problem; Step 1.
Step 1. Create a problem! This stage is where Yahya Jammeh has been stuck in since December 9th, and like a scratched CD, he can’t proceed to the next step. This is where one owes respect to the coalition leadership and the Gambians on the ground, especially the youth, for their maturity and level-headedness.
When Yahya came on TV to announce his “rejection in totality” of the final election results as declared by the IEC a week earlier, to which he conceded defeat, he was expecting mass hysteria and angry reactions from the people and their leadership, what he got was shock and disbelief from some quotas, even fear; but the response was calculated. The people looked to their leaders for answers and we saw the maturity that was displayed.
What follows were negotiations,and counter-negotiations and still he wouldn’t budge just to escalate it into a no-hope situation and finally get the reaction from the people. This is why he refused to listen to the ECOWAS and UN envoys as high-powered as they were, stage 2 is still not attained. The coalition leadership spoke and the people listened, he grew impatient. The CDS on TV, the visit from religious leaders and the ‘elders from Foni’ were all a tactic to render the situation hopeless, still no reaction. Boy you’ve got to love the Gambians. What on earth could provoke the reaction sought…..
“Pull down those #Gambia Has Decided posters and put my face back up, that will dampen their spirits and the war horns will sound” he thought. That didn’t happen. It is pretty obvious that if anyone tries to bring his ugly face down again, they will be arrested for destroying ‘public property’ or some other silly charge. This arrest will inspire a show of brotherhood and solidarity which could manifest itself in some form of protest and then BINGO! That didn’t happen, cooler heads and mature leadership owned the day. By now he is fuming, summons the IGP.
IGP ‘observed that some people are moving in convoys posing risk to other road users and that henceforth all convoys will have to have a permit to ply the roads.’ With this statement/edict who comes to mind; President-elect Adama Barrow who attended Friday prayers in a convoy last week. Weekend over, first order of business: New Rule.
As many implications as there can be to this, one thing is clear; the people are bound to feel disrespected and angry to such bold face disregard for their rights and their choice and hence some reaction may be forthcoming. It is undeniable, that all that Yahya is seeking at this point is to get a REACTION out of the people in opposition to his pronouncements directly or through his lap dogs. Gambians though, I am proud to say are generally not impulsive, and that is getting on his last nerves and he is at the cliff edge right now running out of ideas. So his next move is likely to be impulsive, uncalculated and stupid, but he might have yet another trick up his dirty sleeve. He is a fool, but an informed fool with clever, slimy and conniving alibis.
But Hon. Halifa Sallah said it best; Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain… Yahya Jammeh. The leadership is capable, competent, and mature. Let’s follow their lead no matter how provocative the situation, no matter how justified our reaction to Yahya’s shenanigans may seem. All he is seeking is some REACTION, any reaction. Let’s not give him the pleasure and watch him chew his fingers off in frustration.
This is why if you listen closely to Hon. Halifa’s speeches, he emphasizes the LANGUAGE COMING FROM THE COALITION LEADERSHIP. This is to tell the audience that take note, we won’t speak any provocative language; never have, and neither will we invite our followers to REACT in an inappropriate way. We are constitutional and we will abide by the constitution which means recognizing that Yahya’s mandate is still valid. They saw him coming a thousand miles away, but the fool, ndeysan….
Bob Marley said: In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty!
Stay calm people, superior minds always prevail, the pros are at the wheel. On that note, let us shift our focus away from Yahya Jammeh unto the NEW GAMBIA and what we want to make of it.