Panic, fear and uncertainty hang over residents of Foni Kansala village of Dobong where President Yahya Jammeh reportedly vows to revive his witch hunting exercise.
Angered by the sudden death of his aunt in 2009, The Gambia’s voodoo-laden leader blamed it on witches and soon hired foreign witch hunters to “cleanse the country.” In the process, the millitary was used to invade villagers who were forcibly transported to camps where they drank hallucinating concoction some believe might be kubejara, a local plant capable of leaving untold harm on its users. The effect was death, sickness and irreparable scars resulting from the shame and stigma.
But President Jammeh, whose government is yet to compensate the victims and their families, has decided to lick the old wounds. Instead of giving them breathing space, Jammeh brought back the trauma and pain when he accused Foni Jolas of “eating up all their brightest sons.” He there threatened to relaunch his 2009 brutal exercise led by a Casamance magician, Tamba Jero who reportedly died in mysterious circumstances.
President Jammeh’s renewed threats, according to Kairo News finding, were specifically directed at Dobong whose natives had empowered his government from the word go. Dobong produces the former powerful National Intelligence Agency Director Abdoulie Kujabi and his brother Mustapha James Kujabi, the former deputy Protocol Officer at the President’s Office.
“It’s a fact that residents of Dobong live in perpetual fear, panic and terror,” said a 70-year-old man. “The situation has become so bad that people run into the bush any time they hear the sound of a vehicle, fearing they will be taken away. Just few weeks back, everyone ran helter-skelter when a vehicle arrived. It turned out to be a vehicle transporting the corpse of a police officer from the village. The body was returned to Jeshwang in the Kanifing Municipality for burial because no one was found in Dobong except the alkalo. None of them wants to go through Jammeh’s ruthless witch hunting exercise.”