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GAMBIA: PRESIDENT JAMMEH WAS IN TEARS WISHING FOR HER MOTHER’S REMAINS TO BE REPATRIATED TO THE GAMBIA

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President Adama Barrow said during a visit to State House by former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh’s family that Senegalese President Macky Sall told him that Jammeh was sobbing and afraid when he phoned to have his mother’s remains returned from Equatorial Guinea.
President Barrow recalled his attempts to create unity and respect for prior presidents, using the death of Jammeh’s mother as an example. Jammeh was attending a seminar in Togo at the time of her death, and since there were few Muslims in the area, he was worried. The president of Equatorial Guinea (his host) attended the Togo summit as well.

“I made considerable efforts to foster unity and ensure that former presidents were accorded the respect they deserved,” Barrow said in Mandinka. When Jammeh’s mother died, I was in Togo, far from the scene of her death, where there were few Muslims. His host, Equatorial Guinea’s president, was also present during our encounter. Jammeh phoned to notify him of his mother’s death, explaining the circumstances and expressing his wish for his mother’s remains to be sent to Gambia.”

According to President Barrow, finding someone in Equatorial Guinea to treat the deceased’s remains in line with Islamic traditions proved difficult.
“Jammeh contacted the president of Equatorial Guinea, who in turn enlisted the assistance of some Malian businessmen he knew were Muslims to mobilize to take care of the remains.” He did not directly inform me, but he [President of Equatorial Guinea] informed other presidents about the situation, including President Issoufou, the chairman of ECOWAS at the time, Nana Akufo of Ghana, and Alassane Ouattara, urging them to speak with me about repatriating Jammeh’s mother’s remains to the Gambia for burial. Instead of coming to me as a delegation, one of them proposed that Macky Sall, my brother who was there at the conference, come to me,” Barrow continued.

“Macky informed me that President Jammeh’s mother had died, and that President Jammeh was terrified and in tears, pleading for her body to be returned to the Gambia.” I replied by asking him what he planned to do. He informed me that if I left it to him, he would let the remnants return. I assured him I would do the same, stressing that his mother had done nothing wrong and that my choice to return her remains was simple. It was a simple choice for me. Has President Jammeh considered living in exile with his mother? Who would have thought of that? Only I, President Barrow, could fix this situation on that day, and I did,” President Barrow remarked.
President Adama Barrow also said that the government had seized all of General Saul Badjie’s possessions, including the home where his mother now lives. He did, however, tell the audience that the old lady would not be evicted under his administration.

“All of General Badjie’s properties, including the one where his mother is staying, have been seized.” I’ve said unequivocally that she will not be evicted while I’m in office. The same concept applies to President Jammeh’s Kanilai property; his people will not be expelled as long as I am president,” he said.

Former President Yahya Jammeh’s family thanked President Adama Barrow during their visit to the State House, after President Barrow’s visit to the Jammeh family in Kanilai before to the 2021 presidential election. President Barrow stated that his travel to Kanilai was not originally planned, but he believed it was necessary to pay a visit to the Jammeh family, noting, “There was a lot of commotion when I went there, and people had plenty to say.” But I have a guiding philosophy; I have no beef with Jammeh. This isn’t my family’s compound, nor is it Jammeh or Barrow Kunda; it’s Gambia Kunda. God ended Jammeh’s presidency, not me. I may not have the power to remove him from office.”
President Barrow regarded Jammeh as one of West Africa’s most powerful leaders, which remains true today. Even today, when he visits to other countries, people tell him how strong Jammeh was. He is still apprehensive about boarding any of Jammeh’s huge trucks.

Barrow said that Jammeh has departed, but his influence remains. He said that whomever God has chosen to be president is excellent and that they are in that position for a reason. The president is a temporary position.

Barrow said that not everyone would like a president, which is true. That is why he gives Jammeh the same respect as the former president, and he gives Jawara the same respect. He said that he also wants to be given the same respect when he leaves office.

Barrow said that there are four to five former presidents in Nigeria today, and that is a good example. He said that no matter how small a president is, the person is still powerful. For a president to be comfortable and accept to leave power in peace when they see the example in Nigeria, it makes them not be scared. It is not about money.

Despite removing Jammeh from power, Barrow said that he realized Jammeh was not prepared for it. He said that Jammeh was not prepared for anyone to remove him, especially President Barrow. “He was not prepared for it, but today, if you asked Jammeh who his president is, he would say President Barrow.”

President Barrow made these remarks at the State House on Sunday when former president Yahya Jammeh’s family visited him.

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