Gambian president has once again caught the world’s attention when he expressed his intention to replace English as the country’s official language.
President Yahya Jammeh wanted an unnamed local language to become the former British colony’s official language.
“We no longer subscribe to the belief that for you to be a government you should speak English language,” President Jammeh said as he presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the Gambia’s new Chief Justice on Friday.
President Jammeh had earlier withdrawn the Gambia from the Commonwealth of Nations without prior consultation with Gambian citizens. Even the country’s rubber-stamping parliament was bypassed. Jammeh said his government would “never be a member of any neo-colonial institution”.
Since he ascended to power through a military coup in July 1994, Yahya Jammeh had been launching systematic verbal attacks on Britain, accusing the former colonial master of everything, including looting the Gambia’s resources. Mr. Jammeh reached to the height of his accusations when he accused Britain and the United States of attempting to overthrow him from power. Both countries dashed the allegations, describing them as unfounded and lacking grounds.
Gambian president came under intense international pressure following his government’s secret execution of nine death row inmates in August 2012. Right groups continue to scold the Gambia over its crackdown on the rights of citizens.