Sidia Bayo says Jammeh not Gambia’s priority

Thursday, December 07, 2017

The former Gambian-French political dissident has argued that bringing Yahya Jammeh to face justice for crimes committed is not a priority for The Gambia.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with this reporter over the weekend, Mr. Sidia Bayo said the country should rather focus on building pillars of reconciliation for the population before going after Jammeh.

“Right now, I think bringing Jammeh here to face justice can be dangerous. Jammeh could be our priority but at the same time he is not our priority. We have to build the foundations of our national reconciliation first,” Mr. Bayo said, arguing that this would be a good step towards building a Gambia everyone wants for the future generation.

Mr. Bayo, who at one point was one of the most wanted dissidents by the Jammeh regime, said what the new government badly need are “Gambians who will come and join hands with them to help fulfil the promises made to the voters when they took over.”

The transition Gambia currently faces is very sensitive, said Mr. Bayo. “We have to be careful; we have to advice each other and exercise patient. What we were fighting for has been obtained; the next thing is to build the nation.”

Mr. Bayo also brought a group of investors - in the areas of energy, social housing, and defense - to collaborate in national development efforts of the country. According to Bayo, the army is even important considering it is a matter of national security.

“We faced a military regime. Now we need to focus on giving the military assurance and guarantee that we will continue to create the environment for them to continue taking care of their families and other welfare needs,” he said.

Despite what he was fighting for under Jammeh, Bayo said his political interests have all been suspended for now in order to work closely with the current administration.

“Personally, I appreciate what the Barrow administration is doing by establishing a commission of inquiry to know who did what. Afterwards, that could serve as grounds for the future trials of Yahya Jammeh,” Bayo argued.

“But we don’t have to rush it. It is important to first put in place the pillars of reconciliation,” he added.

Author: Sanna Camara
Source: Picture:Mr. Sidia Bayo & Yahya Jammeh