By Adama Tine
Tamsir Jasseh, a former head of The Gambia Immigration Department (GID) who was jailed for complicity in the Ndure Cham planned coup d’état has declared his intention to run for president as an independent candidate in the December 4th elections.
A ceremony introducing his presidential ambition was held at Paradise Suites Hotel on Thursday. According to Mr Jasseh’s team, he will run under the “Gambia Our Homeland” tag.
Addressing supporters, Jasseh who also served as an adviser to The Gambia Police Force, said his decision to contest is borne out of his love for the country adding that the tapestry of his life experience would be useful to the country.
“I have been to Mecca, I have been to war, and I have been to prison,” he said.
He rehashed the cliché that the 2016 election has not brought the desired systemic change in governance.
“Instead of taking off, our flight simply circled the runway because sadly the only thing that changed was the occupants of the State House. It is the same poor and corrupt leadership that is wearing a new face,” he lambasted.
He said things have worsened in some areas under the Barrow administration. “Just follow the crime reports from 2016 to date. Horrific news of murders, burglaries, armed robberies, assaults, drug trafficking…. The sobering reality is we as a nation are faced with a horrific way of living, yet the current occupants – the government – have done nothing to change our condition. Right now as we speak, the National People’s Party (President Barrow’s political party) not only has more vehicles, but better and safer vehicles than The Gambia Police Force which is tasked with carrying out the security mandate for the people. Unfortunately, the president seems to be doing a better job of serving himself,” he chided.
Jasseh said the Gambian system is so broke that hundreds of Gambians are travelling to neighboring Senegal in search of medical care that should have been readily available here.
“Our medical support system is in shambles with women dying in our hospitals during something as routine as childbirth. It is now obvious to everyone that the nightmare in which they now find themselves, is not the dream of hope they voted for in 2016,” Jasseh concluded.
Tamsir Jasseh, a native of Banjul, told the Truth, Reconciliation & Reparations Commission in January that he holds US nationality. He served in the US Navy and is a veteran of the Gulf War in 1991 and is the first Gambian adviser to The Gambia Police Force. He also served as deputy inspector general of the police force and director general of the Gambia Immigration Department. Jasseh holds an MSc degree in terrorism and homeland security, a BSc in criminal justice, and a graduate certificate in public administration.