Ouza Jallow of Senegal should go read about the meaning of Pan Africanist and Patriotic: “Yahya Jammeh does not deserve to be credited as a Great Pan Africanist and Patriotic Leader”

Mr. Editor, in the Daily Observer edition of April 18-22, 2016 the erstwhile Senegalese musician Ouza Jallow praised Yahya Jammeh as a great Pan Africanist and a Patriotic Leaser.  Perhaps Ouza should open a dictionary and look up the meaning of a Pan Africanist and Patriotic leader before crediting these great phrases to Africa’s most despotic President.

ebou ngum editBy definition “Pan-Africanism is an ideology and movement that encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide. It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to “unify and uplift” people of African descent” (Pan-Africanism. n.d.). So clearly speaking a Pan-Africanist leader would be expected to promote all the ideals of Pan- Africanism. Ok, I think Ouza Jallow should go back and read along these definitions to have a firm understanding of the implications of his pronouncements.

Yahya Jammeh is far from being a Pan-Africanist and has never in his 20 years Presidency exhibited any ideals of a true Pan-African leader. Jammeh has failed the test of Pan-Africanism because he was at the forefront of attacking an African initiative that was meant to bring development within Africa. It was the same President Yahya Jammeh who attacked the NEPAD (The New Partnership for Africa’s Development) initiative and called it “KNEEPAD”.  In his own words, Jammeh was quoted as saying “People are sick and tired of African beggars. Nobody will ever develop your country for you. I am not criticising NEPAD, but the way it was conceived to be dependent on begging.” (Gambia and NEPAD. 2011 May 04).

He said NEPAD will never work. “You come up with a programme and depend on nothing but begging. I, Yahya Jammeh, will not kneel down before any man and beg. I will only kneel before God. Yes.” i.d,.  

Right, Jammeh said NEPAD was coined on the principles of begging and he said the African people need to put on their kneepads because he believed NEPAD will never work. How can a true Pan Africanist loathe an African initiative that was designed by African Heads of States for the benefit of the African continent? Well maybe Ouza Jallow’s idea of Pan-Africanism.

Actually Yahya Jammeh does not even understand the ideals upon which the NEPAD initiative was founded. NEPAD came about as a result of a merger of the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP) and the Omega Plan for Africa and its main principles were poverty eradication, promote sustainable growth and development, African integration and promote empowerment of women. So all the bad comments Yahya Jammeh said about NEPAD were totally based on his lack of understanding of the current development issues facing the African continent.

What is even more nauseating about Ouza Jallow’s statement is calling Yahya Jammeh a Patriotic leader. A President that goes on killing his own people or even locking them up and their whereabouts unknown cannot be patriotic. Ouza Jallow should tell us whether the things Yahya Jammeh does to the Gambian people happens in Senegal or not. How many Gambians have disappeared since Yahya Jammeh assumed power 20 years ago? Some families have even deserted the idea of ever knowing where their loved ones are because Yahya Jammeh’s government has no answer for them. Is this Ouza Jallow’s idea of a patriotic leader? Certainly Yahya Jammeh is the least patriotic of African Presidents. Where is the Pan Africanism in Yahya Jammeh? Ouza Jallow should answer these questions because the money Yahya Jammeh is showering on him belongs to the Gambian tax payer.

Written by Ebou Ngum. Everett Washington


Gambia and NEPAD. (2011, May 04). Retrieved from http://dailynews.gm/africa/gambia/article/gambia-and-nepad

Pan-Africanism. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Africanism

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