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The Gambia celebrates July 22 revolution: A chat with two young Gambians
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The Gambia celebrates July 22 revolution: A chat with two young Gambians

Thousands of Gambians across the country are today celebrating the 21st anniversary of the July 22 Revolution that toppled the regime of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara.

It was on the 22nd July, 1994 when President Jammeh took over power in a bloodless coup d'état as a junior officer in the army. He later went on to form a political party known as the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) and was elected president of The Gambia in 1996.

Jammeh was re-elected in 2001 and again in 2006. He won his fourth term as president in 2011 with over 70% of the vote. 

1. Is The Gambia better off today than before Jammeh?

2. If you could talk to President Jammeh over attaya, what would you say to him?

These were the two questions What’s On-Gambia asked Daily Observer’s reporter, Omar Wally and Sweden-based blogger, Jakomba Jabbi.

Omar Wally

Question 1:I have to start with Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, the founding father who laid the foundation. Because at the end of the British rule in 1965, there was no Central Bank, no Gamtel, no army, no infrastructure and no currency of our own.  He created all these during his presidency.

President Jammeh also registered some success like the former government.  He built schools and hospitals.

The University of The Gambia (UTG) is one of his biggest achievements.  It brought higher education to the doorsteps of many disadvantaged Gambians. I am a student at the School of Journalism and Digital Media.

Question 2:  I would ask Jammeh to be more dialectical. I would also ask him to be a better listener. One of the most challenging jobs in this world is leading people. Leadership is a serious responsibility.

My father was a chief (seyfo) and I am made to understand as a leader you can’t expect everybody to love you. I would ask Jammeh to offer an olive branch to those on the other side.

I would suggest for his government to set up a mango processing factory that creates employment to dozens of young people and also avoid waste of mangoes.

Jakomba Jabbi

Question 1:The Gambia is much more developed now than before. Most of the roads are well built. A good example is the Barra-Wassu highway; one can now travel without any difficulties.

The education system has also changed. Jammeh built the University of The Gambia, which is graduating students every year. He also built hospitals and health centres in different parts of the country.

Question 2:  An "attaya" with the President will be awesome. It is said that when you want to know about a person or his philosophies, have a friendly chat. My first question to him would be about the alleged human rights violations that distanced him and the country from the West.

Many people have been arrested and detained for more than 72 hours, including children.  Are you aware of that Mr. President?

After the execution of the nine prisoners by firing squad, some have come to the conclusion that you care less about Gambians. Is it true that you are a dictator?

You are known for supporting women, which is very noble. But recently, I read online accusations against you that got me thinking. I strongly believe as a leader you should be a role model and mentor. Are the accusations true?


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