The three soldiers who set the APRC Kanifing bureau on fire have returned home. The soldiers, whose identity cannot be disclosed now, have explained the motive of their action.

It all started in September last year when the State Guard soldiers became privy to former President Yahya Jammeh’s evil plot to steal the Gambia’s December 1st election. It was right in their presence that the Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council Yankuba Colley presented a bag full of illegally registered voters cards amounting to over 300,000 (perhaps the figure Jammeh kept complaining have not voted). Mr. Jammeh was so elated that he showered Colley packets of money. Colley, who doubles as the APRC National Mobiliser, was asked to keep the bag of voter’s cards at the Kanifing bureau until would-be Casamance voters arrived.

These guards got upset and decided to put Colley under surveillance. When it became clear that the voter’s cards were kept at the bureau, the soldiers planned to set the complex on fire. It was a carefully planned attack that involved four State Guards who wanted to sneak into the bureau, destroy the bag and melt into the air. But they changed their mind and set the building on fire. They would have stayed in the country if one of the arsonists did not drop his cell phone at the scene. It was agreed that none of them would carry a phone and wallet to avoid leaving behind any clue or lead, an agreement one of the attackers had violated.

The arsonists, who overpowered the police on duty, ran for their lives. The men remained in Senegal until Yahya Jammeh was defeated. Except one who proceeded abroad, the rest have recently returned home with their heads high up. They are proud to avert what would have been the greatest assault on Gambia’s democracy. Without their efforts, Yahya Jammeh could have cheated his way to power.

All the arsonists escaped Jammeh’s wrath. However, their colleague State Guard Corporal Tumani Jallow had lost his life for merely accepting to run an errand for one of the arsonists. The only piece of evidence found on Tumani, 26, was the text message. His family too have embarked on a long period of mourning punctuated with unanswered questions: who killed Tumani,when, how, what were his last words and why Jammeh and his heartless killers denied him decent burial.



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