Commemoration of the 13 years of the assassination of Deyda Hydara

Friday, December 15, 2017

The striking testimony of Nian sarang Jobe, victim during the fatal day Deyda was assassinated

Thirteen years after the assassination of Deyda Hydara, co-founder of the newspaper that you hold in your hands and also a year after Yaya Jammeh’s departure, the lines are moving, tongues are loosening in The Gambia. Niansarang Jobe, layout editor at The Point, witness and victim of the drama of December 16, 2004, where Deyda Hydara lost his life, speaks out of her silence. This, by the favour of political alternation; she tells The Point about this day when she was closed to death and where her fate almost rocked.

Miss. Jobe arrived in a hurry in this morning of December in her office at the daily paper, The Point. The perfect bet, the glasses well adjusted, the tone put, speaking in a Gambian Wolof impeccable. Sarang Jobe, layout editor at The Point, is one of the survivors of the murder of The Point’s co-founder in The Gambia, Deyda Hydara. The second witness who was in the vehicle, Ida Jagne went into exile in the United States after her first aid in the country. Nian, as her colleagues affectionately call her, has not forgotten anything about this fateful date. She began to narrate her testimony by giving the details of the tragedy, “the accident took place around 22:00 p.m. at Sankung Sillah Road at Kanifing.” She continues, after the celebration of the anniversary, and editing the newspaper for the next day, she and her colleague Ida Jagne were being transported home by their former employer, late Deyda in his vehicle. She was sitting right behind the late Deyda. Unfortunately, they were attacked and shot by unknown assailants in a moving taxi. “The fatal killed Hydara, dead on the spot,” says Ms. Jobe.

According to her, when the unknown fired at Mr. Hydara, his vehicle continued to roll into a gutter, along the Sunkung Sillah Road. They were in a taxi, behind them with dazzling lights, trying to catch up with the vehicle, and it was after the slowdown that they started shooting at them, she says.

She could not come out of the car because she was injured on the left knee. She escaped death. She was admitted at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital for one week and later she was transferred to the Dakar Hospital Principal, where the bullet was extracted. She underwent treatment in Dakar for about 8 months.

Thirteen years later, this miraculous woman still lives the aftermath of these physical and mental wounds. Our conversation was interrupted by emotion and tremolos in the voice. She says she still lives with this trauma and fear. In the past, she was afraid to reveal her identity to the public.

In 2009, during the trial of the six journalists for the publication of a message by The Gambia Press Union on the anniversary of the death of Deyda Hydara, she was afraid and had to stop working for sometime because she feels her life was in danger as former President Jammeh always used to say that it’s because of the absence of witnesses that’s why his government can’t shed light on this issue or start the court case.

During the dictatorship, even being in the country, this forty-year-old dared not say a word. Today, she says she is grateful to Allah for saving her life, she has recovered and walk again despite still living with the trauma and pain on her knee. She also prayed for the soul of Deyda Hydara to continue to rest in perfect peace and also demand for justice”

She demands justice from the new authorities and for culprits to brought to justice.

A year after the political alternation, there is a kind of lead screed on the record of this famous journalist, former correspondent of AFP in Banjul. The folder has not been restarted yet. The only novelty is the decision of the ECOWAS Court recommending the Gambian state to compensate the Hydara family.

Author: Amadou Barry
Source: Picture: Nian Sarang Jobe