Opinion: How can the world be surprised that Yahya Jammeh took the State Coffers with him to Exile?
The brother has had control of the whole Gambian Republic since 1994, been eating of the Central Institutions, the donor aid and all sorts of tourism schemes for two decades. He would not have accumulated 13 Luxurious cars in a hot minute. That takes time to invest, find out which that matches his wardrobe and, which that is decent for his wife. Yahya Jammeh has been living lavish and extended that lavish lifestyle to Equatorial Guinea.
Surely, the fellow soldiers who was with him on the day of coup d’état that he would turn into the one they got rid-off. Well, history tends to repeat itself and it has ambushed Jammeh. What surprises me is not that he looted the state coffers, emptied the accounts and allocated it all into the safe haven of Equatorial Guinea. He and his acts in charge of the Republic expect that, Jammeh follows his own modus operandi and that should be sufficient.
I am not defending the acts, but more wondering where the others has been while covering men like him. I am surprised that the local currency isn’t depleted, that the food-stocks is empty, that the army has only knock-offs from the Soviet Army and is barely having more than pangas as working weapons. That is what I would expect of man like Jammeh. That he would leave all institutions flat-out broke and without work force or educated peers to steer the ship. To keep the Central Government that he put into ‘State of Emergency’ on track after a hazardous year, where he finally lost an election to Adama Barrow.
Why should he leave Gambia in a well estate and well-funded with working institutions when he is not running it anyway? He cannot even live in the country and stay in the country that he had been running for two decades. With this in mind, why should he leave anything else than that. Not that his record and reputations would be saved by him graciously leaving. He has already starved opposition in prisons, keep dissenters at bay and used all kind of tricks to control the state. So not like, he will offer mercy and give the people loafs of bread after he is not there. This is coming from the man who said this: “if you didn’t vote for me, don’t expect anything”; I know I am paraphrasing, but the emotion and the reality is the same!
Certainly, the outcome is good, the elected President Barrow get to start his reign in a broke, but free nation. A nation who has support from fellow ECOWAS nations and can find proper ways to fill the coffers and start to rebuild it immediately.
We should expect that he emptied the National Treasury and the Consolidation Funds or whatnot the call it in Gambia. That is what person’s like him do that and that is how they do their trade. Not that it is about justice or rule of law; it is their way and their way of earning their profits. This is not nostalgia or any sorts well he deserves to empty the state coffers. More, well he done it for 20 years already, one more emptying the coffers would not make the giant difference. Not that it justify it, it is morally and legally wrong to steal the taxpayers monies. No doubt, but when he has done so with impunity, you can ask yourself if he would change on the way out the door? Because when he been running the meetings and been the Chairman of the Board he has obliged himself with the state funds.
Certainly, Barrow and the Gambian Republic wished it otherwise, but the republic can now start all over without a torn in their flesh. As Jammeh even leaves with parts of court and his elite. Therefore, some of his loyal leadership that he has created is not there anymore. The men, who ate of Jammeh plate, will not be there to haunt the new regime and administration. Surely, I will without a doubt not be surprised even if he tries to install new party regime in Gambia from a far and use the funds to destabilize the Gambian Republic. Therefore, he can hope to become the Gambian saviour for the second time, with his second coming. This time on a plane from Malabo and Equatorial Guinea. That is for the future to happen and to appear. For now, we can certainly know that the Jammeh Regime, ended where it started, with looting the state coffers in the sake bringing down a dictator in 1994. While installing himself as another one.
Now, it is time for the International Community to support Barrow, give him space to build together create and support peaceful transition of power, from Jammeh and to the citizens of Gambia. Peace.