Opposition supporters are claiming that the father of the late murdered Sanyang young man has rejected a D10,000 condolence charity gift from President Adama Barrow. The claim was made by Bamba Mass, a UDP supporter, and a former sacked diplomat.
According to Mr. Mass, the President had delegated Information Minister Ebrima Sillah, and one area Councilor to represent him at the burial of the late Gibril Ceesay. Gibril Ceesay was allegedly murdered few days by a Senegalese fisherman.
The incident came in the wake of a break-in at the home of a European national, where the late Ceesay and his brother confronted the alleged thief. An altercation later ensued, and Ceesay was stabbed to death. His brother was also stabbed, but he survived the incident.
The alleged thief has been taken into custody. He is helping the police in their investigations.
In his online rant, Mass said the deceased’s father was so bitter with the government delegation that was led by Ebrima Sillah. He claimed that the old man could not hide his his frustrations and dissatisfaction with the state’s inability to provide security to its citizens. He told Sillah to return the D10,000 dalasis gift to the President, Mass claimed.
Mass further claimed that some angry youths, later went berserk and started throwing jabs at the gathering. In essence, he said, the government delegation was accorded an embarrassing reception in Sanyang.
Bamba Mass is a former employee of the Barrow government. He was sacked from The Gambian High Commission in London amid accusations that he had defrauded The Gambian government over one million dalasis. The accusations stemmed from an Audit report issued by The Gambian government, in which Mass was cited for rental fraud, over billing the government with bogus rent expenses, fake tenancy leases, among other corrupt practices perpetrated by the sacked Diplomat.
Mass returned to the UDP, soon after he was sacked. He has since been using social media to peddle lies against the Barrow administration.
When contacted for comment, Information Minister Ebrima Sillah ran into laughter before rubbishing what he called Bamba Mass’s fake news.
“You know that can never be true. Let me, tell you Pa Ndery, I don’t want to be part of this social media banter. I have a job to do. I went to that place with the Governor, the Deputy Governor and we met the National Assembly member there, and the Councilor for that region. The boy who died his own wife, is my direct cousin. Our two grandmothers are from the same mother and father. Really, some of these people in their own wildest dreams don’t know what they were saying,” Mr. Sillah told me in a phone conversation this morning.
Mr. Sillah immediately returned our call once he saw our missed call. He was asked by this medium, the Freedom Newspaper to react to Bamba Mass’s claims that the President’s D10,000 gift that was given to the bereaved family was rejected.
Minister Sillah had this to say: “I went to that place, we attended the prayers, we went to the burial site, we buried the boy, we came to the compound to pay our condolence on behalf of the President and indeed yes, the money he gave me, I handed over to the Governor, who in fact gave it to the Imam, and the Imam accepted. Why would they return the money to us? I am part of that family. It is all these people with their crazy ideas, you cannot even know where that came from.”
Sillah said the late Gibril Ceesay’s stepdad, who spoke on behalf of the family had raised the issue of security concerns in the country. He was asked to convey the man’s concerns to the President.
“We did all our discussion there yes, and when we finished the discussion, the man, who spoke on behalf of the family, claimed that the boy’s father is his elder brother, and we are part of that family. He advised in an angry tune and I can understand because when you killed someone’s family in a gruesome manner like that, they will be angry. Nobody is happy with what happened. The man was angry, and he was advising me, on behalf of the government that we should look at the state of killings in the country because they were becoming common, according to him, and government should take action about these things. Then, while he was talking, somebody walked to him to say please just forget about this, we are in mourning, don’t talk here, and then there were lot of angry young people there, who told that person, allow the man to talk, that is how the commotion started. But this money was never rejected,” he added.
The Information Minister said it is dishonest for Bamba Mass to traffic fake news on social media. He wasn’t surprised by Mr. Mass’s fake news.
“You can understand Bamba Mass and the rest, you know, I know where they are coming from because some of them are talking from a political point. It is unfortunate that a person, who died in a gruesome manner like this, and the government has done what it is supposed to do under the law to arrest the culprit and put him under custody while investigations are being conducted for him to be tried, yet people are politicizing that,” Sillah said.
Mr. Sillah still maintains that the President’s gift wasn’t rejected.
“I handed it over the money to the Governor and the Governor handed it to the Imam, and the Imam wanted to give it to the man, and he said, no, no, you accept it on behalf of the family,” he said.
When asked why the money was never handed to Gibril’s father, Sillah, said he hasn’t met Gibril’s biological dad. He said Gibril’s stepdad was the one, who spoke on behalf of the family.
But it was never handed over to Gibril’s Father? “I never even met Gibril’s father there. I met the person, who claimed to be brother of Gibril’s father. He was at the venue. It was in Gibril’s family compound. Pa, I am telling you, this is my family. I am part of the family. Gibril’s wife is my first cousin. Our two grandparents are from the same mother and father of Sanyang,” he remarked.
“I saw a lot of these lies being spread on social media. Some people, Pa, it is quite sad that because of politics, people are trying to tarnish other people’s image because they want to go to social media and get rating. Can you imagine that type of life?” he posited.
Sillah said he has nothing to hide.
“If I were chased, I will be the first person to accept that. If this money was rejected, I will be the first person and I will be very disappointed because I am not an ordinary member in that family,” he said.
“I don’t want to respond to this type of things because we are mourning as a family. It is a very unfortunate incident that a young man, a promising guy, who lost his life in such a gruesome manner, yet people sitting on their political platforms looking for relevance that they have never got, and they will never get it, trying to delude the efforts and put politics in a very sorrowful event like this, is just very sad,” he concluded.