My great friend Pa Nderry, I remembered 22 years ago when Jammeh came to power, he came in with a lot of borrowed terminologies such as probity, accountability, rule of law, rampant corruption etc. In the wee-wee months of the coup, his government brought in legal experts from Ghana to sit at the Commissions of Enquiry that were created to look into the affairs of former ministers and other high ranking government officials in the then Jawara Administration. In the process, many of them lost their homes and those were later to be transferred to the AMRC. What incidentally happened to those properties is a real mystery. I happened to be one of the court reporters then at the Public Assets and Recoveries Commission and I have witnessed firsthand how those former minister and government officials were brandished as corrupt individuals just because they acquired more than two properties at the time. Incidentally, Ousainou Darboe represented most of them before the Public Assets Commission and he defended them so well.
President Jawara had only few properties.
If I remembered properly, all the assets former President Jawara had up to the time he was ousted by Jammeh were his house Fajara house, his farm at Farato, the Wellington property and his overseas property in London that was procured courtesy of a bank loan. We are talking about all the properties former President Jawara was able to have in a period of 30 years compared to what Jammeh amassed in just few years into his presidency.
And then the Killing and disappearances Started
Just when Gambians thought that he was a savior based on his lofty promises, he started taking the lives of innocent Gambians. I bet Gambians will never forget the way Ousman Koro Ceesay was slayed and dumped into the woods of Gunjur in what the government claimed was an accident. After Koro, many Jammeh orchestrated coup de tats claimed the lives of many soldiers and other security personnel and the gruesome way in which the killings took place were beyond human comprehension. Disappearances also took the order of the day because since Kanyiba Kanyi was abducted, no one knew his whereabouts. The same applies to Chief Ebrima Manneh. A couple of years ago, two Gambian born U.S Citizens disappeared in thin air in the Gambia and until now, the Jammeh administration claims to have no knowledge of their whereabouts. Perhaps the most shocking of Jammeh’s brutality was demonstrated in the way his agents killed Solo Sandeng and up to date, no one could tell the Gambian people where his body was. What resulted after Solo’s killings also led to the mass demonstrations which eventually led Darboe and Co imprisoned just for exercising a constitutional right that knows no boundary under Jammeh’s rule. Today, they will not spend one more night at mile II.
Then the massive usurpation of Gambian resources
Jammeh claims to own almost everything in the Gambia just because he said he had sacrificed his life to take over the Jawara administration in a bloodless coup. Today, go to Kairaba avenue, everything painted green belongs to Jammeh. Go the Kombo Coastal roads, any property that has a fence of more than 10 square miles belongs to Jammeh. Go to Banjul and all the properties managed by the AMRC belongs to Jammeh. Come to Maryland here in the U.S, his property was valued to have cost so many millions of Gambian monies.
Also the exploitation of Government resources
Some government institutions are Jammeh’s chess pawns. Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, the Gambia Ports Authority, Gambia Revenue Authority, Gambia Civil Aviation Authority etc are just like a petty cash float to him. How can a President of a nation tell an accountant at the Gambia Ports Authority “Come to office with your Check book and write me a check of D30 Million? What sort of rampant abuse of power is that?
To add salt to pepper, the insult on the Mandinka
Jammeh went on the tirade to label the Mandinkas as foreigners and that as long as he lives no Mandinka will ever rule the Gambia. He even said that if the Mandinkas challenge him, he will make sure that they are buried 6-foot-deep and even maggots will not eat the bodies of such Mandinkas. Ok, is such a statement not reminiscent of Genocide?
Then he shuts down the telecommunications infrastructure on the eve of elections.
This is the same man that was at the forefront of telling former President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso to leave the country when he lost the elections because the people did not vote for him. The coward Jammeh on the eve of elections shut the Gambia away from the outside world. Even the North Korean Regime does not behave in such a reckless manner.
Hurray to Social Media
Pa Nderry, frankly speaking, the efforts made by the diaspora Gambians and the social media, had helped to enlightened the Gambians a lot and this has resulted in the Jammeh fear factor erode over the years. Good job Pa Nderry, I believe this struggle started with your media outlet and the others that followed also added a lot of momentum to the struggle What was demonstrated in the elections last night shows that Gambians want to end impunity once and for all and I am happy that it has finally happened.
Until recently the insult on former President Jawara and the British
Just few days ago, he went about lambasting former President Jawara’s 30 years’ rule that brought nothing to the Gambia. He added that the British too have not done anything in the Gambia for the 400 years they have occupied the country. There was one thing in Jawara’s rule though; peace and tranquility and no Gambian had disappeared without trace.
And Finally the Coalition
Of course big thanks to the coalition and the Guerilla Mama Kandeh for helping in denying Jammeh the opportunity to win the elections. Jammeh is gone and there should be peace in the Gambia although he has so many questions to answer especially pertaining to the deaths and disappearances of Gambians.
PS: Oh boy I know Deep Throat and Naato Sansanding and the others will rejoice a great at this victory. lol
By Ebou Ngum, Everett Washington