The family of late Ousman Koro Ceesay, the former Finance Minister of the AFPRC junta,who was allegedly killed by the members of the junta, have reacted angrily to the testimony of Edward Singhatey, former vice chairman of the junta, who told the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) that Mr. Ceesay must have been killed by Senegalese rebels.
Singhatey testified before the commission on Monday that Koro Ceesay was asked by the former President Yahya Jammeh to hand deliver two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250, 000) to certain members of the MFDC rebels given to them by the Libyan Government, observing that Koro may have been killed by these rebels around Jambur where his remains were found in his vehicle which was burnt.
At a press conference organized by his family at Faji Kunda, the Ceesay family said they will not sit idly by and watch an “unremorseful psychopath” vilify the character of their loved one, emphasizing that only insane people will believe the narration of such a personality whose only purpose is to sow a seed of discontent in the minds of Gambians without showing any remorse for his crime.
“As a family, it is our responsibility to maintain the character of our brother in his absence and for somebody who is an unremorseful psychopath to insinuate that Koro was probably dealing with or must have been killed by rebels is just plain wrong. This is a guy who does not have a moral compass and tried to plant a seed of doubt so that the general public will start to think or waver on Koro’s character,” said Dr. Naffie Ceesay, Koro’s sister.
Dr. Ceesay observed that if the former number two man of the military junta thinks fabricating lies against Ousman Koro Ceesay will work for him, then he is underestimating the intelligence of The Gambian people. She added that as far as the death of her brother is concerned, Gambians already know the truth about the circumstances in which he was killed as well as his exemplary personality.
“We have all watched the testimonies of some people wanting to make allegations against our brother for involving in certain things. These are the people trying to plant seeds of doubt in our minds as to Koro’s character and who he was or wasn’t, but we as a family knew him better than anyone. What we know is that Koro was a man of discipline, integrity, service, love for family and country,” Dr. Ceesay said on behalf of her family.
She added: “There will be a lot of things that will go out. There will be a lot of garbage that will be thrown out there in the hope that something will stick in the minds of The Gambian people, but our organization is here to talk about the life of Koro, not about how he died, but his legacy.”
“We were not surprised that witnesses have shied away from taking responsibility for killing our brother and we were not surprised to note that a particular witness denied participating in the murder of our brother. It would have been nice and it would have been great for someone to come out and tell the truth because repentance includes telling the truth. First, before we heal, we need to know the truth because you cannot forgive when you don’t know the truth”, the US based Gambian doctor stated.
Dilating on the confidence her family has on the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation process that is trying to extract the truth from alleged perpetrators including the former Junta Vice President Edward Singhatey, Dr. Ceesay said that even though Gambians are eager to see and hear the truth from alleged perpetrators, room must be given to the commission to do their work.
Dr. Ceesay concluded by saying that “a mere apology from someone or lack of apology from someone has nothing to do with our family forgiving anyone as at the moment”.