|YAHYA JAMMEH & bARRACK OBAMA WITH HIS WIFE|
He was born 25 May 1965 in Kanilai, Gambia. His full name is Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jammeh. He is the outgoing President of the Gambia after ruling for 22 years. Jammeh joined the Gambian National Army in 1984 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1989 and in August 1992, he became a commanding officer of the Military Police of Yundum Barracks. He received extensive military training in neighboring Senegal, and military police training at Fort McClellan, Alabama in the United States.
Rise to Power
He was a young army officer when he took power from Dawda Jawara in a 1994 military coup. The coup was carried out without bloodshed. His first speech after Jammeh took over from Jawara identified corruption as the reason for the coup. He was 29 years when he became chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC). The AFPRC in which he headed then suspended the constitution, sealed all Gambian borders, and implemented a curfew. Jammeh’s new government was characterized with human right abuses, limit to press freedom, killings and jailing of the opposition and corruption.
A coup attempt was made against Jammeh while he was in Mauritania on 21 March 2006, but was not successful. The alleged master mind of the coup attempt, former Army chief of staff Col. Ndure Cham, reportedly fled to neighboring Senegal, while other who joined him were put on trail and charged with treason. After two terms in office, Jammeh ran for a third term in the presidential election held on 22 September 2006; the election which was scheduled for October was moved forward because of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He won the election against the opposition candidate Ousainou Darboe, who finished second. Foreign observers say the elections was not free and fair.
Jammeh got re-elected as president for a fourth term in office In November 2011 but to his surprise in 2016, He was defeated by Adama Barrow in the 2016 December 1 election. At first, he conceded defeat, on 9 December 2016, he later refused and called for a fresh poll. Prior to the elections, a number of opposition members, including United Democratic Party leader Ousainou Darboe, were sentenced to three years in jail for staging pro-democracy protests. ECOWAS, UN, AU gave Jammeh an ultimatum to relinquish power to Barrow by 19th January, 2017.
Human Right Abuses, Killings and Criticisms
Jammeh has been accused of series of human right abuses and the restriction of the freedom of the press. He made strict press laws which taunted press freedom. The unsolved killing of Deyda Hydara, editor of The Point tabloid who was brutally murdered in December 2004 was just one out of many killings connected with Jammeh. In April 2004 he called on journalists to obey his government “or go to hell”. In July 2006, he arrested journalist Ebrima Manneh of The Daily Observer for criticizing him to the BBC, but later released him upon the intervention of ECOWAS.
Apart from gagging the press, he was accused of ordering the shooting of 12 students on 10 and 11 April 2000 during a student demonstration to protest the death of a student in the Gambia. During the 22 years of Jammeh’s rule, dozens of individuals who criticized his government were reported to have disappeared or killed without trail. Jammeh was also linked with the 2004 massacre of 44 Ghanaian migrants and 10 other ECOWAS nationals. During this period, two of the Ghanaians managed to escape, but one of the escapees was later arrested and slashed into pieces with a machete by one of the soldiers and put in a sack who reported to Yahya Jammeh on the success of the mission
Net Worth of Yahya Jammeh (Forbes)
It was reported that Jammeh is the richest man in the Gambia and virtually all businesses are owned by him. Yahya Jammeh’s net worth is estimated at $1.8 billion dollars. He owns $10m-dollar mansions (each) in five eastern European countries and two western Europe countries, as well as $30m mansion in Morocco. The Gambian President has reportedly invested heavily in Dubai and other Middle Eastern Countries.
Mr Jammeh divorced his first wife Tuti Faal and subsequently married two other women, though his official website referred only to Zineb Yahya Jammeh, who held the title of First Lady.
According to The Gambia's privately owned Point newspaper, he married his second wife, Alima Sallah, in 2010, but Mr Jammeh's office issued an instruction that she should not be referred to as First Lady - in contrast to South Africa where all four wives of President Jacob Zuma hold the title.
"She is not to be addressed as the First Lady because, according to protocol, there can only be one First Lady and, in this case, that is Madam Zineb Yahya Jammeh,"