In this write up, my goal is to expose and educate the Gambian people about Yankuba Badjie, the current head of The Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency which has notoriously been known as Jammeh’s torture chambers. A place where senseless human rights violations have been committed during the course of 22 brutal years of Jammeh dictatorship. A dictatorship that feeds on innocent human blood.
Most Gambians will be surprised to know that Yankuba Badjie is a product of multi-ethnic family background. Born and raised in New Jeshwang in the Kanifing Municipality, Yankuba’s father Arabou Badjie is a Jola while his mother, Binta Daffeh a Mandinka from BrikamaKabadaa. Binta is the first wife of Arabou who has two other wives: Mundow Badjie and Awa Sumareh, Banjulian and Senegalese, respectively. Binta Daffeh is blessed with four children most of who live in the United States.
Yankuba grew up in such a diverse family but he couldn’t speak Jola until few years after Jammeh ascended to power. The mode of communication in Arabou’s household is mostly done in Mandinka and Wolof. It was until recently that Jola language became a priority. Yankuba’s childhood peers know him as that fun-loving young man who had friends from diverse cultures.
Yankuba Badjie was named after a renowned spiritual leader from Mauritania, Karang Yankuba who was a widely respected Muslim scholar and a marabout in the subregion.
Yankuba Badjie started primary school education at Kandiba Primary school in New Jeshwang before proceeding to Crab Island Secondary School in Banjul. This was after he had failed his Common Entrance Examination. In his second year at Crab Island, Yankuba was able to secure a transfer to Muslim High School thanks to the connection of his father at the time. When Yankuba completed his high school certificate, he briefly worked in The Gambia before he relocated to the United States as an economic migrant. His brother, Yusupha Badjie followed him as a result of Yankuba’s help. Yankuba Badjie used to live in Seattle, then in Ohio before he had returned home. Yankuba has never attended any college or university when he was in the USA. He used to work as a home health aide when he was in Seattle and as a day laborer at a local warehouse in Ohio. Yankuba’s return to The Gambia was due to his father’s connection and invitation from Dictator Jammeh. Pa Arabou Badjie used to be Jammeh’s marabout errand boy in The Gambia and the subregion. He has introduced Yahya Jammeh to Karang Yankuba in Mauritania and many marabouts in the subregion. It was also this connection with Dictator Yaya Jammeh that Yankuba was able to secure American visa to come to USA in the first place.
When he return home, he briefly worked as an intelligent operative before he was elevated to the rank of Director of National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Yankuba Badjie’s support for Dictator Jammeh to destabilize our country is beyond belief to those who knew him during his childhood days. It is beyond human understanding to see Yankuba aiding and abetting a leader who openly advocated for the extermination of his (Yankuba’s) maternal ethnic group. Yankuba blindly served Jammeh for his selfish personal interest.
Yankuba Badjie is a notorious intelligent operative who personally presided over many torture sessions at the NIA chambers. During his tenure, torture in the form of rape, electric shock and severe beating by men who covered their head in black clothings became a common practice.
In April 2016 peaceful demonstrations by a group of opposition supporters who protested for electoral reform, Yankuba Badjie was personally involved in giving orders for torture of these peaceful protesters and subsequent killings of United Democratic Party’s Organizing Secretary and deputy regional Chairman, Solo Sanderg and Solo Krumah. It was also reported that Yankuba Badjie was personally involved in the disappearances of Alhagie Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, two Gambian-Americans who went missing while on vacation in The Gambia. Yankuba’s record as the head of Jammeh’s spy agency is tainted with gross human rights violations and lack of respect for the Gambian constitution.
Today, Badjie is among the few trusted aides of Dictator Jammeh who was defeated in recent presidential elections. Jammeh has refused and rejected the election results after his historic fake concession and congratulations of President-elect Adama Barrow for his victory. Yankuba Badjie and few enablers – General Saul Badjie and others were determined to plunge our country into civil war all because they want to defend Jammeh’s terror. While Yaya Jammeh has tribal hegemony agenda and his personal desire to be President at all costs, I would like to remind Yankuba Badjie that it was a Mandinka woman, Binta Daffeh who gave birth to him. Any efforts to help Dictator Jammeh to embark on ethnic cleansing is tantamount to extermination of his own heritage. The Gambia is indeed a small country where tribal hegemony is not going to flourish. Diversity of Gambian society is truly reflected on the family background of Yankuba Badjie who is fighting for a tribal hegemony he didn’t know about when he was growing up. Yaya Jammeh is only interested in his personal security and economic well being. It is time for Yankuba Badjie to truly reflect on his family background before he embarks on historic mistake with grave consequences which will define his life.
Fighting for a worthless Dictator who is repudiated and rejected by Gambian people is like fighting for a loose battle.