President Yahya Jammeh is known to ruffle feathers. In this rare exclusive interview, Gambian leader pulled no punches – he hits at his mainstream opposition, spits on the noisy Diaspora detractors and renews his commitment to lead Gambia achieve greater heights.
What’s On-Gambia: Your Excellency, we are delighted for granting interview to What’s On-Gambia. Thank you!
His Excellency:Thank you, too, and keep up the good work. I heard you people are registered in The Gambia and paying tax. This country belongs to all of us whatever our political persuasion.
My government, as you know, welcomes criticism if justified by facts and arguments.
Your Excellency, did you hear the rumour circulating online?
What rumour? I hardly go online.
That you are going to announce your resignation…
(Laughs) Was it not the same people that announced that I was terminally ill and about to die?
Do I look sick? Tell me!
No, Your Excellency! You look healthier than them.
Next someone will be writing that I am about to seize Gambian Senior Secondary School to transform it into a military barracks. These guys are just obsessed with me (laughs).
What’s your message to them?
It’s time for them to grow up and realise their fabrications will never make me lose focus in making The Gambia one of the best countries in the sub region.
Your Excellency, do you know why some of them hate you and your government?
As president, I cannot disclose everything that happens at State House. Some of them are angry because I sacked them. It’s just like when you take an ice cream from a kid. What do you expect?
One of the boys in Scotland, I don’t remember his name. I think his surname is Sarr. He is involved in film production. I heard he is now a big critic of my government after I declined to sponsor one of his films (laughs).
Do you know Sidi Sanneh?
Come on, I kicked him out of my government because he is so full of himself. I think the best thing for Sidi is to keep his mouth closed, permanently.
What about your former information minister, Scattred Janneh?
(Laughs) Scattred must be the only person who doesn’t realise that he will never be president in this country.
Do you remember the media bill in 2002? Scattred was behind it. He is just a sad, bitter old Gunjur boy.
Did you realise that the PPP wants to lead the country again?
(Laughs) It shows how delusional most of the people in the Diaspora are. I find it amusing that they believe people like OJ are their saviors.
OJ and his terri kafooruined the country. Remember, I was a PPP insider and I know them very well. Can I tell you one thing? PPP is rotten to the core!
The July 22 takeover is the best thing to happen to The Gambia. We successfully destroyed the PPP establishment; this is why most of their children in the Diaspora are fighting against me.
What do you think of the Gambian opposition?
They are all hopeless leaders causing shame to their followers. Their parties need to be dissolved and start from scratch. APRC is The Gambia’s only hope!
Your Excellency, how would you describe your critics in the Diaspora?
You mean the people who came here in December last year to attack the State House?
Yes, Your Excellency!
Did you see the names of the people they selected for cabinet jobs?
No, please tell me.
You will be surprised!
I am not commenting further on that.
Any final words, Your Excellency?
I will never allow liars, traitors and conspirators to take over this country. The Gambia will never be a puppet state of the US or the European Union.
This was an imaginary interview, not the words of the Gambian leader. Please, bouken merr!