Good Morning Mr. President: Jammeh should face Justice; cautioning of Civil Servants

His sentence was a boost for the Hydara and Sillah families. The German government should be commended for hosting the trial and putting in mechanisms to make it a success. The trial lasted for two years – that’s from March 2021 to November 2023.

Bai Lowe, 48, a Gambian national, who drove the Junglers who killed prominent journalist Deyda Hydara, co-founder of The Point Newspaper in 2004 and attempted to kill prominent lawyer Ousman Sillah in 2003 and others.

Mr. President, The Gambia government should not waste any further time in bringing Yahya Jammeh to justice. According to TRRC, Jammeh ordered the killings of 250 people, torturing many prominent citizens who he perceived as his opponents. In your government’s quest for Jammeh and his enablers to face the law, victims, the international community and other concerned groups are waiting for the trial of all perpetrators to face justice and be punished.

EC0WAS, the EU and the US should render financial and technical assistance for the start of these trials in earnest. Your government should not as well forget to fulfil its promise by working towards its duty for the reparations of victims who are sincerely and anxiously waiting to have their balances settled.

Mr. President, it’s worth knowing that there cannot be proper reconciliation without reparation, thus it’s paramount for your government to henceforth look into the affairs and modalities of the reparations process. Although some victims have been compensated, there are still those who are anxiously waiting to get their share as promised.

While awaiting the completion of the government reparation process, the Victims’ Centre provides support for the survivors who underwent and survived atrocities and torture during the Jammeh regime and those who disappeared or were murdered. The Centre continues to amplify victims’ voices on the national stage. Yet challenges remain for people who suffered decades in silence.

Mr. President, we want to bring to your attention some Gambians including those forcibly exiled or targeted in “witch-hunts” and are in need of financial assistance, while looking forward to your government’s support through reparations owed to them.

On to the issue of civil servants, Mr. President, your warning of civil servants suspected of being opposition sympathisers has to be done with caution so that people do not exploit the situation to tarnish the image of others only for them to get jobs and other favours.

Civil servants are not expected to be politicians but change-makers by working towards the development and advancement of the country’s economic transformation for the benefit of citizens.

As a result of your pronouncement, some civil servants can use it as a tool to fabricate lies for people to be sacked. We are in a democratic society and civil servants are not expected to discuss politics in their offices and should not attend political gatherings.

“If you go to any of their offices and the person tells you that he or she is neutral and that the individual is not into politics, write his name because the person is an opposition. But we know who they are as we recognise them.”

Mr. President, those remarks have already brought mixed feelings among civil servants and the public.      

Meanwhile, civil servants are expected to be punctual and dedicated to their jobs.  Your task also is to ensure civil servants are motivated and well trained as in the case of the First Republic when the government allocated building loans, car loans and furniture to civil servants.

Mr. President, your government’s priorities should focus on fulfilling your promises including providing clean and accessible water across the country and stable electricity. The health sector, as one of the most important sectors should be well equipped with the necessary materials for effective health delivery. Increasing the hospital ticket from D25 to D100 is not the solution needed in this era of economic hardship.

Furthermore, in relation to the new hospital fees or tickets, older citizens aged 65 and above and children below the age of 13 should be given concessions and allowed to pay D50.

Every government should think of working towards reducing the cost of health services rather than increasing it based on comparison with private services. We have many vulnerable families across the country who need the government’s support.

Mr. President, it is essential for your government to create more job opportunities for young people to boost their ability for income generation and to combat irregular migration.

Good Day!

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