By Ebrima G. Sankareh, Editor-in-Chief
To most Gambians he is a coldblooded, genocidal murderer; to some Gambians he is a rapacious rapist with a harem of concubines and over twenty children born out of wedlock, and to almost all Gambians, Ousman Sonko is evil personified, a quasi-educated high school dropout with a penchant for high life, insatiable taste for women and an unprecedented stamina to kill all political rivals no matter how trivial the circumstances. In his formative years, the simpleton’s life centred around soccer and his pals could still remember with amazement, how quiet Ousman Sonko was and like most people in the military, they too are equally perplexed at his dangerous transformation to a brutal beast that has commissioned countless atrocities like the assassination of famed journalist, Deyda Hydara, founder Editor of The Point Newspaper and the killing of his colleague, Lieutenant Almamo Manneh.
Born in Cassamance, southern Senegal, Sonko came to The Gambia as a young boy and like most people from his Jola ethnic group, he seamlessly assimilated and today, like many before and after him, he claims Gambian citizenship thanks to the mini West African nation’s open-door immigration policy, peacefulness and unparalleled hospitality which continue to serve as its moral barometer that monitors and defuses ethnic tensions which Sonko and his monstrous master, Yaya Frankenstein, himself a Gambian creation, have been systematically propagating since July 22, 1994; Gambia’s day of infamy.
In all fairness, Ousman Sonko’s only rival in Gambia’s killing fields, is his former superior and later Cabinet colleague, Captain Edward David Singhateh, now at ECOWAS, a murderer of immense individuality, whose atrocious path Samsudeen Sarr once likened to America’s notorious serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed over seventeen men and boys, probably more, and dismembered their bodies. Like the pathological Dahmer, Sonko and Singhateh are a tandem of disaster who relish killing their innocent fellow citizens. Singhateh takes a step further to say that he “enjoys killing because it’s like having orgasm!”. This from an idiot who seized power from a democratically elected government promising to fix corruption and bring about democratic pluralism, transparency, accountability and probity. Flowery words that eclipsed Banjul the very Friday afternoon they were announced on its airwaves because history has proven that their authors were a bunch of alcoholics, bandits, sex maniacs determined to murder, maim, rape and rob Gambians. For the next two decades henceforth, Gambians have lived in hell and continue to live the hellish nightmare of a totalitarian state thanks to the atavistic disposition of Captain Singhateh, Ousman Sonko and their executioners who routinely disappear their fellow citizens at the behest of Yaya Jammeh, a self-proclaimed University professor who has never matriculated to any college or university yet insists on being addressed “Professor”.
Back tracking Sonko’s activities in the pre-coup days of The Gambia National Army-GNA, where he served as a ‘signals officer’ in the Communications Department, Ousman Sonko confessed to a rape charge only after his superior officers under the Nigerian Army Training Team dragged him before a court-martial. A young girl between the ages of 12-13 (name withheld), who had regularly been assigned by her poor mother to sell hot pancakes in the Yundum military barracks walked out of Sonko’s room highly delirious and profusely bleeding from her genitalia. No sooner had she ran home and narrated her ordeal than the distraught parents rushed her to the barracks and raised a spectacle that caused profound embarrassment to the top army brass who acted quickly to bring the monster to military justice.
Once he confessed, the matter was settled using Gambia’s sometimes obnoxious traditional mediation mechanics without which, Sonko could have long been booted out of the military and probably saved us from the lethal retromingent scoundrel we now have to editorialise about.
Only a military sergeant at the time of the July 22, 1994 coup, Ousman Sonko would surprisingly enjoy a meteoric rise after he played a key role in the arrest and liquidation of over a dozen of his colleagues in the aftermath of the failed countercoup of November 11, 1994. Paradoxically, in the same military barracks where he shamelessly raped that tragic figure only a year earlier, he would be part of a team of butcher beasts that paraded his military comrades and hacked them to death in what would be the innocent nation’s first recorded extra-judicial executions, a dastardly scene reminiscent of Pol Pot’s Cambodia.
In the intervening years, his proximity to the corridors of political power was predictable for his was loyalty fuelled by a willingness to kill and disappear political enemies without reflection or introspection. First serving as State House Guard Commander, Inspector General of Police and twice, as Interior minister, enough compensation for a confessed child molester and rapist who impregnated his maid, married her briefly only to domestically abuse her and then kicked her out of the house.
According to a current Cabinet minister in the same regime who spoke to this reporter for 45 minutes last night, on strict conditions of anonymity, “former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba, may have intervened at least four times to personally use his own resources to christen some of Ousman Sonko’s numerous children born out of wedlock whom he flatly rejects, threatening their mothers with serious consequences if they were to name him as culprit.” So, these poor Gambian ladies would then call General Tamba and lodge complaints that “Oumar Kaisa”, his sexual nickname, has fathered their baby but could not be bothered.
Thus for the past 22 years, Ousman Sonko has participated in the arrest, abduction, detention, torture, disappearance, murder of Gambians and non-Gambians across the political and military spectrum. He is a remorseless human butcher with a taciturn persona that shelters his fake image with which he vehicles his taste for human blood, a peculiarity that singularly qualifies him as a candidate for any future judicial proceeding(s) against the kakistocratic regime that just sacked him last week.
For a decade now, The Gambia Echo has been cataloguing Sonko’s violent path and his blatant impunity. His high profile sacking last week, followed by his fleeing the jurisdiction is a significant development that sooner rather than later, the international community may have access to vital information regarding the disappearance of so many people among them, two Gambia-born American citizens Alhaji Ceesay and Ebrima Jobe and just two weeks ago, Ambassador Momodou Sajo Jallow who was abducted only a month after he was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister and then sacked. Ousman Sonko was also a key player in the arrest and disappearance of NIA Chief Daba Marenah, Sgt. Major Alpha Bah, Staff Sgt. Manlafi Corr, Lieutenants: Modou Alieu Ceesay and Ebou Lowe.
Ironically, the same sanctity of life that he deprived his fellow citizens in The Gambia is what Ousman Sonko now shamelessly seeks in Sweden after he runs afoul of his master whose orders he has diligently followed for two decades. But why is he running and who is he actually running away from? The same master he praised and defended for twenty years? The longest night has a day and Sonko’s actual day of reckoning is inching nearer and nearer and surely, it’s much more nearer than the eye can see.