By Ousman A. Marong
Mustapha Ceesay, former Administrative Officer of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) has revealed to the Truth Commission that former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ensa Badjie widely known as Jesus, used to promote police officers based on their loyalty to former president Yahya Jammeh.
Testifying before the Commission at the Dunes Hotel via Skype from his base in USA, Ceesay informed the Commission that former IGP Ensa Badjie told them (police officers) that their promotion will be based on their loyalty to former president Yahya Jammeh.
According to him, Jesus Badjie made this pronouncement at Kanilai during one of their trips to the former president’s birthplace, where they were helping in the harvesting of the former President Jammeh’s farms.
“During the harvesting period, condoms were distributed amongst security officers. I felt offended in the sense that why would a president called us to harvest on his farm where condoms are being distributed. I went straight into the mosque and took the microphone and started preaching,” he explained.
He mentioned names such as Modou Sowe, Aziz Bojang, Ousman Cham, and Ousman Sonko, etc, were among those present during the harvesting of the former president Jammeh’s farm.
He said prior to the witch-hunt exercise, former IGP Ensa Badjie was present at the parade held at the police headquarters in Banjul.
“He (Ensa Badje) was present at the parade ground prior to the witch-hunt exercise and he made the announcement that there is going to be witch-hunting exercise and any police officer who refused to be searched will be sacked from their job. The witch-hunter was dressed in complete red. Their leader had a big mirror in the middle with small cowries surrounded all over his body,” he remarked.
He recalled seeing Solo Bojang former State House officer be in the midst of witch-hunters, accompanying them.
He alleged that the witch-hunters were using state vehicles and security officers to accompany them to carry out their duties. He further alleged that former IGP Ensa Badjie conducted the parade and informed them (the officers) that former president Jammeh had ordered witch doctors to effect search on officers, adding that whosoever was identified as witch or wizard will die or something will happen.
He said Ensa Badjie informed them that each of the security officers was supposed to swear an oath of allegiance to former president Jammeh.
He informed the Commission that Ensa Badjie told them that some officers were going to be identified and whosever failed to cooperate, will be sacked.
Ceesay said the former police chief Ensa Badjie was the one who slaughtered the cock, while the late Famara RI Jammeh slaughtered the goat.
“The witch-hunters went away, and a bottle of the concoction was buried in the premises of the police headquarters,” he asserted.
He said he was told by his colleague officers who went to Baba Jobe’s compound that the July 22nd boys were torturing old women.
“They saw them beating them and pouring water on them telling them “Atoll mou buwalleti” meaning they were witches. They were not only beating them but pouring water on them,” he disclosed.
He said when he visited his grandmother, he saw her ran at the back attempting to climb over a fence.
“I rushed to her and announced myself to her. She was trembling and she was 85 years old at this time. I was told that the neighbors were threatening her that Yahya Jammeh’s witch – hunters were coming for them. My grandmother told me she prefers to die than to take their concoction. She said she has lived her life in the most dignified way, and she has never been labeled a witch and therefore, she preferred to die than being called a witch,” Ceesay narrated.
He said he was told by an official of the Ministry of Finance that his aunty was raped multiple times by the “Green Boys” after drinking the concoction. He said the official told him that his father had a kidney problem as a result of the concoction. He said, one Sergeant Jahateh, a PIU officer was beaten severely after he attempted to defend his father from taking the concoction.
He said some of the abducted people were taken to Kanilai. Ceesay gave detailed testimony as to what he was told had happened in other communities in Foni, Kombo and Nuimi areas as a result of the invasion of Yahya Jammeh’s witch-hunting exercise.