Gambia’s President Adama Barrow on Thursday visited the home village of the exiled Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh. Barrow says his visit was part of his government’s efforts to promote national reconciliation.
The Gambian leader had met with Jammeh’s family and other village heads of Kanilai. The meeting he had with the Jammeh family was private one. He was accompanied to the village by the leadership of the former ruling APRC party.
The locals in Kanilai have hailed the President for checking on them. They are now convinced that President Barrow is committed to his national reconciliation crusade.
The President has been taking heat for his Kanilai visit. He ops and critics have accused him of being insensitive to the plight of Jammeh’s victims. They claimed that the President’s visit was an affront to his government’s promise of creating a transitional government that would deliver justice to the victims of right abuses under Jammeh’s rule.
“For nearly five years, you never visited the victims’ Center or any victim, but have the audacity to visit the family of the abuser in chief. Barrow is beyond pathetic,” Pa Sama Jow wrote on his Facebook timeline.
“Eight years ago today, we were devastated by the news of Shyngle Nyassi’s death. Mr. Nyassi was in New York on a UDP mission with no other than the very little known Adama Barrow. His death was attributed to the many tortures he was subjected to by Jammeh and his goons. I still remember receiving the news from Ous Mbenga. I had to call Yahya Darboe to confirm this devastating and mammoth loss for our country and struggle. Sadly, on the 8th anniversary of Mr. Nyassi’s death, President Adama Barrow had the singular option of visiting the family of his colleague, whose body he had to escort back to The Gambia. But true to form, President Barrow chose to appease the man responsible for Mr. Nyassi’s many arrests and tortures, by visiting Yahya Jammeh’s family. By this latest move, Adama Barrow has demonstratively shown that he will stop at nothing in his pursuit of his insatiable desire to remain President, even if it means appeasing a man implicated in over 200 deaths,” Jow added.
In response Pa Samba Jow’s statement, Yuspha Jow said: “Unbelievable. Where did the UDP find this character? That being said, I suspect a lot of other parties are watching the latest developments. Gambians aren’t the only ones who have a strong desire to bring Jammeh to justice.”
For her part, Tukulorr Sey, a Gambian political activist, has accused Barrow of failing to visit Gambia’s victims center, a non-governmental organization, that has been set up to fight for the cause of Jammeh’s victims. she wrote
“President Barrow has ONCE AGAIN dug dipper into the wounds of Jammeh victims! He refuses to meet with the victims, but will meet with the family of the one who killed, tortured, maimed and disappeared their loved ones simply because he wants to continue his presidency. If this is not the ultimate betrayal of the VICTIMS WHOSE BACK HE RODE ON to become President, I don’t know what is. Barrow wants to remain President at all cost! #Barrowmustgo,” she wrote
However, the President’s team said they do not see anything wrong with Barrow visiting Jammeh’s home village. They have applauded the move saying it is a right step in the right direction as far as the country’s reconciliation process is concerned.
Jammeh has been living in exiled in Equatorial Guinea since January of 2017. Reports have it that Barrow has promised the Jammeh family of their loved one’s home return if he is reelected into office in the upcoming elections.