Bombshell: Gambia Military Plans Coup D’état Against Barrow Government

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By Ebrima G. Sankareh, Editor-in-Chief

As Gambia’s newly elected 2016 Barrow Coalition, comprising 7 political parties and an independent, readies for its highly anticipated inauguration on 19 January, 2017, The Gambia Echo has received ominous news from our unimpeachable sources nestled within the corridors of state power, that elements comprising top brass of the military are determined to launch a military coup d’état barely a week after President-elect Adama Barrow’s high profile inauguration that is expected to draw large crowds of dignitaries from far and wide.

In its meeting last Saturday, the Economic Community of West Africa States—ECOWAS,  has committed that all 19 Heads of State and Government will grace the auspicious occasion to send a strong signal that it was out to promote democracy in The Gambia and beyond. In a communique that has since gone viral on Gambian networks and social media, ECOWAS was unequivocal in its call for President Jammeh to respect the will of the Gambian people and gracefully hand over power to President-elect Adama Barrow at the expiration of his term, late January.

Speaking on strictest conditions of anonymity, a senior government official told The Echo, that for the past two weeks, the loyal elements of the army have rendezvoused in numerous midnight conclaves at the Presidential Palace strategically planning how to deal with the new administration prescribing political Armageddon for President Jammeh and his followers who have ruled the mini-West African state with an iron-fist for over two decades.

According to our source, President Jammeh will eventually acquiesce to unrelenting domestic and diplomatic pressure and step down giving chance for the inauguration while simultaneously fighting his lackluster petition at the Supreme Court. “It is the feeling of senior party officials like VP Isatou Njie Saidy, Mayor Yankuba Colley and Bala Jahumpa, that the IEC Chairman, Alieu Momar Njie, sided with the Coalition and like President Jammeh, they are convinced that the Supreme Court will rule in their favour opening the way for fresh elections” reveals our source.

However, senior military officials who recently benefitted from President Jammeh’s undeserving midnight promotions and undisclosed largesse amounting to millions of Gambian Dalasis within the last weeks, our source says, “plan to seize power premised on vandalism and tribalism allegedly perpetrated by supporters of the incoming government and to be very honest, the President is very bitter about the obliteration of his prized photos. He is equally angry over  widespread allegations that went viral on social media that his mother, died on the same day he lost to Barrow; a proverbial double-jeopardy.”

Asked if President Jammeh was not contemplating exile or fleeing like most despots, our source laughs and then says, “on the contrary, he still insists that Gambians love him to death. He uses his fingers counting  projects he brought to The Gambia since July 22, 1994, most notable, the University and TV, and believes that Allah is on his side”.

Challenged to reconcile the irony of being loved and pictures desecrated, our source reveals that  the President “blames that on outside interference” and has vowed that “no outsider will ever dictate the state of affairs of The Gambia forever, because the peace and security he consolidated, will never be compromised.”

According to our most competent source, once President Jammeh relinquishes power, he will relocate to his native Kanilai, once an obscure hamlet that borders Senegal’s southern province of Cassamance and now boasts of a hotel, a Presidential Palace, crocodile pools, schools, a military academy and a litany of modern buildings.

Most worrisome though reveals our source, is that “Kanilai is a ticking time bomb” as for the past two decades, President Jammeh has built all kinds of military bunkers and complexes. “The entire military arsenal of The Gambia armed forces combined—Fajara Depot, Yundum Army Barracks, Farafeni, Basse, Kudang, pales in comparison with the bunkers of Kanilai which are equipped with the latest military weapons one can imagine.”

Beyond the military hoopla and façade of modernity however, Kanilai is also a museum of human misery where several innocent citizens and foreigners perceived to be political enemies, subversives and what have you, are reportedly buried in mass graves and sometimes their bodies fed to Jammeh’s domesticated crocodiles and other beasts. For a decade now, all kinds of harrowing tales of barbarity abound. Defecting ministers, Generals, Majors as well as rank-and-file officers have consistently described Kanilai as a carnage where soldiers have become human predators. Like vultures, they slaughter and literarily devour on their own brethren, only for unmerited promotions and monetary rewards.

As we went to press, this reporter has been methodically and frantically, I must add, working the lines to evaluate the degree to which this ominous revelations have permeated the rank and file of the divided army and our most trusted sources are digging deeper.

For now though, we urge the Barrow Coalition to take the utmost precautions possible as they work towards inauguration and never to underestimate President Yaya Jammeh’s capability for once a rebel, always a rebel especially, given the fact that he remains defiant even as his house of cards crumbles.

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