Pa Saikou Kujabi Rebuts NRMG’s Spoke Person!
By Pa Saikou Kujabi, New York (USA).
In a recent interview with the Gambian online newspapers and radios, Gainako in particular, you challenged the public to dig into your records as the former AFPRC Spokesperson, and later as a Commissioner under the same AFPRC/APRC regime. I welcome your challenge and I also applaud you for your courage to avail yourself for scrutiny. Well, Captain/Commissioner Kanteh, I took up the challenged in the interest of accountability and transparency. I feel very strongly that the Gambian people ought to know who you are and what you did during your tenure, not as the AFPRC spokesperson, but as the Commissioner of Western Division.
By September 26th, 1996, you were already the Commissioner (Governor) of Western Division in The Republic of The Gambia. As it were, you had all the powers and privileges that came with the office of the Commissioner. As Commissioner, you had absolute authority and influence on the local officials within your jurisdiction, including Chiefs (Seyfolu) and Alkalolu. Therefore, you were under no restriction from wheeling such power at will, especially when the effect was intended to serve the interest of the Junta.
That was exactly what you did in the 1996 and 1997 Presidential and National Assembly elections respectively. The opposition caught hell under your governorship. In full military camouflage, you and your cohorts, the notorious July 22nd Movement, Chiefs, and Alkalolu openly and ruthlessly campaigned for your self-imposed military- turned civilian presidential candidate in the name of Yaya A.J.J. Jammeh. In the days and weeks leading to the September 26th, 1996 presidential elections, intimidation, harassment, and bullying of the opposition were the order of the day. You characterized the opposition as “a bunch of disgruntled citizens who had no good intentions for the country, and are determined to return to the status quo”, a line you certainly borrowed from then Chairman Jammeh.
You returned to the same dirty politics in the 1997 National Assembly Elections. As you were determined to deliver the Kombos to AFPRCAPRC, you lead your common cohorts, including Captains. Lamin. Kaba. Bajo, Yankuba Touray, and the July 22nd movement in coercing, intimidating, harassing and bullying the opposition militants. In the Kombo East Constituency in particular, you threatened the Alkalolu of several UDP strong holds, stating unequivocally that “there would be serious consequences if the AFPRC/APRC fails to carry the constituency, or even under performs the UDP in their respective villages”. The intimidation, harassment and bullying intensified as more and more AFPRC/APRC militants defected to UDP in protest to the candidacy of their own party’s nominee.
You will also recall that only the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the ruling AFPRC/APRC party contested for the National Assembly seat. You may also recall that I contested under the UDP ticket, while my opponent, the late Hon. Kebba M. Touray contested under the AFPRC/APRC ticket. Despite your ugly and disgraceful rape on what was supposed to be a democratic process, the AFPRC/APRC fell far too short of their anticipated landslide victory. Evidently, you and your cohorts got very infuriated and humiliated by the unprecedented support the UDP had garnered from the electorates. You were also alarmed by the strength of UDP which was reflected in the results.
In deed you have delivered on your promise. On March 10th, 1997, barely two months after the January 7th National Assembly Elections, in a very insolent letter “Referenced LG/1356/(41) “written, signed and sealed by your hands, you unceremoniously removed Mr. Sulayman Bojang, Alkalo of my native Kafuta village, (see attached letter). Similar removal letters were sent on the same day to Mr. Malanding Sanyanga and Pa.‘Nyabey”Jarju of the neighboring Farabasutu and Sohm villages respectively, suffice it to say that all these three villages were some of the many UDP strong holds in that election.
Each of the removed Alkalolu was replaced by an AFPRC/APRC supporter or sympathizer. Mr. Sulayman Bojang of Kafuta was replaced by Alh. Yafaye Bojang, Mr. Malanding Sanyang of Farabasutu was replaced by Omar Darboe, while Mr. “Nyabeye” Jarju of Sohm village was replaced by “Baringo Jarju. Further protest by the villagers, Kafuta’s Sulayman Bojang was later reinstated to his Alkaloship several months after Alh. Yafaye passed away. He remained in that position until his sad demise a few years later. Sadly for Mr. Malanding Sanyang and Mr. Nyabeye Jarju, neither regained their status until death visited them many years later. Thanks to you Mr. Commissioner.
Despite consistent protests in all three villages, you stubbornly refused to reverse your politically motivated decision. On or about April 1st, 1997, I unilaterally petitioned you in protest to the dismissal of the said Alkalolu. I personally delivered the original petition to you through your Assistant in your office. In the petition, I publicly challenged you to justify your low and disgraceful action among other things. I also went ahead and personally delivered physical copies to the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Minister for Local Governments & Lands, the Attorney General & Minister of Justice, The Local Government Officer (LGO) Brikama Area Council, and The Press.
Predictably, you declined to respond to the petition even though it was published by some of the major newspapers, and broadcast over the Citizen FM radio by Alieu Badar Sowe. Instead of a genuine response from you or your office, I was whisked by the Police to the notorious NIA headquarters where I was held incommunicado, tortured and left to languish in a tiny, filthy and infested cell for 11 long days. Again, thanks to you Mr. Commissioner.
Therefore, it is my firm belief that you have lacked the moral and political decency to be the face and voice of any credible organization. The same may be true for the rest of your comrades in NRMG, hence I do not know, and may never be able to trace their foot prints all the way back to their days in the Gambia National Army, particularly during the transition period and beyond. To all of you so-called NRMG members, I say….STAND DOWN!!! I know better. We’ve been down this road before.
To you Jammeh regime “formers” i.e Press Secretaries, State Secretaries, Commissioners, NIA Officers, etc, I will not only call you out for being abettors, but also keep you at an arm’s length, for you are untrustworthy. As far as I am concerned, all of you are not an atom bit decent than Yaya Jammeh, and if I ever have to hang the professor, trust me, I will not spare you for a second. It is about time we stop the hypocrisy that is going on in the Diaspora. The level of nonsense talk shows on the online radios by these same traitors and sycophants who did it allfor the Sheikh, only to turn around calling him a tyrant is just utter nonsense. These “burn again accomplices” may have personal egos shrouded in so-called “patriotism”, that when all said and done, could very well be The Gambia’s worst nightmare. Some of the voices and faces of our noble course may do worse than the Neerudeen in the end.