Years After He Butchered 34 Ghanaians
Ghana’s notorious in-law and Gambian President, Alhaji Sheikh Prof. Dr. Yahaya Abdul Aziz Jamus Junkung Jammeh, who was reported to put another Ghanaian life in danger again, years after butchering 34 Ghanaian men over paranoiac claim that they were mercenaries sent to overthrow his government and kill him, has been swerved.
A poor Ghanaian-born judge, Mabel Maame Yamoah Agyemang, whom he had invited to serve as Chief Justice of The Gambia, was reported to be seeking refuge at an unidentified embassy, following the recent termination of her contract and fear that she might be killed by Jammeh’s regime, described as brutal.
But Ghana’s Government, yesterday announced that Justice Agyemang is already in Ghana, and has held meetings with State Officials. “She is not anywhere in Gambia,” said a Deputy Minister for Information and Media Relations, Murtala Mohammed; “she is indeed in Ghana, and we have had meetings with her”.
The Deputy Information Minister said, “finding a solution is something that can be done between the President of Ghana and the President of Gambia”.
President Jammeh, who coincidentally has a 23-year-old Ghanaian wife, Nora Muniratu Yahya, had shockingly revealed at a public event that his Ghanaian-born Chief Justice, had gone into hiding and described the embassy protecting the poor judge as “an embassy whose country is hostile to our country”.
No explanation was given as to why Chief Justice Mabel Agyemang, a mother of two, was dismissed by the increasingly hostile regime, which is under international pressure over its poor human rights record.
However, during the swearing-in of Ali Nawaz Chowhan, Pakistani-born as Chief Justice, the Gambian dictator, made the startling revelation that the former Chief Justice was “being hidden by a particular embassy”.
Even though Mr. Jammeh, did not level any criminal charge against the highly respected former Chief Justice, he implied, during a televised lecture carried by the government-controlled television and radio stations that she is a “thief and a criminal”.
His rationale for levelling such a brazen and malicious accusation is because she ‘disappeared’ after she was informed of the decision to dismiss her.
According to the Gambian dictator, even though her salary was being paid by the Gambian Government, she was “taking orders from elsewhere… a hostile embassy”.
Mr. Jammeh claimed that his regime knows where she is and they “will deal with the embassy concerned” in the end.
President Jammeh’s rambling speech did not deviate from his usual style, accusing the West of being hostile to his regime – a tirade of historical revisionism with the spurious claim of 400 years of British colonialism that has become his latest tactic, designed to distract attention from an increasing irate and dissatisfied populace, who are faced with the worst economic crisis in post-Independent Gambia.
The diplomatic fall-out from the incident is uncertain, given the unpredictable and erratic nature of Jammeh’s behaviour.
What is certain is that a safe passage is required for the former Chief Justice, because Ghana and her many Western friends will see to that.
Meanwhile, the diplomatic isolation of the worst dictatorship in Africa continues.
It be recalled that, during the erstwhile Kufour administration, some 34 Ghanaians were murdered in Gambia, under some bizarre circumstances after President Jammeh accused them of being mercenaries sent to over throw his Government.
Little was done by the Kufuor administration, which had the twice defeated presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo as the Foreign Affairs Minister, who himself was indifferent on the murders.
It took the timely intervention of the now Gender and Social Protection Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, who at the time was the Country Director for Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Africa, to force Mr Akufo-Addo to make a quiet trip to that country, which yielded no meaningful result.
The then Member of Parliament (MP) for Bole-Bambio, who doubled as Minority’s Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, John Dramani Mahama, called for swift action by the Kufuor Government. He is now the President of Ghana.
Unfortunately, nothing was achieved by that Government, because according to speculations, it was disinterested in the whole issue.
It took another intervention of Mr. Mahama, who later became Vice-President to late President John Atta Mills to demand and got compensation packages from the Jammeh Government, for the families and the repatriation of some of the bodies to Ghana for a befitting state funeral and burial for only nine of the victims.
Prior to all these, during the famous Africa Union (AU) summit in Ghana, President Jammeh, failed to show up for that all important meeting, which was heavily attended by almost all African Heads of State. Mr Jammeh feared the Ghanaian government would have caused his arrest, which was being advocated by Nana Oye Lithur.
About two years ago, President Jammeh, sent his officials to Ghana to marry now Nora Jammeh.
The marriage, which was held in secrecy at the plush Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, was the fourth marriage for the Gambian president. Yahya Jammeh married for the first time with Tuti Faal Jammeh before divorcing her.
After the departure of Tuti Faal, Jammeh married a Moroccan lady, Zeinab Suma, who is now the first lady, and in addition, Alima Sallah, daughter of the ambassador of The Gambia to Saudi Arabia.
Nora was seen in a picture looking charming, with Huseini Yaba, the Gambian Ambassador to Nigeria, who has oversight responsibilities in Ghana, the representative of President Jammeh at the ceremony.
Media reports had it that the likes of the now Ashanti Regional Minister, who was then the Mayor for Kumasi, Samuel Sarpong, Yaffa Mohammed, Gambian Counselor in Accra and the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Abdul Mumin, were among the top officials invited for the event.