Over the past few days, a regular insulter of UDP Party Leader Ousainou came back with is rude rants in the two Gambia mailing list (Gambia L and Gambia Post).
Muhammed Bia Drammeh for a long time now has been insulting Ousainou Darboe for no reason whatsoever. Although we all acknowledge that, politicians are there to be scrutinise, however, degenerating into personal insult is not done.
This boy never listen to any comments against his rudeness. Upon reading and re-reading his actions, I knew, his soul intention is to anger. He made the rude insult because he wish to irritate friends and well-wishers of Ousainou. Our country has strong values anchored on the principles of respecting elders in all occasions.
However, Muhammed Bai believes that, in his quest to get friends from the anti-UDP camp, he can insult, believing that, those imaginary friends will be please with his actions. Sadly, among the wider readership of the Gambia L/Post, only one person made a serious comment against Bai Drammeh's insults (Bailo Jallow). This happen after I have already responded to Bai Drammeh in a language he understands.
I took Muhammed Bai on a journey, an unpalatable journey. I made him taste the dish of how to wind-up people. I knew, Bai Drammeh will never respond to reason. The slave mentality imbue in him will not allow him to reason independently. His agendas are that, since he read that, the UDP is having a Congress, he is now in place to dampen that with his usual rhetorical insults.
For the sake of decency, I waited to see whether the Mailing list Managers at both forums will act. And true to form, they never said anything. As if to say, we have no problem with what Muhammed is doing.
I am not questioning the independence of the Gambia L or Post managers. I don't know them. However, they have been around forums long enough to distinguish between appropriate language and a potential statement that can cause offense. They said nothing for over 24 hours.
I knew, the opportunist do gooders will emerge once a hot mud is drop. They waited until one among them cry Woolf before they react in any way or form.
I decided to write the explosive narrative that send Muhammed Bai screaming with insults and more profanities. He realises after all, he is not even good at winding up people.
However, what do you know. The so-call straight talking Joe Sambou emerged, blaming me for fanning the flame that caused Bai Drammeh to insult. How bias.
Joe Sambou a die-hard PDOIS Halifarite, enjoys reading any adverse statement against Ousainou. His logic is that, since Ousainou is not my Father, I shouldn't respond to anyone insulting him.
However, this Joe is not a young beginner in debating forums. He is a man pass mid-forties. Yet he feels that, Muhammed Bia didn't do anything to warrant my reaction. I know he has his loyal friends who finds him honest and un-bias. I disagree with such reasoning 110%.
Which straight thinking elder will see blatant insult against elders as appropriate?
Joe's bigger ambitions are many fold. He wish to use my religious narratives as yardstick to criticise me. He wish to take special attention in making sure, I don't say anything religious since I wrote an explosive comment against Bai Drammeh. Joe a Christan will but naturally dislike my different religious dispensation. No matter how much he pretends, this is the bigger motives behind his many interfering comments.
My message to him is to read the bible on how to respond to unruly comments. Should he choose to invoke the secular line, let him search for war of words between antagonist.
Muhammed Drammeh after finding his own game distasteful ran amok with claims that, I didn't want him to criticise Ousainou. What a pathetic lie.
I do criticise Ousainou myself on occasion. And I more than anyone criticise politicians as well.
I know better than that. However, insulting an elder, disguising that with genuine political statement is misleading.
For all who wrote to me personally to leave the subject alone, I have heeded such advise. I cannot name you for privacy sake. I value the privacy of my friends and associate very well. Under no circumstances will I betray the trust of my friends and close confidants.
However I will put here the comment of one man who is not a friend to me and who I have no relation or contact with. This is what he says:
"I am sorry to see your exchange with Drammeh degenerate into this slanging match, to the extent of involving your parents and family members who have no part in this. I am appealing to you personally to desist. From what I know of you, I believe you are a decent individual, so I believe it is unbecoming of you to allow yourself to be drawn into this exchange of verbal insults.
I know you may not appreciate my entreaties, but I believe I am oblige to appeal to your finer qualities as an activist and a Gambian brother. Desisting from this exchange with Drammeh, will not take anything away from your dignity and pride, but more importantly it will not reduce the great UDP or its leader, who is a personal friend and family member of mine, a single bit. Don't allow this spat to divert your attention and energy from supporting your party's programme and interest, especially at this important time in your party's calender. Take care!!"
This writer is a Gambian Christian brother. I heard of him to be of a strong character, but our parts never cross. I fully comprehend where he is coming from. In fact, others from Sweden, America, U.K etc have express similar sentiment.
To all of them, my reasoning for responding to Muhammed Bia Drammeh is not out of pride or anger. In fact, Without boosting, I have done quiet well in not taking things personal. However, there are times, when rascals should be treated like such. History is full of accounts when Men of God respond to their abusers in Kind.
The Prophet Musa spoke to the Pharaoh politely but with strong statements. The Prophet Muhammed too was never rash or angry, however the Qur'an address his abusers with strong emphatic statements and the Bible too have many such verses. Sometimes you address people with what they understand.
I have in the past ignored Muhammed Bai provocations. However, what he failed to realise is that, ignoring him doesn't mean, we fear his style, it means we respect the readers. But when the neutral readers failed to act, then it becomes paramount that, we who respect and see Ousainou has an elder respond. That was why I treated Bai Drammeh to the rude awakening.
However, all those who know me can testify that, I have never address anyone like Bai Drammeh.
It was a one off and also message that, no one has monopoly over rudeness. I am happy with the efforts in place in making the UDP acceptable to diverse groups of Gambians. And in my small way, I have reached out to many individuals and groups which as yielded result.
I will continue to focus on what matters. The Charity I have put in place which is taking off smoothly and my political and community work. I value the advise and council of my friends.
Should anyone go over the top and believe that, I have damage my reputation in addressing Muhammed, my answer to you is that, I haven't.
One as to face crude situations sometimes in order to get ahead. This are why nations go to war, men of God challenge tyrants and devil advocates. Hence, fearing the perception of people is no justification for avoiding controversy.
I salute all the honest folks that spoke to me over the matter. I appreciate your sense of fairness and justice.
To the list Managers of Gambia L and Post. Do what you feel is right. The blame lies in all of us. You fail to act on several occasions in addressing Muhammed Bai's insults of Ousainou. This is the outcome of prejudicial watchman-ship.
Some of you are PDOIS sympathisers, however I hope that do not interfere by de-listing UDP members. The mailing list are relevant, however I am able to communicate and deal with wider Gambians on different platforms. This is a big opportunity for me to slow down my activities on the lists. I have been advise my many journalist friends to stop commenting at the forums. They reason that, you get misunderstood for no reason.
Thanks to all readers of Suntoumana and personal friends.
Accept my personal apology in the way I dealt with the serial abuser. I hope he leant his lesson. Let him criticise Ousainou or the UDP anytime, so long as he observe the bounderies, he has no recourse to expect me to engage him. Folks like Oceanic Lad, Lamin Sey, Joe Sambou and others regularly take the UDP to task, but I have never insult them. This matter will always be an infamous episode, just like many others, with time, it will be a lesson for all that matters.
I have enormous respect for open dialogue, this is why, I read what others have in mind, and I too contribute my quota.
The vast majority of members only read and talk amongst themselves on hot issues, the burden here in regulating the list is not a light affairs. Individuals can be reprimanded as soon as one of the list managers observe a departure from the normal decorum. I hope we never go down the path of, what don't offend me shouldn't offend others because such statements have been use before.
Nagging doesn't cause conflicts because it's a regular occurrence, it is because of that, which results in all sorts of unhappy endings. Civilise people prevent conflict situations, they don't wait for the fire to start and then starting blaming both sides.
To me the case is close, whoever wish to talk on it is more than free to do so. I see myself as an inclusive Gambian, May God bring out the best in us all. Amen.
Astaghfirullaaha--Allahuma Antas Sallam wa minkas-sallamu, tabaarakta ya Thal-jalaali wal-Ikraam (I seek the forgiveness of Allah. Oh Allah, you are peace and from you comes pece. Blessed are you, Oh owner of the majesty and honour).
Allaahum-maghfir lee thanbee kullahu, diqqahu wa jillahu wa awwalahu wa aakhirahu wa alaa-niyatahu wa sirrahu (Oh Allah, forgive me all my sins, reat and small, the first and the last, those that are apparent and those that are hidden)