President Yahya Jammeh’s ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation Party (APRC) is loaded with puppet parliamentarians who betray their mandate. Instead of serving their constituents’ interest, these APRC deputies busy themselves with entrenching Yahya Jammeh in power. For them serving Babil Mansa’s interest is a solemn national duty, and is therefore second to nothing. Rather than burying their heads in the sand, these nincompoop lawmakers would load all their bullets on wrong targets. They kept saying “let the opposition do what the president is doing for the country.” They talk as if the opposition is entrusted with tax collection.
But these are the same lawmakers who would leave their unfinished national business only to camp in Kanilai to celebrate the President’s birthday. At one point, we were told one brave lawmaker in the person of Demba Dem could not take the nonsense any longer. His disappointment lies in the fact that the deputies were wasting their invaluable in unworthy celebration when they should be fighting for their constituents’ needs. The former Niani lawmaker would later pay the bitter price for being a “defiant lone rebel.” He was illegally arrested, detained and tortured in the aftermath of the March 21st foiled coup. Efforts to frame and convict Dem on trump up treason charges failed.
Despite have sweeping majority in parliament, President Jammeh still feels insecure. “He made sure that he bonded these APRC deputies so he could have more leverage over them,” one former Jammeh aide said. “He would shower money on them, and threaten to deal with them mercilessly if they downplay his interest,” the aide said, explaining a tense situation when the parliament rejected the budget tabled by the Finance Minister in 2005.
“President Jammeh quickly summoned the APRC mps to state house and started raining insults on them, repeatedly telling them that they’re stupid for biting the finger that feeds them,” the aide added. “The mps surrendered to the ground, with the former Majority Leader and lawmakerfor Upper Fuladu West, Churchill Falai Baldeh, retreating and assured a quick passage of a returned bill to parliament. Jammeh warned them that let this be the first and last if they don’t want him to be nasty on them. I don’t expect you to send me back the budget.”
The embarrassed and frustrated royal descendant ran out of political steam. And to make matters worse, Jammeh elbowed him ot of the 2007 contest. Churchill has since kept a low profile, principally to maintain his dignity and royal status, the aide said.
“How do you expect a surrended parliament to impeach the President when the need arises?” the aide asked.