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Thursday, October 21, 2021

On President Barrow’s statement of President Jammeh’s amnesty

Until this Thursday morning of August 19, 2021following eleven hours of beautiful uninterrupted rain, I indeed tried to ignore the ongoing argument surrounding the controversial statement made by President Adama Barrow that he alone cannot grant former President Jammeh amnesty from his interview with Pa Nderry Touray of Paradise FM Radio.

In the first place, the idea of Jammeh yearning for amnesty as if he had already been convicted of committing any crime is a flawed notion entertained only by consumers of the Essa Faal Kool-Aid; and I believe Mr. Touray has proven his overdose from the concoction. As a matter of fact, nowhere in the interview did President Barrow say anything about granting amnesty to former President Jammeh after Mr. Pa Nderry Touray fired him the unfair question which he perfectly answered by clarifying how a democratic government and president function on the matter. By merely implying to Mr. Touray that his government is waiting for the TRRC report-that is yet to be completed and submitted for review-which will require comprehensive evaluation from all branches of government including expert appraisal and advice before he can finally do anything tells a different story from the misinterpreted words of the president. Barrow somehow indicated that the “White Paper” that will be produced after everything is said and done will ultimately reveal the position of his government hinged on a purely democratic process.

I don’t know how else President Barrow could have responded to Mr. Nderry’s question who in my view asked that unwarranted question to perhaps corner him in a tough spot in the middle of a prospective APRC-NPP coalition talks. No wonder the intellectual fraudsters and the low IQ analysts and activists grabbed the poisonous red meat for the hungry gullible wolves.

For the deceivers to say that the APRC executive were asking for Jammeh’s amnesty and Barrow saying that he alone cannot grant Jammeh one is both inaccurate and unconscionable.

What we need to teach the “Jammeh doctrinaires” is that Barrow cannot govern like Jammeh because the two systems of government they superintended are totally different in principle and style. Jammeh as a soldier had seized power by force of arms in 1994 while Barrow contested an election and won in 2016. I know that my good brother and wonderful friend Malick Mbye will argue based on my own previous revelations that Barrow had won an election rigged by the IEC which was illegal; but by the same token, my other friend and government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh still cannot be convinced of the legitimacy of Jammeh’s ascension to power by overthrowing the democratically elected PPP government in 1994. Who is right or wrong in this intriguing dilemma or squabble reminiscent of the age-defying altercation over whether the end justifies the means or vice-versa will in this case be argued by scholars up to the end of time.

From my understanding however, the APRC Executive is pursuing the same arrangement that during Jammeh’s era had facilitated and brought about the successful return of former President Sir Dawda Jawara back home following his voluntary or involuntary departure from the Gambia on the very day of the 1994 coup. Jawara was indeed accused by the Jammeh government of committing many crimes and gross abuse of power during his 32 years in power of which if a TRRC was commissioned to at least look into the atrocities of his government in 1981 with the involvement of Senegal it would have probably been characterized as genocide. Anyway after everything that had transpired Jawara was never convicted of any crimes although given the unceremonious way he had departed the country in 1994, his coming back home required an executive endorsement that also entailed an orderly process. By the way, how long did the APRC government take to finally see the need to allow Jawara to come back home in the orderly manner it was conducted? Besides, it had to be done contingent to the national security of the nation, a politically profitable outcome or both. Essentially if Jammeh hadn’t realized any political benefit in allowing Jawara to return home and instead saw it as an existential threat to the national security of the Gambia he definitely wouldn’t have agreed to the old man’s return. So the question is, will Barrow be that politically naive to disregard all unfavorable probabilities to his government by allowing Jammeh to come back home after the latter’s unceremonious departure in 2017? I don’t think so; nonetheless I can categorically say that if allowing Jammeh to come back home today adds to his vision of establishing and reinforcing a good and sustainable government in the country he will without hesitation do so. Courting the APRC for a coalition seems to be edging towards that expectation.

Notwithstanding, let us not behave too unsophisticated and expect Barrow to govern in the way Jammeh used to govern and expect him to survive in this modern era.

Because of his distinctive military orientation or style of governance Jammeh could wake up and say that he alone could bring back Jawara-not necessarily an amnesty-and make sure that he gets all his entitlements as a former president and nobody in the country would question or challenge it; Jammeh could wake up and declare the country an Islamic State without consulting any branch of government or anyone in the country and it will happen; Jammeh could disregard all medical ethics, risks, implications, rules and regulations, declare himself a bush-doctor, open his private clinic, manufacture his own drugs and start treating patients suffering from different ailments and no Gambian dared to challenge or question the logic; Jammeh could invite strange foreign sorcerers into the country and order them to hunt for witches and exorcise the compelling monster in them that makes them feed on human flesh and it happens only challenged by Halifa Sallah, Sam Sarr (PDOIS not me) and Sidia Jatta, three people in a population of 2 million inhabitants; yes, Jammeh could do a lot of normal and weird things without the endorsement of any Gambian, his cabinet, his judiciary and the parliament. Was that a proper way of governing a democratically elected president guided by a reasonable constitution? I will leave the readers and our hotheaded Jammeh Doctrinaires to toy with that answer. What is evident however is that most Gambians had lived through those events including the top critic of Jammeh Essa Faal and had behaved as everything was cool and dandy.

President Adama Barrow cannot and will not behave that way unless he wants the IEC Chairman Alieu Momarr Njai to come up with two sets of results in the December 2021 presidential election declaring him loser in both. I don’t know about you guys but Samsudeen Sarr is not flying out of the Gambia with any ex-president going on exile to Equatorial Guinea or even China.

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