The Gambia government is at it again, selling to the general public the reported escape of a senior military official from its jurisdiction. We at Kairo News have and will always greet such news with pinch of salt by a government that breeds on misinformation. How many senior government officials have escaped from The Gambia without their names being displayed on national television? Why then the authorities do in the case of Lt. Commander Momodou Badjie is the puzzle we are struggling to understand?
In a press release aired on GRTS on Wednesday, the government accused Badjie of squandering an unspecified amount of money belong to the state. The scanty release described Commander Badjie as “a former administrative officer of the Gambia Navy.” This release opened the gate of confusion for failing to state when and why Badjie was dismissed from the army. A careful scrutiny of the sentence below will drive home our point of argument.
“The former administrative officer of the Gambia Navy, Lieutenant Commander Momodou Badgie, is on the run, after misappropriating substantial sums of money.”
Despite feeding the public with incomplete story, the Jammeh government interestingly wrote that “this despicable action by the senior officer is a serious breach of the trust and responsibility vested in him.” Commander Badjie is henceforth referred to as “a fugitive from justice” who must not be provided shelter. The general public is urged to provide any information on Badjie to the security forces because granting him refugee will be punishable by law.
Most Gambians may not see any news value in the government’s press release. We are also in this boat but our problem is how to trust a government that does not stand by the truth and does its best to keep every vital information secret. The same government can issue a press on the escape of a military officer on the run while ignoring the death in custody of a trade union leader. Where is justice and fairness? Or Badjie’s case is given prominence because there is money involved or those who die in state custody do not deserve justice? We therefore doubt Lt. Commander Badjie’s story until we are proven wrong. Who knows whether he was secretly killed by the very government that is declaring him wanted? God knows the best.