(JollofNews) – Taking all the wise commentaries and reflections on the mass release of prisoners in the Gambia into account, the subject of cost has been neglected.
For in every adverse action taken, a cost is required. Does this pardon merit a full absolution of costs incurred in fines and legal representation costs inflicted upon the former accused and convicted?
Do those detained without charge or held well beyond the 72 hour demand contained in the Gambia’s constitution requires appropriate compensation for wrongful denial of liberty?
Will the Jammeh regime pay without further delay the US$200,000 and accrued interest awarded by the Ecowas court to journalists Musa Saidykhan and Ebrima (Chief) Manneh?
Would the families of the April 10th and 11th students killed or suffering long-term disability require an ex-gratia compensation payment from the government equal at least to that given to the families of the 44 Ghanaian migrants lynched in Gambia in July 2005?
Will the Gambian high court listen to the pleas of the many other cases, too numerous to mention, for similar consideration for loss of life, liberty, stress, financial loss through loss of family incomes?
Will the NIA and the Gambian government make full disclosure on the final hours of lives lost to the families of the bereaved?
Will the bodies of those executed or killed be returned to their grieving families for proper burial in accordance with their religion and tradition?
Would the laws that caught so many be repealed without delay so that such travesties of justice can never be executed ever again?
Would those who inflicted torture upon the defenceless placed in state care be singled out and punished according to the law?
And finally, would President Yahya Jammeh, his vice president and business partners be prepared to give detailed accounts and evidence on how their wealth was amassed and where appropriate and the amount of tax paid upon that income.
I think if this is reasonable, then the Diaspora could consider the merits of forgiveness in the hope of true reconciliation.
If I were to advise President Jammeh upon this undertaking, I would suggest it would be better if this was convened while he remains in office. To await the deliberations of the next government could be a very expensive and humiliating exercise without any guaranteed or favourable outcome for himself, his family and his children.
Regarding the less than generous comments on the actions of the released prisoners singing praises of President Jammeh’s magnanimity, those who have not had the experience of life in Mile Two Prisons should understand the former prisoners’ fears of returning anytime soon to that hell-hole on earth if not cognizant of what conditional release over the next ten years means.
We should not condemn them. We should love them instead for they suffered for you.