OJ

The leader of the People’s Progressive Party is of the view that unless changes his bad system of governance, “President Yahya Jammeh will never be the Chairman of the African Union (AU).”

Despite being in office for almost two decades, Gambian leader is yet to assume leadership of any regional [Economic Community of West African States] or continental grouping [AU]. Mr. Jammeh aggressively lobbied and invested heavily to convince his regional or continental colleagues to vote entrust him with leadership but without success. His government’s disrespect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law has continued to bite Mr. Jammeh – regionally and continentally.

In an interview with Kairo News on Wednesday, Omar Amadou Jallow blamed Jammeh government for its plain failed policy. He cited the Gambia’s unilateral withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Nations, President Jammeh’s insults on European and American governments as evidenced of the country’s foreign policy failures.

In October 2013, President Jammeh withdrew the Gambia from the Commonwealth, describing the organization of mainly former British colonies as a colonial entity. But Omar Jallow said that was far from the truth because the Commonwealth is an organization of equals, especially when it comes to benefits. “India is far bigger than the Gambia, Nigeria and Ghana but they are still eating from the benefits of their membership of the body,” he said.

“We cannot be an island,” Jallow stressed. “The Gambia’s salvation therefore lies in becoming part of the global village instead of being isolated. The Jammeh government is not only isolated by the West Africa sub-region but by the continent and the world,” he said, blaming the isolation squarely on President Jammeh’s misguided foreign policy decisions.

“No one is going to choose someone to head the AU who has no respect for other governments,” the former Agriculture Minister said, questioning why a tiny country like the Gambia is in the habit of provoking other countries.

“No government can grow in economic terms without respect for rule of law and human rights, and independence of the judiciary, these are lacking in the country since 1994. We have a rubber-stamping National Assembly; these are the people who enacted a law giving power to the president to sack an elected member of parliament. This has never happened in any part of the world. In other countries, deputies can impeach the President,” he said, expressing his party’s resolve to turn around the Jammeh government’s “misguided policies. This is the reason why we are calling for a peaceful democratic change of government.”

Ends

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