Even the hardest of hearts softened and the driest of eyes drowned in scorching tears as GRTS ushered us to the Tintimba Forest in the West Coast Region where a group of Gambia Police investigators and a team of forensic experts were led by members of Jammeh assassin squad to an unmarked shallow grave of 30th December 2016 heroes. As they painstakingly, exhumed the three bodies of late Lamin Sanneh, Njagga Jagne and Jaja Nyass, their families were also steering Monica Njie through the dark alleys of their nightmarish tribulations. Mr President, it was devastating. It was painful. It was difficult. And unbearable. Each victim’s anecdote gashes the heart with such viciousness only be spoke by the angel of death ripping off the soul of an unbeliever. The sourness in their voices, the agony in their faces and the despondency in their eyes, Mr President, were disquieting. And guess what? Each and every one of them only said at the end, “WE NEED JUSTICE”. None of them demanded for any form of compensation. All they want is JUSTICE for their love ones Mr President. Justice. Yes, Justice is all they are asking for.

 

Despite all their odds, the Gambia Police deserve a tap on the back for their breakthrough in the NIA 9 and Jugglers’ arrests and investigations leading to the discovery of Solo Sandeng and 30th December heroes’ unmarked graves. Perhaps, many who were in denial of Monster Jammeh’s callousness and state orchestrated kidnapping, tortures and killings have now found irrefutable exhibits in the exhumed bodies. Therefore, I marvelled if the APRC can accept its past with regret and confront its future without anxiety amidst these disturbing battery of evidence? Any Gambian who votes for the APRC in the forthcoming NAM election is as guilty of murder, rape and torture of our innocent citizens as Monster Jammeh, the Jugglers and NIA 9. To show the families of the Jammeh Victims that we stand with them shoulder to shoulder in their pursuit for justice, we must deny APRC a vote. How can we put our fate, trust and lives in the hands of people who bath in and drink the blood of our very own Solo Sandeng, Lamin Sanneh, Njagga Jagne, Jaja Nyass, the Aprill 10 and 11 students, Jasaja Jammeh, Koro Ceesay, Dayda Hydara and the rest? Can we really as Gambian betray these martyrs who gave up their lives for us to be free from 22 years of an atrocious regime? Thegambian Cause observed “…even our core moral values and principles are up for questioning in a deeply unfamiliar way…We all failed them”. Fortunately, we have been chanced by the hand of fortune with this rare opportunity to right our wrongs by not voting for any APRC candidate. Mbye Njie also queried, “We will be giving APRC the rights, ability and opportunity to do more harm than they have already done”. He went on to remind us that “Murder, rape, tortures and injustice are not Gambian values”. Consequently, I have decided not to vote APRC…Will you vote APRC?

AD

 
Another perturbing security concern lurking in new Gambia is the explosion of a landmine in the outskirts of Foni Wassadu last week killing a father and his son. Was it a one of Mr President? Who planted it? What type is it? Most importantly, what is your government doing to curb it? Instead of requesting an extra thousand soldiers from Senegal, why can’t you consolidate and revamp our security services? The appointment of Kinteh as the Chief of Defence Staff was meant to bridge the mistrust between your government and the Gambia Armed Forces. Give him all the necessary support to reform and retrain the army so that they can assume their duties. What is the point of having an army you don’t trust? Alienating the army will only ferment more mistrust and dissatisfaction which will generate mutinies and instability. Assign the landmine experts in the army to comb the Foni for any more mines waiting to go off. Unless, this is carefully done and proven that no more landmines are buried in our soil, lives of Foni residents will remain at risk.

 
As today marks the dawn of a new week, can you convene a cabinet meeting to kick start government business in earnest Mr President? It is equally pertinent to address what Thegambia Cause referred to as “political streets brawls” tainting our political epitome. Violent attacks on innocent party militants are become trendy in our political rallies. First it was an attack on UDP and now it is GPDP. Who will be next, Mr President? Such isolated incidents if not fully and carefully address will be catalyst for civil disturbance causing loss of lives and properties. Party surrogates should recognise the bad seed they are sowing in our fertile political farm and put country before parties. After all we are one big Gambian family. Elections, leaders and governments come and go but we stay and remain as one big Gambian family. Who in his right mind would enjoy killing or harming his or her own siblings? Our unguarded banters have caused some regrettable harm and the government time to do its works by getting caught in the childish tantrums. There are varied ways in which one can help his or her party grow. If you cannot persuasively solicit support, finance it and/or share its leaflets, banners etc. Negatively politicking with violence and profanity will only selling the wrong merchandise of the party and nobody wants that for his or her party. So let love our parties by showcasing their finer images.

 
When Gambia has decided, we decided for regime and system change which will translate what we fought for into reality. A close look at your government, Mr President there isn’t any meaningful change so far. Censorship of free speech is been fattened. The diaspora is been accused of been tough on the government as such we are cajoled to overlook government omissions and be only reporting on your achievements. If we had done the same for Jammeh, would you have been a President today? Unfortunately, we are here to say how things are and not how you want them be said. When Gambia decided, did it include reforming our telecommunication services? Why does it still cost 48 pence to call the Gambia whereas it only cost 5penc to call Ghana and Nigeria? What about the sluggish internet? Electricity is still Gambia’s biggest setback. What is your government doing about it?

 

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK