‘His spirit was broken, dead’, former minister gives inside scoop on Jammeh’s last days
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Gambia’s former president,Yahya Jammeh, was bereft of hope and confidence in the dying days of his rule despite projection of strength.This disclosure was made by no less than the former minister of Information, Sheriff Bojang, who was with him when he conceded electoral defeat to Adama Barrow in 2016.
“I was with President Jammeh in his room the day after he lost the election. The presence had left him. Slumped across his desk, he forlornly told me, “Can you hear them cursing my mother?” Even in the fortified executive office in the depths of the presidential office building, I could hear the frenzied crowds chanting the death of the dictatorship. I did not reply. I looked him straight in the eye. He was alive, breathing, but his spirit was broken, dead. My eyes misted. This was not the end I wished for him. I had become close to him. And like the dauphins to the French king, although I deeply love him and deeply hate him, I never wished him such an inglorious exit. But God decreed so.
Indeed God decreed so, but in political calculus, what one does or fails to do basically determines one’s fate. If President Jammeh had listened and acted upon the advice of some of his aides, he would still have been resident at No 1 Marina Parade. Just like Donald Trump would have continued to live No 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for another four years if he had acted likewise. But hubris, they say, presages a fall”.