President Yahya Jammeh has once again betrayed the trust and confidence Gambians have bestowed on him by focusing his energy on issues that are irrelevant to our national interest. Instead of using his countrywide tour to address the many problems, Mr. Jammeh is picking bones with Senegalese leaders as if they are sabotaging his development agenda or on the verge of invading The Gambia. Cementing good brotherly relations with the government of a country that surrounds us in all sides except by the ocean is a necessity. Jammeh’s tone is loaded with jealousy and frustration. He is jealous of his Senegalese counterparts for achieving what he could not in 21 years, despite going through both front and back door. Here we mean that Mr. Jammeh used fair and foul means to attain the ECOWAS Chairmanship. If Gambians don’t know what we are talking about Jammeh does. We will leave that for another time.
Both former President Dawda Jawara and Senegalese leaders headed the sub-regional economic grouping. In fact, the ECOWAS elected President Macky Sall just two years into his presidency because he is a trustworthy leader who preaches what he believes in. He is unlike The Gambia’s bully, unpredictable leader who spares no one with his gores. ECOWAS leaders will not elect into office a leader whose backyard is full of baggage and is not willing to do the clean up. Besides, how can Jammeh lead ECOWAS when his government has no respect for the Community Court’s verdicts?
For Mr. Jammeh to lead the 15-member body he has to go through a complete rebirth or baptism first. That means he must, among others, believe and behave like a a real democrat, shun human rights violations, investigate unsolved tortures, murders and disappearances and allow other arms of the government – the Judiciary and Legislature – to operate independently. The laundry list is just too long.
President Jammeh is frustrated with the positive attention, support and praise Senegalese leaders enjoy. Let’s not forget that President Barack Obama visited Senegal two years after President Sall was elected. Mr. Jammeh could not stomach it any more that is why he is badmouthing Senegalese leaders. He did not understand why they outpace him in everything.
We ask one favour from President Jammeh: leave Senegalese leaders and focus on the baggage in your backyard. Gambians did not vote you into office to settle personal scores with their Senegalese brothers. Our only difference is the colonial divide. Don’t create problem where there is none.