‘There will be security implications if TRRC recommendations are not’…?

Jun 2, 2021, 12:24 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Ousainou Darboe, the secretary general and standard-bearer for the United Democratic Party (UDP) has warned that there will be security implications if the recommendations of the TRRC are not implemented.

“I have to sincerely thank the chairman of the TRRC and the lead counsel and its entire commission for a good job. Personally, I am happy about a lot of evidence that was coming out from the commission. These were the things I was saying on the UDP platforms for the past years; that a lot of things happened in this country. At least now, there are opinions coming from people that what Jammeh did qualify him for prosecution for offences against human right violations.”

The UDP leader was speaking yesterday at his residence during a press conference on the Security Situation in the country.

“The findings of the commission should also have some security complications and that’s why I am mentioning it right now. I don't know what the recommendations are going to be, but if the recommendations are not properly implemented it could be opening up dissatisfaction and disaffection in the country and we shouldn’t allow that to happen.”

“We know that the commission will soon submit a report and we know the government will not rush because it has to take time to consider the report and to also get some informed opinions on some of the recommendations. However, I don’t think with the calibre of those commissioners outlandish recommendations will be made.”

“I am saying this here because we have to think in advance. Therefore, when the situation occurs, I don’t take a particular set of what could be a result of that. I am mentioning the TRRC here not because I doubt the commitment of the government. I don’t doubt the commitment of President Barrow with regard to implementing the TRRC recommendations, but we just need to remind ourselves about it.”            

Commenting on the general voter registration exercise, he said, it’s the duty and responsibility of every Gambian to ensure that post-election violence doesn’t take place, saying: “Those are the things that can put the security of the country in jeopardy,” citing other countries in Africa where issues relating to proper conduct of election have led to terrible situation.

“Proper conduct of election commences from proper registration of voters. The institution that’s mandated to carry out this exercise should also note that they have a role to play in maintaining the stability and security of this country.”

“Certainly, in maintaining that, they have to do the right thing in the right way. No one suggests that the IEC should be listening or doing what any stakeholder thinks should be done, but I am suggesting that as a major stakeholder that the security of our country depends on how proper election is conducted.”

“I want to appeal to the IEC to ensure that what used to happen in the Jammeh era happens again where political party agents are allowed to sit in the registration exercise and keep record of people who present themselves for registration.” 

Darboe suggested that in the interest of transparency, party agents should be allowed to record people registering at various registration centres. “These used to happen in the Jawara government and that of the Jammeh regime.”

On crimes and criminality, he said, are on the increase in this country. “In fact, never in the history of this country has the spate of crimes been as high as in the last 12 months. We have been witnessing burglary, day light armed robbery, gruesome and heinous murder cases, rapes and other forms of crimes being committed in this country and these have direct bearing on the security of the state and also direct bearing on our personal safety and security.”

“A UDP government,” he continues, “will ensure that the police and other security agents in the country are well motivated not only in terms of remuneration but in terms of facilities that will make them operate effectively and efficiently.”

 “We will encourage our partners to be training our security personnel in the country rather than going abroad,” he said, adding that training Gambian security officers to be efficient is among the ways to tackle crimes in the country.

Unemployment among the young people, he observed, is the root cause of rising crime in the country. “They are not making any meaningful plans for those who are returning from Europe, especially those that are deported from Europe. When those people return there’s nothing for them and ultimately, they will result in crimes and violence which we are now all victims of. Therefore, unemployment must be tackled. We need to provide skills training for these people like carpentry and other issues.”