Mr Halaki I wouldn’t waste much time arguing with you about what is not worth arguing about because you got it all wrong in thinking that I have been interested in becoming a witness to the TRRC. I certainly know the essence of establishing the TRRC which is to gather information from witnesses considered victims to Ex-President Jammeh’s 22 years of governance in the Gambia. Yes, I was a victim in the beginning but after years of opposing his policies with minimal traction while he continued to enjoy massive support from the Gambia and abroad coupled with the intervention of my family members to reconcile our difference I decided to take a more conventional modus operandi.

I could still remember those days when I was in the forefront thinking that I could in fact singlehanded change the regime but watching with frustration, foreign mercenary sycophants  like you cozying up to the APRC government until you ran out of luck and fled the country on allegations bordering on certain delinquencies. I also used to read your articles trying to explain yourself and blaming other Gambians working at the Gambia Daily Observer for your misfortunes, accusing them of undermining your special relationship with President Jammeh whom you only started calling a dictator after he was ousted from power. It looks like you are back with your old habit of trying to infiltrated another Gambian president to secure another political job. Keep on trying for if you are lucky they may disregard your undesirable persona.

Mr. Halaki, for your information I have never for once had the desire to appear at the TRRC. It is the Gambians who have been asking about why I was never invited because of the numerous times my name was mentioned by witnesses in not-so-kind references. Many Gambians I meet often ask why or when I would be invited at the TRRC. I have not only been frequency mentioned but above all I wrote a book about the history of the 1994 coup that is still one of the most authoritative evidence of what happened before, during and after the coup.

Yes, Ex-President Jammeh did condemn the book as being all lies and I chose not to respond; but you never bothered to find out why, which I believe is very important before raising any argument on the issue.

You don’t know much about me Mr. Halaki; but the way you have been tutored to demoralize me pretty much confirmed my perception of the kind of tool or mercenary you are, usable by anyone if the price is right. You sound like you are talking to folks who are perhaps promising you with a dream job in the Barrow government on condition that you can silence me; unfortunately the arsenals you are provided with in the points highlighted below are rather archaic and too weak to score you the victory you might have promised them. Let’s go through them one after the other:

  1. You said something to the effect  that in December 2016, I stood in defense of President Jammeh after he had lost the election with a fanatical zeal to rather go to war than to accept defeat which you said was an exhibition of “madness”. Jammeh losing the election and refusing to step down was the narrative sold at the United Nation by Senegal with the collaboration of his trusted diplomats that got them a resolution for military intervention without explaining the cause of the major controversy from the IEC for reading two different election results on December 2 & 5. Jammeh accepted the first results and even congratulated Adama Barrow as winner only for the IEC to come back three days later to read a different set results that apparently undermined the whole credibility of the electoral process. I don’t know in which part of the world such a dumb thing will happen and still be treated as normalcy. If that is not plain old rigging, I don’t know what is. That was the fundamental reason why I supported Jammeh whom I was sincerely working for when he annulled the elections. He was later advised by his close associates and advisers to take the case to the courts  but the Senegalese wanted him to step down or face war. Contrary to your assertion that I was a warmonger, I was all along against starting a war which I thought could have turned into a quagmire reminiscent of the Libyan situation. Check out my interview on VOA in particular with the current defense minister Shiekh Omar Faye where I strongly expressed my opposition of staring a war. As a matter of fact, when I thought war was inevitable, I spoke to the military command headquarters in the Gambia to disperse the troops from the barracks to their homes just not to start a fight. Today, the Senegalese combatants are still in the country in full combat readiness for no reason whatsoever. Can you in your response help me with  what they are doing in the Gambia at the price of GMD700 million per annum?
  2. Let me give you an informed version of how I reconciled with President Jammeh. Defense Minister Shiekh Omar Faye  while serving as Gambia’s ambassador in Washington D.C. became very instrumental in bringing us together in September 2014. I met him at his hotel room in mid Manhattan. Present in that meeting were businessman Amadou Samba, state press secretary Lamin Manga, secretary general Karl Bayo and his brother Ansu Jammeh. We had a long discussion together in which he offered me a job of choosing the position he had identified at the mission in New York or any place of my choice. I gently declined in the presence of the folks above. I made it clear to him that I didn’t need a job because I had a good and stable one at the time. That all I wanted was to settle our difference and an opportunity to be visiting Gambia where my mother Ya Rohey, grandmother Mam Anta, my brother Lie and my Uncle Mustapha had all died and were buried in my absence. All because of my dissenting views. So, you see Mr. Halaki, it had never been what have conceptualized. I even later learnt from Ambassador Tangara, head of the mission that they had prepared an office for me to serve as first secretary. Anyway, after over three hours in the hotel I left  back to my residence in New Jersey. Then cynics started spreading rumors of Jammeh setting a trap to lure me into the Gambia and kill me because of the stories I had written about him in my book. I kept on replying that, I had no fear of going to the Gambia and don’t mind to die but will never go beck to opposing him again. Then just before the Independence golden jubilee celebration in 2015, Ambassador Omar Faye and Press Secretary Lamin Manga called me at my work place to say that President Jammeh wanted me to go and attend the celebration. I took two weeks vacation from my job and flew to the Gambia with the ambassador. To be honest Mr. Halaki I was not paraded before the TV. I was not ever aware of that interview that I later learnt  was conducted by the late Kebba Dibba. That evening some of my close friends came to warn me to leave the country immediately because of Jammeh’s hash statement. But I instead attended the state banquet he had organized and invited me with my sister. He treated me very well that night but many people thought he wouldn’t allow me to ever leave the Gambia. Ambassador Faye who extended the state invitation to me avoided me like the plague. I stayed in the country for another week before leaving. I left the the Gambia safely to the US and didn’t hear from the APRC government until three months later. I think for Jammeh to denounce my book as  being all lies was a far cry from what people had predicted and even wished. I could recall  some angry dissidents appearing on radio stations praying for Jammeh to kill me. I definitely understand where he was coming from. In May 2015 however, I received another call from the then works minister Bala Jahumpa who conveyed an urgent message from Jammeh that he needed me in the Gambia right away. I argued that I had already taken my vacation and couldn’t get another. But he insisted that I must return. I discussed it with my company authorities and they allowed me to go without pay. In the Gambia Jammeh this time insisted that he was appointing me as deputy ambassador to the UN which he expected me to accept this time. I had no choice. Rejecting it would have meant defying him a second time and betraying a lot of my family members whom I had promised never to live the life of an exiled dissident again. So what did you expect me to say to him Mr. Halajki?
  3. You see Mr. Halaki when grownups try to fabricate stories from distorted tips, they often pretend not to remember details and always end up misleading the public. That is pathetic. I know what you are taking about which is far different from what you presented. For a moment I thought of dismissing you to go back and put your facts together but on a second thought I realize an opportunity to once again straighten out such false allegation against me peddled around by unconscionable elements like you. In 2015 while serving at the UN I kept on monitoring the political activities directly and indirectly affecting the Gambia. And it came to a moment when dissidents in the diaspora started a campaign to remove Jammeh from power by force. So after the failed armed attack of December 2014 organized and funded mainly from America, the plan shifted to organizing a mass uprising similar to that of the October 2014 one in Burkina Faso that subsequently ousted former President Blaise Compaore. Funds were openly raised and politicians at home brazenly contacted to go out in the streets to destabilize the country. Many dissidents were vowing to go home and start the uprising if the Gambians were unwilling do it; but the politicians they had called to initiate the action were not interested. Then at one point, I learnt that the late Solo Sandeng (RIP) had agreed to spring the intifada if the right amount of money was sent to him. According to unimpeachable sources, he collected the cash sent from America in Dakar Senegal. An illegal demonstration was organized by Mr. Sandeng furnished with the wrong intelligence by his financiers that the country was ready for the revolution and was only waiting for a leader to trigger the first move. Just like the fatal December 30, 2014 attack when the conspirators were made to believe that the entire army will rally behind any foreign forces attacking the Gambia to overthrow the APRC government, this one too was bad intelligence.  However, the day after the demonstration was held in Serekunda, an aggressive Gambian dissident living in Pennsylvania  appeared in my office asking for an  explanation on why Solo Sandeng was killed. We had had no official information at the time about what  had happened or anything about the death of Mr. Sandeng, I tried to calm him down for a reasonable  discussion but he remained very provocative demanding an explanation over why peaceful demonstrators should be killed by the Gambian security forces. I bluntly put it to him that the demonstration being masterminded and sponsored by folks like him living abroad was not meant to be peaceful but for violent regime change and by all means possible. His anger, I told him, was not because Mr. Sandeng died but because they wasted their money and time on a failed and very unnecessary mission. In the heat of our argument, I warned him of what I would do if I were in charge of the security of the nation and faced with the existential threat of rogue elements sponsored to violently overthrow my government. That I will certainly open fire at such state enemies. Mr. Sandeng was not shot but was reported to have been tortured to death which I certainly opposed, even in my “mad” state, Mr. Halaki. However, while talking to the guy I didn’t know that he was secretly recording our conversation. He probably thought that I was going to be apologetic and blame Jammeh for him to broadcast it and get me fired, not knowing that I am always who I am. When in support of a course I give it my best with all sincerity; and if I don’t I just don’t. In the end he actually calmed down and we spent almost an hour or more together in my office discussing other unrelated issues. But before I know  he had left and edited the tape into a twelve-second statement sharing only where I said  “if I were in charge I will f—king open fire”. But as always Mr. Halaki, the compelling circumstances I illustrated for me take such measures shall never change.  Continue calling me mad Sam Sarr if it may help you to secure a job in the Gambia again or if  you believe in benefiting from that; but IF I AM IN CHARGE OF STATE SECURITY AND YOU TAKE A DOWNPAYMENT TO OVERTHROW A GOVERNMENT ON MY WATCH BE REST ASSURED THAT I WILL F—KING OPEN FIRE ON YOU.

Expecting you response.

Samsudeen Sarr

New York City

Editors note:  The author’s views do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper.  Thanks for your kind attention.
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