(JollofNews)– An exiled Gambian opposition leader who nearly lost his life in a serious road traffic collision allegedly masterminded by agents of the Gambian regime in 2007, says he still face real threats to his life.
Mai Ahmed Fatty, leader of the Gambia Moral Congress party (GMC), said his decision to stand up to the ‘monstrous regime’ in the Gambia and desire to restore true democracy and the rule of law in the small West African nation has made him a thorn on the side of the regime of President Yahya Jammeh.
In July 2007, Mr Fatty was nearly killed when a trailer truck travelling in the opposite direction left its lane and rammed into his car. It took emergency services over two hours to get him out of the wreckage to the hospital where he allegedly escaped another attempt to ‘finish him up’ by agents of the regime. He sustained various injuries in the accident including broken legs and neck and had to learn to walk again, regain and build muscle strength and cervical rotation. He was evacuated out of the country a few hours after the accident to Senegal and later to a third country where he had multiple surgeries.
Writing on his party’s Facebook page, the former human rights lawyer, said his political activities has made him a target by the Gambian regime and has resulted in the unlawful arrest and detention of his parents on the orders of President Yahya Jammeh.
Mr Fatty added: “I continue to face real threats to my life on account of my political activities, my immediate family continues to be deprived of a life of comfort they deserve because my income, economic and financial resources were and are being plowed back into political activities on the ground and to support our international diplomacy. My thriving law practice stalled on the ground because I chose public service over private enterprise.”
He added that being an opposition leader has denied him a right to personal life and privacy and has also made him an object of daily hyper-critical polity that sometimes appears to make a living out of personal attacks and ascribing foul intentions to every genuine effort.
He said although he is not the only victim of the ‘monstrous regime’ in the Gambia, the effects his political activities are having on him and his family has led many of his friends and extended family members to question whether is it really worth the burden and the sacrifice.
“There is nothing to regret,” he said. “These are personal choices I made, not today but since my tender years in school. My first experience of jail, I was 16 in high school, and I went to jail because I was fighting for quality education for Gambian students even before being elected student leader.
“I was severely tortured at age 16 as a young political activities and later student union leader with constant risk of expulsion from school, even as an “A” student. I was inspired to read law, to become a lawyer so I could defend the right to dignity, freedom and opportunity and I got citizens unlawfully arrested, detained and jailed out of Jammeh’s [Yahya Jammeh] prison and NIA [National Intelligence Agency] for free. These activities predate GMC. These are my passion. Like you, I love my country and her citizens.”
The GMC leader paid tribute to his wife, describing her as ‘a supportive wife’ who shares his convictions. He also commended the many Gambians who are making daily sacrifices far exceeding his for the Gambia without any expectation of reward or recognition.
“They are my heroes and my inspiration,” he said. “Service to one’s country is the highest noble aspiration of all patriotic citizens. In return, your country owes you nothing. Rather, you owe your country your service. Service to God and country is the primary obligation of every citizen. Do not ask for or expect anything in return. If necessary, face and live the brunt of an oft unappreciating society as long as your remain true to conscience.”