From a First Lady status to an asylee. Former Gambian First Lady Tuti Faal Jammeh, the erstwhile wife of Gambia’s autocratic and despotic leader Yahya Jammeh, is reported to be seeking political asylum in the United States, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The Kembujay born native arrived here some months ago. She now resides in Seattle Washington. She is not returning to The Gambia anytime soon in view of her deranged former husband’s despicable, erratic and unpredictable character. She doesn’t feel safe in The Gambia, according to sources reaching us.
Tutu Faal used to work at The Gambia Telecommunication Company (GAMTEL) until in July of 1994, when dictator Jammeh and his colleagues in the army toppled the democratically elected government of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. She was single at the material time. She briefly dated Africa’s worst dictator of our time, before the knots were tied between the pair.
Her marriage with Jammeh later went south, as the couple couldn’t get along. She was on a medical checkup in Saudi Arabia, when the maroon former iron fist military ruler Yahya Jammeh unceremoniously divorced her. Jammeh then married a Moroccan lady Zeinab Souma Jammeh, the daughter of a former Guinean Diplomat in Rabat. Jammeh was seeing Zeinab, when Tuti was in Saudi, with Jammeh’s Mom Asombi Bojang.
Tuti, was escorted from the airport to her Kembujay family home, as soon as she landed. The former Presidential Guards Commander Lang Tombong Tamba, was tasked with the mission to escort Tuti to their family home. Tamba is the guard behind Jammeh in this joint portrait. Jammeh appeared pale, skinny and malnourished in this picture. The picture was taken in the early days of the coup, which he waged against Jawara’s government.
The marital relationship between Tuti and Jammeh was a rocky one. It was marred with dramas upon dramas. The dictator was very obsessed with having a child with Tuti, but unfortunately he couldn’t make Tuti to conceive. Jammeh even blamed spiritual work (marabouts) for Tuti’s inability to have a child. He was under the notion that Tutu was deliberately avoiding to have a child with him. Hence, he (Jammeh) recommended that Tuti should be flown to Saudi Arabia, to see a gynecologist. He asked his mom, protocol staff and the NIA to accompany the former First Lady to Saudi for gynecological examination.
Unfortunately for Tuti, she got divorced before she returned home. There was a Moroccan lady working in and out of the State House, while she was away. She was hosted at the Atlantic Hotel. Ansumana Jammeh, the brother of Abdoulie Kujabi, the former NIA Chief, was at some point in charge of Zeinab’s protocol, before the knots were tied between her and Jammeh.
Tuti Faal came from a “Sheriff family.” Her parents hailed from Mauritania. She was living a peaceful life, until she married Jammeh. She has her own story to relate to Gambians and the world.
According to a source, who reached the Freedom Newspaper, Tuti is planning to write a book. She wants to pen her past memoirs.
“She lives in Seattle. She is seeking protection from the US government. I don’t think she will return to The Gambia anytime soon. Someone in Seattle, told me that Tuti has confided to him that she wanted to write a book. She is looking for a writer to help her compile her story,” our source said.
Tuti Faal has been single since Jammeh divorced her. Reports have it that the dictator doesn’t want her to marry to another man. She was under constant surveillance by Jammeh’s security agents, while residing in The Gambia, according to sources.
It is not clear under what basis Tuti’s asylum claim would be premised on. A source told us that she is working on regularizing her status in the US.
Former First Lady Tuti Faal Jammeh could not be reached for comment. There was no contact details available to reach her on the phone.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai