By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
31st January 2019
Dear Hon. Halifa Sallah, NAM for Serrekunda
Sir, it is with great respect and disappointment that I write you this letter. When I saw your open letters to Momat Cham and most recently OJ I thought you had some contradicting information concerning gross human rights violations during the APRC/ AFPRC Regime. I am still struggling to understand the purpose of your open letters and your desired impact.
One cannot blindly follow truth without considering the impact of that truth. What purpose does it serve to hammer down the location of your cell after confirming you were in a cell? What purpose does it serve to hammer down the fact that you refused an AFPRC cabinet job when today it’s clear that you have not taken up a cabinet position in this new dispensation? Your character and integrity speak for itself.
The first letter refuting Momat Cham’s claim was inconsequential and as you rightly said “not only were the coup makers aware of our outright rejection of their offer, the whole nation was also informed of the grounds of rejection by publishing the letter for all to read.” Simply republishing the aforementioned letter would have sufficed instead of demanding that the Commission recalls Momat Cham for further questioning.
Similarly, the second letter ascertaining which cell you were held in was also inconsequential. Why? Reading through your letters I don’t see how it disproves/ proves any allegations of torture or gross human rights violations during the APRC/ AFPRC regime, which is the purpose of the TRRC.
At this point, please indulge me to consider this simple question. Have you been accused of any incriminating act during any of the witness statements? To my knowledge so far that is not the case. On one hand, you like everyone else, have the right to write about anything, especially when your name is called up but as a Party leader, you do not hold a normal everyday status like everyday people. You carry political support and you can impact on the TRRC more than most Gambians.
Looking at the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) I was disappointed yesterday, to learn that only PDOIS made a submission to the CRC out of all registered Gambian Parties. I raise up this comparison as this is another important Commission which your party is engaging in with minimal fuss and doing so in the right manner.
Sir, I believe your time will come (as it has in numerous occasions before) when the country needs you to speak up about gross human rights violations (at least on the witch hunting saga). Sir. Please consider my humble request that you kindly oblige with your usual tact, guile, and simplicity.
In the aftermath of your contribution you may see others, including Party Leaders writing open letters in an attempt to discredit your witness statement. If every witness statement is followed by a discrediting statement from Party Leaders based on inconsequential facts (facts which do not prove/ disprove gross human rights violations) then we will be making a mockery of the TRRC process.
My humble and respectful request to you Hon. is to please consider the purpose and consequence of your letters and how they may impact on the TRRC. Will your letters distort your relationship with the TRRC were you to accept their invitation to submit a witness statement? Take a moment to consider a reluctant victim. Will your contradicting letters encourage them to deposit a witness statement?
If the Commission fails to establish its aim in November then we can consider your statement of not forgiving them. Their failure must not be attributed to failing to recall a witness of your choice. This is about the victims and you also have a role to play in narrating their gross human rights violations Sir.
Yours in Service of The Gambian People