Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh is reported to have asked the country’s Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy to represent him at the Taiwan/Africa Summit scheduled for September 9Th to the 11 according to official sources at the President office in Banjul. The President who is increasingly worried about the loyalty of the army was reported to have contemplated attending the Taiwanese Summit, but only to be briefed about the security implications of attending the said Summit. Gripped by insecurity and crisis of confidence, the Gambian leader has earlier promised the Taiwanese authorities about his Government’s commitment to grace the said occasion. A member of the President’s protocol team told the Freedom Newspaper that the Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy was asked to step in for the President. “ If only HE changes his mind, he was advised not to attend the Taiwanese Summit. Attending the Summit means, he is doing it at his own risk. The VP was delegated to attend. These soldiers are not trustable. What they say and what they do is totally different. I can confirm to you that HE is not attending the Taiwanese Summit. This information was disclosed to us last night.” said a member of Jammeh’s protocol team.

The Taipei Summit will attract leaders from five different African countries. The Gambian leader’s failure to grace the said occasion would shock the Taiwanese authorities. This is the second invitation in six months Jammeh had turned down for security reasons. Taiwan has been Gambia’s major donor partner. The islanders had been very supportive to the impoverished West African country, especially in the areas of Education, health delivery system, Agriculture and other developmental needs.

The Protocol source remarked” We understand the President’s frustrations. These soldiers are capable of denying him landing space if he leaves this country. For the past couple of weeks, there have been reports of insurgency circulating in the country. HE is increasingly worried. Besides, the local security threat, he is also pointing accusing fingers against Senegal. That Dakar is supporting dissident soldiers led by Ndure Cham to destabilize this country. These are some of the problems facing HE. He wants to attend the Summit, but there is no room for him to leave now.”

At a recent public function army chief General Lang Tombong Tamba warns members of the security forces to desist from activities that might endanger the security of the nation. General Tamba reaffirms the Arny’s loyalty to the President and the people of The Gambia. He vows that any attempt to overthrow the Ruling APRC Government would be crossed.

But leaks from the President’s Protocol team said despite General Tamba’s assurance about the army’s loyalty to the President, speculations are rife in town that the army was divided. That the loyalty of certain officers of the armed forces was being doubted by the President himself. Our source who refrains from going into details said some solders openly complain about the institutionalized corruption in the country. The sale of GAMTEL, GIA and GAMCEL have angered some top army officers, according to this source at the President’s Protocol office. “ As soon as you publish this story, they will start screening us, but I careless. This is my country. I think Gambians deserve to know Jammeh’s activities. He is not attending the Taipei Summit.” said the Protocol source.

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