By Malik Kah
Yahya Jammeh has not shifted an inch, his speech was incoherent and inconsistent but the primary theme of his discourse is to find a way of agreeing to go back to the pools, this tenet of his argument has not changed and he intends in the coming days to work with the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY to enforce his perceived solution, in the mean time he wants to bargain with time, de-escalate the tension with the international community reassure the Gambians that he will not witch hunt nobody and then dictate the terms of the negotiations going forward.
All his efforts are focused on two things de- escalation of the temperature as Gambians are fleeing in large numbers he can sense the seriousness of his actions of intimidation, deploying the army in sandbags everywhere, ordering the army to occupy and shutdown the IEC, closing radio stations and arresting youths with GAMBIA HAS DECIDED T-SHIRTS. Its these actions that have captured the attention of the international community sending them the signal that Jammeh is not negotiating in good faith, despite the calls by team Barrow for him to open up channels of communication for a smooth handover of power. Jammeh having been cornered and realising that all his options are off the table, he has decided to send overtures of peace and set up a team to engage in dialogue. He wants to control the narrative and tell us that only the Supreme Court can determine who is president , completely effacing the constitutional mandate of the IEC, an institution he has now come to loath.
Being crafty he tries very soothing words of assurances to get both the international community and The Gambians trapped in his booby trap already set up to be aided and abetted by the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY in preempting the Presidential inauguration of the 19th January. His intention is to dock and dive ECOWAS, reassuring them that a local mediation is in progress, hence there is no need for their mediation services, but the fool does not realise that the people of the world have enough of him and will not allow him a single day after the 19th. As for the members of the national assembly, any attempt to extend Jammeh’s prolongation will amount to treason and must be treated as such, so all those that vote on record for such a move will have to answer for it.
Local Mediation has never been respected by Yaya Jammeh. The inter-party Committee facilitated by the UNDP is a prime example where many hours were spend by opposition leaders and Jammeh’s representatives discussing terms for the elections. A document was agreed upon on election conduct which among other things forbid service personnel from being involved during election campaigns, at the last minute Jammeh refused to attend a meeting organised by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to sign the memorandum of understanding. Thus appointing his newly appointed Secretary General as “Mediator General” is not only unconstitutional but unethical and is nothing but a ploy to alienate ECOWAS mediators and render the In-coming government powerless to stop his illegal and unconstitutional plans to remain in power beyond his mandate. The only responsibility the Secretary General should be tasked with is facilitating a smooth transition by getting all branches of government to work with the incoming administration.
Editor’s note: In a BBC interview this morning 11 January 2016, Jammeh’s new Information Minister Seedy Njie kept insisting that while Jammeh’s election petition is ongoing, there will be no inauguration on 19th January.