Yahya Jammeh’s silence amid Presidential election year and during what could be described as the most defining moment of his presidency, reaffirms his contempt for Democracy, freedom of speech and free market economies. Although he does not hide his pure hunger for absolute power and greed for worldly material gains, there is something deeper and far revealing about the true nature of the Gambian leader and his mind frame. When the history of his reign is finally written, historians will find that the true description of Yahya Jammeh is ‘hate for democracy, free market ideas, justice and basic decency towards his fellow citizens.
No leader has ever displayed so much arrogance, cowardice and fear to compete against his fellow citizens on the battle field of ideas, democracy and freedom. Yahya Jammeh’s manhood and toughness only flourishes when he puts everybody down and stands alone without any form of questioning or challenge to his way of doing things. He cannot stand up next to world leaders and speak freely about progressive ideas, peace and justice for his fellow human beings. He has become an isolationist not because of his desires, but simply because he cannot handle free flow of ideas without being dictatorial.
His little mind and egoistic inferiority makes him run away from his fellow regional partners. He pulls the Gambia out of conventions and International treaties because he could not muster the courage to be part of a league of civilized nations. He pounds his chest and threatens poor Gambians and subordinates using state power. As the saying goes “If You Want to Know What a Man’s Like, look at How He Treats His Inferiors”. Yahya Jammeh’s disdain for Democracy, free market economies and lack of respect for his fellow Gambians disqualifies him from holding public office much less the Presidency. He cannot be a role model to the nation’s children who should be looking up to the President and the first family. Yahya Jammeh is unfit to occupy the office of President and the Gambian opposition and people must show him the way out come December 2016.
One of the fundamental pillars of the Gambian constitution that Yahya Jammeh first changed was the provision preventing the President of the Republic from engaging in any commercial business – except Agriculture. He engineered his rubber stamping Parliament to change this provision so he can get into any form of business without fear of conflict of interest. That section as outlined below was designed to prevent the president from abusing office by engaging in business competition with the private sector.
CHAPTER VI section 68 subsection (4) categorically states that: The
President shall not-
- while he or she continues in office as President, hold any other office of profit or emolument whether public or private, occupy any other position carrying the right to remuneration for the rendering of services, or directly or indirectly carry on any trade, business or other undertaking;
- Provided that the President may undertake and carry on any agricultural business including farming, horticulture, livestock rearing and artisanal fishing;
- undertake any activity inconsistent with his or her official position or expose himself or herself to any situation which carries with it the risk of a conflict developing between his or her official concerns and his or her private interests;
- use him or her position as such or use information entrusted to receive by him or her in an official position directly or indirectly to enrich himself or herself or any other person.
After successfully repealing this basic fundamental principle of fairness to prevent abuse of office, Yahya Jammeh with his corrupt mind and envy for folks in privilege positions, was out to enrich himself at the expense of the Gambian people. Since he became President in 1994, Yahya Jammeh has engaged in every sector of commercial business in the Gambia. From public transportation, illegal grabbing of private lands and or government reserves, Hotels belonging to the State, Building Villas and stamping his name on them, importation of basic commodities such as sugar; rice, flower for breath, logging, sand mining, fishing and you name it. He expanded his illegal business deals to include registering Oil Companies onshore and offshore and owning petrol stations he describes as State owned. President Yahya Jammeh has enriched himself from rags to riches by engaging in illegal business quid pro quo (Pay to play). His closest allies are business tycoons who pays him directly for running businesses in the Gambia. He is on record ordering arrest, detention and deportation of foreign investors simply because he wanted to take over their business. He was even alleged to be working with drug barons who may have been behind the smuggling of over $2 Billion Dollars’ worth of Cocaine that was seized in Bonto.
So Yahya Jammeh wealth to which he said his family will never be poor are all illegal wealth acquired against the principles of fair market economy. He competes with petty market traders whose livelihood are solely depended on the little they can sell in the local markets on a daily basis. Jammeh is even afraid to compete with such poor women hustling to put food on the table. He has banned several businesses and has personally interfered with Gambia’s monetary policies to the extent of him dictating the exchange rate against foreign countries. This has led to higher inflation and price hikes in local markets. A clear example of where Jammeh interfered in the private sector business is the sale of livestock during religious feast. In fact, he is also the dominant market force in selling meat essentially putting butchers in the market out of business.
In essence, Yahya Jammeh is not only the worst leader Gambia will ever have, but the worst citizen ever to occupy public office. His contempt for free market competition, Democracy and freedom of information are the foundation of his dictatorship. He is so spiritually, morally and politically inept that he could not get out in the country and compete base on his ideas or what he is able to do for the country. He cannot open his eyes and see the opposition challenging his ideas and how he runs the country. Thus, he tucks his tail and hide behind “what I have done for you” and threatening Gambians that if they don’t vote for him he will not bring development to their regions.
The only way Yahya Jammeh can survive is by putting everybody down and pretending to be the most patriotic citizen. Citizens who love their country would love their people first as there will not be a country without a people, not their material wealth. While he accuses the West of looting Africa’s resources in his debunked history of 400 years of Colonial rule, Yahya Jammeh is the typical African corrupt leader who sees everything as money and nothing else. He cannot see people or relate to them. It is time for Gambians to not only vote Yahya Jammeh out to restore Democracy, rule of law and fairness but also hold him accountable for the massive loot of national resources. For those Jammeh sympathizers calling for forgiveness to give Jammeh an incentive to give up power, we say to you there is a difference between revenge and providing justice for innocent Gambian victims. The law of the land must prevail and citizens who have become victims of the Jammeh regime must be accorded justice no matter how long it takes. A nation cannot heal without acknowledgement of wrong and injustice.. as Dr. King said “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice”