Njundu Drammeh

Yaya was overseeing a criminal syndicate, he the chief mafia. Malick confirmed the verity of that suspicion.

Citizens must never believe what the State tells them, especially about things public opinion is divided on or which they highly suspect the hidden hands of the State. They must take it with a pinch of salt, search for the alternate truth, go to bed with their eyes fully opened and ears wide. The State everywhere is deceitful, dishonest, manipulative, cunning, dangerous, criminal. And at its disposal is a cunningly dangerous propaganda machinery which has the capacity to marinate the trurh.

When the State becomes the chief law breaker, there is invariably an indescribable contempt for law. And such a contempt reaches fever pitch when the law, law makers and law interpreters become willing handmaiden for the Executive.

That the State, with all its might and power, is often a coward: it often goes after people who cannot harm it in any way.

The State is afraid of men and women of and with ideas and convictions. It kills these people, to kill their ideas. But often it fails: the ideas grow and lead to its downfall.

Yaya alone isn’t culpable, even if he bears the greatest responsibility. He had at his beck and call willing butchers, men and women who, of their volition, competed for his attention and killed or hatched the killing to get his rewards and recognition or elevation to higher positions. Summer soldiers and sunshine men and women. He chose men and women with who he has shared values and outlook.

Men and women must always have the courage of their conviction; must never act against their conscience. No sin is greater, no torment more burdensome that acting against one’s conscience. Albert Einstein warned: “Never do anything against conscience – even if the State demands it”

There still would be men and women who believe, insincerely, that Yaya is incapable of such atrocities. That he is being maligned. It is unfortunate; some people can’t saved. They have eyes but won’t see; mouths that won’t speak the truth; ears that won’t want to hear the truth. No one can free them from their burden.

Once upon a time, liberty, freedom, human rights died in the very place that should have served as the bulwark against tyranny: our hearts. Or rather the State killed it in our hearts. As we trudge on in our reform processes and imprinting “Never Again” on our souls, may be we need reminder about these words of Judge Learned Hand “I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes to much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Livery lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. ”

In our struggle for freedom, we all sacrificed, but at different levels and degrees. Some paid the ultimate price; some endured horrible imprisonment, some horrendous torture; some banishment. These men and women are who Thomas Paine is talking about when he says: “Ye that dare oppose, not only tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!” At the front row standeth uncle Deyda Hydara and all the other martyrs.

A luta continua…. “Freedom is never really won; you earn it and win it in every generation.” Coretta Scott King