The US president and The Gambia’s long-serving President Yahya Jammeh have differed sharply in their positions on enforcing term limits for African leaders.
Barack Obama in an address to the African Union on Tuesday, the first by a US leader, condemned African leaders who refuse to give up power. But Yahya Jammeh who seized power in 1994 as a young army lieutenant says imposing a two-term limit on presidency is “very un-African.”
In his address to the same AU gathering, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Aziz Awal Jemus Junkung Jammeh Naasiru Deen Babili Mansa, Commander In Chief of The Armed Forces and Chief Custodian of the Sacred Constitution of the Gambia said he has won four elections since 1994 and intends to contest and win more of such elections in the future.
Responding to Obama’s speech in which the US president said “nobody should be president for life,” Yahya Jammeh reiterated his desire to rule for “one billion years.”
The Gambian leader ended his speech by paying tribute to President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s long-serving leader who was excluded from Tuesday’s meeting at the African Union’s Chinese-funded headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza who has controversially been re-elected for a third term gave the loudest cheer as Jammeh strode back to his seat.