Most African leaders have trampled on the rights of their citizens so much that they are scared of leaving power. President Yahya Jammeh is no exception. But one of his main opponents said “Jammeh’s amnesty will be discussed if he does not pose his candidature for the December 2016 presidential elections.”
Dembo Bye Force Bojang, the National President of the United Democratic Party, told a Bakau rally on Sunday that his party would consider allowing Mr. Jammeh to live in peace if he has “honourably handed over power.”
President Jammeh has been in office since 1994 when he seized power by force. His government has been under the radar for its gross violations of human rights, bad governance and disrespect for the rule of law, among others. Gambian economy has not fared well under Jammeh either, as evidenced by record external and internal debts. Previous calls for Jammeh to resign have been greeted with deaf silence.
While it is not clear whether Yahya Jammeh will heed to Mr. Bojang’s advice, another opposition executive called on Bakau people never to blink in their “efforts to salvage The Gambia.” Kemeseng Jammeh, a former Jarra West Lawmaker, said “Bakau is second to none in protecting and defending any attempt to destroy this country. The fate of The Gambia is in the hands of the Kombos,” he said.
Kemeseng said no one needs a lesson on why youths are abandoning the country. He blamed hardship resulting from the Jammeh government’s bad policies as the culprit. He called on Gambian youths to give “at least half of their time to football time to politics, which shapes their future.” He emphasised the significant role of youths in bringing change in Senegal and Burkina Faso.
The President of UDP’s Female Wing showered praises on party leader. Aji Yam Secka thanked Darboe for his wise leadership since 1996. Secka is convinced that President Jammeh is beatable in an election. “If election cannot remover him, what else can remove him democratically?” she asked. She called on the women of all opposition patties to re-enforce UDP to remove Jammeh.
Mrs. Secka advised the electoral commission Chairman Mustapha Carayol to “resign or retire” and “avoid being used by Yahya Jammeh.”
For Pesse Njie, the only cancer the country has is “a leader who fails governance” and lacks respect among his colleagues. He said The Gambia is important but cannot realise its goals mainly due to bad leadership.
Lamin Jatta of Brikama said his problem with President Jammeh is his “failure to honour his promise to improve our livelihood. This is why he should do justice to himself and give up power.”
UDP Bakau Rally photos: A well attended event.