DA Jawo

(JollofNews) – There was a time when President Yahya Jammeh heavily criticized both the African Union and Ecowas after the two regional bodies urged him to abide by the trend of introducing a term limit. He even threatened to leave them if they insist on lecturing his regime about what to do, accusing them of being “reduced to the control of Western powers”.

In one of his usual rowdy speeches in June 2015, President Jammeh warned both that he will never accept such directives from them. “If it is the AU, I will leave AU; if it is Ecowas, I will leave Ecowas, but I will not be given lecture by any of these institutions on behalf of the West. Tell me about one electric pole here which was installed by the AU or Ecowas or by the British or the Americans. We are not fools! Let them mind their own business.”

It appears that both the AU and Ecowas have been intimidated by those threats and that is why they seem to be casting a blind eye to the atrocities being committed in the Gambia against innocent Gambians, especially members of the opposition.

For instance, with regards to the recent high-handed crackdown on peaceful opposition protestors, which has led to the deaths of two senior opposition figures and the incarceration of virtually the entire leadership of the United Democratic Party (UDP) for simply coming out in the streets with flags in their hands calling on the authorities to produce Solo Sandeng who was one of those tortured to death while in state custody, there has not yet been a single communiqué from either the AU or Ecowas regarding those events.

President Yahya Jammeh has been ruling Gambia since 1994
President Yahya Jammeh has been ruling Gambia since 1994

We have seen for instance that after the latest death of an opposition member in state custody, the UN and several western governments, including the USA and France immediately issued statements expressing concern and yet nothing has been heard from the neither the AU nor Ecowas and not even from any one of the regional leaders, as if it is business as usual.

With such apparent lack of interest in their plight, one would tend to ask where Gambians should now turn to for redress and protection from a repressive regime when the very institutions supposedly created to protect their rights are casting a blind eye to their plight.

Therefore, most Gambians are now beginning to wonder whether it is indeed time for them to support President Jammeh’s threats to quit those two institutions, as ordinary Gambians have not reaped any benefits from membership of those docile institutions, which have not shown any interest in their plight.