Friday, March 18, 2016

Impeach Jammeh

Yaya Jammeh looking ill 
Jammeh has done it again. This time, he skipped the ceremony that signals the start of a new National Assembly session, leaving his distinguished guests comprising of Ambassadors from America, Britain, Nigeria, European Union, cabinet ministers, Supreme Court Justices and numerous local dignitaries scratching their heads in wonderment, and for good reason.

The ceremony also referred to as the State Opening of Parliament is a post- Independent legacy borrowed from Britain that has been observed continuously since 1965, except in 1994-95 when Jammeh headed the military junta that seized power illegally from the constitutionally elected government of Sir Dawda Jawara.

The State Opening of Parliament is a constitutional requirement.

The second interruption of the tradition occured yesterday when the guests, who were already seated, were asked to disperse.  The Speaker of the National Assembly informed a very surprised group of dignitaries that he's received word from the Office of the President announcing that the "State Opening of Parliament has been postponed until further notice."
Invited guests leaving the Assembly Building

No reason was advanced by authorities for the abrupt change, inviting speculative chatter across social media, including the suggestion that Jammeh is gravely ill. Jammeh's mental and physical health manifested by irrational and bizarre behavior have been the subject of discussion and a source of concern for Gambians.

After the postponement was announced, the presidential motorcade was seen speeding towards Jammeh's home village of Kanilai with a figure in white robe in the cover of darkness, waving at onlookers along the road.

Jammeh has effectively abandoned his duties as Head of State by sending an inordinate time in Kanilai instead of State House at the detriment of the security of the state and the welfare of Gambians.  Postponing the ceremony will cost the public treasury millions of dalasis that a struggling economic can least afford - an act that exceeds the threshold  "economic crime."

Section 66 of the Constitution provides for the removal of a president for infirmity of the mind.  Both of Jammeh's physical and mental health has deteriorated over time, the consequent of which is the negligence of national duty that threatens the security of the state.  National Assembly Members - especially the 45 National Assembly Members of the ruling party -  must, therefore, assume their collective constitutional responsibilities of putting up the motion to impeach Jammeh for not being of sound mind and body.