Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said on Thursday night that he was the best candidate to stem the clandestine flow of migrants to Europe during his campaign ahead of the December 1 election.
“Those who are grateful, who fear God, love progress, want to worship the Almighty in peace and do not want to see our children end up in refugee camps, know who to vote for,” he said.
Gambians are among the leading nationalities of migrants who cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy. The country is ranked top of the migrating population of West Africa according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Those who are grateful, who fear God, love progress, want to worship the Almighty in peace and do not want to see our children end up in refugee camps, know who to vote for.
Jammeh, who has been in power since 1994, has called on the voters to grant him a fifth term but also to remain in the country. He was speaking to a gathering of thousands of people in Brikama, 30 km south of the capital Banjul.
Since his ascension to the throne through a coup, he was first elected in 1996 and constantly re-elected since then. He runs against a single opposition candidate, Adama Barrow, and a former member of his party, Mama Kandeh.
In May 2015, the Gambian president stated that families that send their children to try the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean to reach Europe bore the responsibility of the death of many of them in shipwrecks.