It was the darkest day in the history of my village, Sami, CRR. As soon as he arrived at the village “bantaba”, he (Captain Momodou Bojang) disrespectfully raised his foot and placed it on the village bantaba and vowed to deal with the villagers for merely supporting the UDP. He came with soldiers from the Kudang Barracks. This was sometime in 1995, the armed soldiers under the instruction of Yahya Jammeh and under direct supervision of Commissioner Captain (later Major) Momodou Bojang arrogantly and rudely oversaw the arrest and subsequent torture of some elderly villagers including the then 80-year-old, the late Alkalo Bakey Ceesay at the Janjanbureh prisons. Their only crime was because they were opposition sympathizers, something unacceptable to Jammeh and Momodou Bojang. The arrestees together with the old man were ruthlessly and sadistically tortured. Upon his release, the old man could not sustain the torture pains and humiliation meted out to him by then powerful Commissioner Momodou Bojang in front of his villagers. Few days later, he died. He was a great man. A noble man and a great hunter. He died a dignified man while Major Momodou lives peacefully in exile in Wisconsin, US and the torturers, that is, the soldiers also living in peace in Gambia.


As I sat for a special chat while on holidays from Bwiam to listen to the old man’s ordeal in the hands on soldiers and Commissioner Momodou Bojang, I saw my late dad, and for the first time, I noticed fear mixed with anger and resignation over his face. I tried to console to forget the ordeal and regain strength, but he continued to tell the me the story of the armed men, the arrest and torture of our Alkalo. I must admit that I was too naive then to have support the junta at the time. I advised him to stay out of politics entirely. I came to realize over the years these are the heroes. They know the landscape of Gambian politics more than me. As the arrests and tortures continue over the years I came to realize that there is a demon at the highest office of my country. I started to speak out when I was in Gambia.



My message to Captain or Major Momodou Bojang is to come out of his current comfort zone in Wisconsin to apologize to the villagers of Sami, CRR for his wrongdoing in beating their elders for merely exercising their political rights, especially to the late old Alkalo who died from your torture orders. We knew you were a powerful vocal commissioner who rained insults on our elders in that year. We would forgive you when you apologize. In conclusion, we look forward to seeing again in my village, this time on an apology mission.

By A Concerned Citizen of Sami