On May 24, 2015, Saikou Ceesay, the managing editor of Gambia Affairs, an online newspaper in The Gambia, was threatened with death by an unknown person.
The MFWA’s sources reported that Ceesay received a phone call from an unknown person who allegedly threatened to send thugs to kill him for a post he made criticising a recent attempt by ECOWAS to introduce presidential term limits in the countries in the sub-region.
The aforementioned Facebook post made on May 21 read: “To Ecowas: The sovereignty of nations must be respected. The term “term limits” is sovereign. It cannot be imposed on any nation regardless of size or wealth. Let Ecowas work on meeting the economic needs of people on the bloc. Economic and re-education emancipation are key in the struggle for a prosperous Africa. Poverty and ignorance has emasculated the continent in all spheres. Let us work together as a bloc and stop undermining sovereignty of other nations.”
According to the MFWA’s sources, Ceesay received a phone call from an anonymous person after making this post, who said, “just continue derailing our efforts for the institution of term limits, we will send thug to eliminate you. You gotta shut-up.”
Following the 21-yearlong rule of fear of West Africa’s King of Impunity, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, many journalists and politicians are in hiding in countries like the United States. Some of these Gambians abroad have formed political parties and are fighting for changes in their native country. The MFWA’s sources believe that the caller might be a diaspora Gambian who believes that Ceesay is thwarting their efforts by criticising ECOWAS’s efforts at imposing term limits in member countries.
Following the threat, Ceesay reported the matter to the Yundum Police Station and was later escorted to the Office of Inspector General in Banjul. A police officer was later assigned to offer Ceesay protection.