Like any other Gambian, it is Yahya Bojang’s bonafide right to belong to a political party of his choice. Was it surprising for him to be arbitrarily arrested, detained and tortured several times for exercising his constitutional right during the Jammeh dictatorship? His only misfortunes were obvious: a Jola and cousin of former President Yahya Jammeh, the man who preached democracy only to unleash terror on his citizens for merely exercising their democratic rights. Yahya Bojang and the late Momodou Lamin Shyngle Nyassi could have lived in peace and tranquility had they shunned the opposition United Democratic Party. But their conscience would not allow them to be within the camp of a leader who was busy sowing seeds of discord, hate and tribalism in a country where everyone is related. These noble Jola sons are symbols of a Gambia where tribe matters not. They represented, manifested, defended and even preferred to die than support the devil. Both men were prone to enduring Jammeh’s worst mistreatments. Nothing absolutely would kill their beliefs.
Unfortunately, Shyngle died without seeing the fruits of his labour. God being so good spared Yahya Bojang’s life. His story provides Gambians with clear understanding of Jammeh’s high level of wickedness. It is hard to understand that a close relative of the President Bojang would go through such horrendous tortures. Besides being electrocuted on his private part, which made him impotent for three years, Bojang had his hands dug in acid during one of the interrogations sesssions at the defunct National Intelligence Agency in Banjul. Bojang told the TRRC on Tuesday that his membership of the UDP and opposition to the military rule were the reasons for his punishment. His believed the country was in the wrong hands since military governments receive little or no external support.
Foni Kanfenda native who lives in Brikama Kabafita had worked as a cleaner at Brikama health post for 24 years has had his services wrongfully terminated by the AFPRC in 1996.
The founder member of the UDP said “my membership of the UDP has always brought me hardship. There was no ease, from one hardship to another,” he said. In one of his arrests in 1996 Bojang was detained for more than a week at Bamba Dinka, a notorious cell at the NIA designed purposely for high profile detainees.
Bojang still lives with the negative effect of torture. “I still cannot do anything with my hands. I don’t have anything and I cannot do anything for myself now.”