The resignation of the most senior members of President Yahya Jammeh’s cabinet could herald the end of the defeated longtime dictator’s efforts to hold on to power in one of Africa’s worst-performing economies.
Gambia’s embattled President Jammeh lost last month’s election and is refusing to step down in an effort to thwart the swearing-in of President-elect Adama Barrow.
Jammeh thought he can never be defeated just like the makers of the Titanic believe it can never sink.
“God himself could not sink this ship,” they said, and its Captain Edward Smith said that he cannot imagine any condition which would cause the ship to founder.
“I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that,” Captain Edward Smith.
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh says he is not a loser and would never lose an election. He thought he would never founder and in the past two years, made changes to laws, made declarations, introduced on the spot counting and arrested the main opposition leader.
“Do I look like a loser? There is no way I can lose unless you tell me that all Gambian people are mad,” Jammeh said in 2011.
On the first election, after he said this, in the 2016 presidential polls, the never losing president lost like the unsinking Titanic sank on its first voyage.
Foreign Minister Neneh MacDouall Gaye, Finance Minister Abdou Kolley and Trade Minister of Abdou Jobe resigned days before Jammeh’s mandate expires. Jammeh’s ministers for presidential affairs, information, and youths all resigned. Much more will skip the sinking ship.
The surging strong local resistance to Jammeh’s attempt to stay in power has been a significant boost for the country’s popular opposition coalition.
Jammeh’s refusal to cede power may plunge the country into civil war. The country risks unleashing financial upheaval as businesses struggle to contain the fallout, especially in the tourism sector.
The surprisingly strong presidential victory of Mr. Barrow suggests there are fewer options for President Jammeh to stay in power even if the Supreme Court rules in his favor.
Jammeh’s Supreme Court petitions have already suffered mishaps.
The result was an unexpectedly clear victory for Adama Barrow for the beleaguered opposition political establishment — one suggesting that the aggressive tactics and campaign deployed the losing APRC by may have hurt them more than they helped to conspire to steal the victory.
A movement could be evolving here, which is not only for the Gambia but can also bring about a change of attitude in the whole of Africa.