Alagi Yorro Jallow

(JollofNews) – Gambians who experienced the horrors, the realities and the struggles of our people to regain our freedom and democratic institutions during Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorship are morally obliged to tell the truths to expose the saddest and scariest human rights and economic crimes of his regime.

Nothing can change history. Nothing can change the truth. Yahya Jammeh is no hero. He is not a great man, not a human man. He is a machine; a money machine; stripped by his overwhelming passion of greed of every quality which makes a man unworthy of a citizen. He has not made good. He cannot make good. It is not him. He has nothing the aspiring world needs.

On the contrary, that for which he does stand is a menace, to our free development not only or chiefly, our free

Ex-President Yahya Jammeh

development in human rights, but vastly more important, our free development in citizenship and morals.

There is no darker period in our recent history than the dictatorship era of Yahya Jammeh. There is hardly any Gambian family that was left untouched by death and grief during the Yahya’s dictatorship. To this day, we carry with us stories of men killed in incommunicado, women raped in detention centers, and children left orphaned by countless human rights violations across the country and all throughout the tenure of Yahya Jammeh.

Today, the man who set the wheels of dictatorship in motion is in exile in Equatorial Guinea as a farmer. This is a man who buried us in debt and left us mourning our dead as he stole from the country’s coffers and pillaged our nation for more than 20 years.

Our history is replete with stories of how dictatorship has changed the lives of our people. To deny that these atrocities happened and to forget the suffering it has caused is to betray our history as people who fought for freedom from the dark days of dictatorship. Yahya Jammeh is inconsolable and unforgivable.

To be continued.

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

The author is founder and former managing editor of The Independent, the Gambia’s only private newspaper before it was banned by the government in 2005. He was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, a 2007 Nieman fellow and is the author of Delayed Democracy: How Press Freedom Collapsed in Gambia published in 2013.