|Jammeh on tour|
The tour, twice postponed in the midst of the border closure negotiations which failed to reach a conclusive end, is proving to be what we thought it was from the start: an attempt by Jammeh to divert public attention away from his political troubles.
He has succeeded somewhat by issuing threats against the opposition throughout the tour.
" Let me warn you, those evil vermin called opposition. If you want to destabilize this country, I will bury you nine feet deep and no westerner can say anything," he said
The dictator claims that press description of the ongoing political protests as "massive" was exaggeration. The West, according to Jammeh, is fanning the flames by instigating and supporting the Gambian opposition in its effort to destabilize his government.
The political protests are a major problem of Jammeh but so is the border closure between Gambia and Senegal which appears to stay shut throughout the month of Ramadan, putting further pressure on an economy that has been sputtering for more than two years.
Jammeh and his entourage, dubbed "rent-a-crowd" because most of the crowd is accompanying him from Banjul are in Basse tonight and will be traveling to Mansa Konko where he will have a night stop before proceeding to his home village of Kanilai on Monday.
Sources close to the tour consider the trip to be a pure waste of scare resources because farmers and the people in the provinces were never given the opportunity to present their grievances to the dictator. "It was a monologue instead of a dialogue with the people," said another member of Jammeh's entourage, referring to the official title of the tour that is "Dialogue with the people's tour.".