By Buba Gagigo
The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Victim Centre) has expressed dismay and disappointment at the nomination of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy Njie as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, respectively, describing it as a ‘shock and a painful feeling of betrayal’
The Victim Center expressed its frustration over the issue at a press conference held at its head offices in Kotu on Friday morning.
In a letter dated 20 April 2022 and addressed to the President, the Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, Sheriff Kijera, made the following indictment of the presence of the two gentlemen in parliament:
“It is with deep shock and a painful feeling of betrayal that the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Victim Centre) came to learn of your nomination of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy S.K Njie as Members of the National Assembly. Even worse is to realise that you have identified them to be the Speaker and Deputy Speaker which came to pass on the first day of the sitting of the sixth legislature on 14 April 2022.
“to bring back these two individuals into the people’s house and at the highest level indicates your lack of political will to ensure justice for victims, and your deliberate attempt to bring back dictatorship. This is because it is obvious from their track record that Fabakary and Seedy will never hold you also, as President accountable should you decide to also disregard the Constitution, flout the rule of law, and violate the rights of Gambians with impunity as Yahya Jammeh did”
The election of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy Njie as Speaker and Deputy coincided with the sixth anniversary of the murder of Solo Sandeng thus they said president Adama has not only betrayed the nation but also Solo Sandeng, Solo Kuruma, Ebrima Ceesay, Lang Marong, Lamin Ndambu Dibba who died, and many others who continue to live in terrible pain and misery today due to torture they sustained under Jammeh.
“Mr. President, the day Fabakary and Seedy were installed as the National Assembly leaders, coincided with the sixth anniversary of the murder of your former political ally Solo Sandeng. Your election on 1 December 2016 was a direct offshoot of the protest that Solo and your compatriots led at Westfield for which they were brutally crushed so much so that Solo and several others never lived to enjoy the freedom you and the rest of our fellow Gambians celebrate today.”
“Hence the nomination and election of Fabakary and Seedy as speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively is a moral indictment of
your leadership and a manifestation of gross betrayal of the Gambian nation, and in particular your very allies: Solo Sandeng, Solo Kuruma, Ebrima Ceesay, Lang Marong, Lamin Ndambu LDibba who died, and many others who continue to live in terrible pain and misery today due to torture” Mr. Kijera continued
Sheriff Kijera also confirmed that they are planning to hold a peaceful protest to express their outrage over the election of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy Njie but he has not shared any date for now.
Fabakary Tombong Jatta was elected to the National Assembly in 1997. He served as a National Assembly member until 2017. He served as the majority leader for half of his tenure in the National Assembly. He was part of the National Assembly Members who voted for the state of emergency when former president Yahya Jammeh refused to step down after losing the elections in 2016. Seedy Njie was a short-time Information Minister during the 2016 impasse and had repeatedly said president Adama Barrow will not be sworn in the Gambia at the time.
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