- From 22 July 1994 to date, at least 546 children have been named after the Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh, a curious survey reveals. The survey results were contained in a magazine published by President Jammeh's office.
The survey contains the names and addresses of parents who named their sons after President Jammeh since he overthrew the democratically elected government of the country on 22 July 1994.
Some weeks back, the state-owned broadcaster, Gambia Radio and Television Services, spill the beans that the exercise, the first of its kind in the country, was in the offing.
In this regard, parents who named their sons after President Jammeh were asked to submit their children's birth certificates to the nearest local government authority who would in turn pass them to the ruling Alliance for Patriotic and Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) bureau in the capital Banjul.
No reasons were advanced for the purpose of this study but most people believe that it might be done to measure his die-heart supporters in the country. It is speculated that Mr Jammeh would soon organise a ceremony to shower money on parents for naming their children after him as a token of appreciation.
The survey reveals that 201 children were named after Mr Jammeh in his own division, Western Division. It was revealed that the figures for Central River, Lower River, North and Upper River Divisions stand at 99, 57, 55 and 54 respectively.
Seven children were found to have their names and surnames intact with that of the President.
Surprisingly, Mr Jammeh used to poll large number of votes in the urban areas but the survey found out that there was not a single child named after him there.
The survey also recorded 88 children named after President Jammeh's Moroccan wife, Zeinab Jammeh. Of this figure, 81 were found in Western Division, six in Central River Division and one in Lower River Division.
The number of President Jammeh's namesakes is undoubtedly more than the survey results. It is believed that most people who had problem with Mr Jammeh decided to change the names of their sons named after Gambian President.
Some fans of the jailed parliamentarian and prominent political kingpin, Baba Jobe, could not hide their anger against President Jammeh. "I have named my son after Jammeh because of Baba's influence but now that Baba has been betrayed to the core, I have revoked the name," said an irate fan of Mr Jobe.
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