I read the comments of the chairman of the Victim Centre Sheriff Kijera with great interest. Kijera’s assertion that President Barrow’s legacy will depend on the way he handles the TRRC recommendations is on the spot right.
Unlike the Janneh Commission which dealt with missing millions which can be recovered or replaced by other millions from the assets of the perpetrators, the TRRC deals with lives lost which are irreplaceable. The tales of the gory nature of the brutality meted out to innocent Gambians non-Gambians coming from the TRRC is very distressing. The very thought that Gambians were suffocated by strangulation and their bodies thrown in wells would be disheartening to every human being who has not lost the last shred of human dignity. These barbaric acts committed by people acting on the instructions of the head of state have left orphans, widows and broken hearts in their wake. The pains and sorrows of the affected families would only be soothed when the victims or their direct families are adequately compensated and their perpetrators removed from any public service.
So as Kijera put it, President Barrow must not be carried away by political sentiments or considerations. He must not allow his electoral ambition to cloud his judgment when dealing with the TRRC recommendations when they come to his desk this summer. He must wipe the tears of the widows and orphans and the heal the wound of the many tortured victims by acting on the TRRC recommendations when they are presented to him.
President Barrow has the unique opportunity to implement this great transitional justice programme which he baby sat and must guide to adulthood. He must not blow that opportunity on the altar of political expedience.