The latest to add his voice on the state of Gambia`s national security is Mustapha Ceesay a former Sergeant of the Gambia Police Force amidst public concern on the return of high ranking military chiefs under the former APRC government from exile.
In an open letter written to President Barrow Mr. Ceesay who currently lives in the US says the “development is not only troubling, but it begs the questions of what are we really doing as a nation about our security and stability.”
Brigadier General Umpa Mendy and Brigadier General Ansumana Tamba, who fled with former President Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea, were arrested and detained at the Yundum Barrack since Sunday, 21st January 2018, around the hours of 12 noon, Foroyaa Newspaper reported.
The duo landed at the Banjul International Airport on board Moroccan Airways were allowed entry on arrival without arrest raises concerns on the country`s security and cast public doubts on state intelligence.
According to Ceesay, “there is no doubt that all these officers who were top commanders in the Gambian military are well known especially within the security community. Hence since leaving with Jammeh and been living with him in exile should have alerted those in charge of our national security to proactively include them in their lists to be monitored 24/7.”
He added that: “As a result, everything about them among the rest of on the wanted list should have been the concern of those in charge of our security and intelligence. As this seems not have been done, at least properly training officers at our points of entry in terms of identifying and raising alarms of those coming into the country cannot be excused.”
Major Lamin K. Sanyang, the public relations officer (PRO) of The Gambia Armed Force (GAF) told local papers that the arrested former Jammeh loyalists ‘pose no threat’ and added that investigations are ongoing.
But Ceesay hit out that the failure of the security layer that was supposed to identify the men at the airport ‘cannot be explained.” He questioned that how can General Tamba and the rest use the airport to return to the country only to be arrested long after they arrived in their respective homes, despite the availability of flight manifests, which is a rule of aviation protocols.
“President Barrow, remember that national security is more than the personal security of the president and his cabinet ministers.
“If this basic security test cannot be passed by your government, you might equally want to tell us Gambians how secure we are under your watch?
Recently President Barrow has told reporters that security issues raised on the return of the dissidents was exaggerated.