Former APRC nominated Member of Parliament Tina Faal, believes that she being targeted for political persecution by the regime of dictator Yahya Jammeh, because of her recent move to abandon Jammeh’s party to join the new opposition—Gambia Democratic Congress. Ms. Faal, was speaking on Sunday, in an interview with Freedom Radio Gambia. “ I have told them that if their goal is to scare me; then they will woefully fail. I joined the GDC party because this is the party that will liberate The Gambia from Jammeh’s misrule. The APRC is a dead party. It is only regime change that can bailout the country from its current political and economic predicament. I have no regrets for joining Mama’s party,” Tina Faal declared.
“Since the matter is before the court, I am not going to comment on the main substance of the case. I can tell you that I have no case to answer. I was given a power of attorney by my Ex-Husband Babanding Funtanka Sissohoko to dispose of the three aircraft. The Attorney General’s Chambers is aware of the power of attorney. There is no iota of truth into the accusations. Their goal is to impugn on my character, integrity and reputation. I have never been a thief. I have never been charged with any criminal offense. I am over 62 years of age. I have had live a dignified life throughout my childhood and adult life,” she remarked.
Ms. Tina Faal has been charged with conspiracy, obtaining goods by false pretense and theft. She was granted court bail in the sum of D500,000 dalasi with two Gambian sureties. She was also asked by magistrate Omar Cham to surrender her travel documents. She is being represented by Lawyer Combeh Gaye.
Ms. Tina Faal, who is expected to reappear in court today said one of the reasons why she left the APRC, was because the party hardly appreciates its loyal supporters. She cited the jailing of her daughter diplomat Georgina Gomez, who was convicted by a United Kingdom Crown Court on allegations of cigarette smuggling.
“Look at how they treated my daughter in the UK.. She has been sent to jail for alleged cigarette smuggling. Do you think that I will continue to support a party, which doesn’t come to the aid of its supporters, when their families are in trouble with the law? There is a strong bond of relationship between a mum and her daughter. I will rather side with my daughter in times of need than to support a party, which doesn’t care about my family. Pa Nderry, I feel that I have not been treated fairly by the APRC party. I have sacrificed a lot for Yahya Jammeh and his APRC party. I have spent sleepless nights—canvassing for votes for the party. I was able to make an entire village to defect to the APRC. I am that type of a person, who gives her heart and full support to the APRC. If I am, loyal to you, I will make sure that I will deliver the goods. That’s exactly what I have done for the APRC and Yahya Jammeh,” she said.
Ms. Tina Faal also talked about the death of Nyimasatta Sanneh Bojang, a former nominated member of the APRC. She said Ms. Bojang was not accorded the respect she deserves when she passed away.
“Look at the way, they treated Aunty Nyima.. She died in this country, and was never accorded a state burial. This was a woman, who was very loyal to Yahya Jammeh and his APRC party. She was buried like a regular citizen, without a state burial accorded to her. I reached a point that I feel that it was a waste of my precious time to support a party, which doesn’t appreciate its loyalists. Now that I have declared my support and allegiance for Mama Kandeh and GDC, they think that they can intimidate me, by filing trump up charges against my person. I am not afraid to go to jail. I am ready to face anything. At my age, I have nothing to fear. I am interested in bailing out our country from the current despicable situation Yahya Jammeh has put us in. The Gambia needs changes. We deserve better,” she added.
Ms. Tina Faal opines that she is going to use her trial to prove her innocence. She further opines that the regime of Yahya Jammeh has been reputed to be making up charges against opponents, who disagree with the regime politically.
“I am the least intimidated by the recent charges proffered against me. This has been the norm in this country: If you disagree politically, they will try to tear you apart. I am aware of the ramifications of parting company, with a party, which fabricates charges against its opponents. I have been a staunch supporter of Yahya Jammeh and the APRC, but it is no more. I am moving on. My party now is the GDC,” she declared.
“Employing me, and my family, doesn’t mean that I do not have the right to associate with other parties. Are they talking about the sacrifices, and the work I have done for the APRC and Yahya Jammeh? Pa Nderry, I have invested a lot of money into the APRC. No one is acknowledging my past contributions to the party. Now they are rewarding me with a blackmail,” she contended.
GDC leader Mama Kandeh, also noted that Tina Faal’s contribution towards the advancement of the APRC is immeasurable. He said Tina, like any other Gambian reserves the right to support the party of her choice. Mr. Kandeh added that Tina’s departure from the APRC has created a huge void in the party.
“Tina, has over the years convinced Gambians across the nation to rally behind the APRC and Yahya Jammeh. Her departure from the APRC, is a big blow to the party,” Kandeh remarked.
Mr. Kandeh also informed Freedom Radio Gambia that his party supporters are being targeted for harassment ahead of the December elections. He said a good number of his supporters have complained about receiving threatening phone calls from anonymous callers, who intimidated them for merely supporting the GDC.
“A lady, who translated the National Anthem into Mandingka, during our Buffer Zone meeting, was harassed by an unknown caller. Another supporter of mine was accused of being a foreigner. The caller told him that he is from Casamance, and that they were coming after him,” Kandeh said.
Mr. Kandeh has called for an end to political harassment ahead of the elections. He said if Jammeh, is confident of winning, he shouldn’t resort to voter intimidation.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai