The Gambia’s controversial leader has once again flared tempers when he said the country’s independence “was a sham.”
President Yahya Jammeh, who forced his way into power in July 1994, acknowledged that “our independence was achieved through the hard work of patriotic independence minded citizens but that independence was a sham as Gambia’s leadership then plunged our country deeper into the complete hegemony of the British Empire and therefore failed to bring about any significant socio-economic development.
President Jammeh has downplayed the Gambia’s independence celebration year after year. Instead his government puts a lot of energy and resources into honouring a day when disgruntled soldiers overthrew a democratically elected government of Sir Dawda Jawara from power.
In his address on the Gambia’s 49th independence celebration on Tuesday, Gambian leader reiterated his usual tirade on western powers, picking a bone with a former United States President for labelling the Gambia “a hell hole on earth.” He also grilled Great Britain for “the massive looting of our resources.”
Mr. Jammeh exhorted Gambians “to be proud of ourselves considering the rapid development we have achieved so far during the past 20 years i.e. from July 22nd 1994 when we became truly independent from the exploitative hegemony of the ungrateful Kingdom of our former colonial Masters.”
President Jammeh, who cannot address the nation without firing threats, said “independence, development, peace and stability cannot be attained and sustained without a price. Every citizen should be willing to pay with his/her sweat at the least for rapid socio economic development and peace.”
“At the most,” he said, “every citizen should be willing to pay with his or her blood and tears to maintain our Independence, Freedom, security and permanent stability in a country where all ALLAH-Fearing Muslims and Christians can worship our Creator and Master with absolute peace of mind and soul.”