Readers will recall that in January, three days before NAWEC Staff Association launched it fundraising show with Assan Ndiaye, an executive directive from the President’s Office was issued ordering an immediate ban on using Senegalese musicians on Gambian soil. Interestingly, President Jammeh unashamedly denied ever giving an executive directive against hiring Senegalese musicians to perform in The Gambia.
The executive order from the President caused huge finance losses to NAWEC.The staff association had not only already paid 50% of the fee charged by Assan Ndiaye but had to reimburse all monies generated from gala dinner tickets already sold to companies and individuals. Monies paid on advertisements and to auxiliary staff tasked with organizing the shows were all wasted.A disgruntled NAWEC staff lamented, “Jammeh pokes his nose into everything.
The event is organized by the NAWEC Staff Association, not NAWEC as a company. We are fed up with this Jammeh and his meddling”. Another added that, “we had to return all checks and donations towards the Assan Ndiaye show. We were forced to hire Jaliba Kuyateh to save face, so imagine our shock seeing the President in front of his senegalese guest denying that he ordered us not to stage the show with Assan Ndiaye because he no longer wants to see Senegalese artist on Gambian soil”.
Another company that was affected by the executive directives is GAMTEL/GAMCELL. The company was forced to abort its plan for a three day musical concert with Titi and Pape Thiopet. GAMTEL has been contracting annually and hiring senegalese mega stars such as Youssou Ndour and uses some of its proceeds to sponsor charities such as the First Lady’s Operation Save a Baby Initiative.Many observers said that the reason Youssou Ndour did not perform in Febuary during the golden jubilee was due to the ban issued by the President and that ban was the reason he snubbed senegalese artist and invited Nollywood stars instead to grace the occasion.
A source also said that “Jammeh’s flip flopping is affecting every sector of Gambian life, he issues random bans and executive decrees then later blatantly lies about his actions and blames others for the consequences of his irresponsible actions” Many believe the directive was issued to blackmail and pressure President Macky Sall for what Jammeh alleges was the Senegalese government’s support of Gambian dissidents seeking refuge in Senegal.
Following the aftermath of the foiled December 2014 coup, some of the plotters fled to Senegal. Jammeh also believes that Senegal aided the plotters to uproot his regime. “Jammeh was misguided into believing that by banning Senegalese artist who make a lot of money from shows in Gambia, the artist will turn their frustrations to President Macky Sall for ruining their source of income in Gambia and they will influence negative public opinion against Sall”, however when he did not get a reaction from the artist norPresident Sall, Jammeh reversed his decision and decided to get the senegalese artist to come back and shower them with gifts and cash, then get them to further his propaganda in Senegal against Gambian dissidents and President Sall.
President Jammeh continues to epitomise his lies and betrayal with more flip flops. An example of Jammeh lying through his teeth was when he told Fatou Camara, his onetime Press Secretary, at the glasshouse in State House that, “I don’t watch Senegalese TV because they don’t like Gambians.” Amazingly, when Kouthia accompanied Eumeu Sene, a Senegalese wrestler to meet the Dictator in his comfort zone in Banjul, he shamelessly told Kouthia, “I never miss your show”. This is the same President who has on his CV under hobbies “browsing the internet” displayed on the state house website, yet after the December 30th 2014 attacks, he was on national TV saying that he “never surfs the internet and has no social media account”