He was their despot. Yahya Jammeh ruled Gambia with an iron fist for 22 years before being forced out in January after a surprise election defeat. It was a turning point for Kanilai, the hometown village the dictator had showered with perks. While it’s no longer ground zero for suspected murders and human rights abuses, like torturing “witches” blamed for Jammeh’s aunt’s death, it’s one spot where his iconic billboards remain. Some locals admit missing the security their native son brought — as violence accompanying Senegalese peacekeeping troops drives home the village’s new distinction.