PRESIDENT BARROW, OMAR SARJO IS NOT SON OF SALIF SARJO
On the whole, this was the decade-or-so-old ruckus about the Gambia Armed Forces enlisting scores of MFDC rebels including the son of rebel-leader Salif Sarjo.
So many people were convinced of that bogus propaganda, disseminated everywhere and became one of the distinctive lies peddled by the Senegalese UN Ambassador Foday Seck to the UN Security Council on December 10, 2016 for the ultimate enactment of an illegal war resolution by Mackey Sall and Muhammed Ibn. Chambas to ensure that those “rebels” were all killed or flushed out of the Gambia.
Other foolish allegations sold at the UN ranged from Jammeh’s scheme to ritually sacrifice school girls to win the presidential election to of course “the massive number of Senegalese Jolas that had always crossed our frontier from Cassamance to cast their votes for the APRC”. In a recent interview about the foreign voters, the longest surviving member of the IEC or its deputy chairman during the 2016 election, Mr. Malleh Sallah discredited it altogether. He, like former IEC Chairman Mr. Mustapha Carayol, disputed the story about foreign voters and how they were hosted in hotels, schools or other places a day before any election, as the opposition forces had persuaded myriad of people to believe.
However, being cognizant of General Masaneh Kinteh’s principal role in tandem with our mountebank ambassadors who championed the UN-deceptive account to the Senegalese and was, like all of them, subsequently rewarded with the position of Chief-of-Defence Staff (CDS) in the new Coalition government, his alleged behavior to perhaps uphold the nonsense they sold in New York helped create the Omar Sarjo travesty.
Listening to the young ex-soldier’s interview on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 with Pa Nderry Mbai of the Freedom Radio, Omar Sarjo, victimized for being mysteriously fathered by rebel leader Salif Sarjo whom he doesn’t know anything about, never met him and shared no biological relationship with, other than the accidental surname-Sarjo-they commonly have, he explained how he was nearly driven mad and obviously blamed former CDS Kinteh for his prejudicial victimization. That after serving in the army for thirteen years with a clean-performance slate that earned him the rank of a corporal, the Barrow government in September 2017 ordered his arrest and dismissal from the force and falsely accused him of illegally enlisting with fake documentations and that he was indeed the son of Salif Sarjo.
As honestly as I could recall, cases of soldiers enlisted with fake credentials that indeed used to happen eventually showed all of them serving with names different from their real ones. Hence, Omar Sarjo, officially confirmed in a government-commissioned investigation to have throughout his life been known with that same name couldn’t be among those tricksters.
It is quite possible that President Barrow may not know anything about the case but after CDS Masaheh Kinteh was ejected from the force, one would expect his successor CDS General Yankuba Drammeh, the loudmouth Defense Minister Shiekh Omar Faye or the National Security Adviser Momodou Badjie to be conscientious enough to redress the soldier’s baseless persecution unless they were all parties to the ungodly conspiracy. It is also possible that the government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh was merely fed the garbage he failed to verify.
CDS Kinteh has since left and is probably sitting somewhere fully aware of the ongoing controversy over the mess that he in all probability orchestrated and could have done the nation a favor of coming out to clarify everything but may never do so out of guilt.
Let us just hope that some sick tribalist in the government will not force the poor fellow into exile with or without his wife and two Gambian children. What a cruel SSR!
Omar Sarjo in his interview grieved over the manner he is currently dragged to the courts by the Gambia immigration department that confiscated all his documents just to find a way of deporting, or best put, exiling him to Senegal. They tried and failed to harass him into voluntarily running away to Cassamance which he said would never happen because he belongs to the Gambia and nowhere else.
Let me therefore pause for a moment to sound my citizenry voice on this grave misconduct: President Adama Barrow, Omar Sari in not a son of Salif Sarjo.
We all should thank god that the ill-conceived-coalition government that started all this systematic discrimination of Jolas, Fulas and other minority tribes in 2017 disintegrated sooner; or else, Omar Sarjo and a lot of Gambians from minority tribes would have been forced into exile, incarcerated or lynched.
Anyway from the last Security-Sector Reform press conference that confirmed most of my previous theories about the hopelessness of the exercise, we could now confidently say that the Gambia government has officially declared the GAF of never enlisting a single MFDC rebel and that Omar Sarjo, the soldier accused of being the son of Salif Sarjo was a mere fabrication. The UN Security Council needs to be updated ASAP.
Saying that the revelation of the other names of the purged MFDC rebels from the GAF will verge on sharing classified or top secret government matters epitomizes absurdity.
If they could name the son of the rebel leader illegally enlisted in the force, seemingly the most important person among the lot, why not the others? The answer is simple. There are no others and any attempt to uncover new names will similarly be negated as just Gambian Jolas, Fulas or Manjagos victimized for their ethnic origin.
In addition to their validation at the SSR press conference that there were no foreign rebels in the GFA despite their efforts to make us believe otherwise, the unfair method of promotion not based on merit and throughout blamed on Jammeh, they also inadvertently confirmed the existence of the same unprofessional practice at the highest military echelon.
The promotion of some generals, Yankuba Drammeh, Mamat Cham and Turo Jawneh to higher ranks seemed to have been done by the same method as before, not on merit but purely by executive dictum.
But who were those unjustly dismissed from the GAF? Let me list a few:
- General Momodou Sowe, operation commander during the impasse, taking direct orders from CDS Ousman Badjie and Deputy CDS Yankuba Drammeh. His crime? He is a Fula and had to deploy troops during the impasse on the orders of his superiors. Ousman Badjie the Jola was kicked out but Yankuba Drammeh his deputy, a non-Jola retained.
- General Musa Savage, commander at Kaninlai, eliminated because his mother is a Jola
- Sillah Kujabi, senior officer at the Gambia Navy, another Jola who had to go because of his ethnicity.
- Major Kebba Gibba, Intelligence officer holding a masters degree from Ghana and now lecturing at the Gambia University, removed for being a Jola.
- General Ansumana Tamba, State Guard Commander, another poor Jola, heaved away.
- General M. A. Bah, another victim of Fula origin.
- General Umpa Mendy, a typical Manjago, sacked
They had avoided mentioning the expulsion of these folks whose names may have probably been submitted to Mackey Sall and Dr. Muhammed Ibn Chambas as some of the purged “MFDC” rebels hired by Jammeh. No wonder, disclosing the names will, to them, amount to sharing top-state secret. Do these people even understand what top-state secrets really mean? Hmmmm!
It is indeed my opinion that the people Adama Barrow relies on for his national security reform don’t either have a clue of what they are doing or could they be outright incompetent to fulfill any critical task.
By the way, does anyone really think that Minister Yankuba Sonko would have been where he is today if he was a Jola? The man was in charge of the Police Force and gave the orders to arrest Solo Sanding and his demonstrating group and later handed them over to the NIA where the UDP youth leader unfortunately died? Don’t get me wrong, Sonko the IGP then simply executed his duties as expected at the time. But without doubt he was a Jola he would been at Mile Two Prison with the NIA nine that the state has since 2017 spent over D50million indefinitely prosecuting them.
Defense Minister Shiekh Omar Faye and National Security adviser Momodou Badje were until 2017 Jammeh’s most devoted loyalists for 22 years and had showed it to him with the support of their entire family members; but when Jammeh’s usefulness to them was no longer certain they both shoved him under the freight train.
Next year is certainly going to be very critical when our security forces will be expected to play critical roles in our final transition to the third republic. It was however expected that the SSR would have been all completed by then for the foreign troops to leave the country and smoothly replaced by our own forces. But we now know better than that after being told that the SSR is just a fractional component of a comprehensive National security policy that may take another ten years or more to realize, still edging towards my prediction of its unattainability and the incompetence of the architects. ECOMIG will be here for good!
Thanks for reading.
BANJUL, THE GAMBIA