What Jammeh Wants

Yahya Jammeh, President of the Republic of the Gambia, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson!

By Baba Galleh Jallow

Certainly, Jammeh’s ultimate desire is to totally nullify the results of the December 1st elections and stay on in power. Over the past 22 years, he has repeatedly declared that neither elections nor coups can remove him from power. And while coups might be beyond his power to anticipate or control, elections are something he remains confident he can prevent from removing him from power. His shocking but not surprising about-face after conceding defeat to Mr. Barrow is the first manifestation of his assumed capacity to prevent elections from removing him from power.

But rejecting the election results, having soldiers occupy the electoral commission offices and filing a bogus petition with the non-existent Supreme Court are just first steps in Jammeh’s plan to hang on to power. He has some ugly tricks under his sleeve that he intends to inflict on the Gambian people in the coming days and weeks, especially after his term expires on January 19. His promotion of several dozen members of the security forces just before he made his about-face is part of this ugly plan. Jammeh is selling his electoral defeat to the Gambian armed forces as a “we honest soldiers against them corrupt civilians” scenario, just as he had done in the period leading up to his coup of 1994. He is making the army believe that it is them, patriotic armed forces of The Gambia, against a cohort of corrupt civilians and their foreign masters who want to exploit The Gambia’s resources, place the country and its people under foreign bondage, and corrupt the morals of Gambian society.

Having studied Jammeh for 22 years, we know for sure that he never really retired from the military. What Gambia has had for the past 22 years is a military dictator in civilian clothes, a classical wolf in sheepskins although he couldn’t hide his ravenous appetite for the flesh and blood of those he considers “lesser animals”. Honest members of the Gambia armed forces will tell you that Jammeh is fond of reminding them that he is part and parcel of the army and that it is their duty as custodians of Gambian security never to allow the country to fall into the hands of corrupt civilians and their foreign neocolonialist masters ever again. He is busy singing that same song now, away from the public eye and sadly, some elements of the Gambian armed forces are buying into it, perhaps because it is the most convenient and lucrative thing for them to do. Jammeh dared to reject the election results because he believes that he has the undivided loyalty of his fellow soldiers in the Gambia Armed Forces or at least significant sections of the Gambian military. He plans to use the army to totally nullify the results of the December 1 elections and stay on in power. And if Gambian people and the world don’t like it, well, you know what he says; they can all go to hell.

Having convinced the military that they need to rise up and prevent The Gambia from being taken over by corrupt civilians and their foreign masters, Jammeh is waiting for an opportunity to deliver the dead blow to the aspirations of the Gambian people. He now hopes that the Gambian people go out into the streets to protest or demonstrate against his annulment of the elections. When that happens, he plans to brutally suppress the protests or demonstrations and then have all members of the Coalition leadership rounded up and thrown into prison. This explains why he has deployed armed soldiers all over Banjul and Serekunda. So far, his plan has been frustrated by the cool-headed manner in which the Coalition leadership and the Gambian public have reacted to his provocative insult against the will of the Gambian people. Because no one has come out to demonstrate, he is not yet able to have the Coalition leadership arrested. But that is precisely what he wants to do, given the slightest opportunity. It is imperative that the Coalition leadership keeps this important fact in mind: namely, that Jammeh will use any outbreak of public protest or demonstration against his rejection of the election results to have all of them arrested and thrown into jail so he could stay in power. If the Coalition plans on inaugurating Mr. Barrow as Gambian president on January 18, they should keep this fact and mind and work on a Plan B.

Jammeh has his obnoxious plan all laid out and ready to go. He is just waiting for an opportunity to put it into motion. He will not listen to the ECOWAS leaders’ reasoning and their pleas to step down in the interest of peace and the security of the Gambian people. Jammeh does not care about the peace of security of the Gambian people. Jammeh will also not listen to the United Nations, or the United States, or Senegal, or anyone for that matter. He does not care about threats of serious sanctions, unless those sanctions are in the form of military intervention, which is the only thing that can remove him from power, barring a sudden natural death or arrest by members of the Gambian security forces. It would be a disastrous mistake to expect that Jammeh will willingly step down when his term expires in January 2017. While that is the date stipulated in the Gambian constitution, Jammeh does not care about the constitution either, as he has repeatedly demonstrated for the past 22 years.

If Jammeh is not somehow persuaded or forced to leave before January 18, 2017 he is not going to leave on that date. In fact, he would be eagerly awaiting any sign of protest or demonstration in The Gambia which he would promptly use as a pretext to arrest all the coalition leaders, including Adama Barrow and throw them into jail. At his chosen moment thereafter, he would drag them before some kangaroo court manned by mercenary judges, bring bogus charges against them, and give them long prison sentences. He would then have succeeded in inflicting a fatal blow on the highest aspirations of the Gambian people and would continue his reign of terror for as long as is possible for him. If that happens, we may just be saddled with Jammeh “for a billion years”. This man has no conscience and will lose no sleep over the blood he will spill or the families he will destroy.

If the international community is serious about helping Gambians deal with this brutal dictator, they should act now rather than later. If they intend to send in a military intervention force, they should do so as soon as possible. This is, of course not an option Gambians want by any stretch of the imagination. But the coalition leadership should not reject that possibility out of hand. For one thing, removing Jammeh from power will not only serve the purpose of allowing Mr. Barrow and his government to take their rightful place as the new custodians of the Gambian constitution. It would also serve the purpose of getting a brutal and oppressive Machiavellian tyrant off the tired backs of the Gambian people. While we hate to imagine any form of violence in our dear little country, unfortunately, it might be the only viable option for the removal of a bloodthirsty tyrant who is intent upon indefinitely holding the Gambian people hostage. If the international community fails to act decisively one way or the other before January 18, and barring the decisive intervention of well-meaning members of the Gambia Armed Forces, Yahya Jammeh will eventually frustrate the Gambian public to such an extent that mass demonstrations would be inevitable. And when that happens, he will get what he wants: He will brutally repress the demonstrations and promptly have the coalition leadership arrested and thrown into jail. Gambians and the international community must know that if it boils down to what reason dictates or what God wants versus what Yahya Jammeh wants, Yahya Jammeh will do what Yahya Jammeh wants.


Author’s Note: Please share as widely as possible. We need to expose and frustrate this tyrant’s hideous plot.



  1. Mr Jallow you have beautifully articulated my thinking . Jammeh is not going to leave willingly unless he is threaten either through massive uprising or military intervention. As you have indicated, right now he planned his evil ideas and he is waiting for time to act . Already yesterday he falsely preached peace and reconciliation just to one more time deceive The Gambian people. Right now the international community must act before January 17th . Yaya jammeh has already committed a treasonable offense . He and his criminal militia forces will never let Gambian people have their constitutional rights be accepted in our country. Gambian people must prepare themselves for The worst case scenario. By the end of this coming week , international community including Senegal should send special forces to get rid of jammeh . Jammeh’s continue oppression and occupation of statehouse is a threat to peace , security and democracy of the subregion and Africa in general . Yaya must be captured before it is too late . Based on what I have heard him saying yesterday, it is only force or threat that would remove him from power . I am more and more convinced that military intervention is the method which will end this stalemate.

  2. Baba, our MURDEROUS kanilai DEVIL is a PREDATORY Dracula for REAL; anybody underrating yaya KILLER DEVIL especially at this material time will tantamount to suicide &/ complicity to genocide of a magnitude…

    The reality is also for the fact that some of the syndola indoctrinated mercenary elements in uniform in yaya’s services have themselves done the MURDEROUS kanilai DEVIL’s biddings in the killings, rape torture & various humanity crimes; they are themselves constantly reminded by the kanilai Lucifer that beside itself (yaya), they “too are liable for prosecution for the crimes committed; hence MOTHER-WITCH Isatou Njie SHE-DEVIL Saidy urged the mercenaries in state clothes to “always remain loyal to the supreme kanilai KILLER DEVIL at all times”…

    I will wonder what the ECOWAS purpose of “fact finding delegation” would be of any use or means IF they happen to “meet this Saturday in Nigeria” & didn’t send any troops on the ground into Gambia by January 1st to maintain their responsibilities as being demonstrated as expected & required of them under the circumstance…

    All Gambians must brace ourselves for the INEVITABLE if the syndola Warlord & Rebels continue to squat at State house by the first week of January WITHOUT any form of regional or International Community intervention on the ground…

    Yaya KILLER DEVIL is a proven MURDERER we all already know, & has already promised to “kill Mandinkas” & anybody else who happens to be on the way; & will continue to kill UNTIL terminated; the Regional & International community can’t restrain Gambians as they have already done in their appealed pronouncements & stay complacent IF this standoff continues unabated with our kanilai Warlords & rebels continued squatting in the State house…

    I join you & many Gambians to call on the International &/ Regional Communities to send troops on the ground into Gambia by January 1st to AVERT the potential bloodbath pending; diplomacy DOESN’T exist in yaya jammeh’s world…

    All Gambians must tighten our collective “belts” meanwhile; the Gambia WILL triumph no matter what; Insha Allah…

    Long live the Gambia…

  3. Unbiased Prince GB

    @Baba Galleh

    Yaya Jammeh might be too careful with his new conspiracies theory to work and so that he could live another day in power and he can test such ridiculous ideas out by flattering himself with naked stupidity but the fact still stands that, if he does not comply with what is naturally ordained by God-Almighty Allah, he would be going to his grave sooner than he thinks he knows.

    Yaya Jammeh can only out smart his stupid self but not God-Almighty Allah.

    Baba Galleh Jallow my dear fellow, did you not realise what happen to Yaya Jammeh’s conspiracy theorem which he had unleased in style of faultless before the elections (election rigging)? Was that not what he has been getting away with for the past 22 years and would have be the case of similarly or usually if Allah did not come to our avail?

    Yaya Jammeh is not zesting his stubbornness and stupidity on anything that can be dazzling in style of Gambians’ anticipation fellow as you know. But, that could simply enter us in the next phase of Yaya Jammeh being obliterated from the surface of earth for good. It may come at a unwanted price as could be rough and tense but if it comes to that juncture of power struggle Baba Galleh my fellow, I believe we should just brace for its bitter ends by being brave for ond and be projecting our sincere goodwill of citizenry obligation to its needs and get it out of the way so that our social serenity to last yet override all obliviousness in our political domains.

    Thanks but Mbada
    Wa Salaam

  4. I am sure every good option for him to peacefully and immediately handover power, was up the table for him. The distinguished delegation of the heads of West African countries were not just out to have tea with Jammeh. Imagining alone, the end resolve of the Gambia’s predicament is bitter but what got to be got to be. I am not in the Gambia is not true. I am all in the Gambia.
    What time was wasted to resolve the Sierra Leonean and Liberian painful-to-heal civil wars, I am sure, won’t be wasted in resolving Gambia’s. The Gambia and it citizens have always been under a state of hijack that imminently has reached its end. This is where we can rightiously say, ‘what got to be, got to be’
    God bless the Gambia.

  5. Dodou Jawneh

    Correctly articulated by Dr Jallow. Forget about what Mrs Tambajang has said in the Guardian report. Jammeh possibly started taking back the words in his concession speech shortly after delivering it or never meant anything contained in it. He probably began hatching his diabolical plan to renege on his concession as soon as Jammeh saw the street jubilation to his defeat and the relief that Gambians felt to the news of his ouster. Already we have learned that he shut down all lines of communication with the coalition very early on and prevented the president-elect’s speech from being aired on TV. Vindictive as he is, in addition to his intoxicated craving for power, there is no doubt that Jammeh is willing to go any length to hold on to power as Dr Jallow stated.

    The need for a plan B on the part of the coalition leaders is critical because of the asymmetrical power relation between then and dictator Jammeh, who already has the support of the army. We know from Jammeh’s history that he is unwavering in unleashing all the power at his disposal to quell any opposition. The coalition’s support at domestic and international level will, I think, give them a source of courage that can be used to good effect. The civil society organisations that pledged support to the coalition must be prepared to escalate their civil disobedience strategies to new levels that can hit Jammeh’s efforts directly. The international community can use sanctions as leverage but these are not enough for a humiliated Jammeh whose lack of moral fibre will take him to any length in causing havoc in both Gambia and Senegal. Therefore a military option, as mechanism for conflict mitigation in the ECOWAS that I recall the Gambia has been pivotal in developing and implementing, must come to its aid. If possible under the existing protocols, it is important that ECOWAS provides security guarantees to the coalition government as they prepare to take over the power bestowed on them by the Gambian people even before the presidential inauguration of 18 January.

  6. The coalition may consider moving to any of the embassies, preferably the American Embassy in the country, as a plan B, if President Jammeh does not show any sign of giving up power by January 15, to swear Mr Barrow in as President of the country on January 18.

    Ecowas on the other hand should have it’s Leaders on the ground by January 16 to witness the occasion as a show of solidarity to Mr Barrow unless otherwise prevented by Jammeh.

    Meanwhile, ECOWAS Troops can be on standby in neighbouring Senegal for a possible invasion aligned with Gambian Soldiers who may be loyal to the coalition government to establish law and order in the country.

  7. Banta jaiteh

    My dear brother Mr jallow, Yahya Jammeh will go out this time around by the will of Allah Insaahlahu Allah willing. Because he himself accepted the election results by saying how mightiestAllah is and that he is a good Muslim and his not questioning the outcome of the
    Election. Now he is not only denying in the eyes of the Gambian but also in the face of Allah. Insaahlahu Allah willing we will never let him come back to Rule over us again.

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