EDITORIAL: THE GAMBIA IS GRADUALLY DESCENDING INTO LAWLESSNESS

2419

The Gambia is gradually descending into lawlessness. Citizens storming police stations and TRRC premises under the disguise of condemning Yankuba Touray for his refusal to testify before the TRRC, is a worrisome development. We need restraint during this uncertain future of our nation’s fragile democracy. The rule of law should be observed in the interest of peace, stability and tranquility.

It is irresponsible for anyone to hail the reaction of that mob, who threatened to harm Yankuba Touray on Wednesday. In as much as, we want Touray to face justice, we should not forget that all accused persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law. Let the courts determine the fate of Touray and not the public.

Culture of arrogance, intolerance and indiscipline are creeping in our today’s Gambia. Civility and respect for the individual are becoming a thing of the past in The Gambia.

Virtually everyone is beating his or her chest to showcase their democratic rights. Lest we not forget that where one’s right stops; that’s where someone right begins. Taking the law into one’s own hands, is an affront to our nation’s new found democracy.

Coming back to Yankuba Touray’s case, it should be noted that Touray’s conduct on Wednesday, is left to be desired, but notwithstanding, the TRRC ought to have done its homework right by failing to fall into Touray’s bait of luring them into such an unnecessary showdown. Touray has demonstrated that he doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the commission—thus citing what he calls the lack of jurisdiction by the commission to probe into the activities of the military junta that he was a member.

In other words, he says, he had been indemnified by the 1997 constitution. Touray’s claims are subject to legal interpretation. The courts will determine the legality of his claims in due course.

In a GRTS interview last evening, Justice Minister Abubcarr Tambadou, also alluded that Touray’s claims can only be ascertained by the courts. This means if Touray should decide to challenge the commission’s action, the matter might end up in the Supreme Court of The Gambia. That’s the legal body empowered to interpret the constitution.

TRRC witnesses, victims, and perpetrators, should be handled with utmost care. Condemning and threatening them with legal sanctions will defeat the very purpose of the TRRC. After all, the TRRC mandate is to help establish the truth; and possibly reconcile a traumatized and divided nation.

The Inspector General of Police and his men should be commended for the professionalism they have demonstrated in handling the mounting tensions at the TRRC yesterday. Without the police’s tactical intervention, Yanks Touray, could have been subjected to mob justice. He was whisked away from the TRRC premises unharmed.

The anti-riot police had exhibited what any responsible law enforcement agency ought have done under the prevailing situation. Keep it up guys.

Finally, the state should join us to condemn any form of mob justice spearheaded by any group claiming to be advocating for justice on behalf of Jammeh’s victims. Two wrongs cannot make a right.

Parties tapping on opportunities to destabilize The Gambia, should not hide behind hostile TRRC witnesses to promote their mischievous agendas. Let give peace a chance. We rest our case.

Join The Conversation