Gambia In Retrospect: Ex-Warrant Officer, Bai Lowe, Confesses to Yahya Jammeh’s Killing Conspiracy

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Bai Lowe’s confession was delirious and breath-taking; his narrative, gruesome and grisly. Listening to the former military officer, Bai Lowe, confess his role and involvement in the Yahya Jammeh killing machine, on Freedom Radio, at times felt surreal, like the mesmerizing chronicle of an outer-body experience that both numbed the soul and enraged the heart. Out of the blue, last week, an obscure former warrant officer in The Gambia’s military regime, Bai Lowe, became the object of headline news in The Gambia’s vibrant online media and blogosphere circuit. Lowe’s debut into the public square, last week, was preceded by debriefings in Dakar, Senegal, and his confessions, recorded and archived for posterity, will preface the saddest chapter of The Gambia’s most recent, but, still largely, unwritten story-book.

The ex-warrant officer, Bai Lowes’s animated, if not, guilt-ridden, tear-jerking and incriminating narrative of the true story of the Yahya Jammeh military regime was a spellbinding revelation whose time had come. And Bai Lowe’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the series of landmark events that captured the litany of murders and executions, his enumeration of the brutality and violence of the Yahya Jammeh regime, and his uncovering of the casualness and easy calm with which Yahya Jammeh so remorselessly dispatched innocent Gambians and non-Gambians to their ugly, shocking and awful deaths, left Gambias flabbergasted and utterly devastated with disbelief.

Bai Lowe’s revelations are horrendous, even nauseating and ghastly, but his sickening narrative is not entirely new; in fact, it is a mere confirmation that put in proper context the ruthlessness and savagery of Gambia’s last eighteen years history. And, not unlike every country that has suffered the indignities of political tyranny, the truth of the Yahya Jammeh mayhem will come out sooner or later, and for The Gambia, the time is right now. It is a high order of patriotism to unveil the grim realities that have swathed the Gambia’s military regime and police state in a fog enigma and mysterious ambiguity. Today, after eighteen long years of the fear and terror that has paralyzed Gambians across the political spectrum, the moment of truth is upon us. The unravelling of the Yahya Jammeh military regime has begun in earnest; the Ton Ton Macoute chambers of death hidden behind Yahya Jammeh’s fake fury, the torture dungeons that mask the silent complacency of Ousman Sonko’s demonic ambition, the unknown gravesites that underpin Isatou Njie-Saidy’s tortuous, dry smiles, the wrecked moral fibre that has brought out the worst in our fellow countrymen and women, and the devaluation of human life, which has  epitomized Gambia’s eighteen horrific years of death and dying, of murders and executions, of kidnappings and disappearances, of arrests and unlawful detentions, and of Kangaroo trials and the wholesale incarcerations of innocent citizens and non-citizens alike.

To-date, Yahya Jammeh’s regime’s panacea for the underlying crisis of political unrest, the subterranean social disquiet and the biting economic blight, like dictatorship before him, has been to resort to harsh punitive underhandedness. But, Bai Lowe is only one of many exiled Gambians with direct involvement in the Yahya Jammeh atrocities who has remorselessly crossed the line from the regime’s insanity to re-echo the horrendous transgressions that have shrouded The Gambia in a cloud of hopeless despair. The revelations of the indiscipline of the Yahya Jammeh military and security apparatus, the frightening details that typify the barbarism of the Yahya Jammeh regime, and the moments of rare truthfulness that are setting former regime operatives apart from the rest, will continue the slow drip of information until a full accounting of Yahya Jammeh’s military regime and police state’s atrocities see the sunshine of daylight. Bai Lowe’s spectacular and heart breaking testimony opened the floodgates to doom the paternal reverence and cavalier tolerance of the atrocities of the Yahya Jammeh regime. For now, we have marvelled at Jali Nyama Suso’s soulful ballads of love and betrayal, our feet twitched to the nostalgic anthems of Yusu ma Gigane, and our womenfolk aroused to dance to the melodious lyrics of Jaliba Kuyateh, but, it is now time to marvel at the horrific carols of eyewitness accounts of genocide from conscientious military and security officers who sworn to protect Gambians and uphold The Gambia’s Constitution.

Author: By Mathew K. Jallow, Madison, Wisconsin

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