By Omar Bah
Some of the men who were arrested, tortured and jailed for protesting with Solo Sandeng and Ousainou Darboe in mid-April 2016 have threatened to take to the streets to publicly express their frustrations unless President Barrow agrees to meet them.
Three of the men, Kalilu Lamin Saidykhan, Lamin Sonko and Modou Ngum said so Tuesday during a presentation of financial assistance to victims of Jammeh’s tyranny at the Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations, Kotu.
The men claimed that since President Adama Barrow took office nine months ago, he has never at any point sought to meet them or even acknowledge their efforts.
“We are beginning to lose patience and I want to say that if President Barrow continues to ignore our requests to meet him, we may consider marching on to the streets,” Modou Ngum said.
He demanded for President Barrow to “immediately consider” their request to see them or delegate a senior official to formally meet them to show sympathy and respect for the sacrifices they have made.
“We went out on to the street that day knowing very well that we may be killed. Yes, we did it for the sake of The Gambia, but that should not stop the president from meeting us,” he said.
Kalilu Lamin Saidykhan said the president should remember the fact that they put their lives at risk to rescue the country from Jammeh. “So, I want to tell President Barrow to understand the fact that nobody in this country can doubt our loyalty,” he said.
He said since he was released from prison he could not engage in his entrepreneurship. “I am the breadwinner in my family. I used to take care of my family without the support of anyone, but now I have to beg before I can give out fish money.”
He said Ousainou Darboe should reflect on the time they spent in jail together.
“Our situation is desperate because since our release, some of us are suffering from pain [and other health complications] that were caused by the torturing and inhumane treatment we were subjected in the [NIA] cells,” he said.
Lamin Sonko, said: “We are very disappointed that despite all the sacrifices we made, no one seems to care about our wellbeing, not even President Barrow. All we want is to have audience with the president. At least that will make us feel somehow comfortable that someone cares.”
Early last month, Mamadou Fatty who was also jailed alongside Mr Darboe released a video online that went viral in which he claimed they have been neglected while “people who ran away from Ousainou Darboe during the protest are the people who are put in high positions while some of [them have been] forgotten”.