Rtd. Lt. Col. Lamin Gano: Former ADC to Ex-President Jammeh describes him as a double-edged sword
Gambia: 12 June | By Yero S.Bah |
A former Aide De Camp (ADC) to ex-president Yahya Jammeh has described him as a double-edged sword, saying Jammeh reacts differently to different people and situations.
Former Lieutenant Colonel Lamin Gano was the ADC to the former president Yahya Jammeh in 2006 as he was appointed in that role six months after the Ndour Cham coup’detat, a position he served for 18 months before leaving for further duties.
“Working with Jammeh was mixed feelings for me.” He said that, he joined the Gambia Arm Forces because he was really passionate about the military so that he can defend his country, family if the need arises.
Gano believes that, the ADC position is just a ceremonial role with few key responsibilities of providing security to the president from the moment he steps out of his house until he returns, secondly, providing personal aid to the president and some form of protocol duties at times.
He explained that he served 18 months as ADC to Jammeh saying Jammeh was a very good man, kind hearted and considerate of him.
Gano disclosed that Jammeh was a perfect gentleman to him as he never experienced any humiliation or maltreatment from the former president Yahya Jammeh citing maybe the president liked him at the time whilst admitting that Jammeh was even protective and shielding him from most of the push and pulls at the state house.
“Professionally and naturally Jammeh was highly protective of me. Jammeh was shielding me from knockoffs at the state house.”
The ex- military officer said that, he has no reasons to disbelief or doubt in what is revealed about Yahya Jammeh as he described the former president as a double-edged sword, saying Jammeh was multifaceted and intelligent as he handles different situations differently. “He can be an angel here whilst something else on the other hand.”
He however noted that, whilst at the State House as ADC, “there was no single moment that he showed me his bad side throughout our stay together at the State House for a period of eighteen months.”
Meanwhile, on the Security sector reform, Mr. Gano said that he thinks those handling the reform processes are doing their best to reform the sector but argued that security reform is relative. He said the Gambia Armed Forces has no problems of lack of experience or exposure. “We can match anybody in Africa when it comes to training and exposure.”
He said the military is like a sword and it is up to the individual handling the sword to determine the usage of that sword saying the military is under the command of the political and civilian leadership.
The military is mandated to follow the civilian and political leadership of the country. He noted that, the military or the sword has no problem but the person handling the sword does or could have. “So whatever they want the military to be that is going to happen with the military. Security sector reform has a broad meaning, saying what might be a reform for one president could be totally different for another.”
He said the jungulars were directly answerable to the former president and they were just a handful of them in the entire military and that he wasn’t aware of them prior to the establishment of the TRRC. Gano charged that, 99 percent of the members of the. Gambia Armed Forces never knew anything about the jungulars including senior military personnel moreover the killing tactics were sporadic and not frequent in sequence.
The former military intelligence officer rhetorically questioned the existence of any security sector reform happening in the Gambia alleging that there is nothing concrete on the table for serious discussions to take place. “The process has been hijacked.”
On the Ecomig presence in the Gambia, he believes that it is a demotivating factor for every member of the Gambian Army. “There is nothing that the Econmig forces can handle here that the Gambian Armed Forces can’t do or handle in the country.” He refuted claims that, it is the military that aided Jammeh to overstay in power saying the entire blame squarely lies on the political elites of the Gambia because everyone wanted to become a president at the time.
Retired Lt. Col. Gano further stated that Gambian political leaders failed to unite in a coalition to get rid of Jammeh for over two decades noting it is not the role of the military to effect changes in government but rather the political elites through elections. “They have never formed credible alliances before 2016.”
He finally explained that, retired military personnel are always on standby, noting in military service you can “never say never”as one can be call to duty any time if the need arises. He argued that, the country is at peace and he saw no need for him to join the military at the moment.
Until his retirement on January 1, 2013, lieutenant colonel Lamin Gano served various positions in military such as Army PRO, ADC, cadet officer and other positions as well as serving on different peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone, DR Congo and Dafour. He holds a master’s degree in African Peace and Conflict Studies. He joined the Gambian army on January 1, 1997 and left it Januray 1, 2013 with the rank of a lieutenant colonel.