July 22 “Celebration”: Disgust & Support!

There are 3 articles here; 4 including Standard’s Fake.

IGP Issues No Permit To APRC To Celebrate July 22nd 1994 Coup

The government of The Gambia wishes to inform the general public that a front page story on the Standard newspaper of Thursday July 13th quoting Honourable Musa Amul Nyassi, Member of Parliament for Foni Kansala, that the former ruling APRC party has been granted police permit to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the July 22nd 1994 coup, is false and a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

The public is informed that no such permit was issued to Honourable Nyassi, or indeed any other person acting on behalf of the APRC. The Gambia government maintains that the 1994 coup was an illegal act, staged principally, to usurp power and subvert the popular will of the Gambian people who fought through their sweat and blood to establish and nurture a democratic culture for 30 years that became an envy of the whole world.

Memories are still fresh of the brutality that the July 22nd coup brought on Gambians. Families were torn apart; innocent citizens willfully killed; businesses unlawfully closed and so many of The Gambia’s most experienced and finest brains forced to flee the country because of the organized and systematic abuse of their fundamental rights.

Notwithstanding its unwavering position to respect and broaden democratic principles and personal freedoms of citizens, the government of The Gambia maintains that the July 22nd coup still leaves painful reminders of torture, unexplained disappearances, killings and plunder of state resources. This day therefore should not in any way be glorified, hailed or celebrated by any well-meaning Gambian.

Furthermore, the government of The Gambia warns that any public gathering which requires a public address system needs a police permit. It is on record that the Inspector General of Police has not issued any such permit to authorize any individual, political party or any other group to hold festive celebrations of the July 22nd 1994 coup.

The general public is therefore warned to be law abiding and follow due process especially in matters related to public safety and national security and to avoid anything that may endanger national security.

D.A. Jawo, Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure

13th July 2017

Editor’s Note: The Standard newspaper is owned by dictator Jammeh’s Minister of Information Sheriff Bojang – the man who told BBC that “murdered Solo Sandeng and the jailed UDP leaders brought it all upon themselves”. Why didn’t the Standard simply pick up the phone and verify with the IGP before running a false story (this false story has led to the “resignation” on facebook of Gambia’s Ambassador to German Mark Janneh).

Celebrate, Says Momodou Njie

The leader of the July 22nd Revolution has lost power, but no one has the right to stop the vanguards from celebrating their achievements if there are any!!

It is a known fact that before there was APRC as a political party, there was the July 22nd revolution that brought an end to a democratically elected government through illegal means. However, in 1996 the APRC party was given legitimacy to govern which defeats the purpose of illegality. Why did the Gambians fall for the charms of the APRC that ended up becoming the vanguards of the July 22nd revolution? Many who were not APRC supported the July 22nd revolution, and celebrated for the new development projects introduced to the Gambian people. Whether these were plans the ousted PPP government had in plans or not, it was the APRC ruling Party that implemented them into action. Now that we have an overall picture of the July 22nd revolution with the APRC vanguards, we should see that anyone trying to separate the two will find it very difficult because the vanguards kept the July 22nd revolution alive for 22yrs celebrating it. Now with their leader gone, who on earth is talking about banning the celebration of this movement? Perhaps we should make the case for their continued celebration although we may hate their guts!!!

  1. The same people that were celebrating had no issue with it in the beginning.
    2. The same July 22nd brought in the development agendas this new government is now enjoying.
    3. With all the setbacks of disappearances etc, 200, 000 people still supported the APRC at the last  Presidential elections, so this new government never had the majority, but won by 19,000 votes. Take note, which is not over 50%
    4. The country is divided and everyone has the right to celebrate their movement.
    5. Many still have resentments about the PPP by Former Head of State Jawara forcing himself back into power in 1981 with the help of the Senegalese that led to many deaths. There is a mass grave in Banjul that families never got a chance to pay their respects. Besides, what was life like during that time I was not born yet? I guess history would be the judge!!
    6. In 1992 after been in power for almost 30yrs, the announcement of the resignation of Sir Dawda which he later resented brought about the AFPRC to takeover power.
    7. Fast forward, after the unfortunate killings of students in April 10th 2000, the same hypocrites who say today that July 22nd should not be celebrated could be seen in crowds, taking appointments as Ministers, and have served the same brutal government. They have taken money from the former Head of State, and celebrated with the then dictator, so who are they fooling today? Did they deny taking appointments or celebrating in public back then? No!! I guess principles, and integrity is something they lack.
    8. If these very same people that took positions and celebrated then while others were in Mile 2, dead, or missing, what has changed so much that they cannot respect the rights of others to celebrate their movement?
    9. Many who now say this is a matter of National Security are using the same old lines that the former government used. That being said, no one should also use any illegal method to try and jeopardize the peace we have in our beloved Gambia. We should stay away from violence in all it’s forms. This same method cannot be used to silence others in this new Gambia. APRC as a Party being represented in the House of Parliament has the right to continue celebrating their July 22nd movement because to them it brought in the developments still being utilized under this administration. If it brought darkness to many, there are those who would argue that it brought light to our new found Democracy!! Be it GRTS, the airport, hospitals, the Gambia university, and many other projects, many would argue that had they not come in power, we would be talking about a Monarchy under Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, and not the debate of term limits today.

The last point I want to make is for those who say, ” this is a mockery to the victims.” Folks, no one should be mocked for losing a loved one, but in my view this is not a mockery; it is about respecting the rights of others to exercise their freedom of expression, speech, and to peacefully assemble which we all fought to restore. If we ban the APRC, something I was in favor off during the political impasse that the then Parliament decided to hijack the will of the people to extend the term of the President by passing a State of Emergency; how are we any better? What kind of New Gambia are we setting up? How can we celebrate those who wanted to overthrow a government on December 30th, and reinstate them into our military, but find it difficult for the vanguards of the July 22nd revolution to celebrate their achievements over 22yrs? What is illegal is illegal, and there is no coming around it. We are either a democratic nation that respects the rights of all, or we are a non democratic nation that would follow the path of selective justice!!

It is tough to see others rejoice over your pains, and sufferings, but is it right to have our emotions cloud our judgments into doing the right thing? We need to be democratic at all times, and be bold enough to put aside our emotions and defend what is right. I was always concerned about our preparedness to show that we are truly democratic, but I am never disappointed that even the most educated amongst us lack the democratic principles we often preach. There is a beast in us that we should learn to cage, and the only way we can do that is by applying the same rules on all!! Glad to see that the Daily Observer is now running after seeing how politically motivated that was, but it is never late to fix the wrongs. It is wrong to try and deny the vanguards of the July 22nd revolution a platform to celebrate because their right is protected under the Gambian Constitution. Lastly, for those who mention Germany as to the existence of that brutal Party, know that a genocide that ended up killing over 6million Jews, is nothing comparable. We have suffered as a Nation, but to try and equate Germany to Gambia is a bit farfetched.

We have a Nation to build, and it can only start by uniting the country, and recognizing the rights of all!! I will not sway this topic to talk about other issues, but the National Interest must supercede our emotions, and frustrations. We hope that H.E President Adama Barrow will recognize that his strong leadership is seriously needed to be more outspoken to stabilize the nation. When the top gives his/her intake on a particular matter, it gives a sense of direction as to what policies to pursue. If the rule of law is to prevail, the minority must be given protectionto go on with their programs. May peace prevail in our beloved Gambia, and may common sense override our frustrations, and emotions. This is a hard pill to swallow, but it is what’s right. Let us focus on uniting the country, and building a better Gambia. APRC celebrating should not stop The Gambia Government from pursuing their development agenda. The fear of the past can only be forgotten if we give others the freedom to exercise their rights; not by taking them away, and threatening their existence. Paranoia is dangerous and have led many to falter. Let us not fall into the same traps!! We are at a fragile moment in our history, and should promote democracy, not finding ways of suppressing it. We are better than the past mistakes that occurred during 52yrs of history so let us show it by God’s grace. Those who want to celebrate July 22ndshould go ahead with protection under the law, and also adhere to the respect of the law by maintaining peace!! The leader of the July 22ndRevolution has lost power, but no one has the right to stop the vanguards from celebrating their achievements if if there are any!!

Courtesy of Freedomnewspaper.

Mixed Reasons to Celebrate & Remember, Says Alagi Yorro Jallow

There are mixed reasons to celebrate and remember July 22 !

July 13, 2017

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

There are reasons to celebrate the “July 22 Revolution” and remember President Yahya Jammeh in a simple way. This may be with national prayers in churches and mosques to heal and reconcile a divided and polarized nation, to move on from the whole aspect of nation-building, or to give it a more positive outlook and more positive understanding, whether it can best be described as amoral not immoral, but amoral in the Gambia’s history. The Gambian people are not blind to the darkness and oppression of the Yahya years.

Although controversies and unsolved cases marred Yahya’s 22 years rule, what will also be forever engraved in The Gambia’s history are his contributions in infrastructure development. Infrastructures were built that were unprecedented in the history of our country that provided a venue for Gambians to highlight cultural heritage, propagate arts and culture, generate tourism, improve and contribute to economic growth.

Remembering the “July 22 Revolution” might speed up the process of reckoning. This can start with the retelling of the horrors: the knock on the door before dawn for an arrest without warrant, the rape, regular beating, and water cure, the cigarette burned through flesh, the wires attached to genitals and breasts for mild electric shocks.

The struggles are worth retelling. It is the responsibility of those who lived through those difficult days to keep the memories alive for the future generations, to ensure that the abuses are not repeated. Those who dared challenge the dictatorship often paid the ultimate price. This is worth celebrating, as democracy has endured despite numerous attempts and persistent threats to civil liberties. The greed that gave rise to the word “dictatorship” has been tamed. The systematic violation of human rights is over.

Beyond the physical horrors, there was the insatiable greed for power and wealth, with the dictatorship confiscating opponents’ businesses and handing these over to cronies. As the nation is seeing, the alleged amassed wealth is mind-boggling, with 86 bank accounts, 131 movable and immovable properties, and $50 million in accounts alone, impossible for a salary of 22 years. Basically, the thrust of remembering this day is moving the nation forward from just looking back at what has happened in the past and encouraging everybody to cooperate in nation-building.

Yet, President Adama Barrow’s revolution is unfinished. Corruption remains rampant at all levels of government and democratic institutions are weak, including the police and judicial system, which has failed to make anyone accountable for the abuses of President Jammeh except the “NIA Nine” and the few “Jugglers”. Millions have not been recovered in ill-gotten wealth, and no one has been sent to prison for amassing such wealth.

According to Freedom House the Gambia’s political rights rating improved from 7 to 6 dues to Adama Barrow’s victory in the December 2016 presidential election but the regime shows little respect for personal rights and civil liberties, there is urgent needs for improvements.

The cumulative outcome and costs of President Jammeh’s dictatorship are incalculable. He was not content with simply being a president who had been reelected to four terms of the Gambian presidency. However enormous, his plunder of the nation’s wealth is only one of the costly consequences of his evil rule.

During his 22 years in power, the Gambia fell far behind several neighboring countries in West Africa in the pursuit of development, becoming “the basket case” in the region. Democracy was destroyed, the economy was in ruin, and a cul¬ture of corruption, violence, and cynicism arose.

Hundreds of Gambians were killed, imprisoned, tortured, or displaced from their homes and communities, or they simply disappeared without a trace. Also with impunity, women were raped and degraded by the military, po¬lice, and other criminal elements known as the “Green Boys” and the “Jugglers”.

President Jammeh’s economics of debt-driven growth was disastrous for the Gambia. His regime was not interested in inclusive development, long-term state-building, or the genuine social transformation of the country, despite its “Vision 2020 Blueprint” rhetoric. Instead, President Jammeh was mainly concerned with perpetuating his personal hold on power by favoring family members, friends, and other cronies. Thus, he simply created new elites or “oligarchs” rather than abolish them — supposedly one of his main justifications for dictatorial rule. Those who dared challenge the regime’s monopoly on power whether politicians, businesspeople, political activists, lawyers, farmers, the urban poor, journalists, or students — young or old, rich or poor — were intimidated, imprisoned, kidnapped, tortured, or summarily executed.

Section of Gambians have branded President Jammeh as merciless and even a criminal, true, but let us not forget the achievements of Jammeh’s administration before everything turned sour. It’s not always easy to see the good despite the bad, particularly because there are events which happen that we may never fully understand. The infrastructures that Yahya’s administration has left us is a reminder that we should all start building something good despite hard times. A good foundation with the right maintenance can lead to productivity

In his one of his speeches, he made a promise to make the nation great again and in a way, he did. Infrastructures were built that were unprecedented in the history of our country that provided a venue for Gambians to highlight cultural heritage, propagate arts and culture, generate tourism, improve and contribute to economic growth.

A lot of Yahya’s infrastructures today still stand like the Gambia university, Gambia Radio and Television Services, and other infrastructural developments, Kombo Coastal roads networks bridges, schools, the Supreme Courts complex and amongst others, because the people behind these infrastructures still believe that the mission of either providing a venue for performance, giving aid to the sick and connecting people is not over. Until now, these infrastructures continue to help our economy in their own aspect. Some of them are recognized landmarks that help sectors of the economy like the real estate market by increasing the value of homes or properties nearby or accessibility to establishments.

Today, the Gambian people must refuse to forget the atrocities committed by President Jammeh’s regime, and we renew our demand that the perpetrators of these crimes be brought to justice. We also reiterate our position that the government of President Barrow should relentlessly pursue and reclaim all the ill-gotten wealth accumulated by President Jammeh’s family and its cronies. Moreover, the victims and their families should be given justice and compensation in full. Any call for unity, reconciliation, and forgiveness, which bitterly divided the country, will be empty and meaningless unless truth and justice are upheld.

The Gambian people must affirm their commitment to telling the truth about the horrors of President Jammeh’s dictatorship so that it can be remembered as one of the darkest periods of the Gambian history.

The Gambian people must reject the argument that democracy does not work in the Gambia and that only a dictatorship, benevolent or otherwise, can bring our country to prosperity. We must instead encourage and harness the full democratic capacity of our people and institutions to progress as a nation. Although inequality and injustice continue to persist, we believe the solution to these problems lies in deepening our democratic institutions and practices, empowering the marginalized, and exacting accountability from our leaders and ourselves.

I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the attempts by some individuals and particularly public figures to whitewash President Jammeh regime’s wanton violation of human rights and to distort its political and economic record. I call on all our politicians to take a definite stand on the abuses of President Jammeh’s dictatorship. I challenge them to join our call to never again allow the conditions of tyranny to take root in our society. I demand that candidates who directly or indirectly participated in and benefited from the regime apologize and, if necessary, make restitution for their role in the regime or their support of it.

I joined the Gambian people aspire to keep alive the ideals and heroism of the many brave Gambians who fought the regime. For as long as we remember and share these stories, and I believe that future generations of Gambians will learn the lessons of the years of struggle leading to the defeat of the dictatorship during the People’s Power Revolution on December 1, 2017.

The fullness of democratization, especially the creation of a political and socio-economic order, which respects the dignity of all Gambians, has yet to be achieved. It is our responsibility now to continue and complete this unfinished struggle and start with the truth.

Courtesy fo Fatu Net.

Finally, Standard’s Fake News!

 APRC WILL CELEBRATE JULY 22 – Amul

www.standard.gm  July 13, 2017 , By Isatou Jawara

The APRC National Assembly member for Foni Kansala, Musa Amul Nyassi, has declared that the APRC will celebrate the July 22 anniversary this year.

Speaking to The Standard Hon. Nyassi disclosed that the party has received a written permit from the office of the Inspector General of Police to mark the event.

“The Party militants will come together to celebrate the day in grand style and we want the whole Gambia to know that APRC is alive and the militants are still loyal to the Party,” he said.

The Kansala NAM further said the event will be marked with series of events. “I don’t want to say much because the Party has structures; we have an interim leader who is the chairman of the national coordinating committee.

There are plans for a press briefing at which lot of issues will be highlighted about the celebrations,” Hon Nyassi said.

He further said APRC has plans for its future and the party will move forward to consolidate the gains made, rectify the mistakes, weaknesses and keep the party alive and relevant to the Gambian people.

He said APRC executive committee meets regularly to discuss issues regarding the party.

“As a Party we cannot claim to be perfect but we also have success stories written all over in the history books of The Gambia,” Hon Nyassi said.

 

Sambagate’s Position:

The IGP says it all:-

“Memories are still fresh of the brutality that the July 22nd coup brought on Gambians. Families were torn apart; innocent citizens willfully killed; businesses unlawfully closed and so many of The Gambia’s most experienced and finest brains forced to flee the country because of the organized and systematic abuse of their fundamental rights.”

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