Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh has finally made way for President Adama Barrow to rule the nation. However, his stepping down came at a phenomenal price for the country. Media reports reveal that Jammeh left Gambia with a plane cargo full of luxury cars. He also stole $11.4 million from the state coffers as he boarded the plane out of the country.
Mai Ahmad Fatty, a special adviser to President Barrow confirmed the amount that Jammeh stole. He informed reporters at a recent press conference about the state of affairs of the country. According to Fatty, Gambia is currently in financial distress and the country’s treasury is almost empty. He added that officials from Gambia’s finance ministry and the Central Bank of the Gambia confirmed it.
Yahya Jammeh took power as the President of Gambia in 1994. Jammeh made sure that his net worth increased during his reign even though the country’s people did not prosper. An article in Washington Post states that Jammeh owned a fleet of Rolls Royces and his daughter attended a private Manhattan school in US when many Gambians were risking their life in an effort to reach Europe. A trust linked to Jammeh purchased property worth millions in Potomac in 2012 and he also has some assets in Guinea.
However, after 22 years of undisputed power, Jammeh finally lost to Adama Barrow this year. However, the former President was not ready to relinquish his power. He said that the elections were not fair and demanded another round. Till then, he said, he would not give up his position. His stand resulted in ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States ) forces moving into the country. It was then that the President agreed to step down.
An article in The Guardian states that the former President then transported his luxury goods in a cargo plane from Chad. He did this in the final hours of his reign. This includes an unknown number of luxury cars. However, the new government has ordered the airport authorities to not allow Jammeh’s belongings from leaving Gambia.
There is not much information available about the former President, his family and his allies after he left the country. Nobody knows, where the cargo planes transported the luxury goods and cars after removing them out of Gambia. Media reports reveal that the entourage had stopped in Guinea for some time. A report in Independent states that Guinea may be Jammeh’s final destination at the moment.
However, Gambians are not too worried about Jammeh’s whereabouts and they are only happy he left. They believe that his exit is a “victory for democracy” in the country. According to Fatty, “major damage had been done.” The new government will now have to start from scratch as there is no way it can get the lost funds back. As a result, President Adama Barrow will now form a cabinet and work with the country’s assembly to reverse the state of emergency in the country.
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