Gambia Opposition Leader Decries Coup Celebration

OJGambian opposition leader Omar Jallow of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has decried the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the military takeover that brought to power Yahya Jammeh, describing the move as ‘illegal’.

“You cannot glorify illegality. Everybody knows that a coup d’état is an illegal action condemned by international and local laws. Even those who tried to do what Jammeh did have been sentenced to life imprisonment,” he told this reporter.

On July 22, 1994 a group of young Gambian army officers led by Yahya Jammeh overthrown President Sir Dawda K. Jawara, putting an end to 30 years of PPP regime. Since then, the tiny country West African has entered into a series of attacks on the media, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and continuous clampdown on civil liberties that have left Gambians under the rule of fear.

While considering the issue of democracy, PPP’s Omar Jallow mocked Jammeh’s blatant contradictions in commemorating a coup d’état under a ‘democratic’ system. “I could not understand how a government that is purported to be a democratically elected for the last 15 years still celebrates illegality and glorifies treasonable action.”

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Amnesty International has joined forces with other human rights organizations for a global day of action marking 20 years since President Jammeh seized power.

“Journalists, human rights defenders, political activists and other Gambians are frequently targeted for exercising their rights to freedom of expression. A series of laws adopted since President Jammeh came to power in 1994 makes it possible for these violations to take place with almost total impunity and discourages victims from seeking redress,” reads the statement.

However, former Speaker Hon. Fatou Jahumpa Ceesay said the July 22, 1994 is worth celebrating in a big way. “A lot of things have happened
in all sectors in this country. President Yahya Jammeh has brought development in The Gambia.”

Hon. Fatou Jahumpa Ceesay, who is a prominent member of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), rejected the notion that Gambia is confronted with a decline of democracy.

“Democracy is not just to go and vote. Democracy is giving peace to your people, bringing economic stability. There is too much talk within the ranks of the opposition. It is time for them to appreciate the good work President Jammeh is doing. ”

Written by Abdoulie JOHN



  1. O.J.Jallow was part of the PPP regime. They were the first to let the gambia down.

  2. Thank you OJ for fighting for the Gambian people. Gambia will free and we will be moving forward.

  3. Lafia Touray la Manju

    My problem with Oj is; anytime there is election he runs away. He participated in only one election since jammeh came to power.

  4. Lafia, you are spot on. With all of OJ rhetoric, he never stands and fight during elections, he is either in U.K or U.S, even coalition negotiations hardly finds him in tip top position to play a part, this says a lot about the PPP. They are still bitter and don’t want to redeem the situation without them as inheritors. And the didn’t even fight back in the immediate days after the coup. I heard that some ordinary people were ready to battle the soldiers, but PPP leaders made a no show.

  5. Alieu Camara and Lafia Touray, complains have been many, and your sacrifices few. O.J Jallows is the only real man in the Gambia. According to jammeh’s pulic statement, there is no man in the Country including yourselves. o.j has been fighting since day one till today. For your informations, he is the one that deserves a nobel peace price. He is an Icon of all times, whenever and wherever People talk about freedom, democracy and the yearning of human rights and jutice. Do you have fair elections? what are ur constributions towards the struggie? I don’t know OJ Jallow, but have love and respect for him. so learn how to love and forget how to hate. witches can conquer their soul, but can’t kill their will. am sure that yahya jammeh has more respect to OJ than yourself. think before you leap for a better of a good tomorrow. sorry but truth hurts.