By Bamba Sering
Mass Kadimu Rasul
Those of us praising Alieu Bah for coming out confessing to abusing women calling his move bold, genuine or what not, we’ve all disappointed his victims.
Let us not quickly forget that some were framed and accused of horrible things and as Gambians, we all have a common defect which is vilifying people the moment they get accused regardless of ascertaining their guilt or innocence. Reason being our common values of the amount of public trust we put in people.
But despite those values some accused might be guilty yes but equally others could be innocent. Gambians are mostly known for always putting aside our cardinal legal doctrine:
“The presumption of innocence until proven guilty”.
As a result, all genuine citizens thus accept people’s negative reactions towards them once accused on the grounds that community holds them in high esteem thus no accusation must ever get closed to them and most especially when they serve in a position of trust. So, if indeed one’s service was with sincerity, all you are left with is to accept people’s anger as fate and wait for a day when you would be vindicated.
That being the case for some of us that loved and trusted comrade Alieu Bah, it is disheartening that we would be the first to jump to his defence so quick before we knew how his victims felt with his confession and apology. In my view he has not only betrayed us but equally tainted us all within this activism.
Though the Sexual Offences Act of the Gambia addressed most common sexual offenses and thus provided punitive measures to protect victims especially vulnerable groups, including women, children and people who are mentally and physically disabled. The Act in my view is applicable to the crime of rape and other sexual offences like sexual harassment and molestation. It also failed to address marital rape and equally doesn’t cater for provisions for the review of the law as well as penalties for authorities who do not act swiftly and effectively. The Government while respecting the human rights of the women affected within a required time frame, has failed to take bold steps to enforce the laws provided for their protection.
The former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women stated that: “In the context of norms recently established by the international community, a state that does not act against crimes of violence against women is as guilty as the perpetrators.”
As the wise dictum has it, “Do not jump to judgement until guilt is proven beyond all reasonable doubt.” I would have expected an unreserved remorse from our brother than what he presented on social media. In all honesty and fairness to the victims, what Mr Bah presented as his apology was not in fact an apology as he himself made it clearly written that he would not have confessed much to talk of apologize had he not been exposed.
Read a summary of Alieu Bah’s apology and be a fair judge to his victims.
Statement of accountability and public apology for my sexism and misogyny
I have written an earlier statement on here (Facebook) regarding my sexist and misogynistic attitude but it was both minimizing, horrible and miss the mark for the harm I have done.
I have been a serial abuser to women and vulnerable femmes within The Third World People’s Alliance —an organization which I was the lead organizer for the Africa Division.
Here you will find trust bestowed on Alieu was the one first broken. Yes, both men and women can become abusers. (I have been a victim of abuse from two women).
But mostly abuse is meted on women than men. That’s why women abusers are hardly ridiculed.
Alieu Bah went on:
I have initiated sexual and romantic relationships with women therein online and with the exclusion of one victim, my ex, I never met any woman of them in real life, all these women I have met online in the course of being a member and lead organizer for the organization.
Now here is the bit that most of us tend to miss: read below carefully.
“After my behaviours were exposed I tried to write statements to absolve myself and to appear righteous. Sincere or not they were way of the mark and didn’t account for the harm that was done.
If these were not exposed, I wouldn’t have ever made a public statement in the very first place.”
So that means he isn’t still sorry but simply covering face.
He went on to say and I quote:
“I initiated these relationships and tried to gain sexual and financial favours by manipulation through those relationships. In the course of these encounters I crossed boundaries in saying and doing explicit sexual things for which I got no consent for. I lied by omission by not revealing past relationships with other members whiles I was talking to another one.”
This is what science calls psychological crime with intend afore thought.
“I also extracted financial favours at approximately $5000 from individual members and others comrades at Red Voice where I publish my works. The chunk of this from my ex (who is part of the organization as I write this) whiles we lived together and interacted from a distance. This was before being a part of this organization. I took approximately $800 from the organization also that was never accounted for by me.
Woo woo that could be a genuine confession but clouded with confusion because would he have revealed all these if not exposed as he stated above?
“I attempted to stop one of the victims from reporting back to the organization after I crossed boundaries with her.
I know that I have harmed the organization greatly, in that I have alienated many members and most importantly I was doing fed work in that I was recklessly doing things that can be easily used by the state to destroy the organization. This type of behaviour is what wreck movements and become a tool for easy infiltration. I apologize for my destructive and adventurist behaviour to the leadership and membership. …….
Come on! So our guy’s main thought was the harm he caused the organization and not the victims.
I love Alieu Bah though never met him physically. His show of outspoken activism and bravery in standing up where many hid their faces had encouraged me to believe in the future of our nation being bright but ummmm.