Gambia CDS jubilates after Barrow’s swearing-in; media blacklist inauguration

Adama Barrow1

The Gambia Chief of Defence Staff, Ousman Badjie, joined thousands of citizens and some military personnel in jubilation on the streets of The Gambia when the news broke that President Adama Barrow has been sworn-in.

The Gambia President Adama Barrow was sworn in as president in Senegal on Thursday but the longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup refuses to cede power.

“People were jubilating after the swearing-in. They said they want unity, democracy, good governance so that Gambia will be free”, he Editor for the Point Newspaper in The Gambia, Ousman Kargbo told Onua FM’s Yen Nsempa on Friday hosted by Bright Asempa.

He explained that currently, The Gambian soldiers have vanished from the various check points after the inauguration and when they heard the ECOWAS troops are approaching The Gambia.

They are presently not visibly seen in town but they are also maintaining some order actually. Most of them who were positioned around the country have disappeared and most of them joined the crowd in jubilating yesterday after the swearing in,” he observed.

He noted the “the Chief of Defence Staff was also jubilating with the crowd but President Jammeh is using the republican guards headed by another strong military personnel so they are with him…as I am speaking to you they are the ones retaining him”.

The Point Editor observed that those who are with Jammeh, “are also part of the state military but Mr. Jammeh have that divide and rule tactics so that at any point in time he can use them”.

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Unfinished business

Mr. Ousman Kargbo said what the ECOWAS, UN and AU have done “is still an unfinished business because we heard President Barrow was going to come to Gambia any time but no specific day was mentioned”.

“President Jammeh is nowhere to be seen right now but we are of the believe that he is at the state house in Banjul but we are face with conundrum now because the state house is where President Barrow must come and stay and that is where President Jammeh is so it is an unfinished business”.

Media blackout

Media houses in The Gambia blacklisted the inauguration of the President, Adama Barrow, in Senegal for fear of being closed or attacked by forces of the ousted President, Jahya Jammeh.

Even though there were jubilations across the country when they heard that President Barrow has been sworn in at the Gambia’s embassy in Senegal, television and radio stations failed to telecast the event.

The Editor for the Point Newspaper observed that “I monitored national TV last night and nothing of Barrow’s swearing in was mentioned. The new information Minister appointed by President Barrow is adamant to talk because Jammeh is in power and is in control of the government media”. He said last night, nothing was said or announced on President Barrow. It was all what they want Jammeh to hear”.

Mr. Kporgba added that “President Jammeh has shut down three major radio stations so there was no coverage. The rest were afraid to cover. The print media cannot work and the whole nation was state of fear”.

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“We have only one TV station and this is controlled by the state and we have some radio stations but they have been shut down by President Jammeh and none of the print media was able to carry any report today on the swearing-in”, Mr. Kporgba observed.

The Editor said “the only paper which publishes against the opposition is working but the only newspaper the people rely on is the Point where I work and other newspaper own by the opposition but none of these papers have carried any story yet on the swearing-in”.

Business activities

Kporgba said “Adama Barrow is not operational yet so Jammeh is in charge now and right now, the whole nation has broken down. No official duties. Businesses, banks are closed and people are indoors except some of us who go out to find out what is going on”.

He said “as I am talking to you, the nation is going on without any official function”

Foreign troops

He confirmed that “foreign troops are in Gambia now and that is why after the inauguration, people jubilated but around 7pm people went indoors and as I am talking to you, people are still indoors looking for what will happen”.

He added “images I have indicates huge armoured cars in town and they are about to enter into Banjul”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|