Friday, February 21, 2014

Yaya Jammeh robbed the funeral of solemnity

The Archbishop was laid to rest this evening, but not before Yaya Jammeh succeeded in robbing the funeral of the solemnity that it could have been had the Church not been denied using McCarthy Square for the ceremonies.  Not that the Anglican Church of The Gambia and friends of the Church did not do everything within their power to maintain a solemn and dignified atmosphere.  

A reasonable degree solemnity was achieved in spite of the government's determined resolve to erect road blocks along the route instead of putting the power and resources of the State at the disposal of the Church and the family.  That's what normal governments do, but we do not have a normal government in The Gambia. What we have is a rogue regime instead. 

In spite of the odds placed before the Church by the Jammeh regime, the Anglican community and Banjulians have done an extraordinary job of welcoming their foreign guests from across Africa, and the globe with pride and dignity in the true Gambia tradition despite the odds.  Don't think for a minute that our guests are not aware of what's going on in The Gambia.  They are very well aware.

The fact that 5 Archbishops and approximately 10-15 Bishops from Africa, and around the globe attended the funeral is clear testimony to the important role the late Archbishop played in the Church.  

After creating all this confusion in a desperate attempt to rob the proceedings of solemnity, Yaya Jammeh ordered a black-out of the proceedings.  The national radio and television services were barred from carry them live or live stream them through the internet.  He then takes off for Morocco for a three-day private visit - another slap in the face of the larger community of Gambians.  

To top it all off, he decided to add salt to the wound by sending two lowest ranking Ministers he could find from his cabinet to represent the State at the funeral of the Archbishop of the Province of West Africa and former Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission.