By Madi Jobarteh
In the first place the Cabinet members of the ancien-regime lost a great opportunity for self-redemption when they failed to apologize and seek the forgiveness of Gambians in their meeting with Pres. Adama Barrow on Wednesday February 16. This is because they stood by a despot and his regime that practically and directly destroyed the lives and rights of Gambians with impunity. Hence any Gambian who worth his or her name and had supported Yaya Jammeh must be clear to oneself that indeed one had aided and abetted dictatorship in one’s own motherland. Hence when the members of the APRC Cabinet met the new administration, if they harbour any iota of conscience and patriotism, I expected to see and hear remorse from them for their open support to entrench tyranny in Mother Gambia.
Failure to seize this unique moment to seek the forgiveness of their own people was therefore insensitive at best and rudely dishonest at worst. But what is even more dishonorable was to hear the former Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy claim that what happened since December 9 to January 19 was a ‘little problem.’ It appears to have lost on Isatou Njie Saidy that the very ceremony in which she made such a despicable remark was itself a confirmation that indeed what happened was far from a ‘little problem’. In which country have we seen a transition process between an outgoing and incoming government taking place after one month into the term of the new regime? Hence the fact that Isatou Njie Saidy came to that ceremony to speak about transitional arrangements itself spoke volumes of the huge problem we had.
It is important that the people of the Gambia remind Isatou Njie Saidy of her own track record in the catastrophic tragedy they unleashed on Gambians. In April 2000, it was Isatou Njie Saidy who publicly declared that it was from young schoolchildren that gunfire was released even though none of the paramilitary forces were shot to death. Instead it was 16 students who dropped dead on the ground while many more suffered broken bones. Yet Isatou Njie Saidy claimed firing came out of the students as if the bullets that were fired took a U-turn to hit back at the students.
Let us remind Isatou Njie Saidy that it was her who used her office and influence in August 2012 as a platform to legitimize, legalize, justify and defend the murder of nine Mile 2 inmates on the pretext that they were sentenced to death. Yet Isatou Njie Saidy knows that Section 18 subsection 3 of our constitution states that 10 years after the coming into force of this constitution, the National Assembly will consider whether to abolish or not of the death penalty. Yet since 1997 when this constitution has been in force, the National Assembly never fulfilled this constitutional requirement. Yet Isatou Njie Saidy’s regime went ahead to kill fellow Gambians and a Senegalese lady without due process. To add salt to injury, until today Isatou Njie Saidy and Yaya Jammeh have refused to hand over the bodies of those murdered back to their families. This is not to mention the fact that Isatou Njie Saidy and Yaya Jammeh never ever informed neither the families of the victims nor the Gambian population that a death penalty was to be carried out as required by law.
Let us further remind Isatou Njie Saidy that it was her regime that killed hundreds of Gambians including Deyda Hydara, Daba Marenah, Jasarja Kujabi, Enor Kolley, Almamo Manneh, Elo Jallow, Chief Ebrima Manneh, Kanyiba Kanyi, Koro Ceesay, Njagga Jagne, Lamin Sanneh, Solo Koromah, Solo Sandeng and forcefully caused the disappearance of tens more of our citizens. It was her regime that has caused the rape and beating of women and girls when at the same time Isatou Njie Saidy trumpets gender equality and women’s empowerment in national and international forums.
What conscience does Isatou Njie Saidy have? What is her worth as a human being, a woman and a citizen that she could watch her fellow women and girls being raped and beaten by sadistic beasts yet she claims what happened was a ‘little problem’. If indeed what happened was a ‘little problem’ then why would we have to live with foreign soldiers inside our country thereby compromising our national sovereignty and our territorial integrity and our human dignity? Has Isatou Njie Saidy not seen the ridicule in which she and Yaya Jammeh have put the name of the Gambia around the world? Yet Isatou Njie Saidy, without remorse or shame said what happened was a ‘little problem’. Was Isatou Njie Said waiting to see the Gambia go up in flames first so that she could acknowledge that indeed we faced a huge problem? How can a legitimate son or daughter of the land be so heartless and wicked!
It pains my heart that our Chief Servant Adama Barrow would invite these APRC Cabinet ministers to preside over our national affairs when it is glaringly clear that these bunch of desperados practically sought to burn down the Gambia. Isatou Njie Saidy, without fear or shame, had the audacity to speak in front of Adama Barrow that Yaya Jammeh had advised them to give all the necessary support to the new government. Was she telling us the truth or was she merely being a snake in a green grass? If she was indeed telling the truth, why did she not put it to Yaya Jammeh instead that such a statement was immoral since he had rejected the election results on December 9? But it appears that this lady lacks the moral strength to defend her motherland for God and conscience! Or is Isatou Njie Saidy a self-made slave to Yaya Jammeh that she was prepared to go to hell for a man who does not worth even a peel of mango.
We must tell Pres. Barrow that our vital national interests must not be compromised on the false idea of reconciliation especially with species like Isatou Njie Saidy and her former cabinet colleagues. These ministers have no value for our country and one must not entertain the idea that the country needs them. No society needs sons and daughters who are hell bent on setting their own society on fire. There are uncountable number of decent sons and daughters that can steer the affairs of this great nation to success. Let us search and engage those people.
What we expect from Isatou Njie Saidy and her cabinet colleagues is to go on a National Apology Tour for the torment and trauma they have unleashed on their people. In the meantime, let Isatou Njie Saidy be informed that we will pursue her through the rule of law to bring her to justice for crimes and atrocities she committed against Gambians. Time will tell.
God Bless The Gambia