By Momodou Jarju
A former senior officer of the Gambia Armed Forces Monday said coup plotters were treated as heroes and reinstated in to the Army by the current government, while victims were ignored.
Demba Njie a former chief of protocol told the Truth Commission: ““We knew that in 2006, there was a coup d’état, people came here, sat on this chair (where he sat to testify at the TRRC) wearing the Gambia National Army uniform and said they participated in that coup d’état.”
He added that some of those coup plotters showed no remorse because they said they never regretted what they did. He added those people said they would have done it again if such situations re-occurred, adding “when we knew that in the constitution, coup d’états are not accepted.”
“We all knew that in 2014, there was a coup d’état, some died, some ran away, some were arrested. If we want justice, let justice be done, because what I observed in this country is worse than George Orwell’s Animal Farm. All animals are equal, but some are more important than others.”
He added that before the creation of the Truth Commission, those people who committed these offenses which is one of the gravest offenses against the constitution, were recalled and considered as heroes.
He asked: “Are we encouraging coup d’états? Some of them stood and said they would do it again, yet they are in the system. Some who did nothing absolutely and found themselves out of the system are not considered. And in 2014 when the coup d’état was committed, most people far and beyond wrote congratulatory messages to the president, condemning these boys or these perpetrators, calling them traitors, calling them all names.”
He said these are the same people who are manning key positions in the security services when during their tenure as ambassadors under former president Yahya Jammeh, they wrote to congratulate him for foiling the attempted coup, and today, they called the coup plotters heroes.
He added: “Convicts of coup d’état…today you called them heroes and bring them to the system. And those who did nothing, are left behind (not reinstated) today”.
He said he has not been paid salary for the past 14 years, adding that he did not commit any offence while he was working for the government.
He said charges were never proffered against him and many others while they were serving the country, “but today, they don’t mind who we are,” he added.
He added: “Those who did the coup d’état and do other bad things, and who killed and who tortured are in the system, enjoying while those who did nothing in their lives are sitting (not working).”