By: Madi Jobarteh
Having endured gross atrocities for 22 years, no one must be allowed to deny, downplay, distort and bury that painful episode of our people. This is exactly what the Minister of Defense Sheikh Omar Faye did when he said on the FTPBTP Show that,
“someone have to do the job. Let us suck it up. Let us understand we’ve made mistakes. Let us stop crying over spilled milk. Let us look for a way out. Let us move on.”
By these remarks Sheikh Omar is seeking to rewrite our history with the intention to distort and deny the truth about the 22 murderous years of the Yaya Jammeh Tyranny of which Sheikh Omar himself was a key player and a beneficiary!
Hence Sheikh Omar Faye must resign or be sacked by the President ASAP! For reconciliation to make sense and achievable, there must first be truth and justice – for reconciliation in itself is born out of truth and justice!
It is not only callous and irresponsible, but also painful and disrespectful for a State minister to deny there were victims of the atrocious regime of Yaya Jammeh! It is utterly dishonest to claim everyone made mistakes. This irresponsible statement is a national security threat that must be addressed as such. It is divisive as it serves to create doubts and controversy around the suffering of our people hence ultimately strengthens and empowers dictator lovers and deniers. Sheikh Omar’s comments are akin to the Holocaust Denial.
Therefore I put it Sheikh Omar Faye that indeed there were gross atrocities meted out to real human beings who are Gambian citizens like him. The evidence of that is constant laid bare before the TRRC everyday! I put it to Sheikh Omar Faye that we cannot move on until the truth and justice are firmly established which will give birth to reconciliation!
Therefore Sheikh Omar Faye, not everyone was responsible for the tyranny of Yaya Jammeh and AFPRC/APRC Regime. This is because many fought against that evil regime until they lost their lives while many more lost their limbs and properties and still many more fled and never to return to their country of birth. Many were raped and others lost their jobs and livelihoods just by resisting that evil regime in various ways according to their abilities!
In fact scores of our citizens lost their lives and their humanity brutally violated when they did not even pose any threat or resistance whatsoever to that evil regime! Hence it is a blatant big fat lie and sheer imbecility for anyone to even suggest that all Gambians were responsible for that evil regime!
What is true and fact is that Sheikh Omar Faye was a direct and proud beneficiary of that evil regime. He enjoyed all sorts of heavyweight positions and succulent incentives inside the country and outside! He even served that evil regime in the most sought-after country of the world, the United States of America! That’s the epitome of enjoyment any public officer could achieve!
Therefore, Sheikh Omar may not have seen the atrocities of the Yaya Jammeh Regime because he was drinking from the milk and honey of that regime! He could not see the victims because he was busy eating from the bottom of the basket of benachin cooked with the burning legs, hands and heads of our people and oiled by the blood of his fellow Gambians!
It is indeed a shame that President Adama Barrow would betray our people by bringing nonentities like Sheikh Omar Faye and his fellow Enablers into the centre of the power of our Republic just for them to insult our people! Ungratefulness is the biggest sin a man can commit and this is the sin Adama Barrow has committed against the Gambian society for which he will be damned till eternity!
Therefore Adama Barrow and Sheikh Omar Faye suck it up and shove your betrayals wherever you wish. But the decent and patriotic citizens of The Gambia will not stand by while ingrates and parasites suck our blood once more!
If Adama Barrow has any sense of humanity, patriotism and decency in him, he should sack Sheikh Omar Faye immediately. This is because the despicable comments by Sheikh Omar directly affront the transitional justice program of his regime. It is that program that lays the foundation for the transition from dictatorship to democracy by setting up the TRRC, the Janneh Commission, the CRC and the accompanying constitutional, legal and institutional reforms that are supposedly taking place.
Hence to have a Cabinet minister to now insult victims and citizens in general by denying 22 years of dictatorship calls for urgent dismissal. Sheikh Omar’s comments put to question the very essence of the globally-acknowledged unprecedented political change in 2016. Essentially Sheikh Omar is invalidating our people’s struggle for democracy and freedom and stating that after all, Yaya Jammeh was good for The Gambia! Shame.
Therefore all political parties, civil society groups, individual citizens and indeed every Gambian, whether you are a public servant or security officer or private citizen must rise up to demand the immediate resignation or sacking of Sheikh Omar Faye!
Gambians, for far too long we are notorious for taking things for granted. We are notorious for being indifferent. We are notorious for being silent or shout once and then that’s it. Thanks to this notoriety, we have endured 55 years of poverty and backwardness with 22 bloody years of brutality at the hands of our own elected and appointed public servants! Our Mbidaan!
For how long shall we sit by and watch our humanity and dignity being bastardized by individuals into whose hands we placed our power and resources so that they can protect and serve us? For how long?
What Sheikh Omar Faye uttered is not just his personal philosophy. Rather this is the philosophy of Pres. Adama Barrow himself and his Cabinet. Otherwise how do you explain the fact that Adama has littered his Cabinet with key Yaya Jammeh ministers, not to mention maintaining other enablers across the civil service and the security sector?
The time to defend the Republic is now. That power and duty are in no one’s hands but right in the hands of We, the Citizens of this Republic. This Republic will not be salvaged by donors and elected and appointed public officials. No. This Republic of The Gambia is yours and ours to protect and serve! Betray it and it is at our own detriment!
For The Gambia 🇬🇲 Our Homeland