(JollofNews) – President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia has used an interview with a UK-based magazine to reiterate his desire to cling to power as long as it take and defend the interest of his people.
Mr Jammeh, 50, who has governed the small West African nation with a firm hand since he came to power in a coup 20 years ago said he has no desire to hand over the mantle of leadership to his political opponents who would allow foreigners to exploit the resources of the Gambia.
“I have seen for myself in these 20 years that if we don’t stand up for ourselves, we are not going to develop,” Mr Jammeh told the New African Magazine.
“I am not going to hand over to anybody; they can say whatever they want to say. If anything, now is the time for me to stand up and say, I am not handing over. I would stay in power as long as the sky is there to defend Africa and defend my resources and the African resources, until Africa gets out of poverty and under-development.
Asked whether he would step aside if he lost an election, Mr Jammeh said: “I’m a servant of the Gambian people, if they want me out tomorrow through the ballot box, I will leave. But if it is the West that wants me out, I will not leave. We all know reasons why Africa is backward. Africa’s blood, sweat and tears developed the West and they still don’t thank us for that but still want to treat us like slaves. As long as I live, I am going to defend my country against any exploitation. I’m going to defend my race. I live for Africa and I’d die for Africa.”