Speaking to What’s On-Gambia from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, where he lives in exile, former President 'Sheikh Professor Alhaji Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Babili Mansa said he’s not hopeful about The Gambia’s future under Adama Barrow’s leadership.
What’s On-Gambia: It’s been a while, Your Excellency!
Jammeh: Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulilah. As you can see, I am living a very quiet, but happy life here on the outskirts of Malabo. Now, I am a full-time farmer. I hope before you leave, you would visit my farm. Saul Badjie, you remember him?
Yes, Your Excellency.
He is my farm manager and assisted by my niece, Jimbee Jammeh. We grow everything using only organic methods.
Are you using Mahindra tractors to help you in ploughing, spreading fertilizers and harvesting?
(Laughs) don’t be silly. I left all my Mahindra tractors in The Gambia. They couldn’t fit in the cargo plane provided by my friend, Alpha Conde when I was leaving.
Where is Zainab?
What nonsense question is that? Where do you expect her to be?
There are rumours that your marriage has hit rock bottom and you are no longer together?
Where did you hear that? I am committed to my marriage. My family is always my number one priority, no matter what happens.
What is your assessment of Barrow’s presidency so far?
He is a controlled puppet.
Can you please explain?
(Laughs) I am sure you know what exactly I am talking about. Adama Barrow is without question the weakest president to ever emerge in Africa. And he is leading one of the lamest governments we have ever seen in Africa.
Barrow is a complete disaster….
But he is very popular among Gambians?
(Laughs) I was more popular than him during my first year in office. Do you remember my first visit to Brikama with Edu and some members of the AFPRC? There was a stampede that left many people injured. Everyone in Brikama –students, market vendors, office workers, grandmothers, teachers – wanted a glimpse of me.
Barrow’s honeymoon with Gambians will not last more than two years. Believe me. What I am telling you is the truth. You can take it to the bank!
When are you going to apologise to Mandinkas?
Why should I apologise?
You said a Mandinka would never become president in The Gambia. Isn’t that outrageous?
That’s a fact! What’s outrageous about it?
But Your Excellency, Barrow is a Mandinka?
Who told you Adama Barrow is a Mandinka? Find out more about him, you idiot!
Lawyer Darboe could be the next president, you never know.
You want me to end this interview, right?
No, Your Excellency.
That man would do untold damage to that country if he ever got into power with the toxic band around him.
Are you following the Commission?
Yes, I do on Eye Africa TV with a fake Facebook profile that Jimbee created for me. That Commission is a big joke since day one. Ousainou Darboe and his toxic band can’t stain my legacy. Never! I brought unprecedented developments to the doorsteps of every Gambian in all facets of life, ranging from health to education, infrastructure and opening of the University of The Gambia (UTG) among other numerous developments.
Did you use D88m of taxpayer money to buy a tent for your private events?
Yes! That was a huge blunder. Inshallah, I will refund it to state’s coffers.
What about the millions you took from SSHFC, Central Bank and the Ministry of Petroleum?
Did you see my signature on any of those withdrawal slips? Investigate, you are a journalist!
What’s your take on Njogu Bah’s claim that you have a strong appetite for money?
I regretted why I didn’t kill him! Billahi wallahi tallahi!
Do you regret declaring the Gambia an Islamic republic?
Yes, that is one of my biggest regrets. I let down the Christians that brought me up and give me a stable foundation for my life. It was that idiot, Zakir Naik who got me into it.
Barrow was able to defeat me because the Christians, who were loyal supporters of the APRC, refused to vote for me.
Who do you want to win the next presidential election?
Halifa Sallah! The Gambia is so divided that you would need Halifa to fix the mess created by Ousainou and his toxic band. I just hope Gambian voters come to their senses well before the election and put someone like Halifa in-charge.
Are you funding the GDC?
(Laughs) no comment!
Any message for your supporters?
I want to thank Fabakary Tombong Jatta from the bottom of my heart for volunteering to lead the APRC party. He has shown courage in the face of adversity. Let me stop there because if I continue I might start crying. Fabakary is very genuine person.
When are you returning home?
When the bastards are gone. I mean the ECOMIG soldiers.