Highly placed sources close to the organizers of the event said part of the town hall meeting includes an award presentation to some foreign nationals, who stood by the Gambia and her oppressed people during Jammeh’s twenty-two years long dictatorship. The awards, said our sources, will serve as a sign of gratitude and appreciation from Gambians including the Barrow leadership to the recipients for their role in raising awareness about the former tyrannical Jammeh regime.
The following people have been shortlisted for the upcoming award:
Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an American citizen, veteran civil rights activist, Baptist Minister, and also a politician. Mr. Jackson facilitated the release of Tamsir Jasseh, and Amadou Scattered Janneh, both of whom were jailed during Jammeh’s rule on treason related charges.
The respected American rights activist flew to the West African nation of the Gambia, in 2013, to lobby for the release of the two Gambian American nationals Jasseh and Janneh, who were imprisoned by the Jammeh regime. He successfully lobbied for their release from prison custody. Both Jasseh and Janneh were expelled from the Gambia, and had to fly with Jackson back to the United States.
Adeola Fayehun is a Nigerian journalist based in the United States. She is engaged in online television and media advocacy to expose corrupt politicians, including countries ruled by despots. She attracts a huge following online. Her surging show is dubbed as: “ KEEPING IT REAL WITH ADEOLA.”
Adeola’s show has not only rattled the former Gambian dictator’s cage, it also helped to expose the situation of bad governance in the Gambia.
Thanks to Adeola, Jammeh’s buffoonery and self-mystification was brought to the forefront of the world. Her Nigerian audience began to understand the true character of Jammeh, who was using stolen Gambian taxpayers money to pay for publicity stunt.
Nigerian artists, movie stars, actors, actresses from Nolly-Wood were Jammeh’s buddies. Adeola uses her medium to name and shame the phony characters.
Baba Aidara is a Senegalese journalist based in the United States. Mr. Hydara is the owner of the online media—Hello Gambia, now called Banjul Focus. Mr. Hydara launched the online site purposely to compliment the efforts of the exiting Gambian news sites to expose the Jammeh dictatorship. He also runs an online radio parallel to his online medium.
Mr. Aidara had devoted a significant amount of time, and resources to expose the human rights crisis that was taking place in the Gambia under Jammeh’s rule. Many even mistook him to be a Gambian, but he is a Senegalese.
Mr. Aidara visited the Gambia as soon as Jammeh was defeated by President Adama Barrow in the past elections. He interacted with the locals and met a number of people who took part in Gambia’s decade long democratic liberation struggle.
Jeffery Smith is an American citizen and human rights defender. Our sources couldn’t authoritatively confirm if Mr. Smith’s name made it to the shortlisted awardees. Amadou Scattered Janneh recently made a posting on Facebook proposing that Jefferey Smith deserves a National Award.
Mr. Smith was the face of the Gambian struggle at some point in Washington DC. He played a pivotal role in raising awareness among policymakers in DC about the situation of human rights and governance in the Gambia during Jammeh’s rule.
He lost his job at the Kennedy Foundation Center, following repeated complaints against by the supporters of the former dictator, accusing him of meddling into Gambia’s internal politics. He later opened an organization called Vanguard Africa.
There are other people shortlisted for the upcoming award ceremony to be officiated by president Barrow. We will keep you posted with developments.
Written By A Staff Writer