By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
The Chairman of the Victim Centre, Sheriff Kijera, has said that President Adama Barrow is inconsiderate, insensitive, and does not care or have any interest in the victims of former President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year brutal rule.
Speaking to The Fatu Network as he assesses President Barrow’s first year into his second term, Kijera told TFN that President Barrow only used the plight of the victims to garner votes but doesn’t care about them.
He added that President Barrow is insensitive and isn’t even concerned about the good of this country since his election in December 2016.
“He has been quite inconsiderate and insensitive to the plight of the many victims that were affected by the Jammeh regimes. The President isn’t concerned with the plight of the victims. The President does not even care about the welfare or good of this nation,” Kijera stressed.
According to Kijera, President Barrow has never visited the Victim Centre since its formation in April 2018 and has never visited a family of any victim. He said the coalition and President Barrow used the plight of the Jammeh victims as propaganda during the campaign but has no interest.
“President Barrow has shown no interest whatsoever to the Victim’s Centre. He has never visited a single victim or talked about us. The TRRC report was out, but have you heard the president making a press conference? We have not heard anything. So, the President has shown no interest in the victims.”
Established in 2018 to serve as a liaison among victims of human rights violations under the former President, the chairman of the Victim Centre said they have tried many times to meet President Barrow, but it never worked. He revealed that they were close to meeting him in March, but since the victims of the human rights violations protested against the nomination of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy Njie as a speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly, the chances of them meeting the President were brushed off.
He said the nomination of the speaker and deputy speaker was sabotaged to the transitional justice projects launched by President Barrow. Mr Kijera added that the government of The Gambia cannot run away from reparations to the victims through the recommendations from the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) because there are lots of pressure on the government.
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an insightful documentary focused on President Adama Barrow’s first year in office since winning the 2021 presidential election. The documentary airs on December 5, 2022.