Saturday, November 12, 2016

"No elections, no military or foreign power can take me out of office," says the Gambian dictator

Yaya Jammeh and APRC supporters
Last week, Yaya Jammeh convened and chaired a contract signing ceremony, a low-key affair normally the function of the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs or the appropriate line ministry that the project is under,  He did so at the Cabinet Room in the full glare of the national television cameras because it is an election year.

To preempt the opposition criticism of the stunt as a campaign gimmick designed to extract maximum publicity, he opened his statement by attacking the opposition's presidential candidates by stating that they will not be elected into the  National Assembly even if they tried.  As far as Jammeh is concerned, the opposition is unfit to serve in any elected office.

Jammeh did not stop at that.  He proceeded to issue a warning to the opposition as well as the international community, particularly the UN, EU, America, UK, ECOWAS and Senegal by saying and we quote "no election, no military or foreign power can take me out of office."  He added that "only Allah" can remove him from office.

It has now come to light that Jammeh never intended to have his statement broadcast over television which has contributed to the dismissal, arrest and detention of served as Director General of the state-controlled radio and television, Momodou Sabally, who is being grilled at the NIA for his failure to edit that portion of Jammeh statement.

It is a statement that suggests that Jammeh intend to stay in power regardless of the wishes of the Gambian voters, raising eyebrows as well as being being taken seriously in many quarters because he was effectively declaring that participation in the presidential election is an exercise in futility since it will not dislodge dislodge him from power.