If Omar Amadou Jallow (OJ) has forgiven Yahya Jammeh for abusing him and trampling on his God given rights that is nobody’s business but OJ’s. But what I find extremely disturbing is his (OJ’s) attempts to lecture the victims of Yahya Jammeh to forgive, forget and ride on. How can we bury the hatchet when justice is yet to be delivered? What OJ can do is to speak for himself when it comes to Yahya Jammeh and the untold suffering he and his APRC regime had inflicted on the Gambian people. It is heartbreaking or disheartening to hear OJ comparing the atrocities of Yahya Jammeh to those of J.J. Rawlings of Ghana, apartheid South Africa, Rwandan genocide and civil wars of Liberia and Sierra Leone. OJ said if these countries can forget and go further so too can the Gambia. This is a very simplistic and naive way of making judgement and an ugly way to lure the victims of Yaya Jammeh into believing that worst things had happened to other people like them and if those people can forgive why not you.
Let OJ be educated that the Gambian context is very unique and our situation under Yaya Jammeh can in no way be compared to any crime committed elsewhere. Every country is unique to it self. All these countries dealt with their problems based on the context and the nature of their conflict, people and country. We in the Gambia are determined to see through and solve our conflict with Yaya Jammeh on our own terms but through the rule of law. This is because our decorum as people is above that of Yaya Jammeh. Apart from Ghana all these countries OJ mentioned went through a very better and brutal civil war. We have not thanks God butchered each other in the Gambia like many of these countries did. Instead we have been butchered by an intoxicated power hungry individual who vow to bury the ethnic majority group of his country 9 feet deep.
The paradox in OJ’s statement is that on the one hand he is talking of forgiveness and forget and in the other hand he is talking of the TRRC (truth reconciliation and reparation commission). What OJ failed to comprehend is this. We have to start with the TRRC where the perpetrators heinous crimes will acknowledge their crimes by telling the whole truth. Only through telling the truth to the victims can the victims forgive, forget and go further. Any thing short of that kind will be preposterous, disaster and failing the victims of Yaya Jammeh. OJ is no Mahatma Gandhi and certainly he is no Martin Luther King Jr. to tell us how to love, forgive and pray for our enemies. The enemy or in this case the perpetrator need to accept that he or she committed a crime and apologize for that crime and that is when the victim can conceive to let go and forgive. It is going towards two years since Yaya Jammeh and his APRC have been defeated in a free and fair election and Yaya Jammeh sent himself to exile. We are yet to get or hear any apology or regret either from the APRC or their criminal exiled leader. They are so arrogant that despite mountain evidence against them they believe that the Gambian people deserve what bad treatment they got from Yaya Jammeh and APRC. Hence the reason for their organized mute to apologize. There is an ongoing commission of inquiries and anyone found guilty will not go scot free including Jammeh’s henchmen contrary to what OJ’s insinuated.
If Mr. Omar Jallow’s statement is not an insult to himself certainly it is to the victims of APRC and Yaya Jammeh. OJ and the likes of him had made it abundantly clear that they have no problem with Yaya Jammeh coming back to the Gambia and they ave already forgiven Yaya Jammeh.
To put OJ’s statement into context and perspective you need to look into all the victims of Yaya Jammeh from july 1994 to january 2017, and then you will understand why OJ is not so bothered. There are people today in the Gambia grieving day and night because they don’t know the truth about their love ones. We are in a grieving process. Children who didn’t have the chance to know their fathers. (grieving children). Women robbed off their husbands, (grieving widows). Fathers not knowing what happens to their sons (grieving fathers). All these and many more distasteful things happened in the Gambia with the full consent of Yaya Jammeh. The question to OJ is, which of your relatives, close relatives have been killed or maimed by APRC and Yaya Jammeh? It is said He who Knows it feels it. And OJ when you were under Yaya Jammeh’s goal who defended you from the monster? That person is today your number one enemy in the Gambia in the name of Honorable Lawyer Ousainou Darboe of the UDP, United Democratic Party.
OJ, the majority of Gambian people are very compassionate and humble people with a deep religious committement. They know what is to forgive and forget which is what interprets the unique coexistence we have in our country. Someone in the name of Yaya Jammeh or Jammeh Kanilai did everthing humanly possible to destroy that fabrics of coexistence in our society but failed miserabely.
First, truth and justice then forgivness not the other way round. Hope OJ gets it.
Peace, harmony and prosperity in the Gambia.