OPINION: Jammeh must be reined in before the country catches fire!
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s latest hate speech and unprovoked tirade against a major ethnic group in the country is typical of his disastrous and divisive political game during his 22-year brutal rule.
Branding Barrow’s Government as tribalist is an erroneous statement and a stark misrepresentation of the truth, suggesting his disconnect from the realities on the ground. Jammeh clearly has an ill-intention to create confusion and divide the country along ethnic lines ahead of the crucial presidential election next month after he had thrown his party in disarray. Interestingly he played the ethnic card, and it woefully backfired against him. Ironically, such utterances stand to further alienate and isolate him because The Gambia is a homogenous and intertwined nation bound by history, religion, culture, and destiny.
Jammeh’s irresponsible statements were made during a rally jointly organized by Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) and the APRC faction supporting him at Buffer Zone. It’s abundantly clear that the former president is attempting to make a comeback to Gambia’s political arena, ensuring that he is still relevant. He is exigent, isolated, and lonely seeking attention.
Critics heap the blame on the doorstep of President Barrow, who has decided to form an alliance with APRC last September and went as far as visiting Jammeh’s family out of courtesy, according to him. Further, President Barrow had been strangely reticent to publicly speak against Jammeh, probably with the hope of forging an alliance with his party.
Since then, Jammeh, who has been mostly silent in exile until recently, has made telephone calls to his supporters during political rallies. The first one took place in his birthplace, Kanilai, where he implored his supporters to ally with the Gambia National Unity party until to ditch them for GDC. GDC must issue a statement apologizing to the general public and distancing the party from such an inconsistent and erratic leader to maintain or regain its glory. Otherwise, GDC might meet the same fate as GANU.
The pubic hearings before the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission have revealed heinous atrocities perpetrated against Gambians at the behest of Jammeh. As such, Jammeh should face Justice rather than poke his nose in Gambia’s politics because Gambians have forever turned their backs on dictatorship and tyranny, which were the hallmarks of Jammeh’s brutal rule.
Jammeh has slammed the door to Barrow’s overtures for reconciliation by categorically stating that he does not support Barrow and will never support him. The message could not be more precise!
The Barrow Government is duty-bound to alert the United Nations, the African Union, and the regional bloc, ECOWAS, about Jammeh’s irresponsible statements to sow discord within the peace-loving people of the Gambia. Further, the Government must realize that Justice must precede accountability and reconciliation because the victims have been impatiently waiting for Justice for too long. If Jammeh is not bridled soon, he can set the country on fire from his exile.
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