The late Ebrima Solo Sandeng [former Organising Secretary of the United Democratic Party] will forever remain one of the most remembered Gambians in living memory. He had done what most people would not do: become a Sacrificial Lamb to free his oppressed people. The father of 11 knew the dangers of leading a pro-electoral reform on April 14th last year, but he didn’t want to live in a Gambia where people disappear more than goats and sheep. A Gambia where only one person decides who survives or dies. A Gambia where the cries of orphans and their helpless mothers fill the air. A Gambia where fear hangs over everyone’s neck. Solo Sandeng wasn’t scared to die in such a horrible environment. But he knew what his death would mean and even provided clues to his heartless murderers who are either buried in shame or fear for their own survival. Take a look at the body language of his alleged murderers and be the judge.
“I know you will kill me but I am not scared of death, especially the one that will free my oppressed people,” Sandeng reportedly told criminals at the defunct NIA headquarters on April 15 last year.
Armed with only a microphone and a banner, Sandeng led a dozen United Democratic Party youth activists on the streets of Serekunda, calling for electoral reforms. Not even the unexplained refusal of other opposition party youths to join the UDP youths moved Mr. Sandeng to abandon his mission. Some thought the “betrayal was a set up to destabilise the UDP.” Solo insisted that the peaceful protest must be carried out. “My cultural upbringing does not teach me to renege on my promise. My word is my bond,” Sandeng told her colleagues. He was going to go solo had everyone withdrawn.
Solo Sandeng was a True Hero whose selfless sacrifice signalled the end of Jammeh dictatorship. If the goal of the government was to murder and bury Sandeng as Lawyer Ousainou Darboe put it “like a dog” then they had failed. His precious life was gone for no justifiable reason but his legacy will continue to live on. It was for this reason that a parade was held on Friday to honour and celebrate Solo Sandeng and others for sparking a protest that put Yahya Jammeh and gang of murderers on the defensive. The aftermaths of the April 14 and 16 events succeeded in rallying Gambian opposition to form an alliance that had ultimately kicked out Jammeh from office.
We concur with Lawyer Darboe that Solo Sandeng is the Father of New Gambia where Freedom is Swinging. We equally agree with him that the whole Gambia should serve as the father of children whose parents died for their country. Let us do whatever we can for these children by supporting Solo Sandeng Foundation. These families must not struggle to put food on the table or pay school fees.
We salute all those who died, maimed or bore pains to free Mama Gambia. Only Allah can measure your reward.
Rest in Peace Solo Sandeng
Rest in Peace Solo Krummah
Rest in Peace Lang Marking
Rest in Peace Ebrima Janko Ceesay’s
Rest in Peace April 2000 students