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GAMBIA: AFTER LEARNING JAMMEH MIGHT NOT BENEFIT FROM THE BILL, KEBBA SANNEH REGRETS VOTING IN FAVOR

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Kebba Toumanding Sanneh, a Foni Jarrol MP, has said that if he had known Yahya Jammeh would not be eligible for the benefits of the former president laws, he would have walked out of the National Assembly during the bill’s passage.

During Thursday’s discussion, opposition lawmakers from the UDP and PDOIS marched out of the Assembly, leaving just members of the governing NPP coalition and the independent No Alliance NAMs to vote for it. The opposition said that the measure, which rewards previous presidents with large pensions and other perks, is unjust to low-income taxpayers.

Former President Jammeh is not barred, according to the Justice Minister, but as a wanted individual, Jammeh, like any other citizen, must first deal with the law before receiving such benefits. This has not gone down well with the Foni NAMs, who were led to assume that the measure would instantly benefit Jammeh, The Gambia’s only former president.

However, one of the No Alliance NAMs, Kebba Toumanding Sanneh, told The Standard yesterday that it “has never been declared publicly or written anywhere that Jammeh is wanted,” adding that this is a lie spread by Jammeh’s “enemies and critics.”

“If Jammeh is left out, it means that they brought this bill for President Barrow.” We would have left as well if we had known. But it’s also not too awful that we remained to confront and struggle to modify some of the sections and make appropriate adjustments since we are truly worried about the Gambian people’s economic situation. “They would have just passed it as it was presented if we had walked out,” Sanneh said.

He claims that the fact that this legislation is designed to benefit Barrow reveals why the nation has been regressing because individuals develop laws to benefit themselves and then modify those laws when a new president takes office.

“People are fleeing and dying along the back roads every day as the economy deteriorates, but this government is wasting all of its time on Jammeh.” Jammeh used to claim that if they sold all of his possessions and put the proceeds in health, education, and scholarships, he would be OK, but they sold all of his holdings and divided the proceeds. When they leave power, they will reap what they have sown. They are deceiving no one except themselves.”

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