Edmund Burke, wrote in “A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful the following:
“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear … To make anything very terrible, obscurity seems in general to be necessary. When we know the full extent of any danger, when we can accustom our eyes to it, a great deal of the apprehension vanishes. Every one will be sensible of this, who considers how greatly night adds to our dread, in all cases of danger, and how much the notions of ghosts and goblins, of which none can form clear ideas, affect minds which give credit to the popular tales concerning such sorts of beings. Those despotic governments, which are founded on the passions of men, and principally upon the passion of fear, keep their chief as much as may be from the public eye.”
This is so true of the situation in the Gambia. Instilling fear through torture, murder and other vices has been the constant tool in Yahya Jammeh’s authoritarian rule. Raiding communities, arresting, detaining and forcibly making their elderly drink concoctions that are lethal is a brutal way to instill fear and power over a people. Yahya has succeeded to certain extent. Most of the people subjected and will be subject to this craziness will be waiting on God to come and rescue them … as if that ever happens if you don’t put in the effort.
The only bright spot in this saga is the stance taken by a single man…Halifa Sallah. Here is an interview he granted Foroyaa after his release from prison, because he dare question the government on the legality and morality of their actions…vis a vis the witch hunts.
“MY RIGHT TO DEFEND THE SOVEREINTY AND WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE IS INVIOLABLE AND NON NEGOTIABLE” …Halifa
Halifa understands Burke’s assertion clearly and he refuse to be fearful. Go and read the whole interview at Foroyaa online. It is beautiful.