Former President Yahya Jammeh went away after 22 years with enough money to pay the President of the Gambia for 666 years. But before all that Jammeh was a brute: he killed, maimed, falsely imprisoned and tortured our people.
Terror and fear were trademarks of his rule and he has no second thoughts on disposing of our people so “no insect can even feed on them.”
Jammeh became richer than our country itself. When he came to power, he accused the government of Sir Dawda Jawara of living a “flamboyant lifestyle.” But Jammeh’s lifestyle was more than flamboyant. To Gambians, it is indescriptive.
While most of Gambia lives in abject poverty, children go to bed hungry and die of preventable diseases, Jammeh had purchased mansions across the world and have his family flying in chartered flights.
His children attend schools in New York with tuition and incidentals of about a hundred thousand dollars. Jammeh owns businesses in Gulf states and Morocco, a US$3.5 million mansion in the United States, mansions in France and Eastern Europe.
Jammeh left the Gambia and went into exile after he was faced with the threat of regional military force to flush him out. Jammeh did not leave as empty as he came to power. Not only did he make away with half a billion dollars, he was followed by riches.
A cargo plane airlifted luxury goods and car – Bentleys, Rolls-Royce Phantoms and Cadillacs.
Jammeh doped Gambians in the political race that ends at No. 13 Marina Parade.
Jammeh first conceded defeat then suddenly made a political u-turn claiming he won gold. In the middle of the standoff, instead of quickly moving to have the despot arrested and prosecuted for crimes against the state and human rights abuses, he was given enough time to loot the treasury and walked away from all his crimes.
It has set a bad precedent for others across Africa but doping in not just Gambia’s but Africa’s political Olympics should not go unpunished.
Jammeh’s crimes may not be big enough to get him apprehended by the big Olympics committee of the ICC but it is enormous enough for the local national committee of the local courts to have him sent to Mile II for the rest of his life.
Whiles the Gambia’s new government may not be prosecuting Jammeh, it will stop victims and their families with the support of rights groups from going after Jammeh like it was done to Hissène Habré.
In the end though, Yahya Jammeh may not be in the next race, but he has snatched the gold and allowed to walk away with it.