It was 5.28 US time, when the Freedom Newspaper phone rang. A Voice Of America Radio Producer and seasoned Broadcaster James Butty enquired if the said line was the Freedom Newspaper, the paper’s Publisher Pa Nderry M’Bai replied in the affirmative. Mr.Butty, then said he was calling to verify a corruption story ran by the Freedom Newspaper, regarding the country’s Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy, which attracted a reaction from Banjul. James Butty told us that Gambia’s Information Minister Neneh Macdowl Gaye reacted to the story, which linked the VP to renovation scandal, kickbacks receiving among others.

Our position was very clear. We told the VOA Producer and Liberian born journalist that we stood by the said piece and nothing can make us believe Neneh Macdowl’s cover up moves to defend the embattled Vice President. We agreed  in principles to give our side of the story, if the VOA deems it necessary to rebuff Neneh’s lies and deception campaign to bury the truth. Mr.Butty who was swamped with other editorial matters promises to get back to us for an interview to throw more light on the VP”S corruption controversy, which is seemingly causing unrest at the State House at this hour.

As a News Medium, we research our stories before going to press and that was exactly what we did on the VP’S case. It’s unfair and hypocritical on the side of  the Information Minister to bury the truth at this hour. Information Minister Gaye dares dispute the fact that the Vice President’s Palace was not renovated. She also cannot deny the fact that the VP’S protocol officer Baboucarr Jobarteh AKA (Pui Jobarteh) was not arrested in relation to the said D14Million Dalasis renovation scandal. The facts are there to speak for itself.

After all, what is stopping  the accused Vice President to defend herself if she thinks that our story  was erroneous. A Vice President who worth her salt would have resigned or issued a statement on the spot to set the records straight. It’s imperative to note that the allegations brought against the VP “are grave and deserves a fitting reaction from her end.” Failure of which, would prompt Gambians to conclude that she have something to hide.

Neneh Macdwol Gaye is not the right person to speak for her. The woman is not credible at all. She is more of a sycophant than a truth teller. She enjoys painting positive image of the government, even if its officials were found wanting by the media. Her reaction never came as surprise to us here at Freedom. We know the type of character she is.

From now on, Gambians should be weary of this administration. Judging from Neneh Mawdowl’s reaction, she is telling us that the only thief in the Ruling APRC government is Yahya Jammeh and no one else. How many corruption stories have we published in the past and the present about President Jammeh and yet there was no reaction from Neneh. She mean to tell us that the VP is more honest than Jammeh? Why is the VP  given a special treatment, when the man who hired them had never been speared by this paper on corruption related issues? What are they trying to hide from the Gambian public? Are they trying to insult President Jammeh indirectly? That he Jammeh was the only common criminal in their mids, who steals and loot state coffers? Is Neneh Macdowl serious for real?

In other civilized countries, a Commission Of Enquiry would have been instituted to probe the VP. This government should do away with their “childish” attitude by rushing with reactions without substance. We have credible evidence that linked the Vice President with corruption and abuse of office. We are determined to defend our story at any level. The Vice President is the most corrupt public official in Jammeh government today. Beside, the renovation kickback scandal, she is also struggling with Land graping controversy case. The VP owns close to 15 properties in the Greater Banjul Area and most of these properties worth nothing less than D1Million Dalasis.

We feel sorry for Pui Jobarteh, who is being used as a”Sacrificial lamb” by the VP and her accomplices at this hour. Unless, an independent Commission is set up to investigate the Vice President’s corruption case, Gambians wouldn’t get to the bottom of the truth in this matter. The insiders we spoke to at the State House said they were privy of the deal and were ready to  testify against the VP if contacted by the relevant authorities in any future probe.

We as a nation, must be ready to fight corruption at all levels. Corruption is today considered as a “Taboo” in the Gambia. Journalists who writes about such stories are usually branded as “agents of the West” unpatriotic citizens and liars. We at the Freedom Newspaper don’t mind to be damed for reporting the truth and nothing but the truth.

Gambians should not be mistaken by thinking that this paper was created purposely to tackle President Yahya Jammeh as a person. No. The Freedom Newspaper Daily news coverage and gathering is beyond Jammeh. As a responsible press, we are duty bound to hold public officials accountable to Gambians and the Vice President is not an exception. It’s time for the private press to evaluate those surrounding Jammeh. The likes of the VP created President Jammeh. The woman is not a saint, as widely perceived by some APRC bigwigs.
For Neneh Macdowl Gaye, we say try to take care of the nation’s communication crisis than taking up someone’s fight. You have your own corruption case file in our desk at this hour, which we would relay to Gambians in due course. This paper have loyal sources at the heart of the government, who are ready to provide us with documentary and material evidence regarding the stories we published, in the event of any future litigation.

We sometimes, wonder if President wants to maintain the country’s peace and stability with the type of appointments he initiates. Imagine, the Information Minister working with her husband at the same Department of state? The two have reached a deal,which we would expose once we finished our investigations. We know about what led to the collapse of the Akatel deal. Inside GAMTEL, many staffers perceived Pa Gaye Neneh’s husband as an undercover for the Minister. Many are afraid to speak their mind at board meetings and in house office meetings.

Something is wrong somewhere at GAMTEL. It was wrong for President Jammeh to fire Omar Ndow and leave the Minister behind. In fact, Neneh should have been the first person to be fired since she had demonstrated her inability to lead our Communication Industry.

On a final note, we challenge the Vice President her new media “Griot” Neneh Macdowl Gaye to tell Gambians about the whereabouts of the missing millions at the Palace. Trying to bury the truth at this hour, wouldn’t work. A buried truth shall rise again. Here we come again with the truth and nothing but the truth. Come rain, come shine, nothing can make us doubt our story. Our piece is factual and reliable. We thank our colleague at the VOA James Butty for the interest in seeking the truth. It’s only the truth that can set us free as a nation. Lets speak the truth and avoid being economical with the truth like Neneh Macdowl Gaye. We rest our case.

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