Lamin Waa Juwara

(JollofNews) – The leader of Gambia’s National Democratic Action Movement (NDAM), Lamin Waa Juwara, has used an interview with JollofNews to justify his decision to serve as commissioner and minister in the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh.

“If there is any justification for my acceptance of Jammeh’s appointment, it will be the road to survival,” he told our reporter at his residence in Brikama.

“I had two options at my disposal. I either leave the country or pretend to accept the offer when I actually did not.”

Mr. Juwara said those who never lived under dictatorship can never understand the cruelty of Jammeh’s rule.

He added: “If I had turned down Jammeh’s offer and flee the country, it would still remain the same because political critics would say I ran away and abandoned the struggle to bring down the Jammeh regime.

“To me, it made sense to pretend to join him [Jammeh] when in the actual reality, I hated him and his regime. My acceptance of his appointment was an undercover one in a different form and I would have been proud to terminate Jammeh’s regime after all the inhumane wrongs he had mated on the Gambian people.”

Mr. Juwara is one of the most charismatic politicians in the Gambia. He is the only Gambian to have served as commissioner in all the country’s seven administrative regions. He has also served as an independent member of the parliament during PPP government of Sir Dawda Jawara.

Following the overthrow of the Jawara regime in July 1994, he became a vocal critic of the Jammeh regime leading to his arrest, torture and detention.

“I begin to fight Jammeh undercover, which he came to realise and sacked me and threw me in prison and my survival to that very best depended on a few prison officers,” he said.

“Interestingly, the magistrate who sentenced me was different from the two magistrates who tried me. In fact, the magistrate admitted to me that Jammeh ordered him to sentence me to three years under very strict warning of what may happen to him if he fails to execute that order.

“The Jammeh leadership went to a point that people can no longer survive under his dictatorship and the only thing they could do was to conform to his appointments just to secure survival option.”