By Yankuba Jallow
Mustapha Fanneh, 73, a survivor of Yahya Jammeh’s witch-hunt activities said former President Yahya Jammeh said he was abducted because he was a marabout who ues his means to kill people.
He said he was abducted in Kanilai (the hometown of President Jammeh) and forced to drink concoction six (6) times in a space of two days.
He said on this day, two boys came to his home with a paper bearing names of people including his. According to him, he was called to follow them to the village square. He said Solo Bojang sent the boys to go and collect his Koranic books.
“Solo Bojang said the reason he took my books was because I was a killer. Solo said Yahya Jammeh told him that I used my marabout means to kill people,” he said.
“I was transported to Kanilai at the residence of Yahya Jammeh,” he said.
He told the Commission that after drinking the concoction, he sat at a concrete floor. He added that he did not fall down. He testified that he refused to undress in front of the boy to be bathed with the concoction.
“The boy (witch-hunter) poured the ‘water’ over me because I told him he can’t see my nakedness; I was older than he was. When Solo Bojang found me sitting, he ordered for my return and they gave me the concoction for the second time. After taking the concoction, he (Solo Bojang) asked if I will remove my clothes and be bathed but when I refused, he asked me to go out,” he said.
He said while outside, Solo Bojang instructed two soldiers to point guns at his chest and back for refusing to be bathed naked for the second time. He said Solo Bojang was insulting him while the two soldiers pointed their guns on him. He said at night, he was allowed to sleep but in the morning, he drank the concoction twice again. He added when he told Solo Bojang that he was thirsty, he was taken to the room and made to drink the concoction again.
He further testified Solo Bojang called former President Jammeh who asked him to put his phone on loudspeaker so that everyone there will hear him.
The witness said he refused to speak to former President Jammeh because he was calling him “mo faalaa” in mandinka meaning “the killer”. He said Yahya Jammeh told the people listening that “I am the champion of the marabouts who kill people”. He said Yahya Jammeh instructed Solo Bojang to check his books and remove the ones he uses to kill people while those he thought were good should be returned. He said after this, he was returned to drink the concoction before he was finally released.
“I drank the concoction 6 times. 2 on the first day and 4 in the second day,” he said.
He said when he got to Sintet, he was sickto a point that he did know what was happening.
“My chest gave me a big problem. I couldn’t raise my right hand. I still have chest problem. My right ear is blocked – I can’t hear with it,” he said.
He said he goes to hospital regularly for treatment.
“Since the day I drank the concoction my farming has been paralyzed. I cannot farm now,” he said.
He said before this incident, former president Yahya Jammeh sent a marabout called “Tambajiro” who came with a group of people including soldiers and paramilitary personnel to Sintet. He said these people were going round the compounds and entering in the houses of people. He noted they were pointed their mirrors to people and were abducted. The witness said when they came to his home, “Tambajiro” came and pointed his mirror to him for some time and left without telling him anything.
“Tambajiro” told me he was looking for some witches and wizards,” he said.
He said a member of the “Tambajiro” squadron asked him to join them at the community health center. He added that he found Major Solo Bojang forcing people to inhale smoke.
“Everyone was asked to inhale the smoke even if you don’t consent to it,” he said, adding that “they have a stove and it was where the smoke was coming from. I also inhale the smoke. (Major) Solo Bojang was the one who did that to us.”