It looks like there is some glimmer of hope for Gambian activists battling to cope with the fear and panic stemming from the arrest, detention and subsequent arraignment of people accused of attempting to overthrow the government of a “friendly” government. Such a hope becomes evident when a senior high-ranking official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) describes the mounting fear and panic among Gambians as regrettable.
But this does not mean Cherno Njie and Papa Faal will not be prosecuted for their roles on December 30th event, which resulted to the killing of four State House attackers. In a civilised democracy like the US, suspects remain innocent until they are proven guilty by the courts.
“We are only after the violations of the US Neutrality Act.” Mr. Kyle A. Loven, the FBI’s Chief Division Counsel and Media Coordinator at Minneapolis, Minnesota, told Yero Jallow of Gainako. Mr. Loven, who is reported to have consulted the FBI Special Agent in charge of investigation, acknowled receiving similar concerns.
US-Gambian citizens have been ovet the years known for being peace-loving, law-abiding and industrious people eager to live the American Dream. But the involvement of Cherno Njie, a successful Texan developer and Papa Faal, a US Army veteran and IT instructor, in a forceful attempt to change the government in the Gambia is a complete dynamic shift. This means Gambians are no longer seen with the same lenses, especially in the height of the Jammeh government’s propaganda aimed at smearing the image of some foreign powers while at the same time adding fuel to the fire.
The fear and panic among Gambians in the diaspora, particularly those in the US, is capable of dampening spirits of people fighting for a Gambia devoid of tyranny, lawlessness and gross violations of rights. But the FBI’s resolve to dig into facts of the case before taking action is a sharp contrast to that of the Gambia government’s disregard for the application of due process. Here is a government that does not only take the law into its hands but also rob the courts off their title of being the last bastion of hope.
Clearly, the FBI agents will do their best to protect anyone living in the US, including Gambians, provided their hands are dirty. There is nothing to fear or panic if your hands are clean.