Soon after shooting to death of scores of Gambian children on 10 and 11 April 2000 on the orders of Yaya Jammeh while he was in Cuba, next came Isatou Njie Saidy claiming that the shooting came from among the school children! When I heard these words from a woman, a mother, and above all a Vice President, immediately my mind went to the words of that great American activist Mark Twain in his 1916 book, Mysterious Stranger,

“Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”

In continuing their lies and self-deception, the regime immediately constituted a group of ministers into what it called the ‘Spokespersons Committee’ to embark on a false agenda they called ‘Healing Process’ as a means to cover up the murder. Continuing with their lies, next came the APRC parliamentarians who then passed the Indemnity Act in 2001 to pardon all those responsible for the maiming and massacre of Gambian children. Even when they put it into the Indemnity Act that a compensation package will follow, they knew it was a lie because no such compensation ever came. Until today, those young survivors who are adults today are in wheelchairs, denied of their childhood and adulthood and neglected to life of suffering.

Today is the day of reckoning! On this day, let us call for truth and justice. We know who are responsible for this macabre crime.

Testifying at the April 10 and 11 Commission of Enquiry, paramilitary and army officers stated that their superiors told them that Yaya Jammeh gave the orders to shoot. He was aided in this crime by his Cabinet Ministers at the time led by his Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy. They must be called upon to declare what they knew and what they did and did not do.

Next came the APRC members of the National Assembly at the time. They must declare what they knew and what they did and did not do. Next came the heads of the Gambia Armed Forces, Gambia Police Force and the NIA for they knew who gave them orders to shoot and what they did and did not do. Next came the armed security personnel on the ground. They knew who gave them orders to shoot and what they did and did not do.

In seeking justice for April 10 and 11, the rape of a schoolgirl by paramilitary personnel at the stadium, and the beating to death of a schoolboy Ebrima Barry by fire service officers in Brikama must be at the centre.

Finally we demand the release of the April 10 and 11 Commission of Inquiry Report! The Gambian People have a right to know! Make public the report.

God Bless The Gambia.