Jammeh 2The absence of President Yahya Jammeh in public has raised mountains of questions, with news from the grapevine insisting he has been grounded by sickness.

Gambian leader, who is currently on a low crowd pulling nationwide tour, has not been seen in Basse. Mr. Jammeh uses the tour to unload his anger on innocent Gambians. At one point, he had hauled insults at Senegal’s leaders and threatened to kill opposition members bent on causing troubles ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Jammeh’s unexplained public absence has thrown the country into confusion and uncertainty. Kairo News has been inundated with messages from concerned Gambians. We have since put our impeccable sources to work. But their accounts vary, to call spade a spade. When sources contradict each other, editors are left with using the only tool at hand. The use of our editorial judgment in this case becomes an obvious necessity. 

“The President is as fit as a fiddle,” said a presidential source. “Someone has just spoken to him. He arrived in Basse Monday night,” the source adds.

“Allow me to probe into the story,” says another source who is convinced that something might have been wrong with President Jammeh.

Most of the sources on tour with the President have had their phones switched off, which doubles up our suspicion. But our Base resident source adds fuel to the suspicion when he confirms President Jammeh’s absence at Basse youth center meeting this evening. “We gather there with the hope that President Jammeh will turn up but only the ministers and the governor grace the meeting. No reasons have been advanced which makes us tilt towards unconfirmed reports that he might be having some health challenges,” our resident source adds.

One observer thinks President Jammeh’s propaganda machinery is at work, spreading false news in a bid to divert public attention on his failed tour characterised by misguided rantings. “We have to remain cautious until truth comes to light,” he says.

Whatever the case, we expect any responsible government to issue a statement to confirm or deny rumors fast milling in town that the President is sick. Any story relating to the health of the President – true or otherwise – is too important to be left hanging in the air. Like any of us, the President too is not immune to sickness or death. What then is so peculiar in his sickness?

Ends

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