How Come No One Talks About Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Y. Drammeh?

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By Ebrima G. Sankareh, Editor-in-Chief

Sometimes, one wonders whether we as Gambians are really genuine in our daily criticisms of Yaya Jammeh and his regime. For the past 22 years of Jammeh’s despotic regime, we only hear criticisms largely directed at Lieutenant General Ousman Badjie, General Saul Badjie, erstwhile IGP  Essa Jesus Badgie, Col. Modou Alieu Bah, Ousman Sonko, Captain Sana Sabally and names of others closely associated with Yaya Jammeh and his tyrannical regime. Until recently, it was only The Gambia Echo that routinely exposed the harrowing atrocities Edward David Singhateh, Yankuba Touray and Peter Singhateh perpetrated against our people. Within our own journalism fraternity, Edward Singhateh was revered as The Gambia’s sacred cow but The Echo armed with a preponderance of evidence, never, ever relented in unravelling the trio’s most foul murder of Finance Minister, Ousman Koro Ceesay. We called Singhateh “the butcher of Banjul” and the trio added to their master, Yaya Jammeh, as “Gambia’s Quadruplets of Evil.”

How come we never ever talk about or even contemplate criticising General Yankuba Drammeh, one of the longest serving senior officers of the Yaya Jammeh regime?

At the time of the July 22, 1994 coup that brought Jammeh to power, Drammeh was a Second Lieutenant and like most officers, he too was whisked away and consigned to the Mile II State Central Prisons. Like the rest, he was innocent and was subsequently released and returned to his post at The Gambia National Army.

General Drammeh would steadily rise through the ranks all the way to the top most as Chief of Defence Staff.  Like most of Gambia’s arm-chair Generals, he was subsequently sacked and a little later, employed as Deputy Head of Mission at the UN where he served for several years until he was recalled and again, redeployed to the Armed forces.

Curiously, throughout the December Presidential election, General Drammeh has been very visible with Yaya Jammeh’s presidential retinue. He was with Jammeh the entire campaign from Banjul to Basse and back to Banjul and not a single editorial or commentary ever talk about Drammeh’s visibility and or sycophancy amid the razzle-dazzle and razzmatazz of traditional music juxtaposed against the colour and pageantry of military bravado.

Question: Why is it that Gambian critics of the Yaya Jammeh regime are totally oblivious to General Drammeh’s close proximity to Babili Mercilessness? What is his secret? How is he different from the rest? How is he mentally superior to the rest? What is so spectacular and professional in General Drammeh that immunises him from close scrutiny?

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