By Alagie Manneh
Former president Yahya Jammeh has been conferred “a national peace award” yesterday evening.
According to the secretary general of Concerned Gambians Welfare Association, the movement that conferred the award, it was in recognition of Jammeh’s peace efforts in the country, particularly during the impasse.
“In 2016, there was a constitutional crisis which led to a political impasse with the nation heading towards civil war. It was then that Babili Mansa acknowledged [sic] stepping down in order to maintain the peace in The Gambia. Today, even though he is away, he is heard advising the APRC to maintain the peace,” Modou Jarra said at a ceremony organised at the APRC bureau in Manjai.
Receiving the award on behalf of the former president, APRC leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta said: “It is with great humility underpinned by a sense of hope that Gambians here and in the diaspora would sit to reflect, in the interest of our motherland, and appreciate that his Excellency former president Yahya Abdul Aziz Jamus Junkung Jammeh is indeed a peace-builder in this country since he left.”
He said the party is “delighted and happy”, telling the awardees, “I understand Concerned Gambians is apolitical. You can rest assured that history will recognise you as one of the institutions that sincerely set the way to peace and reconciliation in The Gambia. Whether we like it or not, it must be recognised that His Excellency President Yahya Jammeh’s departure from the shores of The Gambia was only motivated by his love for country and his love for citizens.”
Mr Jatta prevailed on all and sundry to cherish the peace, saying “in this generation, wars are never won. Ecowas has fought in so many West African countries…tell me which war they have won expect bringing misery to the population?Those doubting Thomases who believe it was fear that warranted Jammeh to leave this country, will never ever accept the truth.”
However, critics of the former president have denounced the award givers and called the award a travesty given the revelations at the TRRC of the litany of wrongs allegedly committed by Jammeh during his rule.