The Gambia government’s unexplained absence at the just concluded EU-Africa summit in Brussels, Belgium, is unacceptable in any serious democracy. Where else do we expect such a madness and disrespect to occur without qualms or fingers being raised other than a small country whose people find themselves chained in absolute dictatorship?
We were told even the organizers of the 4th EU-Africa summit have not been informed about the Gambia’s absence which was why they printed the country’s presidential affairs minister’s name on the seat. This is what United States employers call “No Call No Show” which can cost an employee his/her job for being disrespectful. The Gambia government is disrespectful to both the EU and Gambians who become losers of their President’s self-centeredness.
Even a mere public announcement explaining the reasons for the absence would have been better than a complete silence. This latest development has once again exposed the weak side of our dictatorial and tyrannical regime – a regime that gets away with everything at home and even has the guts to threaten its donors, telling them to “go to hell with their chicken change.”
Mr. President, gone are days when countries would get donor aid and equally trample on the rights of their citizens and brag about it. EU’s tough stance on your government over human rights violations should therefore ring a bell.
The Gambia government’s tight-lipped attitude has left the public to speculate. Yes, we will sound our opinion and raise unanswered questions. Was President Jammeh running away from Gambian protesters? Was he ashamed to defend his government’s appalling human rights credentials or he has still not recovered from the ECOWAS blow? Mr. Dictator, Gambians are anxiously waiting for you to provide answers to the above questions. Failure on your part will broaden the public discourse to a level beyond your expectation. We leave you with the wise saying: “you can fool some people sometime but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”