Gambian leader announced the banning of FGM in Kanilai on November 24th, 2015 during day 15 of his countrywide tour. Mr. Jammeh said he had arrived at the decision after researching the Quran and consulting religious leaders whether the practice is mentioned in the Qur’an. “But I did not find it there,” he said, describing the FGM as “a traditional practice. We could have allowed it to continue if it was a religious practice but it is not.”
Blaming FGM for causing cervical cancer and deaths in labour, Jammeh warned punishment awaited the circumciser, parents if circumcised girl and head of the village. The Jammeh government later outlawed FGM through a legislation.
Anti-FGM activists and groups showered praises on Yahya Jammeh for nailing a coffin on such a contentious issue.
But Kairo News investigation found that Yahya Jammeh banned the practice for a totally different reason. “You know Yahya Jammeh hates to see anyone who attracts funding. His anger boils especially when he has no control over these funds,” said a former presidential aide. “Yahya Jammeh banned FGM purposely to deny groups fighting for eradicating funds. He thinks the likes of Gambia Committee for the Eradication of Traditional Harmful Practices (GAMCOTRAP) are attracting huge international funding yet the government has no control over. Jammeh decided to ban the FGM after his attempts to implicate Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho in financial fraud.”
The aide accused Jammeh of being selfish and self-centered person who has supported FGM throughout his presidency. “Is he not the same Yahya Jammeh who threatens the anti-FGM activists?” the aide asked. “He has repeatedly said that those whose mothers are not circumcised should shut up.”