Samsudeen Sarr

The so-called Victims Center commissioned by the defunct coalition government of 2017 and of course dominated and controlled by the antiestablishment radicals defiantly committed to the opposition parties is now a culvert to politically attack and condemn the policies of the avant-garde government of President Adama Barrow.

Who are these oligarchies to think that they can continue to use the autonomous body seemingly immunized from auditing, accountability, transparency and probity to settle political scores on the dictum of their overlords?

The discourteous letter they wrote to President Barrow last week and read before a politically controversial flock camouflaged as a press conference but endeavored to denigrate the nomination and appointment of Honorables Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Honorable Seedy Njie to The Gambia National Assembly as speaker and deputy speaker respectively was not only pointless but absolutely laughable.

Recognizing the capabilities and productivity of the duo, Jatta & Njie is what can best be described as the fulfillment of an agreement between trustworthy gentlemen. These were the very same fault-finders brawling out every conceivable allegation that President Adama Barrow was undependable and treacherous when the rumors emerged that he was in a negotiation for an alliance of the NPP and APRC for his reelection intended to form a better government for national reconciliation and unity after four years of a toxic system absorbed in an agenda that merely broadened the division of a very polarized nation.

Indeed, they were all over the place cautioning the APRC principals not to trust Barrow because he betrayed them and would do the same after his victory. Then after his resounding victory in December thanks to a vibrant alliance with the APRC and other progressive parties and the president decided to temporarily retain his cabinet-the caretaker one-until after the national assembly election, these prophets of doom and gloom delineated the gesture to mean their foretold betrayal of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his APRC affiliates.

However, in the wake of the president’s recent fulfillment of his promise to Hon. Jatta in particular that proved all of them wrong for predicting his backstabbing tendency, they now want to change the position of the goalpost and make their argument all about the immorality and illegitimacy of the decision on a cheeky train of thought.

You see, I think the Barrow government should start considering the termination of all these politically-superintended panels such as the Victims Center that has now outlived its relevance and credibility while overreaching its limitations.

I have the TRRC Act of 2017 and did read through every page of the booklet which amazingly stated nowhere that the Victims Center had the mandate or right to identify any victims from the TRRC and pay them any amount of money when the commission was still in process and the report to determine victimhood not finalized.

I therefore, in the first instance, view the resolve of these witless characters at the Victims Center totally insupportable for accepting and paying their prematurely-selected victims the D50 million from former justice minister Abubacarr Ba Tambadou. I didn’t find it anywhere in the TRRC Act that empowered these hustlers to track victims, approve their victimhood and secretly pay them reparation entitlements from the proceeds of the confiscated Jammeh properties.

We all know the controversy surrounding the D1 billion recovered from Jammeh’s assets and the manner it was dubiously accounted for. Did they use the name of the owner of the money ‘Yahya Jammeh’ to warrant the murky settlement and to fumigate the obvious indecency?

When the current justice minister Hon. Dawda Jallow had the audacity to appear publicly and named us as perpetrators and disregarded his obligation to first ensure the separation of the facts from the fictions in the initial TRRC report, I thought he was going to muster the courage and decency to share the names and the criteria applied by the rogue judges at the Victims Center to pay each of the victims and how much.

Fifty-million dalasis was stealthily apportioned to inscrutable victims at a ratio that many observers have since criticized as inequitable, unscrupulous and shamelessly partisan. And they still want more money from President Barrow to pay more ghost “VICTIMS”.

I think these people need to zip it and worry about the audit that will soon expose the unsavory racket within the board than their attempt to deflect the concerns of the public towards the trendy nomination and appointment of Honorable Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Honorable Seedy Njie to the national assembly. Congratulation Speaker Jatta & Deputy Speaker Njie; and thank you President Adama Barrow for a job all done.

Share the list of the victims publicly and the amounts they received from the fifty-million dalasis for transparency and accountability, darn it. Or audit the crooks asap.