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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

‘Jammeh turned Gambia into a vampire state’

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By Mafugi Ceesay

Professor Abdoulie Saine has continued his appearance at the TRRC yesterday with a scathing analysis of the Jammeh regime that lasted 22 years.
He described Jammeh’s administration as a vampire state because it had used state apparatuses to loot state coffers. “Jammeh had lots of luxuries while the majority of Gambians struggled for their next meal. But he did not do it alone, he had enablers,” Prof Saine said.

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He said the dictator also used his terrorism skills through killings, torture, the security, National Assembly and the Judiciary to maim his critics who feared a knock on their door dead in night. “The assassination attempt on Ousman Sillah also shot the mouth of lawyers. Killings were normalised and taken as defending the nation,” Saine told the TRRC.
He further observed that Jammeh continued to use his repressive rules through affirmative action to promote his tribe, culture and religion and used his power to educate and gave his tribe positions that they had no clue or knowledge of. “He also used his power to infiltrate the security sector to ensure that it is dominated by his tribesmen. The state television and radio were used to sell his tribe’s culture and also used cultural festivals to keep his tribe’s culture,” Saine said.

Prof Saine stated that Jammeh also Jolanised the institutions such as the security sector and GRTS as he sent many Jolas on further studies and used GRTS as a political platform to control the narrative. Saine said Jammeh further claimed he could cure HIV/AIDS and infertility, personalized the state from Central Bank to GRTS and GRA.

“In the end it’s only about the language and surname an individual carries to benefit on the cake of the country. And so sooner rather than later, all state institutions were complicit and started making decisions that were only favourable to Jammeh,” he said.

Professor Saine opined that monies misused by Jammeh could have been used to improve the health care system or build a library for UTG. “But instead Jammeh used state financial institutions as his ATM where he takes money at any time of his wish. Just by mentioning his name or a note from him would get huge amount of money from the governor of Central Bank,” the witness said.

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