By Omar Bah
An independent candidate for Foni Kansala, Almameh Gibba has said if elected to the National Assembly, he would introduce a private member’s bill to ask for former president Yahya Jammeh’s return.
Jammeh, who has been living in exile since 2017 after losing to Adama Barrow in December 2016, is accused of gross human rights violations and the TRRC which heard those violations has recommended his prosecution.
But speaking in a Standard exclusive yesterday, Mr Gibba said: “If elected, I will surely work on a PMB to make sure that Jammeh returns home safely and serves a key role in the reconciliation process and I will also seek for him to be pardoned.”
Mr Gibba added that without Jammeh, there cannot be reconciliation. “I understand the pains and cries of victims but I do believe that the only solution for this country to remain peaceful and stable is for us to forgive each other,” he said.
The IT specialist said he will also ensure that the Senegalese troops stationed in Foni are withdrawn and the GAF battalion stationed in former president Jammeh’s Kanilai home is relocated out of respect for the former head of state.
“I will also seek answers about Jammeh’s assets because Jammeh himself and the people of Foni want to know how they were sold and the monies generated from them because all his assets were seized and disposed of illegally without following due process. I am ready to be a champion against injustice in this country,” Gibba declared.
Commenting on TRRC’s recommendation for Jammeh’s prosecution, Gibba said the commission’s recommendations “should not be taken seriously” because it has demonstrated “bias’ throughout its hearings.
He said the TRRC bias was reflected in its decision to recommend amnesty for Sana Sabally and denied the likes of former vice president Isatou Njie-Saidy whom he claimed has not directly participated in any killings.
“The TRRC has demonstrated from the beginning that it is not ready to establish the truth because this is the only truth commission where the lead counsel tells witnesses they are lying. We have seen truth commissions in several African countries including Ghana but we have not seen their counsels acting in that hostile manner,” Gibba added.
He said if the Gambian people want to demonstrate their true Gambian-ness they should forgive and move on.
“If Ghana can forgive Jerry John Rawlings, why not Gambia? Why are you happy to see our former president being denied all his benefits and sympathetically living in a foreign land?” Gibba added.
He suggested that Jammeh should be given the opportunity to respond to all the allegations labeled against him at the TRRC.
“We have just heard people accusing him but we didn’t hear from him, so I believe he should be given the opportunity to come back and speak to the Gambian people,” he suggested.