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Monday, June 17, 2024

New party leader says Jammeh should be pardoned

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By Omar Bah

The presidential candidate and secretary general of the newly-registered Democratic Party (DP) has urged Gambians especially the victims to forgive former president Yahya Jammeh in the interest of reconciliation.

Yusupha Dumbuya, who is pursuing a doctorate degree in accounting and business studies at the University of Maryland, USA, told The Standard: “We should forgive Jammeh and preach reconciliation. We should avoid concentrating all our time, energy and resources in prosecuting Jammeh. If former South African president and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela and his fellow blacks can forgive the white people who suppressed them in the most brutal manner during apartheid, I see no reason why we cannot find space in our hearts to forgive our former president.”

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He said no Gambian can deodorise Jammeh’s rule but his record cannot be compared with apartheid in South Africa.

“Yet, South Africans decided to forgive and move on in the interest of the country. I believe The Gambia can do the same. We cannot continue living in the past. We need to leave the past to the past and move forward,” he said.

Dumbuya said the country has more pressing issues to deal with such as its health sector, education system, infrastructure and even poor salary scales.

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“So addressing these challenges should be the preoccupation of every Gambian. I went to the EFSTH recently and I was approached by one of the cleaners at the hospital. She told me cleaners at the hospital receive D1,500 monthly salary. Imagine receiving D1,500 salary and having to buy a bag of rice for D1,350.

The discussion should be how to change this trajectory. We should now start putting pressure on our leaders to stop the constant slumber,” he said.

He said the country’s predicaments are caused by bad leadership since independence.

“We used to eat three meals a day but now that is not happening in many households because people cannot afford it. We need to deeply reflect on this country and start interrogating each other in the interest of paving a lasting solution for this country. This year’s election is a defining moment,” he said.

Dumbuya urged Gambians to continue safeguarding the peace and security of the country.

“We must not under any circumstances destroy the peaceful fabric for any political interest,” he said.

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