Just like the way Napoleon used a pack of ferocious dogs to chase Snowball off the farm forever, President Yahya Jammeh used a pack of ferocious young lieutenants to overthrow Sir Dawda Jawara. He just like Napoleon blamed Sir Dawda Jawara for the hardship of The Gambian people and the ideas that Sir Dawda was working on for a national television station, a coastal road project and a university, he made it all his. Napoleon used Snowball as a scapegoat for the rest of his reign and President Yahya Jammeh is doing the same with Sir Dawda.
And there came Vision 2020, Vision 2016 and Vision 2025. 2020 wants to transform The Gambia into a financial center, 2016 wants to transform it to a food self-sufficient nation and 2025, oh well will make it an economic super power. While President Yahya Jammeh sells these dreams to a politicalyl apathetic nation, his lust for power increases to a point where he has become a dictator -- torturing people, making Gambians disappear and using his jungullars to kill them.
This to someone who never heard of Jammeh may think it might just be the making of a hateful comparison Jammeh and Napoleon, but just like on Animal Farm, the slogan in Jammeh’s Gambia is ‘eat what you grow and grow what you eat.’ This was the birth of Vision 2016: The Gambia’s ambitious journey to become self-sufficient in food, especially rice within two years.
Continuing decline in growth
But Jammeh, who owns Kanilai Farms has a monopoly over the lives of the people, the economy and businesses. He strongly believes in a ‘big brother #Government’ and competes with the private sector forcing small businesses to close their doors and youths into forceful migration to Europe through the Mediterranean.
Agriculture, which used to employ more than 70% of the population, now employs about 35%. More than 50% of those employed are in the service sector. Those still in the agric business are mostly the old senior citizens in the villages who farm to feed their families. All the biggest farms in the country where rice is cultivated belong to President Yahya Jammeh and makes one wonder, if the Vision 2016 is a personal goal for Jammeh to reach a certain profit margin or truly, having a nation that can feed itself.
The Gambia spends more than USD $50 million to import rice every year. President Jammeh said this would stop imposing a total ban on rice importation as of January 2016, the initial target to achieve food self-sufficiency. But then came January and The Gambia continues to import more rice. Yields from the country biggest rice growth project, the Jahally-Pacharr is declining. And just like Napoleon, Jammeh blamed others, and sent his henchmen to arrest them, levy criminal charges against them and sent them to their deaths in prison. Since Jammeh came to power, more than USD $100 million was spent in the agricultural sector, most part of it, he was the minister overseeing the department.
But just like those on Aminal Farm, the people toiled on President Jammeh’s farm to ‘grow what you eat and eat what you grow.’ They went back to till the lands and their status remained the same except for Napoleon and the other pigs. Cost of living in The Gambia is higher today than in 1994 and the only person whose status quo changed was Jammeh and the Squealers and the Mollies from the diaspora around him. But just like the pigs in Aminal Farm who were turning to be like Mr. Jones, he is forgetting to feed those that graced the revolution.
Jammeh has used many as Napoleon used Boxer’s strength. He abandoned and killed them just like Boxer was sold to a knacker for death. He gave an explanation as to why they are missing like Napoleon said Boxer was taken to a vet and had a peaceful death. Gambians believe him like the animals believed Napoleon. But not for long, his repressive government’s failure to feed the nation is sparking a #KalamaRevolution that will end this real life animal farm in Western Africa. #World Politics #Foreign Affairs