By Yankuba Jallow
Edward Singhatey, a former vice-chairman of the defunct AFPRC regime has on Monday offered his apology to Gambians for the rights violation they committed while they were in government.
The 51 – year – old is the 3rd member of the defunct Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council to appear before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). He served first as the Minister of Defense before replacing Sana Sabally as the Vice-Chairman of the military government.
The former military officer turned-politician also held several positions under the APRC regime.
According to Singhatey, they overthrow the PPP government to bring about the change that the Gambians have been yearning for including providing them with basic social amenities such as roads, schools and hospitals. He said the situation of the country in terms of development was low and therefore, they decided to come in by risking their lives in order to remove the PPP government.
He said people were not supposed to be tortured or killed as it happened under their government, adding that it was unfortunate.
“Those who were killed should not have died. Those who were tortured should not have been tortured,” he said.
He said at the time of the 22nd July 1994 coup d’état, he was just in his early 20s. He said most of the things that happened should not have happened.
“I am pleading to the entire nation for forgiveness,” he said.
He said he takes a shared responsibility for whatever the former head of State, Yahya Jammeh did because he was the one who put him in that position.
He said in 1994 they came with the promise to serve for only 6 months but after the National Consultative Committee was set up, the people suggested the transition should be 2 years and that was what they implemented.
He said it was unfortunate that the number of victims under their government was huge and it was not his desire to hurt any person.
“If it was not 22nd July 1994, this won’t happen to them,” he said.
Singhatey has indicated that he has taken responsibility for whatever soldiers who were under him did in terms of violations of the rights of the citizenry in any form. He sought forgiveness from the entire country.
“What happened should not have happened. I am pleading to the victims and their families to forgive us,” he said.