Queen explains concept behind ex-president Jammeh’s kingship campaign

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By Alagie Manneh

The Minister of Information, Lamin Queen Jammeh, also a former governor in the Jammeh regime, has been confronted by The Standard on his role in the former president’s campaign to proclaim himself king.

Queen was among district chiefs and parliamentarians who in 2010 unsuccessfully canvassed support throughout the country to give the former president the title of king.

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Addressing the issue which attracted widespread criticism and condemnation, in an expansive interview with The Standard, Minister Jammeh who served both as chief and later governor under Jammeh, explained: “It was widely felt at the time that given all the innovations in development that the APRC government under President Jammeh had done, it was not going to be a bad start to have President Jammeh becoming a constitutional king. But of course, we knew this can only be done by law and with the consent of the people of The Gambia hence the campaign of consultation. In the traditional setting, there wasn’t anything like ‘Gambia’. All that we had at the time were the traditional lower Gambian states such as the Kingdom of Niumi, Baddibu, Kombo, Kiang, Jarra, etcetera. Traditionally, there wasn’t any family, clan, or any group of people who could have been identified as the traditional heads of The Gambia. And because these did not exist, we felt, because it is going to be a new creation, it has to be defined by law through consultations, through dialogue and sharing with the Gambian population in whom lie the sovereignty of the land. We were of course very much aware that the authority to do this lies nowhere except in the Gambian people”.

Read more in the Bantaba tomorrow.