A new front has now opened in the #BringJammeh2Justice Campaign drive. The startling revelation by the former Defense Minister of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) would certainly raise eyebrows among animal rights defenders. Edward Singhatey said Yahya Jammeh presented a ram to him for sacrifice as a way of warding off bad luck. Under Jammeh’s orders, the said ram was buried alive.
The former Vice Chairman and Defence Minister of the Junta that seized power in July 1994 made the expose on Thursday while giving evidence before the Ninth Session of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission.
Mr. Singhatey told the Commission that the ram in question was buried alive amid rising fears that the Vice-Chair of the Junta, Sana Sabally, was on the verge of staging a coup.
“When I informed Jammeh that Sana was in his office, he (Yahya Jammeh) told me that he (Sana Sabally) is going to launch a coup,” Singhatey added. “What I deducted is Yahya Jammeh was afraid of Sana Sabally. He was petrified and felt threatened by him.”
The former ECOWAS Vice-Chairperson further testified that Jammeh was following the ordinance of a fortune teller who made it clear to him that if the animal resists during the process, it means there will be strong opposition during the coup.
It is widely known that ex-President Jammeh was fond of esoteric knowledge, which is an important pillars of African spirituality.
However, the TRRC’s Lead Counsel, Essa Faal, failed to ask Edward Singhatey whether the practice of burying ram alive was growing rampant during the two-decade long regime of Yahya Jammeh.
To many observers, a veritable hecatomb may have taken place at State House as they suspected that animals were routinely buried alive at the direction of former President Jammeh who now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Meanwhile, since the victims’ centre only deals with past human rights violations committed under the previous regime, animal rights defenders would certainly have to double up in their efforts to make their voice heard on Jammeh’s cruelty.