By Omar Bah

Former CDS Lang Tombong Tamba has said exiled ex-president Yahya Jammeh is not ready to come back to The Gambia.

In an audio obtained by The Standard, Mr Tamba, a strong advocate for Jammeh’s return, said the former feared ruler has blown his chance of returning to the country.


“Yahya Jammeh is the reason why he is still in exile. Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his executive went into an alliance with Adama Barrow so that when he wins, he would open up for Jammeh to come back just like Jammeh did to Jawara. That was the terms of the agreement but even before they finished negotiating, Jammeh came out to say he didn’t ask them to go into a coalition to the extent of causing a breakaway in the APRC.

“This is why I don’t want to discuss this topic. We are all aware when he sent me to jail for doing nothing. For six years, I was in Mile 2 until when I was pardoned. I said I have forgiven all including him. This is why when Fabakary and team wanted to start negotiating with Barrow, I joined them to make sure that he returns to this country,” Tamba said.

He said when he was CDS he served Jammeh to the best of his ability.

“I saved his life during the Ndure Cham coup attempt in 2006. If that coup had succeeded, we would not have been talking about him today. Nobody likes Jammeh more than I do and I will say it here, I played a significant role in 1994 to help Jammeh become president,” he said.

He said he doesn’t feel Jammeh wants to come back because he might be comfortable in Equatorial Guinea.

“Those of you who are talking to Jammeh should tell him that he is no more the president and that he has no voice in this country. He should swallow that. Some of you who are talking, have you seen the TRRC recommendations? Do you know what the TRRC recommended? But President Barrow wanted to resolve all that amicably so that we will forgive each other. That is what Barrow wants but Jammeh doesn’t want that. But he should know that he doesn’t have the power he used to have now,” he said.

Lang Tombong said even the soldiers who sacrificed their lives and joined him in Equatorial Guinea were not treated well, which led to their decision to come back.

“So for me, Jammeh is not ready to come back to The Gambia. He is comfortable where he is.  Let’s tell each other the truth. Every day I hear people say Yahya Jammeh should come back but what have we not done that we should have done for him to come back? Because the fastest way was for Barrow to win and open up for him to come.”