Opposition leaders have decried The Gambia government’s decision to sideline them in the celebrations of the 50th independence anniversary which took place at Independence Stadium in Bakau, located about 7 km from the capital Banjul.
“That is our National Day, and it is a none-partisan matter. This is a celebration by Gambians,” Lawyer Ousainou Darboe of the pposition United Democratic Party (UDP) told this reporter.
February 18, 2015 marks the start of former British colony’s Golden Jubilee which gained independence in 1965. Several activities are expected to be carried out within this Jubilee Year. The event came in the wake of a failed putsch attempt staged by some foreign Gambian dissidents based in US, United Kingdom and Germany. The power grab fiasco resulted in a massive crackdown on dozens of relativea of the alleged coup suspects.
Many Gambians were expecting that the Jubilee Celebrations would be used as an opportunity to foster the path to genuine reconciliation. But their hopes were dashed by the ensuing political repression and the sidelining of opposition parties in the commemoration.
“I can only speak for myself; I am not invited,” said Darboe who i. the leader of the country’s biggest opposition party.
Omar Amadou Jallow of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Jammeh said
the stance taken by the Jammeh regime did not surprise him. “This has been the case over these past years.”
The PPP leader recalled that during PPP 30-year rule, the government used to invite all political organizations when commemorating the anniversary of Gambia’s nationhood.
“Independence should be seen as national celebration, and not as a partisan celebration.” Omar Amadou Jallow said the Gambia has particularly tried to instrumentalize the Jubilee Celebrations in order to break diplomatic isolation it is confronted with.
“Since the advent of the Jammeh regime, they have disrespected this present day President Jammeh stated in many forums that the February 18 celebrations are not important as Gambians were not independent.”
US-based political activist Saul Mbenga could not understand why Gambians who made the independence possible have not been invited by Jammeh to take part. “And yet, he (President Jammeh) is spending huge amount of borrowed money to invite foreigners to the great event he had not taken part in. The PPP is the party that led Gambia to independence.”
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, John Mahama of Ghana, Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea-Bissau, and Senegalese Prime Minister Mouhamed Boune Abdoulaye Dione took part in the launching by President Yahya Jammeh of the Jubilee Celebrations at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN
The Gambia is bigger than any one person… 10 Points issued again.. I always say this and I will say it again.. The final stroke is coming..No warning shots.. matter of fact no shots at all…
I am glad he didn’t invite them because it was a celebration of evil and greed. U can see the weak leaders represented .
This can be included in a long list of “strange” decisions by President Jammeh. The consequences must be his and his alone..as it is consigned into Gambian history..
This should not be a reflection upon the goodwill of the Gambian people…towards each other…or indeed the entire membership of the opposition and there chosen leaders….or indeed the APRC against fellow ” brothers of politics.”
For it is known across the world that the entire Gambian people are friendly, hospitable and share even a loaf of bread with strangers.
Even more so with each other.
When I am asked what do I think of Gambian’s…I confirm I can only say good things.
I myself do not consider this as a normal reflection of being Gambian
Therefore there is no need for any embarressment.
Jammeh has no regard for opposition leaders because he see them as no threat to his presidency . Jammeh is a big bully who has no respect for any Gambian. Jammeh didn’t invite them because there is no need . He denied them their basic freedom of speech , association and assembly . Jammeh decide when they can have their rallies or political meetings . In Essence the political leader’s rights has been ceased long time ago . Jammeh denied them access to state media and anything that is state owned. What is there to celebrate ?
The opposition leadership can only blame themselves for any maltreatments from the murderous kanilai devils worshipping alligator… I refer all to my late posting (no. 64) on Hailfa Sallah article “Coup finds Gambia at cross roads”, for my opinion…. The abysmal selfish leadership pursuance of individualistic aspirations at ALL cost of our opposition leaders has ever proved unsuccessful, as contrary to a unified collective approach to end our collective suffering as a nation which has proved effective in most places…. They have seen how the evil kanilai delish tyrant has maltreated the majority & average Gambian & friends including themselves; how naive could they have expected to be treated differently today…??? Yes we are independent of European colonialism 50 years ago BUT the worst prevails today & for the past 20 years under a murderous fiefdom colonization & enslavement headquartered in kanilai… Just why does any politicians assumed their individualistic aspirations & assumption of power is more important than innocent lives being stifled under the murderous tyrant; & their current “all can get to hell if NOT for their leadership aspirations”-attitudes beggars belief to say the least…??? The truth is, the sooner we all, including them, expect the worst to come & NOTHING less, is better than burying one’s head in sand… God help Gambia; Ameen.
Neither disappointed nor surprised! Yahya Jammeh is capable of doing anything and everything one can think of and he can care less. This was the guy who put his own mother under house arrest when he received the news of Pa Bojang’s escape. Apparently Ma Asombie was part of the ploy to get Pa out of Jammeh’s danger zone. If the man can continuously abuse the crap out of his own child because of the latter’s slow codeines, who and what do you think can be spared?
My advice for the opposition party leaders is that they MUST put their house in order. The online presence is all good and dandy but make sure we do what we preach. Instead of running around the world promising to lift mountains, just do yourselves and us a tiny favor by lifting up a finger with the silent majority against those who wrong us – in THE GAMBIA. Engage your peers on the ground to come around a single table and strategies the expunging of this thing called “Jammeh” And do so with honesty and with the interest of Gambia at heart. Taking this path will certainly be a precedent to the removal of this curse from us. Now lets go do some work!!!