Two prominent members of Gambia’s Army Veterans Association have accused Defense Minister Sheikh Omar Faye of circulating fake news on social media, Freedom Newspaper can report. The accusations followed reports in which Faye was quoted to have said that he was the main pioneer of the country’s Veterans Association. The disgraceful Defense Minister has off late been using his loved ones, friends, and the fake drive by media to spew lies against his perceived opponents, some of whom, he (Faye) has accused of trying to get him fired. Faye was also quoted as saying that he had created a Veterans office for Gambia’s Veterans, which is headed by one General Saikou Seckan.
The idle and useless “superkanja” Defense Minister, has been using one Dodou Njie, a former army private to market his discredited image. The functional illiterate Dodou Njie, has been making up stories just to make Omar Faye look good by falsely claiming that it was Omar Faye, who constituted the country’s Veterans Association.
Reacting to Faye and Njie’s false claims, former Army Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) Baboucarr Jeng, an official of the Veterans Association said: “ First of all, I want to state that I am not speaking on behalf of the Veterans Association. What I am saying represents my own views. It is a blatant lie for Dodou Njie to claim that Defense Minister Omar Faye was the founder of the Veterans Association. It is also a fat lie for the Defense Minister Omar Faye to claim being the main founder of the Veterans Association. The Veterans Association was founded while Yahya Jammeh was in power. Omar Faye was working in Yahya Jammeh’s government then. We founded the Veterans Association. It has been legally registered in The Gambia. It was registered following the change of government.”
Speaking from his United Kingdom residence, RSM Jeng told Freedom Radio Gambia that his Association was never informed about the purported Veterans office that Mr. Faye had created for them at the Defense Ministry.
“This is news to us. Our membership hasn’t been informed about the said office that Omar Faye told Dodou Njie that he had created for us. Our Chairman retired army Captain Kambi is not aware of this office. We want to dissociate ourselves from Omar Faye’s cheap publicity stunt. How can he create a Veterans office without informing its members? That’s ridiculous,” Jeng lamented.
According to Jeng, the Defense Minister has been spreading a lot of lies and misinformation since his appointment to occupy that important office. He says Faye has been making up stories just to make himself look good.
“Omar Faye should concentrate on his job and stop spreading false information. He has an important job to do, given the alarming security challenges facing the country, unfortunately he only cares about himself. Not long ago, he lied to a Gambian media house, Star FM’s Nderry Touray, by falsely claiming that he was selected during a parade march by the late Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, to head The Gambian Peacekeeping Force in Liberia. He said Sir Dawda had instructed Ndow Njie, the former Army Commander to select him as the force’s commander. That is a liar. It was a figment of Omar Faye’s own imagination. Sir Dawda wasn’t the type of leader, who would interfere into the operations of the army. Omar Faye has said so many untruthful things about his military career. Today is not the day for me to reality check him. You can schedule me for another day to tell Gambians what I know about the army,” said the seasoned former army instructor.
The Defense Minister was said to have deserted his men during the Liberian war back in 90s. He even fabricated a lie that he was sick and was subsequently airlifted from Liberia to Sierra Leone and later to Banjul.
Jeng has accused Faye of projecting a fake image to Gambians. He has called on Faye to be truthful and stop embellishing the truth. He added that Faye has been trafficking lies by using the vulnerable unsuspecting media.
“The Veteran Association is ours. All Gambian soldiers are invited to join the Association. Our leadership in Banjul had met with Faye when we newly registered the Association. If he has anything for the Association, I think he should engage us before communicating messages through a non-employee of the state Dodou Njie. We want to dissociate ourselves from the statements coming from Dodou Njie. Such views do not represent our Association,” Jeng said.
For his part Alhagie Joof, AKA Sir Jackal, has also debunked Dodou Njie’s lies.
Speaking from his home in Germany, Joof said: “Defense Minister Omar Faye should stop his pettiness. He shouldn’t include us in his beef with Ebou Jallow and Pa Nderry M’Bai. Dodou Njie is his information carrier. He is using Dodou Njie to peddle lies. What Dodou Njie is peddling is a lie. Omar Faye is not the founder of the Veterans Association. I was among the founding fathers of the Veterans Association. Omar Faye was later invited to join the Association. He later withdrew his membership with the Association by deleting himself from our Whatsapp group. As we speak, Omar Faye is not a member of the Veterans Association,”
“With regards to the appointment of General Saikou Seckan as the Veterans’ rep, that is news to me. He is not representing us. We were never contacted; we receive no formal communication from the Defense Minister about Seckan. Omar Faye only phoned our Chairman Kambi either today or yesterday. I was told that he spoke to Kambi. Seckan is not a Veteran. He is an active serving member of the army. I just don’t get it. Omar Faye should stop playing around and do his job. Let him spare us from his nonsense,” Joof added.
Joof added that they will not allow Omar Faye to use their organization for political expediency. He says Faye has lately been engaged in social media fights.
“We do not want to be part of his online fights. He is using one of his relatives and Dodou Njie to market his image. Just for the record: It is a lie for Omar Faye to claim to be the founder of our Association. You can call RSM Jeng, he would confirm what I am telling you,” Joof remarked.