Apparently, some supporters of the Gambia’s ex-President Yahya Jammeh are disappointed that they have been barred from celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the coup that brought the downtrodden autocrat to power.
In fact, they are disgusted that their right to free assembly has been allegedly nipped in the butt by the administration of President Adama Barrow.
But what is the anger and fuss all about? I don’t get it because July 22 celebration ground is only 4,980 km (2,983 miles) away in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
It is just an exciting three days drive across six beautiful countries, including one that is still a dictatorship, where they can get Jammeh some presents and a birthday card from guess who – the short man – Paul Biya of Cameroon.
Get out of here, you must kidding? No, I’m not; no, I’m not! I am for real like the cancer Jammeh is.
With all the money that Jammeh and the APRC stole from the Gambian people, you should have enough to get gassed up and journey across the Sahara to the land of the Obiangs.
Imagine the excitement to cross the great River Gambia, six countries, a time zone and the Atlantic just to reach Malabo.
Let me help you get there and tell you what’s exciting on the road:
Meet at Fabakary Tombong Jatta’s home and take the Brikama-Serrekunda Highway into Banjul. Drive along Nelson Mandela St and Liberation Ave and take the ferry to Barra.
If you do not wish to join the ferry because it was commissioned by Barrow, just swim and may you drown for being stupid anyway.
From Barra take the N1 road to Senegal and once you cross into Senegal take the N5 and turn right to the RN1 to Tamacounda.
Tambacounda is situated on the sparsely populated sahélien plains of eastern Senegal. It is its biggest capital and has an old train station that you will definitely love to see.
The iron-framed rail station, the Hôtel de la Gare, and the colonial Préfecture building were placed on Senegal’s list of Monuments historiques.
The Niokolo-Koba National Park lies just to the south of the town and is famed for its wildlife.
Take the RN1 to RN4 towards Didieni, Mali and turn left on to the RN4 to Ségou. Didieni and Ségou are right on the Niger River, the principal river of Western Africa, extending about 4,180 km (2,600 mi).
In fact, the Niger River is a brother to the River Gambia.
The Scottish explorer Mungo Park (you remember him right?); he also has a memorial in The Gambia and he saw a ‘Murou Mansoo” initiation and called it “mumbo jumbo” was the first Westerner known to have traveled to the central portion of the Niger River.
Its source is in the Guinea Highlands in southeastern Guinea just like the River Gambia. Amazing right?
It runs in a crescent through Mali, Niger, on the border with Benin and then through Nigeria, discharging through a massive delta, known as the Niger Delta or the Oil Rivers, into the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Nile and the Congo River and main tributary is the Benue River.
The Niger takes one of the most unusual routes of any major river, a boomerang shape that baffled geographers for two centuries.
This is your chance to see this mystery and with Jammeh’s spiritual powers you can finally go down in history books as the solvers of this mystery.
Well, before I forget, it is a good place for you to buy some good goat as presents at very cheap prices for Jammeh. It is a nice way to remind him of the gifts he gets from Meet the Farmers Tour.
Okay, okay, let’s continue the journey.
Take N 14, R 23 and R 21 to N 2 in Yako, Burkina Faso. It will take you through the land of the upright man, home of Thomas Sankareh.
Let me warn you: do not, I repeat for the sake of ‘klarity’ (in my Jammeh voice), do not pose as the supporters of a dictator. They will stand upright and straighten you all like “manyoo basso.”
So in order not to be liable for anything and face lawsuits, I will exercise my right to remain silent and not tell you about exciting stops in Sankareh Kunda village to greet your cousins in Campore Kunda.
Take my advice seriously. In fact, the elders of the clan have gone into exile to Ivory Coast like your own clan’s elders you are about to meet in Equatorial Guinea.
Now continue on the same road and you will cross into Benin, where you will finally meet the match for Jammeh’s voodoo powers.
At this point, take the juju with seven knots and connect all of them at once. The two knots will not do. Remember to have the ‘buludung’ and pull it so tight that air can’t even pass through.
Now you are good and can stop at Parakou.
Here is why it is exciting to stop in Parakou. It has a lot of history and ties to African trade. Parakou became well known in the slave trade.
It still remains an important market town, with major industries in cotton and textiles, peanut oil manufacture and brewing.
The town grew initially from revenue generated from passing merchants that took goods from the region across the Sahara and the Mediterranean to Europe.
It also served as an important stop over in the distribution of goods around Africa.
You will get a chance to explore one of the largest markets in Western Africa, “Grand Marché Arzeke,” an international market spanning over a block.
They have literally everything in there. So, it is a great place to get great stuff to boost the Sheikh’s ego.
Do not stay long. Be aware of time because being in Grand Marché Arzeke is really exciting. You cannot keep Babili Mansa waiting or General Badjie will descend on you guys.
Just keep on the same road to cross into big brother Nigeria. Behave yourselves there please and no screaming. Uncle Buhari may be in London but he will deal with any nuisance behavior.
See how he dealt with your Oga and sent him scrambling for his ‘nyeti morso’ to Obiang Kunda. Just shine your eyes well if you are in Lagos.
Let me just apologize to you guys in advance that Francis Duru, Angela Okorie, and other Nollywood stars will not come to take photos with you guys. Take heart and just move on.
But hey, there is still an exciting place to stop while in Naija. It is Benin City. It is the capital of Edo State. So it is has a rich African traditional history.
The Edo people initially were ruled by the Ogiso (Kings of the Sky) dynasty who called their land Igodomigodo. Igodo, the first Ogiso, wielded much influence and gained popularity as a good ruler, unlike your ‘king Jamus wannabe.’
Abeg, abeg, don’t vex. Nah joke now. Oya, let’s carry on.
There is a lot to learn about the traditional rule in Benin and how one of its Kings went to exile, refused to return and sent his son to be King, who became the Ooni as the Yoruba people will say.
Attractions in the city include the National Museum, the Oba Palace, Igun Street (Famous for bronze casting and other metal works). Other attractions include various festivals and the Benin Moats (measuring about 20 to 40 ft), the King’s Square (known as Ring Road) and its traditional markets.
Just do not make a mistake and branch off to Warri. You dey, hear me sef. Do not branch off to Warri, and do not get Oga a wife from Warri.
Okay, okay, gender activists it is another joke. I am a male feminist. In fact, let’s continue this journey to Onitsha.
Onitsha is a typical Ibo land and continues to be ruled just like Umofia in Things Fall apart. Onitsha traditionally consists of nine villages, otherwise known as Ibo Itenani.
Onitsha operates a traditional government headed by the Obi, the titular head of the town who is assisted by Ndi Ichie, titled red cap elders or chiefs. Among these are Ndi Ichie Ume, who are the First Class Chiefs.
Once a year in October the kingdom of Onitsha holds the Ofala Festival which coincides with the traditional New Yam festival held in many parts of Igboland.
It is a way for the people of Onitsha to keep their culture alive and it has become a major event that draws visitors from far and wide to the city. Sorry, you are going too early.
Continue on N2 and drive from N4, N18, RNIE3, RNIE 6 to Douala, Cameroon.
Here there are two things involved. If you support dictatorships, you are safe. If you support democracy you will die. So you folks are safe.
The night life in Douala is exciting and beautiful. It will be an experience you will never forget.
It also handles most of the country’s major exports, such as oil, cocoa, and coffee, timber, metals, and fruits.
The city sits on the estuary of the Wouri River and during the 18th century, it was also a center of the transatlantic slave trade just like The Gambia.
Between 1884 and 1895 the city was a German protectorate. The colonial politics focused on commerce and some exploration of the unoccupied territories.
After World War I, in 1919, the German colonial territories became French and British protectorates. France received a mandate to administer Douala. A treaty was signed with the local chiefs.
From 1940 to 1946, it was the capital of Cameroon. Heck, can you believe that? Look, go find the rest out on your own.
In all these places there is great food to eat that your taste buds will never forget.
Many dishes are across this region are enriched with a base of tomatoes, onions and chili peppers. Cooks use spices and herbs like ginger, coriander, and thyme sparingly but knowingly.
The bite and fire of the unique flavors give your taste buds the heat they need. And try some soumbala. It is usually prepared by women over the course of several days, traditionally from néré (Parkia biglobosa) seeds.
Taste the different versions of benachin (jollof rice), domoda (peanut butter soup), leafy soups (egusu, ogbono, plasas, super), akara, and yup, debbi (suya).
Oh, I am supposed to be given directions. Okay!
Continue on the N 2/N2 to Bata, Equatorial Guinea, where you will use a whobly boat to Malabo. Yaay! And here is Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya Abdul Aziz Jamus Jukung Jammeh ready to celebrate July 22.
Now after three days of driving and exploration of the beautiful African Savannah, you have arrived in Equatorial Guinea, where you can celebrate the subversion of the will of the people freely, make a mockery of democracy and immorally glorify decades of torture, murder, and looting.
So what were you fusing about again? Get going and may you get lost and end up in Sambisa forest so Boko Haram can have you in exchange for the rest of the Chibok girls. AMEN!
If you really love Babili Mansa and want to celebrate July 22, just follow these directions below. If you don’t like Jammeh, don’t bother to copy these directions:
Drive along Nelson Mandela St and Liberation Ave
7 min (1.7 km)
Turn left at the 1st cross street toward Freedom Ln
Continue onto Freedom Ln
At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Nelson Mandela St
Turn right onto Liberation Ave
Take the ferry to Barra
32 min (4.9 km)
2 min (280 m)
Take N1 and RN1 to RN4 in Didieni, Mali
16 h 5 min (1,083 km)
Continue onto N5
Turn left onto Trans-Gambia Hwy
Turn right onto N1
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on N1
Turn right onto RN1
Continue onto RN1
Turn left onto Rue du San d’Evry/RN1
Continue to follow RN1
Continue on RN4 to Ségou
6 h 17 min (414 km)
Turn left onto RN4
Continue onto RR24
Follow RN6 to RN14
2 h 56 min (217 km)
Take N 14, R 23 and R 21 to N 2 in Yako, Burkina Faso
4 h 24 min (312 km)
Turn right onto RN14
At the roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on RN14
Entering Burkina Faso
Continue onto N 14
Turn left onto R 23
Turn right onto R 21
Turn left to stay on R 21
Continue on N 2. Drive from N4, N18, RNIE3, RNIE 6, … and N 2/N2 to Bata, Equatorial Guinea
43 h (2,765 km)
Turn right onto N 2
Continue onto Ave Yatenga
Turn right toward rue Commandant Ouedreago Moumouni
Slight right toward rue Commandant Ouedreago Moumouni
Turn left onto rue Commandant Ouedreago Moumouni
Slight right onto rue 20.66
Turn right toward Ave Yatenga
Turn left at the 1st cross street toward Ave Yatenga
Turn right onto Ave Yatenga
Turn left onto N22
Continue onto N 22
Turn right onto rue 22.02
Continue onto rue 23.02
Continue onto rue 24.02
Sharp right to stay on rue 24.02
Turn left onto N3
Keep right to stay on N3
Turn right onto Boulvevard des Tensoba
Turn left onto N4
Continue onto N4
Continue onto N4
Turn right onto N18
Continue onto RNIE3
Continue straight to stay on RNIE3
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on RNIE3
At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto RNIE 6
Turn right onto RN 5
Turn right onto RNIE2
Continue onto RNIE5
Continue onto Abeokuta-Imeko Road
Pass by the church (on the right in 18.5 km)
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Abeokuta-Idofa Rd
Pass by Lafenwa High School (on the right in 4.5 km)
Continue onto Abeokuta-Imeko Road/Lafenwa
Continue to follow Lafenwa
Drive along Lafenwa Market (on the left for 300 m)
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit
Turn left onto Akin Olugbade/Ita Iyalode Road
Continue to follow Ita Iyalode Road
Slight right onto Ita Eko
Pass by LATEX DIGITAL PLANET photo Studio (on the right in 850 m)
Continue onto Lalubu Rd
Continue onto Lalubu Road/LALUBU STREET OKE-ILEWO
Pass by Pomo (on the left)
Slight right onto OPIC ROUNDABOUT
Pass by Opic Bldg (on the left)
Continue straight past Platinum Integrated Network Solutions
Continue onto Oba Gbadebo Road
Turn right onto Cenral Bank Rd./Presidential Blvd
Pass by Lawson International Private Nursery and Primary School (on the right in 350 m)
At the roundabout, continue straight onto Kuto/Presidential Bouleva road
Continue to follow Presidential Bouleva road
Pass by N.U.T Hall (on the right in 350 m)
Continue onto Kobape Road/Shagamu – Abeokuta Road
Pass by Plantgate Equipments Hire Service (on the right)
Continue onto Abeokuta-Sagamu Expy
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Papalanto-Sagamu Rd
Pass by the bridge (on the left in 1.5 km)
Continue onto Shagamu – Benin Expressway
Continue onto Sagamu-Benin Expy/A1
Continue to follow Sagamu-Benin Expy
Continue onto Sagamu-Benin Expy
Continue onto Sagamu-Benin Expy/A121
Take the exit toward Benin Bye Pass
Continue onto Benin Bye Pass
Continue onto Benin City Bypass
Turn right to merge onto Benin Asaba Rd
Continue onto Asaba Benin Lagos Expy
Continue onto Asaba-Agbor Highway
Continue onto Enugu – Onitsha Expy
Slight right to stay on Enugu – Onitsha Expy
Turn right toward Old Enugu Road
Turn left onto Old Enugu Road
Continue onto Old Enugu-Onitsha Road
Pass by Inner Vision Communication (on the right)
Turn right toward UZO ONYENKUZI
Turn left onto UZO ONYENKUZI
Turn right onto Udi Road
Continue onto UDI Rd/Ukukwa-Oji River-Udi Road
Pass by Micon Agro Farms Limited (on the right in 1.4 km)
Turn left at 4- Corner Junction onto Port Harcourt – Enugu Expressway/A3
Keep right at the fork to continue toward Abakaliki Rd/Airport Rd/A 343
Continue onto Abakaliki Rd/Airport Rd/A 343
Continue to follow A 343
Pass by St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (on the right in 69.6 km)
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Enugu-Ogoja Rd/A 343
Continue to follow A 343
Pass by Glo World – Abakaliki (on the right)
Continue onto Ogoja-Abakaliki Road
Continue onto A 343
Pass by Primary School (on the right in 15.6 km)
Slight right toward Katsina Ala Calabar Road/A4
Turn right onto Katsina Ala Calabar Road/A4
Pass by the gas station (on the right in 28.8 km)
Continue onto N 6
Continue straight to stay on N 6
Turn right onto N8
Continue onto N 8
Turn right onto N16/N8
Turn left onto N8
Continue onto N 8
Turn left onto N3
Turn left onto Rue école publique
Turn left onto N3
Slight right toward N3
Continue onto N3
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on N3
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto P 14
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Boulevard de la Réunification/P14
Continue to follow P14
Continue onto N3
Turn right onto N 7
Turn right onto D 91
Turn right onto P8
Turn left onto N17
Turn left onto D 41
Turn right onto N 2/N2
Continue straight to stay on N 2/N2
Entering Equatorial Guinea
Drive to your destination
6 min (2.7 km)
You are now in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. Take a boat and cross the Atlantic Ocean into Malabo.