By Omar Bah
The Spokesperson of the Gambia Government Ebrima Sankareh has described as false reports that former President Yahya Jammeh is returning to the country from his exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Over the last few weeks, rumours mostly from supporters of APRC have been making the rounds that Jammeh is coming home on 23 November.
“I am aware of people buying T-shirts for political activities to welcome former President Jammeh. But I want to say that the report of him coming to the country is all false.
President Jammeh is not coming into this country. If he were to come, the government of The Gambia will duly notify the people,” Sankareh said on West Radio Coffee Time.
Sankareh said the circumstances under which former President Jammeh left The Gambia were unusual and involved so many players including the international community.
“So many documents were signed, agreements and negotiations were made by diplomats in Banjul and various West African countries and the United Nations was also involved and subsequently he had to leave and resettle in Equatorial Guinea,” he noted.
Sankareh also took the opportunity to dispel allegations that the rebels in Casamance were helping Jammeh’s junglers to commit crimes against Gambians.
There were allegations that Jammeh’s Junglers were working with Casamance rebels but the rebels themselves have refuted this. “In fact, two weeks ago the Casamance rebels made a declaration that they were not part of these extra-judicial executions meted out against Gambians.
“They made it very clear that they never worked with the junglers and even detested the brutality and gruesomeness of these junglers.”
Meanwhile, the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, APRC, Spokesperson Dodou Jah has clarified in a Standard exclusive that the T-shirts are part of preparations for the party’s upcoming mega rally later this month.
“I think the government should do their findings before they respond to social media reports that they have no clue about. The T-shirts we are printing with the theme: “Homecoming of Babili Mansa” is initiated by the APRC executive for our 23rd November political rally. But we are not saying President Jammeh is coming back. That is not our intention. That is not the message we want to put across. That should be made very clear. It is just the theme of the rally we are about to organise on 23rd November to discuss about issues regarding him coming to the country because we believe he has to come back one day,” he noted.
He continued: “There is no communication from the party that Jammeh is coming back in November, before or after that. That has never come from us as a party. As a government spokesperson he is expected to be the mouthpiece of government and should not just go to the media to talk about issues he knows nothing about”.
Jah said the November 23rd rally will be the last rally the party will hold as they want to shift to other means to grow the party.
“So because people are asking many questions about Jammeh’s comeback, we deem it necessary to print these T-shirts and we also want to discuss about the issue during the rally. As I said we are advocating for him to come back because it is our belief that as a Gambian, he has to come back,” he concluded.