RSM Alpha Bah was killed by Jammeh in march of 2006 : The life of a onetime Jammeh loyalist turned coup plotter


Alpha Bah, is a former Army Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) stationed at the Fajara barracks. Mr. Bah, who is a native of Manjie-kunda, used to be a close confidant of dictator Yahya Jammeh. He served as Jammeh’s personal bodyguard in the early days of the military coup, which toppled the thirty years of former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s rule in July of 1994.

Mr. Bah, AKA “LESSO” was subsequently moved to the Fajara barracks, following a strained relationship, which transpired between him and his onetime dictator buddy. Mr. Bah was among the few Jammeh close aides, who wouldn’t hesitate to speak truth to the Kanilai monster.  He was disgruntled with the corrupt and dictatorial status quo—to a point that he couldn’t hide his true feelings about the naked injustices taking place in the country under Jammeh’s watch.

While at the Fajara barracks, Mr. Alpha Bah had the respect and admiration of the men and women in uniform under his command. He was one of the finest soldiers of The Gambia Armed Forces. Bah, was not only tall; heavily built; but fearless as well. He was among the few old guard members of the then Gambia National Army.

Overtime, the dictator has purged the greater chunk of the members of the former GNA. Many soldiers have been killed, illegally imprisoned, and exiled under Jammeh’s era. The coup accusations that he (Jammeh) usually peddled are normally premised on trumped up charges.  He has ruined the lives of many soldiers and officers of our armed forces.

RSM Alpha Bah got executed in March of 2006, after he was implicated in a coup plot spearheaded by the former Commander of Gambia’s Armed Forces (CDS) Ndure Cham. Mr. Cham escaped unhurt, but RSM Bah, Ebou Lowe, Alieu Ceesay, Manlafi Corr, and Daba Marena were sent to Jammeh’s execution gallows in the Fonis. 

Mr. Cham is currently residing in neighboring Senegal. He is alive and kicking contrary to earlier media reports that Cham was captured and killed by Jammeh’s guards.

In a brief GRTS television appearance before his execution by Jammeh’s assassin team, RSM Alpha Bah admitted his involvement in the March 2006 failed coup. Bah recalled meeting the coup leader CDS Ndure Cham during a visit Cham made to the Fajara barracks. He said while he was with some soldiers working along the premises of the barracks, Ndure Cham came and briefed him about the impending coup. Mr. Bah at first thought that Mr. Cham was just on his usual BS talks saying that “this was not the first time that Cham had consulted him about his desire to unseat Jammeh from power through a coup.” 

According to RSM Bah, he reported the coup conversation he had with CDS Ndure Cham to his immediate superior Sainey Mendy. But it appears that Sainey Mendy wasn’t convince about Ndure’s desire to topple the regime because according to Bah, Mr. Mendy had branded Cham as a “mad man” who always brags about toppling the regime. He downplayed Bah’s coup report.  

Mr. Sainy Mendy’s boss Pierre Meny, was arrested and subsequently jailed for concealment of treason, while Mr. Mendy himself was able to abscond to the United Kingdom. RSM Bah was killed few weeks after his capture. He was never charged or taken to court for trial.

RSM Bah, who was brutally tortured prior to his gruesome execution in grand style, told the state controlled media GRTS that he was invited for a meeting at Ndure Cham’s residence in Bakau, where both him and Cham strategized how the coup should be executed. He said he was given a special task by CDS Cham to execute on the day of the coup.  

The coup was thwarted hours before its execution. Bah and his co accused persons were rounded up. The situation was put under control. It happened at a time, when Yahya Jammeh was visiting Mauritania.

Jammeh subsequently returned home and said he was going to teach the coup plotters a lesson. Jammeh then ordered for the killing of his former intelligence Chief Daba Marena, his Kanilai Camp Commander Lieutenant Ebou Lowe, Lieutenant Alieu Ceesay, Sergeant Manlafi Corr, and RSM Alpha Bah. The remaining accused persons were subjected to degrading torture. Jammeh recently pardoned the March 2006 convicted coup plotters.

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