The daughter of Mr. Ebrima Solo Sandeng has said it’s about time Gambians bury the fear of government – a fear that has haunted them for more than two decades. Solo Sandeng, the Organising Secretary of the United Democratic Party, was tortured to death by Gambian security agents last Thursday. Two tortured women protesters, Fatoumata Jawara and Nokoi Njie, are in coma battling for their survival, with the government providing no information to their families.
In this embedded YouTube video, the young girl said gone are the days when fear overcome the families of arrested people. She said the first time her father was arrested, the family kept everything simple but that is not the case this time around. “We are a family and we know how important a father is to us. Whoever arrested my father let him know that my father has a family,” the girl said in a 34-second video, amid clapping.
This type of stories run deep into one’s soul, for they portray frustration, anger and sadness. Let us all put ourselves in the shoes of this girl, we will understand her situation. Like any bonafide Gambian, Solo Sandeng deserves protection from a government whose leader swore to “execute his duty without fear, favour or ill-will.” He was arrested for exercising his constitutionally guaranteed right to hold peaceful protest only to be tortured to death and denied proper Muslim burial. That is a pain that’s difficult to diffuse.
We concur with Lawyer Ousainou Darboe that Solo’s death has aroused the consciousness of Gambians. What Jammeh and his thugs don’t get is that the execution of Solo Sandeng creates many others. That is why many people have already replaced their Facebook profile picture with that of Solo. All these people, majority of who are young, know Solo represented national interest and died for their cause. With only a flag in his hands, Mr. Sandeng along with two dozen other youths, peacefully protested calling for electoral reforms. Which law says a peaceful protester should be tortured to coma? This lawlessness by The Gambia government will only breed lawless. Soon people will start to take the law into their own hands because that is what their government is teaching them to do.