EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: One of the eldest persons in the West Coast Region village of Jambur has told the TRRC at its Wednesday public hearing on Gambia’s exiled former President Yahya Jammeh’s 2009 witch-hunting exercise that he still holds anger for being treated badly by witch doctors.
Momodou Kah Bojang said he was in a shop when the dreadful witch-hunters came and handcuffed him before forcing him to swallow a concoction.
The exiled ex-president used to mixed herbs to produce the substance which he forcefully administer on people he suspected as either witches or wizards in different communities across the country.
Mr. Bojang pointed out that the witch- hunters who were dressed in military gears said they were ordered by Mr. Jammeh to carry him for treatment.
Although, he said he had insisted not going because he was not sick, but Mr. Bojang recalled that the men in uniform did not entertain any of his excuses. “I drank the content of the cup and I gave him back the cup. He asked me to take off my shirt and he poured water on my head and I went and sat near the other people who also drank the concoction,” he explained.
Mr. Bojang’s testimony came in the first week of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission public hearing outside of its usual venues at the Dunes Hotel.
The 2009 exercise got him drank the witch-hunt medicine which led him to be frequently using the restroom. “From the moment I drank that medicine, my first problem was urinating. The second one was I don’t know what was happening. I don’t know where I was or what was happening in my environment. It was only Allah who helped not to urinate on my trouser.”
As a result of his experience in the hands of the human rights attackers, Mr. Bojang said he inherited some nick names from his own community including the name Alhagie Kololi, meaning guest in Kololi, which he got from the place where he had been kept for the so called treatment.
He explained that he is not angry by the name but events leading to the names are issues he will never be happy about. “I swear, until this time I am angry. I am angry because something had happened to me that shouldn’t have happened. Since colonial days, I have been driving in Banjul but I never heard something like this. Taking people forcefully for treatment,” he stated.
In his testimony, he mentioned two names of a list of ten who he said died as a result of the treatment under the then president.
For Mr. Bojang, the witch-hunt incidents are historical events that would never be forgotten, and must not ever be repeated in The Gambia.
Story written by Juldeh Njie