By Ousman Leigh & Sulayman Waan
Information reaching Gambian Talents TV has it that on Tuesday 15th October 2019, One Ndey Fatou Jammeh, a Gambian based in Seattle Washington in the United States of America (USA) was allegedly assaulted by Mr. Aziz Francis Mendy, an official of Brussels Airline at the Banjul International Airport.
Speaking to this medium in an interview, Mrs. Jammeh, who was supposed to travel back to the U.S with Brussels Airline, explained that she was talking to one (Mr. Secka) who works for the same airline at the Airport concerning her luggage. According to her, it was in the middle of her conversation with Mr. Secka that Mr. Mendy came in and interfered. “He asked me to sit down or else he will seize my passport and offload my luggage from the plane. I asked him, who was going to seize my documents? And he (Francis Mendy) replied to me. Don’t you known me? After that he just pushed and slapped me and my nose started bleeding,” she explained anxiously.
Madam Jammeh unveiled that despite the urgent need for her to return to US, she has decided to cancel her trip and pursue the matter until justice prevails, adding she will not relent in any way because if she does not take action against the alleged perpetrator, he will continue to assault others. “I want to make sure he is fired,” she echoed.
On a separate note, Mrs Jammeh expressed disappointment with Honorable Halifa Sallah, the Secretary General of PDOIS and National Assembly member for Serekunda West for only telling her to calm down and walking away without calling the police.”
“I’m also very disappointed with Hon Halifa Sillah as a parliamentary member and leader of a political party he found me bleeding at the office at the airport, he asked and I explained everything.”
He asked me to forgive and take my flight. I say no because if I do that this Aziz will do it again and again because when I entered there I found him fighting with a guy who later told me that he is used to fighting with costumers. Hon Sallah left without contacting the police and if that was his own child would behave like that (SIC)?
Mrs. Sowe added that “I want to see that this man loses his job. He will never do this to anyone else. He is not fit for the job,” she echoed.
According to her, some police officers saw her bleeding at the airport and did not do anything about it. “When we went to the station, one of them confirmed seeing me but said he thought I was crying because I had a funeral.”
According to the Seattle resident, she had to call her brother who is the head of the NIA in Kartong who also had to call other top officials in the police and drove down to the scene to get Aziz arrested. “My brother Ousman Jammeh Project Manager and Mamberam cousin head of NIA Kartong are on the case,” she further revealed.”
Meanwhile, ASP Lamin Njie, Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Police Forces has told this medium that he didn’t get any information concerning this matter but vowed to find out from colleagues and get back to us.
For his part, Aziz Francis Mendy, station officer of Brussels Airline-Gambia chapter said the airline company does not mandate him to speak to the media on any official matter. However, he promised to share the contacts of the communication department of the airline with this medium by Monday, 21st October for any enquiry. No such information was received up till the time of going to press.
HALIFA SALLAH RESPONDS TO GAMBIA TALENT
Pitting A Traumatised Woman Against A National Political Leader
I find it amasing that Gambia Talent would include my name in a story that is now a police matter even though no one told them that I witnessed an alleged crime scene. Now they want me to try to prove that the story of a traumatized woman is wrong and thus increase her pain and turn her into my rival when I have never recalled meeting her in my life. Journalism calls for reports done in good faith in the public interest. There is neither truth nor good faith in the publication by Gambia Talent. Public interest is served when a public figure is held accountable for doing or failing to do what would amount to dereliction of duty.
What then is the truth. I was scheduled to travel by Brussels Airlines to Hamburg at the invitation of the PDOIS European Branch, on 16th October 2019. Gambia Talent mentioned 15th October. We ran into a traffic jam and diverted to take the route to Sukuta only to suffer the same fate. I was almost late for boarding. I had luggage and the counter could not act to check it in until management gives authority. I was told to see Mr Secka. I went up and found a woman screaming at the top of her voice that she was assaulted by the manager. Instead of ignoring her and concentrate on my dilemma of having my luggage checked in before I missed the flight, I stopped to speak to her.
She kept on screaming and emphasizing that no man has a right to beat another man’s wife. It was indeed a pathetic scene. I inquired whether she was due to travel with the flight and she was kind enough to respond in the positive. Since the people were already boarding and I did not want both of us to miss the flight I told the manager that even though I could not rush to judgment on what happened he should apologise and assist the woman to get what she was looking for to be on the flight. The manager got up but the woman was on her phone trying to reach someone. The manager sat down again. I again asked the woman whether she intended to take the flight but she said her brother was a personnel of the NIA and was on his way coming. It was at this point that I told other personnel who stood by to assist and console her until the person she called arrives. This is how matters stand.
I quite understand the lady’s frustration that I could not meet her expectation. I do not think she knew the pressures I was under and the implication of missing my flight which would have been the case, if I stayed with her for even another five minutes.
As a national leader I am taught a lesson that she would want me to treat her as I would treat my own daughter. I am quite touched by that bond of trust deserving utmost empathy. I am however a fair minded person. I did not witness the incident. Even if she is my daughter and I had time to deal with the matter I could only handle it in two ways. One is to facilitate settlement outside of court or mount a court case by reporting the matter to the police.
She opted a police case and has taken the matter to the police. If she had been my daughter the most that could have happened is what she has done for justice to take its course. There is no need to try to undermine my integrity in a matter whose genesis I did not witness and whose outcome I tried to influence positively because of my mistaken notion that the lady would not want to miss her flight.
I hope she would try to reach out to me to find out why I behaved the way I did. Gambia Talent should have been more mature in conceptualising the trauma she has undergone and not try to drag me to increase her trauma by inviting me to take up issue with her and add insult to injury. If they do not have the maturity to avert such an outcome I would display the magnanimity to apologise to a traumatised woman for not meeting her expectation when she most needed a hand to lean on. I would like to meet her to learn from her what I could have done better given the situation I was in. I beg for her understanding.