“…Every sin can be forgiven by sincere repentance and making amends with those whom we wronged…”
That is what Islamic jurists say a sinner must do – repent and make amends with those wronged – as a way of receiving forgiveness from the Almighty Allah.
In the context of the current talk of national reconciliation by The Gambia government, we should all be reminded that the TRRC Act, 2017 prescribes the same format in order to achieve reconciliation.
The Act mandates the Commission to foster reconciliation; and, where applicable recommend amnesty.
The NPP-APRC alliance has been sold to Gambians and the world by both sides as a coming together in the spirit of national reconciliation.
But the APRC leadership past and present – whether Yahya Jammeh or FTJ and co – is yet to publicly express remorse for its crimes, and ask for forgiveness from its victims.
In any case, to the keen observer, Barrow’s talk of fostering national reconciliation is spin for what is clearly a marriage of convenience.
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of current English defines marriage of convenience (noun) as “a marriage that is made for practical, financial or political reasons and not because the two love each other”.
It must be noted that the TRRC, as mandated by the Act, did set up a Reconciliation Committee which has been spearheading reconciliation at the level of the Commission.
But in this elections season, the politicians seeing an opportunity to win votes decided to jump the gun!
Even though we all want national reconciliation, President Barrow should have waited for the submission of the TRRC report, but not spearhead the issue of national reconciliation in the manner we are all witnessing.
He should have waited for the submission of the TRRC report, and share the report with the public in a White Paper.
This could be followed by a Green Paper outlining what it intends to do regarding the Commission’s findings and recommendations!
A government Green Paper would, among others, announced a policy decision to foster national reconciliation and state how it intended to promote such reconciliation.
This could entail a legislative process similar to the announced government plan to introduce a bill for a Victims Compensation Fund and a Commission for Victim Compensation, and so on.
In coming out and making statements in support, and publicly embracing the NPP-APRC alliance, President Adama Barrow has made it government policy!
Barrow’s public pronouncements are intended for the electorate, with the incumbent banking on the votes of APRC supporters for re-election on December 4.
Embarking on this so-called NPP-APRC alliance is clearly an act of political expediency!
Again, the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the word “expedient” (a noun, and an adjective as well) as follows: “an action that is useful or necessary for a particular purpose, but not always fair or right”.
An example of usage is: “He acted out of expediency, not principle.”