Happy New Year to you, your family and the people residing in The Gambia and abroad.
Today, 7 January 2019 marks a historical event in The Gambia with the commencement of the hearing of cases of abuse of human rights – a responsibility entrusted to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC).
The 11 commissioners took oaths of office in October 2018. They are to investigate the atrocities of 22 years of arbitrary killings, disappearances, torture and other abuse of human rights during the former regime of the ex president, Yahya Jammeh. However, it is expected that the first to appear today before the commission would be witnesses of July 1994 coup.
Mr. President, there are 1000 victims registered so far.
TRRC needs national support; governmental support and also seek assistance in terms of manpower within the Commonwealth and even from our very next neighbour, Senegal. Through diplomatic and judicial efforts, all alleged perpetrators who ran out of the country and are hiding in neigbouring countries, Europe and U.S.A. could be extradited to face justice including Ex President Yahya Jammeh; who is on self exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Mr. President, those living in the country should be also arrested and made to face justice without mercy.
Mr. President be advised that people in your government should not be sacked because of their political affiliation or based on their criticism of your government; we are in a new dispensation. Workers can be sacked after three times of warning. Do not rely on people who fabricate lies. Do not even encourage it.
Finally, Mr. President, over the weekend, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited The Gambia. I am sure your ministers put good request for assistance and collaboration for the Gambian energy, water, agriculture, infrastructure and telecommunication sectors among others.
The president of FIFA, Mr. Ginni Infatino, Fatima Samoura, secretary general of FIFA and the president of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad are due in The Gambia today; please make good use of their visit for the beautiful game of football to be developed and promoted countrywide.