Tuesday, August 25, 2015

GAMBIA: A case against a 5th term for Jammeh

When Jammeh seized power illegally in 1994, he promised Gambians that his Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council "will never introduce military dictatorship"which became headline news splashed on papers across the country.

This promise, one of many made by Jammeh as Chairman of the military council, turned out to be one of cruelest hoax Jammeh and members of the junta have perpetrated against an unsuspecting citizenry.

Of course, the real intention of the junta was the opposite i.e to devise ways and means of transforming themselves from  military to civilian regime even as Jammeh continued assuring Gambians that he had no interest in being president in a civilian government.  His reasoning at the time was that he was not a politician and never intended on becoming one.  According to him, politicians are inherent liars and essentially corrupt beings which disqualifies him for ever becoming a politician because his exemplary character.

Unfortunately, Jammeh's public utterances during the transition to civilian rule did not match his actions and internal maneuverings designed to position himself and his fellow military junta members to trade in their military uniforms for civilian muftis.  By his first year as Chairman of the Provisional Council,  Jammeh's deceitful demeanor has started taking a discernible  pattern with a degree of frequency that can only be described as pathological.  21 years hence, the description has proven to be apt and indisputable.

The brutal dictatorship could not have been firmly implanted for over two decades without a robust legal infrastructure constructed with the deliberate objective of confiscating the fundamental rights of Gambians and non-Gambian alike.   The chief architect of the legal construct that has made it possible for Yaya Jammeh and his military buddies to survive the provisional military council was the first substantive holder of the position of Attorney General and  Minister of Justice - Fafa Edrissa Mbai - who held a similar position in the toppled civilian government of Sir Dawda K. Jawara.

It didn't take long for the legal luminary - a self-proclaimed accolade -  to display his  proficiency as a prolific generator of the most obnoxious and repressive Decrees that provided the backdrop and the character of Alhagie Sheikh Professor Doctor Yahya A.J.J.Jammeh , Balili Mansa, Nasurudeen, one of Africa's most brutal, corrupt, incompetent and idiosyncratic dictators, to rival Field Marshall Idi Amin Dada and Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa of Uganda and Central African Republic respectively.

History will show that Fafa Edrissa Mbai, the drafter of the first 30 of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council Decrees, is the principle architect of the most draconian laws that has transformed our beloved country into the North Korea of Africa by providing the legal framework and justification for the vile regime that is now the Jammeh dictatorship.

Decree No.1 gave birth to the Armed Force Provisional Ruling Council, Decree No. 4 proscribed all political parties and Decree No. 30, the last of Mr. Mbai's masterpieces, acted as a quasi Constitution for the military junta.  We have counted thus far 67 Decrees out of a total of approximately 96 Decrees passed by the AFPRC in a span of 30 months.

The Decrees became the drug that Jammeh and his military junta got addicted to even after they transform themselves into civilians.   Thus the newly-minted 1997 Constitution became more of a nuisance and an obstacle to the dictatorial powers Jammeh has become accustomed to under the Decree-driven environment during the Transition period.

Jammeh cannot and will not change because he's been conditioned by the environment that his handlers created that gave him absolute power.   It is now time to say to him and all those who have been supporting him and sustaining his corrupt and incompetent regime through sycophantic chants and letters of appreciation to the Dear and Visionary Leader that it is time for him to vacate State House.  We are, therefore, encouraging Yaya Jammeh to either resign now or not to seek a fifth term at the end of his current term which expires in October 2016.