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‘Jammeh should be monitored over threats to return and rule again’

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By Omar Bah

A US-based Gambian criminologist, specialising on law enforcement and national security crisis, has urged the government to closely monitor former president Yahya Jammeh over his threats to come back and rule the country. Last month, exiled former president Yahya Jammeh swore three times that he will return to The Gambia very soon and rule it again.

But commenting on the matter in a Standard exclusive, Modou Lamin Faye said: “I urge the Gambia’s intelligence services and defense to closely monitor Jammeh’s ongoing communication with his close associates who might be still loyal to him and holding high positions in the government. We cannot take chances with Jammeh. We should understand that Jammeh doesn’t have special powers nor is he God to be able to know what’s going on within the government or in the country because if he did then he would still be the president of the Gambia and won’t be hiding in Equatorial Guinea.”

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Mr Faye said security personnel should be able to see threats that an ordinary person wouldn’t see by gathering information, analysing, assessing, and anticipating the possible “outcome of the information received”.

He argued that Jammeh bleeds just like any other individual, “therefore why should we let one man to mentally, psychologically, and emotionally terrorise the whole country? Someone is clearly leaking information to him because Jammeh knows how the Gambia’s security system works and he’s using that to his advantage”.

This, he added, “is why we need to seriously do a security reform and start showing everyone or country, who deemed us to be weak, that we mean business and our laws won’t be undermined or disrespected in any way.”

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“Based on my security analysis and risk assessment, Jammeh is taking advantage of the deal that President Barrow made with the APRC party and gained more APRC supporters to be re-elected in the office for a second term. Jammeh has completed phases one and two of his game plan to come back to the country without facing prosecution for his crimes and he (Jammeh) is now moving on to his next phase. He has got his men as the most powerful leaders in the assembly in the Speaker and his deputy who are always present in every proceeding to push Jammeh’s agenda in the office where prime matters and decisions of our country are being made periodically,” he alleged.

The Seattle based advocate for justice and judicial transformation warned that Jammeh could likely use his party’s collaboration with Barrow to influence the appointment of the vice president.

“But this will put President Barrow’s life in danger because they will do anything to put him out of commission. If this happens then obviously the vice president would automatically become the president, and Jammeh will be pardoned for his crimes and take over again. This will make ECOWAS and the international community not want to help The Gambia ever again,” he added.

He said Jammeh had his chance to “do right by the Gambian people and be on the right side of history, but he let the power he had got in his head and chose to be on the wrong side of history and needs to be held accountable for his crimes with accordance of the law and bring closure to the victims of his regime”.

Mr Faye concluded by drawing a very interesting scenario. He alleged that according to “unconfirmed sources, about 50% of Gambian soldiers are loyal to Jammeh, 25% are loyal to President Barrow, and the other 25% are loyal to Lawyer Darboe.  How can we safeguard our nation or trust in our security forces when their loyalty isn’t on the constitution to safeguard the country (something they took an oath to do) but to individuals? This is exactly why Jammeh thinks that he still has power over Gambian people.”

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