Thursday, November 17, 2016

Security Alert: Jammeh's deteriorating health and plummeting popularity pose a security threat

Former Minister Yankuba Touray with worried APRC supporters
Yaya Jammeh's week-long nationwide re-election campaign tour is slowly unraveling an unpleasant message of plummeting popularity and support that signals the end of an era of unchallenged authority fueled in part by unbridled support.  The other part of his support was through force and intimidation.

Because of 22 years of inappropriate and bad fiscal and monetary as well as high level corruption that has come to represent Jammeh dictatorial regime, Gambians have seen their standard of living eroded by deliberate policies designed to make Jammeh and his business cronies rich at the expense of everybody else and the incidence of poverty doubled, particularly among the rural poor.  The hostile economic environment resulting from Jammeh's failed policies has driven young people away from every rural hamlets across the country into the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean in search of brighter futures, ending, at times, in great loss of life.

Evident during the tour is the lack of enthusiasm amidst among Jammeh's supporters that was made up of a large portion of the Mandinka ethnic group that he now threatens with extermination that caught the eye of the United Nation's Special Adviser on Genocide.  The result of such violent rhetoric from Jammeh has resulted in a sharp drop in his support, not only among Mandinkas but across the board.

The opposition, on the other hand, has managed against all odds to coalesce around a single candidate to take the fight to the Gambian dictator this presidential year.  The 7-party Coalition is brimming with confidence and unafraid to exercise their right to assemble and to campaign vigorously against Jammeh.  As a result, and in an attempt to slow down the opposition momentum, Jammeh has instructed agents of his notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to intimidate and arrest coalition supporters to instill fear.  Jammeh sees Adama barrow, the Coalition leader as a genuine threat to his presidency.   It is expected that an emboldened Coalition will stand its ground against Jammeh and the NIA.

The lack of enthusiastic in the face of plummeting appears not to be the only challenge facing Jammeh and his entourage.  His health has become another cause for concern compelling his Syrian doctors to advise that he interrupt his tour and return home for urgent medial attention.  Whether he will heed the advise is anybody's guess.  Some family members have joined the chorus with an appeal to other members of the family to intervene.   Readers will recall that a similar incident occured last year when he fell ill and had to interrupt his farmers' tour.  

Jammeh suffers from occasional blackouts the cause of which is a closely held state secret - the condition that sometimes lasts for days.  It is being reported that he suffered the same in Farafenni a day or two ago.  A minister was overheard saying that the online media were right in suggesting that there is something seriously wrong with Jammeh's health.  The state is in a precarious condition which did not go unnoticed.  In Banjul, soldiers loyal to General Badgie were seen yesterday in full battle gear in and around the offices of the General.  

                                    VOTE COALITION   -   VOTE ADAMA BARROW