The family of an abducted Gambian has sounded its frustration over the Gambia government’s continued silence on Saul Ndow’s whereabouts. Saul Ndow and Mahawa Cham were abducted in Senegal on April 28 last year.
Below is a statement written by Saul Ndow’s children.
Saul Ndow like many Gambians sees Dakar, Senegal as a safe haven, a country that is full of activity, leisure and opportunity. However, on April 28th, 2013 Saul was abducted and held against his will and forced to endure intolerable treatment under intolerable conditions.
As it has been a year now since the abduction of our father, it is still a baffling and frightening experience to us in regard to the disturbing silence we have experienced and continue to experience from both the Senegalese and Gambian Government. After months upon months of sending inquiries the Senegalese Government finally informed us that they are investigating the matter and will get back to us in due course. We are still unaware as to what course of action they have taken concerning the abduction of our father.
Saul Ndow is being held prisoner in an unidentified location, and going through a great deal wherever he may be, but it is not only him that his captives has held prisoner we the family, have become their hostages as well. This experience to say the least is an emotional nightmare; we say this as we are just as emotionally and psychologically being tortured.
Every day we face the trauma of losing a loved one with no sense of closure or peace of mind. The psychological impact is so overwhelming that it becomes an obsession almost and a constant source of anguish to know that your father is out there missing and little to nothing has been done about it by the authorities that hold the answers to the very important and relevant questions we have.
We are certain that you can relate to the anguish and pain that we are experiencing to a certain extent, however only the families that have and are going through it currently can attest to the pain it causes. We encourage the many Gambian families that are experiencing the same unfortunate circumstances as us to speak up and be heard, please do not hide in your own shadows of grief and despair hoping that dealing with it in silence is your best and only chance. Dealing with a situation as this in silence is not the answer and will never be the answer, having the courage to speak up and be heard will not only bring about change that we so direly need but will help these enforced disappearances and arrests from reoccurring. We know that it is not lack of want but a need to further protect one’s own and fear or even shock that has you silenced but we tell you that this is not something that a handful of people can do alone. Many Gambians are doing what they can to help, whether in the privacy of their homes or out in the open but compared to how many Gambians that are out there it is not enough. We urge you all families of abducted loved ones or anyone who takes the time to read this, let us work together and spare other families from such a grief and trauma.
Help us put an end to these atrocities by speaking up about it and taking due action, no human being should be subjected to such inhumane treatment; no family should go through such a painful and traumatizing ordeal. These enforced disappearances should not be ceased but brought to a stop; everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
At this stage no person or family is exempt from the possibility of a loved one going missing. Whether it be due to foul play, personal, or just random which sadly has been the order of the day among many. The Gambian and Senegalese Government should make Saul Ndow’s whereabouts known and should adhere to proper and law abiding procedures their continued silence is torturing us. We refuse to live with the ambiguity as to where our father is or what has happened to him because our father clearly was abducted alongside the border of Dakar and The Gambia and again clearly in between these two entities one or the other if not both has possible answers to our questions, so no we are not giving up and we most definitely are not keeping quiet.
Many things are easier said than done but the harder the climb the greater the reward, We ask, dear readers, is great achievement earned through great ease? The answer is no, and what is a greater reward than to have your loved ones back home safe and sound? We hope and pray our loved one is out there and is alive and will be home with us very soon. They say time heals all wounds but in this case as time goes by the mental and physical exhaustion is leading us into painful complications which we have to deal with.
If you do happen to know someone that is going through a similar ordeal do not stay away from them. We know that for many because they do not know what to do or how to help they choose to stay away, you do not have to say much but rather your presence is more than enough and your presence is by signing the petition, and helping us help them.
We humbly ask that for a moment you to ponder that by the grace of God your family has been spared by such a crisis but this could have been you just as it is us dealing with this now, so please take one minute of your time to sign the petition for the release of our father Saul Ndow, the petition link is provided below and your signature/support can remain confidential. The petition also details how your signature will help bring about change, and can help bring our dear father Saul Ndow home.
Our father is a well-respected man, soft spoken, very private with no violent tendencies and is a man of dignity. He played and still plays a very fundamental role in our family and in our individual personal lives and we miss him dearly. Our father is a loving human being, gentle, and has the warmest smile we have ever seen. Saul Ndow did not “choose” to go missing nor is he the sort of person to be gone without a trace and without getting in touch with us. He has missed all of our birthdays this year, a day he never missed calling. Each day that goes by his rights are being further abused and denied, with no access to a lawyer, his medications, or a family member. We demand that our father be charged for any alleged crimes as he is innocent until proven guilty , and also to be fairly tried in a court of law – is this too much to ask?.
We want to thank all dear readers for taking the time to help us in our just cause; we thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone by saying NO MORE to broken homes. We thank you for hearing us out and we thank you for your support, prayers, and for giving Saul and the many abducted Gambians a voice, as we do not only want Saul home, we want them all home with their loved ones.
Signed: Children of Saul Ndow