Amid Massive Cabinet Resignations, Gambia’s Desperate Despot Declares Emergency

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By Ebrima G. Sankareh, Editor-in-Chief

Predictably, following his humiliation in the December 1 Presidential election, which he lost to the 2016 Opposition Coalition candidate, Adama Barrow, The Gambia’s most erratic tyrant and despicable dictator, Yaya Jammeh, has today, declared a state of emergency in the mini West African state, the smallest on the African mainland. The emergency runs for three months and based on historical precedent, it is likely to be accompanied by a curfew that runs from dawn to dusk.

In a speech broadcast over Gambian national media-Radio & television, a nervous Yaya Jammeh invoked the  lackluster Supreme Court case over his meritless petition against the election result, the massive waves of Gambians and other  residents fleeing to neighbouring Senegal, the Guineas, overseas and concocted lies of opposition-triggered atmosphere of fear as he faces the imminent threat of military intervention by the regional group, ECOWAS under the stewardship of Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The fear-mongering emergency declaration, the last effort of a humiliated and disgraced despot, gives added dimension to a worrisome political climate and puts a very peaceful nation and people, once more on the brink of catastrophe the work of none other than Jammeh himself.

However, as our nation teeters on the brink of political violence, it is instructive that we as Gambians be also, honestly introspective as Yaya Jammeh alone could not have succeeded in this criminality against our country were it not for the massive support he continues to enjoy from our own sisters and brothers—be they National Assembly Members (NAMS), lawyers, soldiers, police officers, ministers or state functionaries.

In my view, they are almost all, jointly responsible for most of Yaya Jammeh’s transgressions against out state and for the past two decades, some of these officials have spinelessly and voluntarily participated in the systematic desecration of our dear nation and when the History books are written, most will be remembered as collaborators and unpatriotic citizens.

After 22 years of tyranny, Yaya Jammeh was clearly defeated in the December 1 polls; an election process he singlehandedly designed, managed, executed,  yet lost miserably. He shamelessly stood before the glare of state TV cameras and praised the IEC Chairman, Alieu Momar Njie, for an excellent job, conceded defeat, congratulated his opponent, Adama Barrow, and assured him of his continuous support towards a smooth transition into the Third  Republic. Jammeh told the entire world, that “Gambia’s elections are rig-proofed and most transparent.”

Curiously, when he returned a week later to discredit the same institution he described as sacrosanct, Jammeh found in his National Assembly and Cabinet ministers, willing accomplices. The only reason why most abandoned ship is because of the looming military attack if all other means fail, and the probability of that scenario is today, more probable that impossible.

However, as we went to press, The Echo has gathered that the entire National Assembly members were each bribed with $10,000 sealed in brown envelopes , sworn to the Quran and an affidavit of secrecy before they proceeded to the Assembly. My sources report that the entire process was administered by the Majority Leader, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, and when they finally sat in Parliament, Jammeh’s proposed decrees , were fait accompli.

Paradoxically, Hon. Jatta’s colleagues, Speaker Abdoulie Bojang, Deputy Speaker Fatou Mbaye (a.k.a Tuti Mbaye)  and the rest, took to the podium and praised Yaya Jammeh, as if all these officials are completely oblivious of the decadent state of The Gambia— the lack of press freedom, the incommunicado detentions, the disappearances, the murders, the state orchestrated assassinations and all the other violent deeds their leader, Yaya Jammeh, has routinely perpetrated against their constituents for two decades and counting.

As we went to press, over half a dozen ministers are in Dakar, Senegal, watching the scene as it plays out. Why they fled The Gambia is the trillion dollar question if Yaya Jammeh is all that good as they have told citizens while they enjoyed the honey and milk, the retinue and bravado of state facilities at their disposal. If they were truly patriotic, they should have stayed in Banjul and defend their leader to the last breath as most loyal people would do.

For now though, as the political melodrama unfolds with increasing likelihood of  ECOWAS military intervention, mounting arrests of innocent citizens and soldiers, the stage is set as The Gambia enters the FINALE and Yaya Jammeh must now realize that majority of the people who served him, only served their pockets and are no more patriotic than the majority of Gambians he sent into exile and continues to castigate as subversives. And until the dust settles, now we are all exiles and refugees whether you fled to Senegal or Sweden, Bissau or Birmingham and if you have contributed to Yaya Jammeh’s impunity, please don’t sleep and your conscience must prevent you each time you want to sleep, because you too, are criminally liable for any eventuality that may lead to chaos in a system you helped consolidate.


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