By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has said that The Gambia can emulate Rwanda by forgiving each other “if we focus on being one Gambia and one people”.
“During my recent visit to Rwanda where millions of people were murdered it will be difficult for anyone to believe that they have established the truth about the genocide and forgiven each another and moved on to build their country….We can do more if we focus on being one Gambia and one people,” he said.
Speaking further at the ‘peace and reconciliation’ rally in Jarra Soma recently Barrow said Gambians can only forgive each other if the truth about the past is established, “Thus the setting up of the TRRC for all to move on as a nation is crucial, because peace is priceless and key for development.”
“I challenge you as Gambian women to use your powers to nurture peace and stability by promoting tolerance, togetherness and solidarity,” he intimated.
The Gambian leader also said the members of the Coalition government are speaking with one voice.
“Although we all have our divergent views and ways of thinking we always come to a concession towards national interest. We do argue among ourselves which is normal in any working environment. As the president I cannot know it all; that is why I have people around me who will give me ideas because the Coalition government is not like the last regime who used to have only one thinker and one decision maker,” he said.
On the Soma meeting, President Barrow said the meeting which is organised by women and youths in Jarra to bring together people across political parties, to reconcile and promote peace, stability and tolerance, signals that Gambia is one nation and one people.
“In the new Gambia we are determine to safeguard our freedom and democracy in a peaceful atmosphere to demonstrate that politics should not be translated to hatred but to aspire for peace of our dear motherland. All political engagements in this new Gambia shall be within the constitutional framework in which the rights of all citizens’ freedom of expression and associations are respected,” he added.
He added: “My government will encourage tolerance between political parties in the country. The peace, stability and security should take precedence in order to lay a strong foundation for all citizens to enjoy the right to freedom and democracy. Our development plans for 2018/2021 can only be realised when we unite and work to maintain peace and stability.”
The Coalition government, he added, will take strategic steps and measures to ensure that political violence comes to an end, “I call on all Gambians to maintain peace and stability.”