By Omar Bah
The former ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has called on President Adama Barrow to prioritise reconciliation as the TRRC submits its recommendations next Friday.
“We appeal to the President to focus more on national reconciliation as it is the only way to nurture peace and stability, for progress and meaningful national development,” the PPP said in a July 22 reflection statement signed by its leader Kebba Jallow.
The party said as the nation awaits the TRRC recommendation, the country should deal decisively with issues of personal attacks and tribalism in the political discussion.
“We believe these are serious obstacles for reconciliation,” the party said.
The PPP leadership also urged the government to seriously look at the adverse and negative effects the 1994 military coup inflicted on both the civil servants, the PPP, and politicians under the PPP government.
On July 22nd 1994 a group of lieutenants led by Yahya Jammeh overthrew the democratically elected PPP government.
“This day should be a day of reflection for the PPP and The Gambia. The world was just waking up to the fall of democracy in Banjul (Kairaba) indeed the world and most Gambian people supported the military Junta as they were blindfolded with their sing-song slogan accusing the PPP government of rampant corruption and flamboyant Lifestyle,” the party said.
Immediately after the coup, the Junta arrested former government ministers such as Landing Jallow Sonko, Alhagie Yaya Ceesay, late Omar Sey, Omar Amadou Jallow, late Alieu E W F Badjie, Sarjo Touray, late Bubacarr Baldeh, Alkali James Gaye, late Mathew Yaya Baldeh and Hssan Jallow then Justice minister and current Chief Justice.
Managing directors of parastatals were also arrested and detained. There were also over 30 security officers detained.
The Junta also suspended the 1970 constitution and replaced it with draconian decrees that imposed press censorship, banned all political activities, forbidding the criticism of the government etc. A crackdown on officials of the ousted government in which many former government officials were tortured in the most inhumane manner.
“The PPP appreciates the late Alh. Landing Jallow Sonko, Omar Amadou Jallow alias OJ, James F. Gomez, late Kebba Jawara, Late LB Mbodge, Alh Yaya Ceesay, late Kama Badjie, late Ousainou Njie, and Alkali James Gaye, just to name a few, who played crucial roles during the difficult years under the military dictatorship to reestablish and reorganised the PPP,” the statement added.
The party congratulated former minister Omar Amadou Jallow for the proclamation made by the County Executive Matthew Meyer declaring July 12th as Omar ‘OJ’ Jallow day in Newcastle, Delaware, USA.
“The PPP is very excited about the news, and will continue to appreciate as well as thank OJ for his efforts, dedication and commitment that he singlehandedly steered the affairs of the PPP, and because of his perseverance the PPP still exists. OJ played a crucial role to end dictatorship under coalition 2016, and continues to maintain the spirit of democracy and rule of law,” the party concluded.