Please allow me to use your reputable media to congratulate and by extension convey my personal thanks and appreciation to Mr. Ebrima Chongan. Mr. Chongan was the Acting Deputy Inspector General of the Gambia Police Forces during the 1994 military takeover that removed the democratically elected government of the ex-President HE Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. Mr. Chongan coincidentally happens to be the first witness of the ongoing Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) initiated and launched by the government of His Excellency President Adama Barrow. My thanks and appreciation go to the HE President Barrow, the entire government, and special thanks to the Chairman, Lead Council and the entire TRRC members and audience for their role in this important activity. Admittedly, it represents one side of the story, but haven listened to the detailed narrations from Mr. Chongan, I felt obliged to waste no time in conveying my heartfelt congratulations. How Mr. Chongan chronicled his futile decision and efforts in July 1994 to defend and protect the Gambian democracy and constitutional rule in the face of adversity and his arrest and subsequent harrowing treatment in the hands of the callous junta elements is indeed distressing. However, the way and manner in which Mr. Chongan courageously concluded his worrying narrative with an open pronouncement of his readiness and decision to harbour no grudge, but to rather forgive all those who perpetrated and inflicted his torture, speaks volume. For me, it humbled my thoughts and reminds me of how goodness and reconciliatory feat anchored on a big heart in a clear conscientious body can fertilise forgiveness, which is divine, in the field of adversity. Chongan, indeed portrays a true Gambian of high integrity and moral standard worthy of emulation. He is obviously a calibre of son that Mother Gambia would be proud of for serving in her security services. Thanks you Mr. Chongan for your courage, loyalty, and determination to withhold the constitution and democracy of our nation although to no avail. The Gambia has heard your tale and cherishes your efforts. It is service men of your calibre that every sovereign nation vies for. Once again thanks to the President Barrow government for giving Gambians the opportunity to hear from the horses own mouth, tales of these great men and women like Mr. Chongan. ‘’Never Again’’!
Alh Yahya Ceesay