Cherno Cham, former APRC national assembly member for Lower Niumi who was dismissed by ex-President Yahya Jammeh in 2011, has explained the reason that led to his sacking. 

Cham said he was illegally dismissed for speaking truth to the Jammeh regime about the purchase of old ferries from  Greece. 

“I lost my seat in Parliament because I dared to speak the truth and condemned the purchase of ferries by Jammeh,” Cham told Gambiana exclusively. 

“Jammeh went and bought those old ferries from a Greek Island at a sum of €6,345,000 ($ 8.7 million). 

“And when I challanged this in Parliament, I was illegally dismissed as a national assembly member. He fired me and seized my gratuity,” he added.

The Jammeh government bought two ferries – Kansana and Aljamdu – in 2011 to coincide with the 17th anniversary of July 22nd revolution. 

However, the ferries were never put into commercial service in The Gambia because they were unseaworthy. 

“I was vigilant to speak the truth and some accused me of siding with the opposition. But I thought I swore to the Quran without fear or favour, affection or ill will,” Cham said. 

The former APRC lawmaker said President Barrow is following the same governance style of his predecessor. 

“For me, the current national assembly is a replica of Jammeh regime. Is like putting old wine in a new bottle, the smell will still remain,” he said. 

“The parliament during Barrow’s time couldn’t even attempt to approve the draft constitution but decided to put it off. 

“Now they are talking of bringing the draft constitution back. For me I feel all these years like Yahya Jammeh was running this country,” Cham added. 

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

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