As stated in our last night Foni story, we have been talking to some locals in the area. Here is the continuation of the memoir we scribbled. One of the residents we spoke to said he works for the Adama Barrow government. He has been in government well before Adama Barrow assuming the office of the presidency. He spoke about former President Yahya Jammeh reaching out to the locals of Foni, through members of the delegation with him in Equatorial Guinea. The Jammeh interlocutors have informed the locals that Jammeh wanted them to keep the peace, pray to God, work hard and take care of their families.  

The person we spoke to said he wants to remain anonymous—given the current crackdown on the Foni residents by the Adama Barrow government. He is an intelligent young man and very articulate. 

“We do not communicate directly with former President Jammeh. Jammeh uses his surrogates in Equatorial Guinea to communicate with us. Contrary to the widely-held view that Jammeh wants to destabilize this country, I can tell you with confidence that Jammeh wants peace in the Gambia. He has asked us to keep the peace through his emissaries in Guinea. Jammeh is privy to all what is happening to his people in Foni. We are being attacked, falsely arrested and jailed. The people talking to us from Guinea, on behalf of Jammeh, said the president is appealing to the people of Foni to remain calm; not to give into any form of provocation; and take care of their daily lives. He stressed the need for the locals to pray to the Almighty and keep the faith,” said the Foni resident.

The Foni resident said the direction taken by the Barrow government to alienate the people of Foni, from the rest of the Gambia, is not a wise political move, stressing that no among of political alienation can cow them to submission to the current regime.

“What Barrow fails to realize is that we do not hate him per say. Yahya Jammeh is part of us. We cannot just let go like that without cooling things off. It took us two years to accept Yahya Jammeh, when he overthrew the government of former president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. Keep in my mind that Jammeh hailed from Kanilai, and Kanilai is part of Foni. So, if we can refuse to support Jammeh for two years of his early rule, who is Adama Barrow to expect that we should just turn the page and embrace him. He should engage us than marginalizing us,” he said.

The Foni man talked about Interior Minister Mai Fatty, allegedly admitting to the elders of the region that he was misled in regards to the statement he (Fatty) made about the Kanilai protesters shooting incident—leading to the death of Haruna Jatta and nine others injured. Fatty claimed that the protesters were armed with traditional weapons; it turns out that his statement was inaccurate, the Foni man said.

On Friday, the Senegalese Foreign Minister said the Gambia was far from being stable. He cited what he calls an external threat lingering on the West African nation. He was speaking during a meeting with his France counterpart. 

The Foni man intimated that Yahya Jammeh will one day return home. He couldn’t tell us when and how Jammeh will return, but he stressed that Jammeh will return to Kanilai one day.

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