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‘Jammeh, colleagues displayed lot of ignorance in governance’


The former finance and trade minister of the Gambia and one-time accountant general from 1994 to 1996, Amadou Sanneh, said the early dealing of the soldiers after coming to power showed they have no respect for rules and procedures.

Sanneh is the 59 witness of the Truth Commission investigating the human rights violations of the former president Yahya Jammeh. He was both an accountant general and permanent under the administration of the former ruler Jammeh.

Sanneh later resigned from Government and went into private practice during which time he joined the then opposition United Democratic Party. As a professional accountant, he became the party’s treasurer.

Sanneh, who was arrested and allegedly tortured several times, told the Truth Commission that his early encounter with Jammeh has shown the former strongman is ignorant of governance and does not observe the rules.

“When they first came in, they have no respect for procedures or processes. Working in Government for so many years, I know systems are institutionalized… But they have displayed a lot of ignorance in Government system and they have no respect for established rules and processes,” said Sanneh.

“Sometimes the Chairman Yahya Jammeh would call and we go to his office at the State House and he would be ranting asking where this people have kept our money, (referring to PPP Government). I would try to explain what exist and where Government funds are.

“And I think when they took over, as an Accountant General, we found significant reserves of the Government… I would explained to them that the country’s resources are intact. But somebody (Yahya Jammeh) was angry and he had a preconceive mind about the former Government.

“Sometimes I feel very uncomfortable… Sometimes, you will go (to Jammeh’s office) at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. and you will be there up to 6 p.m. He keeps you there just talking about himself. These were things that were not material to governance.”

Sanneh was one of the victims of the Denton Bridge attack on UDP supporters in September of 1996. He described Jammeh as a ‘monster’.

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