Sunday, January 24, 2016

Another slap in the face of the Christian community

Bishop James Yaw Odico.
Yaya Jammeh, the Gambian dictator, has delivered yet another slap in the face of the minority Christian community in the Gambia by delegating the Mayor of Banjul instead of his Vice President or, at least, a member of his Cabinet to represent the Government at the consecration of Bishop James Yaw Odico who is the second Gambian to hold such position.

The Mayor of Banjul who was elected to the job not as a member of the ruling party but as an Independent candidate and, therefore, does not even share the same political party with Jammeh.  The Mayor is not part of the hierarchy of the government establishment and neither does he occupy an official post within the government of Yaya Jammeh.

This blatant snub is coming at the heels of Jammeh's abrupt decision to proclaim The Gambia, the smallest country on the African continent an Islamic Republic, making it only the second such Republic in Africa after Mauritania.

By contrast, when the late Bishop Johnson was enthroned as Archbishop, Jammeh was gracious enough to have, at least, delegated his Vice President.  Opposition Leaders and the Imam Ratib of Banjul were also in attendance.

To have delegated the Mayor of Banjul as government's representative is not only a slap in the face of Anglicans but the Christian community at large.  As a leader in the Christian community put it to us "Benjamin Roberts could have represented the Government because he is a Christian."  Mr. Roberts, the only Christian in Jammeh's cabinet, is the current Minister of Tourism.