By Emmanuel Daniel Joof (Paps)
Lest We Forget Too Soon Who & What the APRC Government of Yahya Jammeh & His Ministers Stood For.
Taking pictures which depicts comradeship and solidarity with former APRC Cabinet Ministers under whose watch Yahya Jammeh brutally tortured and killed Gambians is distasteful to many Gambians especially to the victims and their families. The wounds are too raw and fresh so please don’t add salt to them albeit unintentionally.
As Gambians continue to congratulate President Adam Barrow and his Coalition Cabinet, special thank you is also extended to both Mr Halifa Sallah and Mrs Fatoumata Tambanjang for their tremendous efforts in making a “Coalition Party” a reality which eventually defeated Jammeh at the polls. Kudos to Gambians both at home and abroad for their tenacity, financial and material support to the Coalition and for voting out Jammeh. A big thank you to the ECOWAS and especially Senegal who threatened to use force to evict Jammeh which as we all know was THE ONLY & FINAL REASON why Jammeh and his Ministers left the seat of power – although some former APRC Ministers are now telling us that they were only waiting for Jammeh’s term to end on the 18th January 2017.
There is a lot of euphoria and great expectations by Gambians who are even exhibiting signs of being impatient after waiting and yearning for freedom and justice for over 22 years. There is much hope that with the appointment of a Minister of Justice and Chief Justice both men of proven track record and of international expertise and experience with integrity, the Gambian legal and justice system will greatly improve.
Meanwhile, Gambians have been spouting out platitudes about reconciliation, peace, forgiveness and “oneness of Gambians”. All this no doubt makes sense as we start building a 3rd Republic following 22 years of Jammeh’s dictatorship during which his APRC killing machinery consisting of some members of the paramilitary, the NIA, GAF, Junglers, Green Boys AND SUPPORTED by his sycophantic Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentarians and some “religious” leaders applauded, praised, justified and even defended the long list of atrocities from the student Massacre of April 10 & 11 of 2000; the assassination of Deyda Hydara, Chief Ebrima Manneh, Lamin Sanneh, Ebou Lowe, Njaga Jagme, Solo Sandeng to name a few (and those that we have recently been informed were summarily executed); the arbitrary detention and torture of hundreds; the illegal appropriation of peoples properties; the forced exile of many Gambians who had to run for dear life; and the plundering of the economy.
When Yahya Jammeh came on GRTS on the 10 December 2016 to tell Gambians that he no longer accepted the election results of 2nd December 2016 which gave victory to President Elect Adama Barrow and that he was now “annulling” the elections, HE OBTAINED THE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT his cabinet Ministers. Most of the APRC Cabinet Ministers only handed in their resignation letters when it became obvious that ECOWAS and especially Senegal was going to evict Jammeh by the use of force – although some former APRC Ministers are now telling us that they were only waiting for Jammeh’s term to end on the 18th January. Lies, lies and more lies.
But what is perhaps more interesting and even scary and creepy is that as soon as Jammeh announced his annulment of the election results on the 10th December 2016, we witnessed the security personnel resume their arbitrary arrest, detention and torture of those wearing “Gambia Has Decided” T-Shirts, and removing of the Gambia Has Decided posters in the streets. Also, the demented Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Ousman Badjie (a man who seem to be celebrated by a section of Gambian society today) ordered his men brandishing AK47 at street junctions intimidating Gambians. Meanwhile, the NIA with their long list of perceived anti-Jammeh “enemies” started arresting Gambians. To add insult to injury, on the 17th January 2017, Jammeh with the support of his APRC rubber-stamp Parliament declared a 90- Day State of Emergency banning “acts of disobedience and “acts intended to disturb public order”.
The long and short of what I am saying is that Jammeh and his Cabinet Ministers i.e. Isatou Njie Saidy, Neneh Macdol Gaye, Banjamin Roberts inclusive of the others had no intention of ever handing over power peacfully to the Coalition Government that won the election. They (ALL of THEM) would have continued to serve under dictator Jammeh who would have continued to illegally detain, torture and kill Gambians and pillage our economy while bombarding us with his usual corrupted dosage of religious rhetoric in the name of an Islamic Republic of the Gambia. Gambians wake up.