My letter to Jammeh which led to my arrest was meant to contain his threats at a time when NADD had the upper hand. I had committed my life to defend NADD. My letter confirms that I have said everything that any Gambian could say and what most Gambians dared not say at the time. However, instead of throwing their weight behind the invincible force of national resistance many political figures who saw us as rivals had to try to outdo what we were doing and increasingly kept the struggle from moving forward.
No one could ever produce anything written or said by any Gambian that served more to contain Jammeh’s excesses than the open letters I wrote from the inception of the takeover up to 21st January 2017 when Jammeh left the country. This is the unalloyed truth.
Of course, Jammeh could never understand how I could form an alliance with people who are now bent on rewriting history to transform fiction into facts. Jammeh saw me as a spoiler who was bent on seeing him removed from power but would never be supported to come to office by the people I allied with.
What he did not know is that we were not allying with anyone to bring a person or party to power but to empower the people to become conscious of their might to elect and remove presidents from office.
His regime aimed to crucify such a destiny. We had to put an end to his self-perpetuating rule; not to return to Jawara’s self-perpetuating rule but to move on to system change and put an end to self-perpetuating rule for good.
Since OJ is trying to compare himself to me I have no choice but to make it clear that our political history is incomparable. In 1994 he was a Minister in a Cabinet whose members had sworn to defend the Constitution of the Republic without fear or favour, affection or ill will. His head of the Cabinet decided to leave the country without any Cabinet consultation and he a Cabinet Minister decided to surrender to an unconstitutional authority. The Unconstitutional authority suspended the Constitution he swore to defend, dissolved the Cabinet in which he was a member and dissolved the House of Representatives in which he was elected to serve. He accepted all these developments without a word.
I did not swear to defend a Constitution; I was not a member of Cabinet; I was not a member of the House of Representatives. I was in the opposition and was offered a Ministerial post at a time when takeover of power was still popular. Sankara is still an International hero. I did not accept the post but went further to call for a transition to a Constitutional and democratic order. I could have gone abroad, accumulate wealth and preach the gospel of returning the country to democratic rule to build a constituency. Instead when they imposed Decree Number 4 we challenged the Decree and defended ourselves in court. No politician of the first Republic joined us. Where is the comparison?
To be continued