A state could be a protector of innocent citizens or their oppressor and tormentor. It all depends on whether the hearts and minds of those who have the mandate to govern speak the language of truth and justice.
If leaders are committed to truth and justice, they cannot tolerate any perpetration of injustice. Foroyaa is still wondering how the president of the Republic could deliver an EID message by making the following pronouncement while innocent MettaNjie, BaiJobeNjie, FatouSonko, Yusupha Lowe and Pa Alieu Lowe are languishing in detention for having blood ties with the insurgents of 30th December 2014:
“Fellow Gambians and friends of the Gambia, as we rejoice and celebrate on this glorious day of Eid-ul-Fitr or Koriteh, let us remember and reflect on the plight of the less privileged, the poor and those who continue to live in fear and deprivation caused by unnecessary wars and other affliction.”
Life and liberty are the most precious possessions of a human being. To keep a human being in one place away from relatives and friends for doing nothing contradicts the law and constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment.
In many countries, religious leaders are goodwill ambassadors who are encouraged by executive authority to guide them in their exercise of prerogative of mercy. Unfortunately, the plight of detainees did not arise when the president met the religious leaders after the EID prayers.
Many religious leaders are petrified to raise such matters with the president. This trend should change if governance in the Gambia is to be tempered with mercy and justice. Leaders, on issues of morality, should be encouraged to raise grievances to guide the conscience of decision makers.