In a few days time, the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh will be sworn in as the country’s President for the third time. The scheduled date for the inauguration is December 15th. The Government has been seeking funding from Taiwan, Iran and Thailand to foot the expenses of the said occasion. The other day Jammeh left for Iran, while the country’s Foreign Minister Balla Jahumpa was dispatched to Taiwan to look for monetary assistance. Like Jammeh, Balla was also accorded a Red Carpet reception by the Taiwanese Government. The Taiwanese Leader who was nearly toppled recently by a popular uprising spearheaded by that country’s aggrieved populace turned down the invitation extended to him by the Gambian Leader to grace the December 15th swearing-in ceremony. For some reasons, the Taiwanese Leader is not keen at travelling to Banjul at this time. In order to save the Jammeh administration from embarrassment, he instructed his Vice President to witness the inauguration. Official sources from Banjul said the Taiwanese Vice President would instead attend the occasion and not the Taiwanese President.

Both President Jammeh and Balla Jahumpa were handed millions of dollars to finance the ceremony. Knowing President Jammeh, he believes in concealing gifts extended to our dear country by isolated countries such as Taiwan and Iran. Mr.Jammeh should be honest enough to tell Gambians about the money he received on their behalf to foot the bill for the December 15th inauguration. President Jammeh would be surprised to know that members of his delegation and that of Balla’s are speaking out at this hour. The said officials are aggrieved with the way and manner the President is personalizing state gifts extended to this impoverished country. Under normal circumstances, funds of this nature should be channeled through the Central Bank of the Gambia, but Jammeh behaves as if he owns the country and its people. Members of the Delegation who accompanied the President said the Taiwanese and Iranian gifts were hand delivered to Jammeh, who is at this hour is figuring out how to spend the money.

Already our economy is in shambles and there is little hope for the Citizens. The wisest thing Mr.Jammeh and his colleagues could have done was to use the said gifts from Taiwan and Iran to revamp the ailing economy. This is not the time for unnecessary expenditure. Our people need the money. Jammeh would be doing a great disservice to the country by diverting the funds into his personal use. The amount of money pumped by Iran and Taiwan to sponsor the swearing-in ceremony is just too much for such an occasion. A responsible government would have reported to its citizens about the money received and not to hide it from them. Jammeh cannot dispute that Balla Jahumpa was not in Taiwan last Week. Interestingly, Balla’s secret visit was never announced. This regime should do away with its corrupt activities if it wants to win the confidence and respect of decent nations. Transparency is lacking in Jammeh’s government.

We sometimes doubt the government’s claims that it is interested in fighting Taiwan’s case at the United Nations. Charity begins at home. If this government is not keen at sharing or discussing financial gestures accorded to it by Taiwan, how can they faithfully and sincerely honour their promise to the isolated Island? Taiwan needs to revisit its “Check Book Diplomacy.” Leaders  like Jammeh are more like scammers than genuine parties interested into their “well-being by Taiwan.” A greater part of the funds extended to the Gambia by Taiwan from 1994 to date have not been made public by this administration. Taiwan is relating to the wrong government at the wrong time. The Jammeh government itself needs some amount of international lobby assistance, in view of its battered and discredited image. Nations like the Gambia cannot bring Taiwan into the global body of the UN. The Gambia lacks voice and its leader is being perceived as a retarded President.

We as a nation should be concerned about the banditry activities of this administration. We should be able to stand up to be counted and say no to Jammeh’s “Get Rich Or Die” tactics at the expense our impoverished tax payers. Jammeh is a confirmed hustler, who over the years had used our nation’s name to meet his “Get Rich Or Die” dreams. Unfortunately, some dishonest intellectuals are aiding and abetting him in his organized money laundering crimes against the state and its people. The case of Mamburay Njie, the sacked Secretary General is a classic example. Mr.Njie was one of those who public officials who collected money from Taiwan on behalf of Jammeh.

Guess what? When Njie started taking his share on the clandestine monetary transfers, Jammeh reacted angrily by ordering his arrest and subsequent sacking. Jammeh would be shocked if his fellow thieves testified against him one day. One thing he should bear in mind is that some members of his delegation are closely monitoring funds extended to this country, whether privately or publicly. The same officials told us that they are ready to testify against Jammeh once he is out of power. Jammeh should be held accountable for the monies he collected on behalf of our country, only to put it into his private use. Mr.President can you tell us how much money Taiwan and Iran handed to you for the inauguration? We thank members of your delegation for spilling the beans. There is more coming in days to come.

[Edited by Simon – Spelling, Grammer, Layout]

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