By Pata PJ
I’d be the first to believe that I’m an optimist but admit that a realist too. I’m very confident that with or without ECOWAS, Gambians have the capacity to defend their mandate, as far as who they choose to lead them. HOWEVER, I’m also a realist to accept that Yaya Jammeh speech tonight did nothing to calm any nerves or lessen any tensions or concerns. Nothing!, for me.
IF Yaya Jammeh has any intentions of ‘maintaining peace’, the first he’d do is to assure displaced and fleeing Gambians of his commitment to ensuring that nothing happens, and that that they should stay put. Instead, he didn’t even acknowledge those concerns much more address them.
The excitement for us has been about two buzz words that I am understanding differently from many: MEDIATOR-GENERAL and AMNESTY.
**MEDIATOR-GENERAL’s primary mandate according to Jammeh is
(i) “to ensure that the public and civil service work proficiently in an ‘APOLITICAL MANNER'” (that whether you’re APRC or Coalition supporter, let that not affect your work);
(ii) “to work with ALL STAKEHOLDERS in the COUNTRY so that all parties CAN BE HEARD to settle all MISTRUSTS and issues” (not to facilitate a quick transition)
(iii) “to work with minister of Justice (Fatima Singhateh) and National Assembly (who were seen on GRTS defending his position) to draft a GENERAL AMNESTY BILL to confirm and ensurev there’s no witch hunt so that we can RESTORE a climate of Confidence and Security within CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE”. (we heard about talks of NA wanting tiki extend his term)
My poor comprehension ability has me understanding that in Yaya’s head, he WAS WRONGED by Gambians and he’s willing to put on paper that he’s forgiving and wouldn’t pursue any possible culprits. Absolutely nothing to do with him cutting an exit route for himself. Otherwise, where have you seen an outgoing president with 10 days to end of his term, who has no mandate to draft and amnesty for himself especially when they’re still not been conciliatory?
This, he followed with an EXECUTIVE ORDER not to ARREST or PROSECUTE any person or offenses from NOVEMBER 1, 2016 – JANUARY 31 2017. Why retroactive and post his legal mandate? Because the Coalition was formed in November and he thought that’s when all these shit started, and he’s looking to stay beyond his mandate that’s why he went to the 31 January.
Yaya Jammeh IS NOT RELENTING. He until today is arguing that he was cheated, and insists that ONLY THE SUPREME COURT can review his case and DECLARE who is president. He maintains that we ‘await their decision’ when that court hasn’t sat and isn’t sitting to review before his mandate expires.
I’M AFRAID that IF there’s no ECOWAS intervention in the Gambia, by the 19th, things will get ugly. That’s the.mischievous demeanor I saw in him. I cannot see the Coalition budging on the swearing in of the legitimate president Barrow and I’m not seeing Yaya willingly yielding. ECOWAS HAS TO COME.