An executive member of the governing African National Congress has prophesised the arrest and detention of Gambian opposition leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe in March 2015. Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, a former deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, told Mr. Darboe to prepare for the worst.
“Mr Darbo, I spent 19 years in prison at Robin Island and it was hard,” Mr. Ebrahim told Darboe at a Socialist International conference on peace and security in Bamako, Mali. “However, upon release and upon the election victory of Mandela, the 19 years went in thin air. It was like one day or half a day. This is because to eliminate the fear and terror people have of our own government police, secret police and evil torturers, was a pleasure I cherish and I am afraid to tell you.” Ebrahim said “before your situation in Gambia gets better, it will get worst for you personally. You are a nice person, and you will not give up. So expect it to get worse before it gets better, but it is worth it for your people.”
Mr. Darboe attended the Bamako conference together with Suntou Touray who was standing few arm’s length as the elderly South African uttered what would later become a reality exactly one year one month later.
Meanwhile, Mr. Darboe and co remain strong and appreciative of all what Gambians have been doing to see them in court or at Mile II.
The remanded UDP leadership that was refused bail in the name of national security remains upbeat even in the face of rulings by Yahya Jammeh’s kangaroo courts. Justice Eunice Dada at the High Court last week ruled in favour of the state to refer counts 5 and 6 to the Supreme Court for interpretation. She also ruled against the defence that the case should start afresh.
As a faithful Muslim and firm believer of Allah, Mr. Darboe has not lost hope on the redemption of the Gambia. He believes strongly in the goodness of Gambians. He kept smiling during the last court sitting on Thursday upon realising that some Europe based Gambians came to witness the hearing. The visitors shook hands with the UDP leader and co.
“Darboe looks visibly moved by our desire to visit the country purposely to show solidarity with him,” one of the men said. “He really appreciated our action. He just smiled saying “you came all the way to see us.”