Open Letter to Mr President: Listen carefully to the cries of pain

By a Concerned Citizen

The outright and outrageous display of arrogance and shamelessness by Yankuba Touray at the TRRC left me sick to my stomach and so should every decent and dignified Gambian.

The fact that heinous crimes were committed against hundreds of innocent people in power in our beloved nation is despicable and must be challenged at all cost. No one has the right to torture anyone much more taking the life of another person; for goodness sake we are better than this!

Mr President, kindly let me remind you that you came to power on the hopes promises, dreams and more so fears of the Gambian people. As a nation, we were at the brink of destruction before coming together. It was on the backs of shed blood, cries of parents of loved ones brutally tortured and murdered; some of whom went to their graves without ever knowing the fate of their children. Even cries and screams from beyond the grave still hunt us today. These and much more are some of the reasons that gave birth to your administration.

Mr President, you came to power on stone cold graves and tombstones of loved ones – mass graves and dried up wells that served as the final resting places for some victims who experienced undeniable torture and grave human rights abuse at the hands of their perpetrators.

Sir, you came to power on the battered lives of sexually molested girls and rape victims, the likes of Toufah and countless others. Mothers, fathers and children who were ripped from their families never to be seen again. What was their crime? We must break the culture of silence and the ‘maslaha’ syndrome: it’s about time!

This was our back story as a nation and this was our rallying call to put an end to impunity and atrocities and that NEVER AGAIN will we allow our nation to sink to such an abyss. The struggle was about us and for you to fight for us as a nation seeking to do better and avoid repeating past mistakes.

So Mr President, where is your empathy? Where does your allegiance lie? Where is your focus? What we are witnessing today is increasingly resembling 22 years of the past regime – quite alarming as you seek to arm yourself against defenseless people. Under your watch, you continue to embolden the perpetrators as they continue to serve in your administration. For how long must the victims continue to suffer and our nation held captive?

Sir, it has become notably clear that the only aspect you care about is the length of your term and its possible extension. This has and should never be about you seeking to stay in power at all cost and to even extend your term at the expense of the shattered lives of victims scattered around the world who continue to suffer untold misery. It has also become abundantly clear with time that the reason you facilitated the swift revision of one and only one article of the constitution in the first few months of taking over the reins of power was because it directly benefitted you and your administration. Furthermore, it is evident that the obvious logical conclusion about your regime is a change of driver but the vehicle remain solidly the same?

Sir, I wish to respectfully state that the beautiful thing about our nation is that we are all people of great faiths but however we choose to live our faith must be in line with the tenet of our great books. While it is easy to wear our faith on our sleeve as a badge of honor, at the end of the day it is down to how we love and treat others especially the people living on the fringe of our society and that, speaks volumes about our character and testifies to the trueness and greatness of of our faith.

Mr President, I end by imploring you to listen carefully to the cries of pain, and muffling sobs of lives so badly hurt longing for justice and assistance and to give a deaf ear would be like subjecting the victims to the same atrocities over and over again. Finally, our tribute to the dead must be truly a peaceful and developed nation where the pillars of democracy are upheld, putting an end to impunity and the rights of everyone respected.

Thank you


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