When it was announced at the TRRC that a high profile witness would appear before it yesterday, many people thought that it was just a propaganda ploy that does not befit the TRRC. Many people even queried why such a statement was issued since the TRRC is not supposed to be a show business.

Most people however were overwhelming struck by surprise when the ex-vice chairman of the AFPRC was ushered in to give his testimony. This confirms that the truth is possible to be known through a medium that is aimed at repentance, reparation and reconciliation, instead of revenge and retribution. Who would voluntarily accept the guilt of murder and be sentenced to life imprisonment or death. This is why such people could conceal their act until others prove their action beyond doubt.

In The Gambia, those who took over the country through the barrel of the gun and consolidated their power for two years through the barrel of the gun were pushed to put an end to military rule and endorse an electoral system which could be manipulated for two decades but still offer the people the right to effect change through the ballot box. This happened on 2nd December 2016. Transfer of power was done in a peaceful manner.

The challenge of the transitional government is to ensure that this peaceful transfer of power would lead to the building up of a country that would prevent the barrel of the gun from being used again to assume or maintain power with impunity. This is why a truth and reconciliation commission is seen as the vehicle which will enable those who have done wrong to have the courage to accept their wrong, request for forgiveness, repent and express regret for what was; and offer reparation for those who are affected. Yesterday, the whole nation listened and if the commission continues to handle the testimony of this witness dispassionately with professionalism it could tip the balance and give confidence to all other witnesses to save the nation by admitting its past wrong doing in order to prevent the recurrence of wrong doing in the future.

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