A Brufut man, who allowed President Adama Barrow and his Coalition team to use a luxurious home belonging to his Australian Catholic Father friend, for residential purposes during Gambia’s 2016 political impasse, wants The Gambian leader to repair the damaged property, Freedom Newspaper can report. Dodou Whone, a former security guard, contacted Freedom Radio Gambia to explain how Barrow’s Coalition Security Team, allegedly destroyed the house, he hosted them, when dictator Jammeh, refused to relinquish power in the aftermath of the 2016 polls.
Whone says he had been entrusted by his Australian friend to oversee the luxurious home located in Brufut, not far from the then Sheraton hotel. His friend had wanted to build a church in The Gambia, but dictator Jammeh was not keen at entertaining the project, which led to his friend, returning to Australia. His friend had already built a solid house in The Gambia before Jammeh’s refusal to grant him permission to build a church.
Whone says it was back in 2016, when Fatou Ceesay, and Dodou Sanno of the State House approached him and asked him to sublet the house to the President. President Barrow had already occupied a home next to Whone’s home.
He says Ceesay and Sano told him that they wanted to host President Barrow’s Coalition Security and some Senegalese security officers in that property.
Few days before Fatou Ceesay and Dodou Sanno approached him, Whone says, a man with an American accent came to his home and asked him if he could rent the property to him for a week for $5,000 dollars, but Whone refused.
He says Dodou Sanno talked him into allowing them to use the property, which he agreed to. Though, he says, he never rented the property to them. He allowed them to use the property for free of charge, but on condition that they will repair any damage appliance at the home.
Whone recalled interacting with Fatou Ceesay, Dodou Sanno, Kalilou Waggeh, a Senegalese millionaire, the Coalition Security team and some Senegalese security officers. He added that when the sub-regional troops first arrived in The Gambia, they were briefly hosted in the property.
According to Whone, to his chagrin, he started to see piles of trash scattered around the home, few days after the Coalition Security team were hosted at the property. He says food leftovers were thrown around the property and the place started to stink.
Whone had to complain to Fatou Ceesay, the Chairperson of the Fatoumatta Bah Barrow Foundation, who gave him some money to move the trash. The amount was less than two thousand dalasis.
When President Barrow relocated to his Fajara office back in 2017, the Coalition Security team also left the property. Whone says his home was completely damaged. The walls were in bad shape, windows damaged; among others.
He approached the State House and asked them to help repair the damaged home. President Barrow’s Chief of Protocol Officer Alhagie Ceesay, has in the past sent two people to the house to assess the alleged damage to property allegedly perpetrated by the occupants, Whone says.
Frustrated by the State House’s slow pace of response to his request to fix he mess at his home, he contacted Fatou Ceesay and Dodou Sanno. Both Ceesay and Sanno promised him that the property would be repaired. He recalled Fatou Ceesay giving him D5,000 dalasis. He also said Dodou Sano, also once gave him D10,000 dalasis. Both Fatou Ceesay and Dodou Sanno told him that the funds were personal gifts from the duo.
Meantime, Whone, is sitting home hoping that one day President Barrow will repair his friend’s damaged home. His hopes were dashed. He says Fatou Ceesay later cutoff phone communications with him.
Accompanied by his wife, and child, Whone, traveled to President Barrow’s home village Mangkamang-Kunda. His trip coincided with the month of Ramadan. He was received on arrival by Bulli Barrow, President Barrow’s brother. He met Dodou Sanno on arrival. Sanno told him that he recognized him.
Whone says he was denied access to the President. He spent hours in Mangkamang-Kunda, without seeing the President. He was lucky to speak to the President’s wife Fatoumatta Bah Barrow, who asked him about his mission. He explained to her that he was in the village to see the President over his damaged home. Ms. Barrow then asked him to wait; she then went to see her husband.
The First Lady reported to him that the President had already handed the money to his surrogates to repair the damaged home. Whone says the money was allegedly given to Dodou Sanno. He added that an amount of D450,000 dalasis was allegedly given to Sanno by the President to repair the house, which he (Whone) never received.
“I decided to come to your radio because I am frustrated. I hosted these people for free of charge, and yet they are reluctant to repair my friend’s home. The house is in a complete mess. It had been damaged by the Coalition Security team,” Whone said.
“My Australian friend used to give me monthly allowances; he has since stopped. He is not happy with the condition of the house. I have a wife, and family to feed. My water had been disconnected. I was using my own money to buy cash power for the electricity while they were living there,” he lamented.
Whone says he was advised by one Abdoulie Bah, a former bodyguard to Ousainou Darboe to get in touch with the Freedom Editor to expose his story. Bah was a former Gendarmerie officer. He left the service shortly after the 1994 coup. He briefly served as a bodyguard for the UDP Leader Ousainou Darboe in 1996; he left in 1997. He is a native of Manjie-Kunda.
Speaking to Freedom Newspaper, Abdoulie Bah, confirmed that he was the one, who helped Mr. Whone to get in touch with this medium.
“I directed him to you in good faith. For the record, I have no ties with the UDP. I am not a UDP supporter. I left the UDP in 1997. I used to be Darboe’s orderly and bodyguard. I have nothing against President Barrow, besides love for him,” Bah remarked.
Dodou Sanno and Fatou Ceesay could not be reached for comment at press time.