Madi Jobarteh

(JollofNews) – Former Gambian ambassador to the US Sheikh Omar Faye gave a very unfortunate interview to Gambia Talents Radio on May 26 where he sought to sanctify himself as a saint who stood for the best interest of the Gambia.

He presented himself as a man of faith and patriotism even though he represented a regime and a president who are notorious for abuse of human rights, summary executions and plunder of national wealth with impunity. Yet Sheikh Omar said he was a good man and who served with distinction. All throughout the interview he never found it necessary to apologize when he knows that indeed the government he represented to the world was a brutal regime. Until today he has neither remorse nor guilt for representing Yaya Jammeh.

From records Mr. Faye was first appointed as Director of Information in the office of the president. He was then appointed as Minister of Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs in 2006, and remained in that post until 2007 when he was sent to Mauritania as the deputy chief of mission at the Gambian embassy there. He remained in Mauritania until 2014, when he became the Gambian ambassador in the US until 2016 when he resigned after Jammeh lost power. This indicates that Sheikh Omar has been associated with the APRC Dictatorship for more than half the life of the regime.

Sheikh Omar Faye acknowledged that the position of an ambassador is a powerful and significant position that represents not only the country but also the president directly. Sheikh Omar knows the state of affairs in the Gambia since 1994. He has the intellectual and the professional capacity and the resources to know whether APRC Government and Yaya Jammeh were governing the country in the right or wrong way. This is clear to any adult and educated observer of Sheikh Omar’s standing that the Gambia was severely misruled. There are multiple sources around the world, which are completely credible and impartial from where Sheikh Omar could know. One source is the annual human rights report of the US State Department, which always provides a detailed and credible report on the state of affairs in the Gambia.

That notwithstanding Sheikh Omar said boldly that he had no guilt and in fact praised himself as ambassador claiming that it was because of his contributions that the US embassy in the Gambia was not closed at one point. Yet Sheikh Omar refused to acknowledge that if indeed the US wanted to close its embassy in Banjul, it was because of the terrible human rights record of Yaya Jammeh. But Sheikh Omar remains proud of that government and Yaya Jammeh and praising many other fellow ministers and ambassadors all of who served to entrench dictatorship in the Gambia. Sheikh Omar is therefore telling Gambians that Yaya Jammeh was good for them. How could any Gambian say such!

Yet Sheikh Omar claims that he has always upheld the best interest of the Gambia. In an attempt to clean his record, he kept on trumpeting himself as someone who upholds sacred cultural and religious values with pride as he is from a noble and pious family. He presented himself as a righteous man seeking to bring about reconciliation and to save the Gambia from conflict. While he expressed his dislike of the summary executions and all abuses of human rights, yet he continued to serve that regime until the end.

The height of dishonesty came when Sheikh Omar claimed that it is now that he could confirm the evidence of the killings even though he did confirm the November 11 massacre and even cried over the death of Gibril Seye. But this man completely exonerated himself of any responsibility to ascertain the atrocities even though he was a state functionary. He defended his position on the basis that he was an infantry soldier and not an activist or politician. He said he does not belief in criticisms and that he did not have the time to be agitating for justice. For him that is a hobby for some people and he does not belong to that group. How sad!

How dare Sheikh Omar speak in such manner as if he is not a human being and a Gambian and a Muslim who claims to love his country and believes in Allah? Certainly Sheikh Omar is seeking to cleanse himself but he cannot. He is an integral part of the carnage unleashed on Gambians and his hands are soaked with Gambian blood.

With all his Islamic and cultural orientation, which he proudly proclaims, yet Omar Faye could not find courage and inspiration to stand up for the truth and justice but decided to join a regime, which is killing his own people. Is Omar Faye telling us that he has no conscience and sense of patriotism that he can ignore the affliction of his society only to join hands with people who are committing atrocities against his people? From the interview and from his records it is clear that Sheikh Omar would have wanted Yaya Jammeh to continue to rule the Gambia forever as he spoke well of the dictator. Sadly.

Sheikh Omar must stop beating about the bush and seeking to cleanse himself. Actions speak louder than words. His hands are soiled. He has betrayed the Gambia and his people at their most difficult moment in favour of one person who was destroying the Gambia. Sheikh Omar stayed with Yaya Jammeh until the end. He has benefited immensely from that regime at the detriment of the Gambia. If indeed he believes in Allah and upholds the sacred norms and values of his culture as he claims, Sheikh Omar must apologize to the people. He cannot make himself a saint when he was a key player in the company of devils. You cannot be with the wolves and claim to be friends of the sheep at the same time.

Let us be aware of dishonest politicians and technocrats who are now on a high-speed journey of rebranding themselves as saints and champions of the Gambia. They are claiming to have made significant contributions and pontificating about Allah and Country as if they had joined Solo Sandeng on that fateful April day. They hide behind our cultural norms with high-sounding slogans in an attempt to present themselves as respectful, committed and honest citizens. They claim self-righteousness and seek to associate themselves with every good person or every good thing about the Gambia when we all know that they supported Yaya Jammeh and APRC to unleash terror and bloodshed on Gambians. Yet they never spoke out against Yaya Jammeh. They never resigned but instead continued to jump from position to position that Yaya Jammeh throws at them without conscience.

Sheikh Omar Faye, show remorse for your undesirable record and apologize to Gambians. You betrayed your country and God. You failed your people. Because of folks like you hundreds of Gambians were tortured, raped and killed. The track record of Yaya Jammeh and APRC cannot be wiped out and you helped to build that despicable track record.

God Bless The Gambia.