By Omar Bah
The remains of Asombi Bojang, the late mother of ex-president Yahya Jammeh, will arrive in The Gambia on Saturday, a family source has disclosed to The Standard.
Our source could not confirm whether any member of the Jammeh family has traveled to Malabo to escort the corpse.
Meanwhile the APRC National Mobiliser Yankuba Colley has confirmed to The Standard that the burial will take place on Sunday in Bujinga, her native village.
Colley also said he has no idea whether any family member will be escorting the corpse.
Meanwhile, the APRC deputy spokesperson and press secretary, Dodou Jah said they have gathered from social media that Ecowas is involved in the arrangement to bring Asombi’s body from Equatorial Guinea.
However government spokesman Ebrima G Sankareh yesterday told The Standard that the government is not aware of any involvement of Ecowas or any other international organization or diplomat in the repatriation of the body. “As far as government is concerned, Asombi was a Gambian who has a right to be buried in her homeland and President Barrow has immediately consented to her wish to be buried in The Gambia and that’s all,” he said.
Since the old woman passed away last week, opinions among Gambians mainly on social media have been widely divided as to whether her remains should be allowed in the country, given the fact that her son Jammeh had refused entry to at least three remains of prominent Gambians who died abroad. They were Buba Baldeh, Foday Makalo and the 1981 coup leader Kukoi Samba Sanyang.
However, the Gambia government showed great magnanimity by sending a high level delegation to the family of the late president to express condolence and there is every indication that the Barrow administration has not objected to bringing the old woman’s remains back to be given the Gambian cultural rites for the dead.
Mathew Jallow, a prominent Gambian diasporan and critic of former President Jammeh, wrote on his Facebook that he disagrees with all those who’re not in support of bringing back the late Asombi Bojang for burial.
“We fought for twenty-two years to get rid of Yahya Jammeh and what he represented to Gambia, as a divisive and soulless human being. We cannot then turn around and behave like him. We are better than that as a country. I am, therefore, supportive of the magnanimity our government is showing to the world. We fought for change and must therefore represent change, not only through rhetorical embellishment, but substantively. The late Asombi Bojang was as much a victim of his son’s cruelty as we all were. And like all of us, she was powerless to stop the carnage being committed by her son. Sure Yahya Jammeh denied the burial, in Gambia, of three of the Gambia’s most outstanding exiles, Buba M Baldeh, Kukoi Samba Sagnia and Foday Makalo, and as painful as that is, we must learn not to replicate it,” Mr Jallow said.