By Madi Jobarteh
Yes Yaya Jammeh is from Kanilai, which is in Foni, yet in his 22 years of misrule the region that suffered the most happened to be Foni. Despite the fact that Yaya Jammeh and APRC had enjoyed 100% support from Foni where their parliamentary candidates consistently go unopposed, yet Yaya Jammeh paid them back with so much misery and pain that it will take forever to heal that wound. There is not a crime on earth that Yaya Jammeh had not committed against the land and people of Foni. He spared no one: the old, the young, men, women, community leaders not to mention the professionals of this proud and hard working region of the Gambia. Rather he tortured and killed his own people while stealing their lands as if he was not a son of Foni!
Probably the most outrageous crime that Yaya Jammeh inflicted on our people in Foni was to label them as witches and then deploy scores of soldiers and Green Boys with witchdoctors imported from Guinea to go to village after village to arrest old men and women. Reports have indicated that up to one thousand people were arrested in 2009 just because Yaya Jammeh stupidly thought witches killed her aunt. Thus, just for the sake of her aunt alone, he ravaged a whole region of the country, humiliating them in such a manner that surpassed even the colonialists. Yet until today you have some people in Foni who want to give their lives for Yaya Jammeh.
When Yaya Jammeh arrested these old men and women, the Green Boys and soldiers forced them to drink concoctions, which caused severe sickness and death among the victims. One witness narrated that in Sintet alone 300 old men and women were arrested and taken to Kanilai to be humiliated and beaten. Because of this onslaught, hundreds of community elders used to flee their houses as early as 5am to go into the bush to hide for the whole day until at night to return home. Can you imagine an old man or woman of 60, 70 or 80 years going to hide in the bush just because their own son, who is the president accused them of being witches and hunting them like slaves? This is what Yaya Jammeh did to our elders in Foni. Yet there are still Foni youths who shout until today “Yaya Jammeh for Life.”
Even when Halifa Sallah stood up as the lone voice to find out about this matter in order to ensure that justice is delivered, Yaya Jammeh responded to him with an arrest and detention. Yet Yankuba Colley and Seedy Njie have the audacity to tell us that Yaya Jammeh deserves respect. Do Yankuba Colley and Seedy Njie have any respect for Foni elders who were humiliated, beaten and killed by small boys under the orders of Yaya Jammeh? Is Yankuba Colley or Seedy Njie and their APRC supporters telling us that they have not seen that injustice yet they still stand for Yaya Jammeh? What values or God do these people believe?
Even before this despicable atrocity, Yaya Jammeh had been tormenting Foni by blatantly stealing their lands. In his 22 years, Foni is the region, which suffered the most in Yaya Jammeh’s land grabbing spree. No region has lost more lands to Yaya Jammeh than Foni. The number of community lands he stole in Foni is uncountable.
Foni did not only lose lands but they also lost numerous lives in the process of defending their lands from Yaya Jammeh. For example when Yaya Jammeh wanted to take lands in the village of Karunorr in Foni Kansala in 2012 the villagers resisted. The two most defiant villagers were the brothers, Wuyeh and Enor Colley. In response Yaya Jammeh deployed armed soldiers to forcefully pick up these brothers to be beaten up and butchered to death in the bushes. Until today there families have not seen them,
One gets even more shocked when you see the list of victims of Yaya Jammeh in Foni some of who are in fact his own family members such as Marcie Jammeh and Haruna Jammeh who disappeared since 2005. We can all recall the names of Buba Sanyang, Ndongo Mboob, Modou Lamin Nyassi and Jasarja Kujabi all of who disappeared mysteriously on the orders to Yaya Jammeh. It is clear that these people were killed.
Other sons and daughters of Foni who were also humiliated, incarcerated and tortured included the former CDS Lang Tombong Tamba, former IGP Essa Badgie, former DG NIA Lamin Bo Badgie, former IGP Benjamin Jammeh and for Solicitor General Pa Harry Jammeh among many other former ministers and civil servants as well as former associates such as Aziz Tamba as well as his own cousin Pa Bojang. The list goes on…
Hence if one simply goes through the track record of Yaya Jammeh in Foni, it becomes quite clear that the region that has suffered the most under the APRC is Foni. Yaya Jammeh has inflicted so much fear and disunity in Foni to the point that this region was locked down for 22 years. Yes, he has provided electricity in many villages with streetlights and built a hospital in Bwiam and illegally named it after his father. But the fact is that the people of Foni were the most oppressed and exploited region of the Gambia under Yaya Jammeh. One can notice that by the fact that no one in Foni was allowed or bold enough to stand against Yaya Jammeh. Everyone as subdued and this was why APRC remained unopposed all the time.
Yaya Jammeh was able to unleash so much harm on the people of Foni simply because he had the full support of APRC NAMs and Cabinet ministers. APRC NAMs were witnesses to the atrocities and land grabbings of Yaya Jammeh in Foni yet they did not just keep quiet about it but in fact they went ahead to mobilize the people of Foni to work on those stolen lands like slaves.
If you are from Foni, the APRC is the only party you should avoid. If you are a good son and daughter of Foni, Yaya Jammeh is the only person you must avoid. He is a disgrace to the noble and dignified people of Foni. Any decent son or daughter of Foni who claims to be a self-respecting and patriotic citizen cannot entertain anything about APRC and Yaya Jammeh. He represents humiliation and misery for Foni and the Gambia as a whole.
I hereby call on the voters of Foni therefore to give APRC Zero Votes in the April 6 election. I therefore wish to launch the campaign ‘APRC Zero Votes In Foni’ to start today. Let us raise the awareness of the masses of Foni to liberate them from the despicable Yaya Jammeh Mentality to realize that supporting APRC is their humiliation and destruction. Yaya Jammeh never represented the best of Foni. He is the worst to have happened to Foni.
If the Mandinka felt offended by Yaya Jammeh it is clear that he has offended the Jola equally or even more. Wait until you see what he also did to the Wolof, Sarahuleh or Fula, etc. What about the Muslims or the Christians? Coming soon…
Forward with ‘APRC Zero Votes In Foni’ campaign!