By Bamba Mass (Human Rights Activist)
Courtesy of the freedomnews.com(Radio Interview)
Former Army Captain Saikou Jallow
has denied being part of President Yahya Jammeh’s special hit squad the (Jungulars) saying that he despised the atrocities perpetrated by this group against Gambians. While confirming that the said hit squad group did exist at the President’s palace in Banjul, and Kanilai, the army Captain sworn to the Holy Koran that he has never killed a single Gambian throughout his length of service with Gambia’s Armed Forces.
Mr. Jallow, a trained commando, had military training in Libya, and was named as the best third recruit in that training. He also served as an orderly for Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, before he was sacked from the military. He was dismissed for an unexplained reasons, but his commander Major General Massaneh Kinteh said in a letter written to Jallow that the decision to terminate his services was premised on an Executive directive—sanctioned by the commander-in-chief President Yahya Jammeh. He thanked God that he left The Gambia safely without being harmed—adding that he has sacrificed his life for his country by defending its citizens.
Mr. Jallow, who denied having ancestral ties with Nuimi, has since left The Gambia. He was born, and raised in Foni, he said. He fears for his personal safety. He said the jungulars are widely feared by the armed Forces Command, including the civil populace. Mr. Jallow said he has never associated himself with the jungulars, and would never do anything that would harm Gambians. He said he has always distanced himself from this particular group because he doesn’t want to be associated with a group notorious of maiming, and killing Gambians with impunity.
The jugulars, he said, are bunch of mean soldiers, who operate outside the Armed Forces. The group would come to the state house, fuel their vehicles, and hit the streets to execute missions assigned to them by their commander President Jammeh. Mr. Jallow said the list of jungulars reported by the Freedom Newspaper was very accurate with the exception of his name. He said the paper erroneously included his name on that list.
“ I even suspect that there is a conspiracy theory to smear my image because anyone who knows me will tell you that I have never been part of the jungulars, and I will never be part of them. I have always distanced myself from this group because I value my integrity, and credibility. The person who gave you the story is misleading you. It is a malicious report—aimed at smearing my person,” said Captain Jallow.
“Notwithstanding, I have forgiven the Freedom Newspaper, and the person who authored the story. God knows that I’m a decent person, who worked tirelessly to serve his country with humility. I have high regards for your paper. Please stick to your standards and avoid this type of reportage because I suspect that someone is trying to frame me for nothing.”
Mr. Jallow joined The Gambia Armed Forces on January 3rd 1999. He is a trained infantry soldier. He emerged as the 9th best recruit after his military training in The Gambia. He lived a positive, and productive life throughout his career in the military, he said.
Shortly after passing out from the military academy, he was posted at the State House. Back in 2002, he received bodyguard training. He also attended Libyan commando training. Jallow, and his co commandos spent eight months in Kanilai, the President’s home village after the completion of their commando training. He was then hired as an orderly, but he kept moving from Kanilai to the State House in Banjul.
Death of Daba Marena and others
Captain Jallow, was in Mauritania with the President including Daba Marena, the country’s former Intelligence Chief when the March 2006 foiled coup led by army fugitive Ndure Cham occurred. He recalled the late Daba Marena telling him that he (Marena) was happy that the coup was foiled. Marena also advised Jallow to continue to be loyal to the President, and his Government. Mr. Marena even warned him to desist from associating himself with soldiers plotting to unseat the Government. That was the last time I saw Daba, he said.
Captain Jallow denied taking part in the killing of Daba Marena, and four others. He said Daba treats him as his son, and it is outrageous for anyone to make such false accusations against him. He said one of the demised security detainees Ebou Lowe was his instructor in the army. Ebou Lowe trained me in the army, he added.
The March coup nearly cost Mr. Jallow his job. His close ties with Ebou Lowe, and Alieu Ceesay, led to his removal as orderly for the President. Alieu Ceesay, one of the executed army officers was also Jallow’s batch mate during their commando training.
Former Army Major Musa Jammeh, known as Maliamungu or chemical Ali had at the time given orders that Mr.Jallow should not be allowed “upstairs” ( the president’s office) by his colleagues to render orderly services to the Head of State. Major Jammeh suspected that Jallow could have been a possible loyalist of his fallen colleagues: Lowe, and Ceeasay, he said.
Mr. Jallow, was immediately transferred to the State House plainclothes unit without any reasons given for his abrupt redeployment. He recalls former Captain Tumbul Tamba, also a former jungular threatening him because of his close ties with Ebou Lowe. There, and then, Jallow was transferred again to Kanilai to serve as an orderly for the President. He was cleared from any possible subversive activities against the commander-in-chief.
Tumbul Tamba, Musa Jammeh, (both now deceased) and other jungulers were promoted after the March coup because of their role in torturing suspected coup suspects. Captain Jallow, wondered why he was not promoted at the time if indeed he was a jungular as suggested in the Freedom Newspaper publication. He said there is no iota of truth in the allegations. He said he knew the jungulars at the State House, but had no business to deal with them. Jallow also said that the President
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