By Omar Bah
The leader and financier of the December 30th thwarted coup attempt, Cherno Njie has said that their mission was a “Jihad” to liberate Gambians from 22-years of enslavement under Jammeh.
Speaking to victims of the former regime at the Victims Centre on Saturday, Mr Njie. Said the December 30th plotters were patriotic people who sacrificed for the betterment of the Gambian people.
“All those who were part of that coup attempt were living in America or Germany in a dignified life, and none of us lost a brother, sister or family member to Jammeh brutality prior to the coup attempt but what we saw was that we are all Gambians. What happened to Deyda and many others could have happened to anyone of us as long as Jammeh was in power,” he said.
He continued: “I used to sit in my home and hear Yahya Jammeh saying he owns the Gambia. So if you have a president who says he owns your country, then that means he sees the citizens of that country as slaves. Because of that I could not sleep anymore because my mind was always on Gambia. Even if you call back home talking about Jammeh’s ruinous act, people will tell you they cannot discuss that because they were scared. So because of that, we say to ourselves we have to do something. Even though some of our colleagues lost their lives in that attack we are confident that our mission was a Jihad,” he added.
He reassured the victims that they would give them the maximum support they deserve.
Captain Alhagie Barrow, who was also a member of the December 30th foiled coup, said none of the plotters was interested in taking over leadership.
“All we wanted was to liberate the country from the ruinous crimes of Jammeh. Because we could not just sit and watch Jammeh continue to terrorise Gambians. So it is because of this we decided to come over to liberate the country,” he said.
“In fact all of us were willing to return to our various works if we succeeded in uprooting Jammeh, except Lamin Sanneh who said he would have loved to return to his military work,” Barrow said.
“Jammeh has committed lot of crimes in this country, ranging from burying newly born babies, arresting religious leaders and killing innocent people and no single Gambian had the gut to question him. So this is what motivated us but we knew very well that our mission could be fatal that was very clear, but to us it was a worthy risk to take for the sake of the nation we called home,” he added.
He said nowadays people have got their freedom to say what they like including those who criticise Dec 30 attackers but for those Gambians who suffered from Jammeh’s brutality, every method used to oust Jammeh was welcomed. “And I must say I am very proud that today the victims of Jammeh are happy about what we did,” Barrow concluded.