Basiru Gassama, spokesman for President Adama Barrow’s National People’s Party in Bakau, has warned critics of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission against making unhealthy and divisive remarks amid the reconciliation period.
Speaking to The Voice newspaper exclusively, Mr Gassama, said critics should be mindful of their words as the country is in a process of what he called ‘healing from the 22-year wounds of Yahya Jammeh regime.’
“I did not agree with remarks of critics of the TRRC. We are on the healing and forgiving period for reconciliation, because some victims suffered big pains and lost their love ones,” he said.
His advice comes as TRRC concluded its public hearings, which saw 392 witnesses testified, majority of whom were victims of atrocities.
Meanwhile, he added that: “presently The Gambia is on an election year, and all leaders should jealously guide the peace and tranquillity we are enjoying. Let us not allow politics to divide us. We are one people and one Gambia.”
He said every Gambian should embrace and support the ‘Never Again’ slogan for peace and unity, adding that perpetrators should accept their wrongdoings and offer apology to their victims for smooth process to reconciliation in the country.
“We all need peace and we can get peace through tolerance and The Gambia is bigger than everybody. I am very pleased and happy, and I am urging all Gambians despite which political party you belong to and the ethnic groups, we should jealously guide peace and tranquillity which we are enjoying in the country. We should respect each other’s opinions, but there should not be a politics of insults and other illegal things which are not necessary,” Mr Gassama said.
“I also thank the witnesses who bravely come out and told the truth and apologised to their victims, and some of the victims forgave them and that is a good move,” he continued.
TRRC – established in 2019 by the President Barrow government to investigate human rights violations and abuses occurred between 1994 – 2017 under the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh.