Saturday, November 14, 2015

Not in our name

Sidi Sanneh 
Recent unfriendly statements directed at President Macky Sall and his immediate predecessor by Yaya Jammeh is unfortunate and do not represent the views and sentiments of the citizens of The Gambia. 

Gambia's problems are of the making of Yaya Jammeh over his twenty-one years of dictatorship, depriving citizens of their basic rights and liberties that were taken for granted under the leadership of Sir Dawda Jawara.  

Jammeh inherited a vibrant and one of the best managed economies in the region, if not in Africa. Unfortunately, he was unable to maintain the tradition of prudent economic management of the economy he inherited in 1994 when Gambia's GDP per capita was the third highest in the 16-Member ECOWAS behind Cote d'Ivoire and Cabo Verde to the lowest in 2014. 

Therefore to blame Senegal for Gambia's current economic and political woes is not only unjust but a diversionary tactic employed to absolve the government of Yaya Jammeh of incompetence and lack of foresight resulting in the current political and diplomatic isolation of The Gambia. 

Senegal, and specifically president Macky Sall, is coming under attack from Yaya Jammeh for several reasons but primarily because of his increasing diplomatic isolation which he believes is the handy work of the Senegalese president.  

With his regional influence waning, especially in Casamance and Guinea-Bissau, coupled with the fact that he has been denied the ECOWAS chairmanship since he seized power in 1994, Jammeh is convinced that Macky Sall is the reason for his reduced influence in the Casamance and Guinea Bissau as well as the driving force behind his current regional problems and diplomatic isolation. 

The hostility towards president Sall and the scapegoating of his government is expected to increase as the 2016 presidential elections draw near.  Yaya Jammeh must find a convenient scapegoat for his failed economic policies and diplomatic isolation to present to a disgruntled electorate. And that scapegoat is President  Macky Sall.