Gambia’s nation’s purse has allegedly gone empty with over $11m missing after the embattled former President, Yahaya Jammeh left the country into exile with a cargo plane.
According to a statement by Mai Ahmad Fatty, an executive member of the Coalition of President Adama Barrow, it revealed that financial experts were trying to evaluate the exact loss. He said luxury cars, luggage and other items were reportedly loaded on to a Chadian cargo plane which Jammeh flew away with. Many Gambians, however, are angry that Jammeh was allowed to leave at all. Fatty added that the coalition was shocked that a cargo plane was allowed to leave with Jammeh’s “loot.”
Mr. Fatty told newsmen in Dakar that The Gambia was in financial distress. “The coffers are virtually empty,” he said. “It has been confirmed by technicians in the ministry of finance and the Central Bank of the Gambia.” He said Mr. Jammeh had made off with more than $11m in the past two weeks alone. Mr. Fatty said officials at The Gambia’s main airport had been told not to let any of Mr. Jammeh’s belongings leave the country. But Jammeh flew away with a cargo plane which many Gambians believe was stock with Jammeh’s loot. Reports said some of the former leader’s goods were in Guinea where Mr. Jammeh had stopped on his journey into exile. Mr. Jammeh is reported to now be in Equatorial Guinea, although authorities there have not confirmed it. However, Jammeh is yet to debunk this claims even though his exact place of asylum is not yet clear. Recall that Jammeh was defeated by the current President, Adama Barrow in December 2016 election. Majority of The Gambians were overjoyed at the out come. The world equally thumbed-up to Jammeh when he initially conceded defeat. However, a week later, Jammeh made a volte farce, rejecting the outcome of the election again, a decision that came as a shock to Gambians, West African nations and the world at large. Several peaceful efforts were made especially by the West African bloc to persuade Jammeh to step down but he remained adamant. When Gambia’s army chief initially declared allegiance to Jammeh, many thought a bloody show was set for the stage. Many Gambians, tourists and even the victorious Barrow had to flee the country for safety. As the tension went high, West African bloc resorted to using military force to oust Jammeh. But in a last minute dialogue, Jammeh finally succumbed. This was after the army chief again switched camps, declaring loyalty to the new President, Barrow who was sworn-in in Dakar as the country’s third president after independence. But before Jammeh agreed to step down, he made a deal which no member of the ECOWAS bloc agreed to. Having gone to exile, the revelations of an empty treasury has hit The Gambia and further steps are being awaited.
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