(JollofNews) – It has been over a week now since President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia issued a statement announcing the expulsion of the European Union representative in the Gambia and condemning the criticism of his regime by the Obama administration.
And I must confess that reading the “smash and grab” statements from the Office of the President this past few days has left me thinking that this is a family argument that is better left to Gambians to resolve.
For although both the Americans and the Europeans were the butt of the fracas, I felt certain that their considered response will be one more strongly worded reply in private than full on in the international media. For such powerful democratic institutions are aware that “diplomatic life” must go on when the glass has long since been swept into the bin of misadventure and indiscipline.
The problem arises when the “dummy is spit out” and the baby cries for his mama. The noise is deafening and one must find a new toy for the baby to grasp and to get its attention. The fact that a major international agreement like the Cotonou protocol has been a significant development tool available to the Gambia since 2000 and has delivered millions of Euros to the direct benefit of Gambians appears to count for nothing.
This has given Mr Jammeh (in no small measure) room to boast that it is through his leadership that Gambia has many new roads and pavements. The ejection of the EU representative seems a little less than grateful for the taking of western tax payers’ hard earned cash. No doubt the western response will be to mend diplomatic fences so that trade and tourism will continue despite the ungainly and ungentlemanly conduct. The senior democratic governments will remain mature and mindful of the thousands of Gambian jobs reliant on western goodwill and kindness.
I am sure this maturity and responsible patience by the western nations will be acknowledged by the majority of Gambians, whose opinion will be supportive to this view. More than this, it is a matter for Gambians. Mr Jammeh is your president and he is your responsibility. Full stop.