By Kebba Jeffang and Saikou Nyassi
The ceremony was held on Friday by the Gambia Press Union (GPU) at the GPI.
Journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh disappeared since 2006 after the AU Summit held in Banjul and there have been contradictory reports from top officials including the president about his whereabouts.
The old man, Sarjo Manneh told the audience that he has experienced the worst trauma and sleepless nights in the past 9 years because he missed a valuable son that is irreplaceable. He said he is very sad but the worst part of it is how he can disappear without knowing what he did. He said there is even no allegation of any crime against him. He said lack of a way out and extreme poverty has deterred him from making certain efforts.
“In my efforts to search for him even in the early days, I sent Lamin Manneh, one of my sons, an ex soldier, to the Daily Observer offices. The late Sarja Taal as the then Managing Director of the company sent him out. I went there myself and he asked me to give him 3 days. Upon my return, he told me that my son went out with Harry Sambou, the then head of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and his people. I went to Harry Sambou but I could not see him until my fourth trip at his office. He also told me that they have no witness on the issue and he referred me to meet Mr Ousman Sonko, the interior minister. When I approached Mr Sonko he checked in his detention register but did not see my son’s name,” said the distraught father.
He said he promised them that whoever knows something about his son’s disappearance he or she will never see peace in life.
While bidding farewell, he said, “Today I will go home in peace, I am relieved by the immense solidarity.”
Chief Manneh’s mother said,
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for organising this gathering. To be very candid I always feel uneasy and find it difficult at all times even to talk about my son, Chief Ebrima Manneh, since he was taken away from us nine good years ago.
But today this gathering has somewhat relieved some of my tears and emotions.
Ebrima left for work and never returned nine years ago. We were told he was arrested in the office where he works in broad daylight nine years ago and up till today there is nothing we have not done to know his whereabouts. What has happened has happened, we cannot do anything, but Allah knows. Allah knows what to do with those responsible for his arrest and disappearance, for He is the Creator of all humankind.
I wish to thank the GPU for all efforts you have been rendering to us the family of Chief Manneh. Since the incident took place you are at all times visiting the family and have helped a great deal in the sustenance of the family, of which we are very grateful. And not only that, you have been assisting in the education of Chief Manneh’s children. We really appreciate your efforts.
Thanks to all of you.