MOTORCADES are not an unusual feature of African political life. But a hush fell in Serekunda, Gambia’s largest town, as the presidents of Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone sped by in black Rolls-Royces.
Gambians hoped the region’s other heads of state would persuade their own erratic president to step down. Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the tiny West African nation for 22 years (and once said that, if Allah decreed it, he would continue for a billion), decided that, in fact, he wanted to remain in power despite unexpectedly losing an election two weeks ago.
Having gracefully conceded defeat and promised to step down after the votes were counted, he changed his mind and challenged the result, encouraged perhaps by the foolhardy pledges of some of the opposition to arrest him for his many abuses of human rights.
SOURCE: The Economist Online