Alhagi Touray’s article on telling truth dilemma in The Gambia is a great piece, but we have debated this for many years on-line including on Gambia-L and Maafanta newspaper. The Gambia is essentailly a “RELATIVE” country – which is good when it comes to people caring and helping each other as family and relatives; but it is DISASTROUS for the concept of OBJECTIVE truth. Something is “TRUE” in The Gambia if “my uncle”, “my cousin”, “my friend” says so.
Someone once took and sold my property – which we managed to trace to the buyer. I took the matter to the police and the Station Officer tried to settle it without charge … only for the thief to make a stupid comment to the S/O: “After all, we are all Gambians”! The hief said this to the SO with a smug smile. I said to the S/O: “Please charge him” and walked out of the police station. He left the thief in a police cell for 3 days (current Chief Justice Hassan Jallow met me and pleaded for the thief’s release). I also took the thief to the Kanifing Magistrates court myself, put my case to the judge (a Nigerian) and got a judgement to the exact value of the stolen property.
Many of the people who ROBBED the Gambian Treasury under Jammeh will get away with it … because they have family and friends in high places and the TRUTH will not matter. When I had my tussle with Amadou Samba and Yahya Jammeh I recorded every encounter and – when I was arrested – gave the CD to the British High Commission … that is the only thing that saved me. Even TODAY, many Gambians still record important conversations because many people will not tell the TRUTH where family or friends are concerned. BUT LET ME HASTEN TO ADD THAT WE ARE SEEING ALOT OF SUCH LYING IN AMERICA AND UK TOO! (I have just, July 2018, won a High Court damages judgement for £8,000.00 from the London Police for such lies – again representing myself).