Mr Editor, the Omar Sey story ran on freedom Radio Gambia kind of baffles me because I do not see any reason why Omar Sey would seek political asylum in Geneva. This man was just a public servant and a government Minister for that matter who had not persecuted anybody in the Gambia. For all I know, he is a highly-trained Ophthalmologist who can easily find work in some place other than the Gambia.
My concern is the veracity of the story because I wonder who will persecute Omar Sey in the Gambia to warrant him go to Geneva and ask for political asylum. Even if this was the case, what is the basis for the asylum claim? Is there any well-founded fear that the Barrow Government will persecute him and on what grounds? We must understand that this new government has not been fully established yet and so no former Minister can go to any country and claim protection based on future persecution.
Let’s look at it this way, when Jammeh came to power, he established Commissions of Enquiry to look into the assets of the former Ministers in the then Jawara administration. Although here and there, they were detained but I think all of them stayed in the Gambia and fought through thick and thin. I can confidently tell you that those Ministers were indeed persecuted at the time just because Yahya Jammeh had all sort of grudges against them for the simple reason that most of them live in the fajara area or had more than one property.
In the case of Omar Sey, I do not know if he was involved in any large scale corruption or so but that he had fear of future persecution from the Barrow Government is seriously frivolous and vexatious. That claim of asylum if true, should be thrown out because there is no basis to the claim. The Barrow government had not established any commission yet and had not intimated to any former Minister in the Jammeh administration that they will be persecuted.
Part of the story stated that he is banking on getting a job in the WHO main office in Geneva. I think Omar Sey can remain in the Gambia and still apply for a position like that without having to go to Geneva and seek for a baseless political asylum. Also, for the source to say that he was complicit to Jammeh’s HIV treatment makes no sense at all. Dr. Mbowe is still in the Gambia and he was very much involved in Jammeh’s HIV treatment. Yes, he might be in Geneva and the source might have facts but really there is no basis for asylum for him as far as the Barrow government is concerned.
Written by: Ebou Ngum – Everett Washington