Why I Disagree With ECOWAS Court?

ECOWAS Court Judges/Google photo

Where was ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] when Yahya Jammeh tortured thousands of Gambians for 22 consecutive years? Where was ECOWAS when Jammeh massacred a dozen or more students in cold blood? For the ECOWAS [Community Court] to rule now that these victims of the former regime should be compensated from the government coffers, only indicates how incompetent and inefficient the regional organisation is.

The ECOWAS has failed the West African region since its inception and if anything it has cost its citizens more than it has benefited them in every aspect. If ECOWAS has been implementing its protocols and conventions signed and ratified by its member states, we wouldn’t be talking about compensation today. The ECOWAS Mission and Mandate reads: “Transforming West Africa into a fair and safe community in which men and women have equal opportunities to participate, decide, control and take advantage of all development initiatives.” Why they didn’t fulfil these mission by strongly condemning jammeh when he was butchering Gambians on a daily basis?

By all of a sudden ruling for the victims of Jammeh to be compensated millions of Dalasis is setting a precedent for all other victims to be compensated as well from our most needed resources to improve our social services. I would like to reiterate that Fatou Camara was part of the former regime, enjoying with Jammeh until she was removed from her job and later arrested. After she fled to the US, I can recall she mentioned during one of her programmes that she used to advise ladies coming to her to see the former President that they should ”write a letter and enclose their photos for the President to see” What a pimp?

As a nation, we need to focus on building our institutions and make sure that horrific events under Jammeh’s 22 years misrule never repeats themselves ever again. As for ECOWAS, the entire regional bloc needs restructuring to reflect the true interest of the citizens of its member states.

Lamin Jammeh


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