Gambian leader Adama Barrow
WEST AFRICA —-Authorities in the West African nation of The Gambia say seven senior members of the country’s armed forces were on dismissed over suspicion of giving information to the country’s ex-ruthless dictator.
According to reliable sources, The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) handed dismissal letters to seven of its senior members on Tuesday over suspicion that they were giving critical security and political related information to former President Yahya Jammeh who is currently in exile in Equatorial Guinea.
The discharged officers are Major Kebba Gibba, Major Karamba Jammeh, Major Alieu Sowe, Major Kebba Gibba, Major Lamin Manneh alias Gilbert), Major Gibril Jammeh, and Captain Sulayman Jammeh.
Although no formal reason is stated on the dismissal letters for their removal from active duties, one of the affected officers, Major Kebba Gibba informed Globe Afrique and other media groups the dismissals but said he could state any exact reason for why he and the other officers had been laid off from the service.
Meanwhile, an unofficial spokesman for The Gambia Armed Forces who desires anonymity to Globe Afrique that the officers had been under surveillance ensuing to a suspicion that they were passing over information to the country’s former dictator, Yahya Jammeh.
GAF intercepted multiple communications between the terminated officers and Jammeh, according to the military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The communications between the dismissed military officers and the ex-dictators have the potential of undermining the national security of The Gambia, The Gambian Army spokesman confirmed.
Reliable sources informed Globe Afrique that several military officers in the GAF are being held after they were allegedly caught using WhatsApp groups to send information to the ex-leader.
The Gambia is not the only the only African country where ex-presidents, main bloody dictators, continue to wield tremendous influences over the holdouts in subsequent administrations.In the Ivory Coast, jailed former president Laurent Gbagbo is influencing the actions of his supporters and former government officials, including some current and ex-military officers loyal to him.
In Liberia, ex-Liberian warlord and former president, Charles Taylor, continue to communicate with former and recruited surrogates using his blood diamond wealth. Most recently, Taylor openly interfered in the ongoing Liberian electoral process by allegedly supporting the candidacy of his wife and soccer star George Manneh Weah. He even made a video recording calling on his rebel supporters and affiliates to return to his agenda and mood of operation.
Several African leaders plant their loyalists in strategic positions in government as holdovers to pass on information to them, or to give them undue influence. This is especially common in Nigeria and in the Nigeria army and security forces.
Outgoing Liberian president Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with less than six months to a year of her departure from Liberia’s political scene began engineering the possibilities of appointing some loyalists into “tenure” positions and other capacities of influence. She also requested the country’s national legislature to designate certain positions for tenure.
For instances, during her retirement, the outgoing Liberian leader is expected to have influence over institutions such as the Central Bank of Liberia, the Liberia Telecommunication Commission, the Public Procurement and Concession Commission, the Office of Ombudsman as well as the Liberian designees to the secretariats of the Mano River Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) among others.