Alhaji Boye

(JollofNews) – A Gambian man who was Monday jailed in the US for his role in the 30 December 2014 ill-fated plot to overthrow the former Gambian regime of President Yahya Jammeh has issued a defiant message saying he had no regrets for his actions.

Alhaji Boye, 46, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was given a nine-month jail term by District Judge W. Earl Britt of the Eastern District of North Carolina, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to export defence articles (firearms) from the United States to the Gambia.

He will also be subjected to a three-year probation after his release.

But in a video message posted on his Facebook page shortly after the verdict, Mr Boye said he is not frightened at the thought of spending time in prison.

“I did what I did for the love of the Gambia,” he said.

“The Gambia is my home and the freedom of my country and  people is worth going to prison for. The only thing I regret is the death of my colleagues such as Lamin Sanneh, [Alhagie] Jaja Nyass, Njaga Jagne and other victims of the Jammeh regime.”

The coup saga in the Gambia unfolded during the early hours of December 30, 2014 when a group of men belonging to the Gambia Freedom League entered the small West African nation with the expectation that others in the country would join and assist them to overthrow Mr Jammeh’s regime. But as they attempted to storm the presidential palace, they were met with heavy gunfire from security forces, squashing the coup, and killing  Lamin Sanneh, Jaja Nyass, Njaga Jagne and Dawda Bojang.

The men involved in the ill-fated coup plot

Investigations by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its partners on Joint Terrorism Task Forces in multiple field offices revealed that between August and October 2014, the men spent over US$200,000 on multiple firearms, including M4 semi-automatic rifles, night-vision goggles, body armor, ammunition, black military style uniform pants, boots, and other personal equipment which they shipped to the Gambia for use in the coup attempt.

Investigations also revealed that Mr Boye was given US$7,000 which he used to purchased two AK-47 style assault rifles, four Diamondback rifles as well as 7,000 rounds of ammunition, and 98 AK-47 magazines.

But reflecting on the outcome of the events, Mr Boye said: “I am not worried about going to prison. At least I will be able to see my family and will also be able to go to the Gambia after my time. But what about Njaga Jagne, Jaja Nyass, Lamin Sanneh and others who will never see their families again. These are the people we should be thinking about.”

Mr Boye added that him and his colleagues took up arms against Mr Jammeh’s regime to free the Gambia from tyranny and give Gambians the same freedoms they were enjoying in the west.

He said: “We never thought about ourselves. Our focus was whether we succeed or we die trying. Some of us paid the ultimate price. Yeah the turnout was not what we desired but today the Gambia is free and our families back home have regained their freedoms and can do and say whatever they want without the fear of arrest. We did our sacrifice for Gambia.”