Against a backdrop of mounting international ostracism and suspension of much needed financial assistance from the EU - the consequence of a poor human rights record, Jammeh’s threat to execute forty-seven inmates by September was designed to attract attention from Western media and human rights organizations. He has consistently courted media attention with outrageous comments and acts when things are not going well at home. This, to deflect attention from failed policies, which are too many to recount here. Did he not claim to have “discovered” the cure for HIV/AIDS, hypertension, infertility and diabetes, to name a few? Did Jammeh not orchestrate a so-called “witch-hunt” to supposedly purge the country of witches?
Yahya Jammeh’s threat to carry out death sentences of “death-row” inmates is simply outrageous! It makes no sense at all! But Jammeh’s rule and decisions have hardly made sense to most right-thinking individuals. Did he not defy religious and cultural sensibilities when he announced his threat to a group of religious elders on Islam’s most sacred Holiday- Eid-ul-Fitr? Who in their right mind would issue such a threat on a day of forgiveness and goodwill other than to attract attention? This time, it is not a threat against gays but “criminals.” Perhaps, a more interesting question is, why the threat(s)?
Jammeh’s most recent threat may well be another attempt to cover his failings- both personal and national. This odious threat to hang “death-row” inmates is/ was intended to douse dissent in a population already fatigued by mounting economic hardship and subdued by extra-judicial killings. Whether Jammeh carries/ carried out his threat or not (I pray he did not) is now immaterial, as he has already achieved his intended goals- deflecting attention from a country and people gripped by famine and soaring food prices, and perhaps more importantly, attracting media coverage, including worldwide attention and condemnation. Each time Jammeh makes a threat, or announces a medical “discovery,” Western media houses and rights organizations fall for it, which they should, as he has killed enough already. Yet in the same vein he manipulates them for self-serving purposes.
Jammeh’s so-called medical “discoveries,” “witch-hunts” and threat to execute forty-seven inmates are/ were simply outrageous and sure to get his name in the news. Yet Jammeh thrives on the outrageous, as he has accomplished little of distinction in his personal life, or eighteen-year rule. Did he not want to be crowned king or emperor of Gambia? Does he not insist on being called professor, Dr., Sheikh- all unearned titles and awards?
While I am not a psychiatrist, I suspect Jammeh suffers from a mental disorder called “Histrionic personality disorder” (HPD), which according to the American Psychiatric Association “is defined as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, including an excessive need for approval and inappropriately seductive behavior, usually beginning in early adulthood. These individuals are lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, and flirtatious http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histrionic_personality_disorder ,August, 24, 2012).
Jammeh must come to his senses and stop toying with the lives of so-called death-row inmates like Dr. Amadou Janneh, whose only “crime” is saying “No” to his madness- a disorder that must be taken seriously.
Gambians the world-over join the AU, EU, the US and all right-thinking individuals and condemn Yahya Jammeh’s threat to execute of so-called “death-row” inmates. It would be wrong, unjust and cruel.