I was talking to a friend the other day about the firing of Edward Singhateh and the repercussions or lack thereof it could have on the security and long term stability of Yahya’s government. My friend was of the opinion that the Singhateh brothers ( Edward and Peter) wouldn’t let Yahya humiliate them like he does with the other ministers and functionaries he fires on what seems like a daily basis.
I had a good laugh at this assumption. What my friend failed to understand is that Yahya Jammeh is not a two bit dictator any more, but a full fledge one. He has gradually strengthen his grip on the security infrastructure over the years, with his cronies manning every facet of the elaborate and brutal system. Peter might be second in command in the army, but he has no power…zilch, zero. Yahya has essentially marginalized Edward when he kept demoting him from the vice chairman to defense and then forestry. Let that last point sink in for a minute. From the number two honcho to Forestry and fisheries…Jesus Christ. If Edward has any following in the army, he would have had Yahya by the cojones now. What? with all these stories floating around about how brutal that Edward fellow is…you think he will be taking such a humiliation on the cheek without lashing out? I don’t think so.
Now comes the story that Yahya has discharge Peter from the army while he (Peter) is out of the country on a one year training course. Cunning … wouldn’t you say? Fire him while he is caught off from what little following he may have in the army. I won’t be surprise if in the next few days some soldiers are rounded up and accuse of a coup. The house cleaning has just begun.
Here is the Gambia Journal’s story on the discharge of Peter and the firing of kebba Sanyang…the later was recently moved from justice to works and now he is unemployed:
In a move that surprised few, President Jammeh has relieved Lt. Peter Singhateh, brother of the former Secretary of State for the Forest and Environment Edward Singhateh, of his commanding position in the army also discharged from the Gambian National Army. Peter Singhateh was the Deputy Commander of the Defense Staff. The Gambia Journal has learnt that Peter Singhateh left the country only a week for a-one year training in an unnamed foreign country. ...the Gambiajournal
The GambiaEcho is reporting the same development here