EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Five years after an attack on Gambia’s presidency in a foiled coup attempt to depose former president Yahya Jammeh, Gambians still remember the day the sounds of heavy artilleries in Banjul which gripped the country into fear.
On December 30th, 2014, gunmen recruited by the plotters attacked the country’s State House in an attempt to remove Mr Jammeh from power who, himself came to power through a coup d’ etat.
But the Deputy spokesperson of Mr Jammeh’s former ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction –APRC- party Dodou Jah maintains that the act of military means to takeover power will remain illegal.
This was among several coup attempts that Mr Jammeh survived. On his return from an overseas trip following the attack, Mr Jammeh snubbed it as being an attempted coup, saying it was a terrorist act led by disgruntled dissidents in the UK, US and other countries.
Many Gambians both home and abroad, including politicians and the current Army chief had criticised the 2014 attempted coup, calling it unlawful. President Barrow was also blamed for not taking step in prosecution the coupist.
Mr Jah differed the claims of many people in positioning of the December attack as an exceptional case, saying many people who still condemn coup d’états have taken the 30th December attack as an exception.
“The way they were welcomed into the country and the way they were received made the attack an exception of illegality to the extent of even appointing Alagie Barrow as head of research and investigations at the TRRC, which many Gambians criticised but that was still ignored,” he said.
Mr Jah said what was wrong yesterday, cannot be right today, maintaining that the heroic welcome given to the coupist when they arrived in The Gambia means coup d’état is illegal but at that point it was accepted.
He said some people even justified the attack saying that there was a government in power that was supposed to go out. “But a wrong can never justify a wrong,” he insisted.
According to him, coup d’état is illegal no matter where it happen, saying it is something that people should condemn and it cannot be justified no matter what happened. “So, I feel disappointed on that angle that there are people who stand and said coup d’état can take place.”
On whether the party is responsible for the loss of lives as a result of the incident, Mr Jah admitted that no government can escape full responsibility of happening under its tenure, whether its agrees or not.
Story written by Juldeh Njie