#Article (Archive)

Where is Chief Manneh?

Jul 2, 2013, 10:16 AM

It is nearly seven years since Chief Ebrima Manneh disappeared into thin air on 6th July 2006. Since then, several theories have been advanced for his disappearance.

Some say he was picked up by state security agents. But the state counters that they do not know his whereabouts.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) stepped into the matter by taking the Gambia government to the ECOWAS court in Abuja, Nigeria.

After several adjournments and the failure of the Gambian government and its officials to respond to subpoenas, the court finally ruled that the Gambia government should produce Chief Ebrima Manneh.

Even then, there is still inaction on the part of the state.

This has fuelled speculation as to whether Chief Ebrima Manneh is still alive? But we want to be less pessimistic, and to be more optimistic.

We secretly hope that Chief is somewhere taking in all that is happening, and that one day fate will surprise us by bringing him out on the streets of Banjul again.

It is this hope that has led us to revisit the Chief Ebrima Manneh case.

He is not only a journalist, but he is also a bona fide citizen of The Gambia. It is, therefore, incumbent on the state to use all the resources at its disposal to find him, and put to rest speculation that the young man has gone to the great beyond.

We believe that all the steps taken, and calls for Chief Manneh to be produced, are in the national interest. We believe that the legislative body being the National Assembly, which is composed of the representatives of the people, should be in the forefront of speaking out against acts such as disappearances or murders of citizens of this country.

It is our view that the National Assembly owes it to the people of The Gambia to initiate a debate on the disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh and the murder of Deyda Hydara.

That will be a way of taking the cases to the national level where they will get the sort of attention they deserve. When citizens disappear inexplicably, or get murdered in cold blood, then nobody is safe.

If it can happen to Chief Manneh and Deyda Hydara, then it can also happen to anyone of us.

Fighting for Chief Manneh is no longer just a media affair; it is a national matter because he is a citizen of this country who has disappeared in mysterious circumstances, for six years now.

We shall continue to ask about Chief Manneh’s whereabouts until we are told where he is - alive or dead.

The Gambian people, the media fraternity, family of Chief Manneh and the international community needs a convincing explanation about the whereabouts of our missing colleague, in the interest of the public’s right to know.

“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.”

Abraham Lincoln