Former National Assembly Member and Minister for Information Seedy SK Njie, who was the mouthpiece of Gambia’s demoralized dictator Yahya Jammeh in the last days of his unceremonious exit has given his reasons for returning to The Gambia.
Njie told the pro-opposition newspaper, the Daily Observer that he is a Gambian and he has the right to move freely within and outside the country.
He fled to exile with Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea after West African troops forced him out of the country.
Under President Jammeh’s APRC regime, the government imposed restrictions on foreign travel by many persons released from detention, often because authorities confiscated their travel documents temporarily at the time of their arrest or soon afterwards, most of whom are political opponents.
Jammeh has accused Western governments of supporting the opposition and was fearful of the many fundraising campaigns that were often carried out by dissidents and attended by opposition leaders to sponsor anti-government programs.
Freedom of movement is also impaired by security checkpoints that were scattered across the country.
As a rule, the government required all its employees to obtain permission from the Office of the President before traveling abroad.
In October 2014 the president signed an amendment to the criminal code that criminalizes the act of absconding while performing government duties abroad.
Those that travel on government programs and refuse to return amid the repression in the country could be fined of D500,000 ($12,500) and imprisonment for five years.
APRC-backed lawmakers like Njie ignored the human rights abuses in the country and turned a blind eye to the constitutional violation by Jammeh and his associates. To them, no other person had rights but APRC members who are in the good books of Jammeh.
It is all a new Gambia indeed if those like Seedy Njie who ignored the constitution and the abuse of the rights of Gambians suddenly want to use the constitution to protect their rights – the very one they partnered with Jammeh to deny Gambians.