Online Media Has Never Taken On APRC Heads

President Jammeh meeting the APRC National Congress Task Force Committee in 2014

By Deyda Hydara

Too many Gambians hide their presidential ambitions behind their criticism of the opposition. They are not brave enough to declare their presidential ambitions yet pretend to fight Jammeh. Is the opposition leadership the cause of our predicaments? Is the opposition responsible for the human rights abuses, the economic downturn, the misplaced priorities and the bad policies affecting the Gambia? No.

Never has the online media taken on the APRC party head on in their criticism.

The biggest enabler of Yaya Jammeh is the APRC [Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction] party. As if those who steer the affairs of the APRC party are innocent and beyond criticism from the online media only Yaya Jammeh is being criticized openly and constantly leaving the APRC party blameless. Besides the criticism levied on the APRC wing in the United States, those APRC members on the ground are totally spared from criticism. Without the APRC party Jammeh is nobody as far as elections are concerned. Yet the online media hardly blames or bashes the executives and the militants of the APRC. Yaya Jammeh alone cannot win elections in the Gambia if the APRC party does not campaign for him. It is the APRC party executive that does the registration of foreigners to participate in our elections and sometimes registrations take place in their own compounds. Nobody talks about it. It is the APRC party that organizes meetings, shamelessly lying and luring Gambians to vote for Jammeh. All these are covered by the GRTS TV yet nobody talks about it. It is the APRC party that covers up the blunders of Yaya Jammeh from the public live on TV and nobody talks about it. The APRC members are as guilty as Yaya Jammeh and the NIA [National Intelligence Agency] and no online media talks about it. Is this really fair to the Gambian opposition parties that are being constantly blasted upon, belittled and even blamed for our predicaments by our online media? Is it fair to the opposition that have no platform on the ground to express their views and agenda only to come to the online media to be demoralized, dehumanized sometimes insulted using the foreign BS language? Verily Jammeh and the APRC must the happiest political group enjoying a free propaganda against their opponents on the ground. I really pity the Gambian opposition parties and leadership for they are prosecuted at home and denied access to the local media only to come to the diaspora online media to be rejected and demoralized by the online media.

Too many Gambians hide their presidential ambitions behind their criticism of the opposition. They are not brave enough to declare their presidential ambitions yet pretend to fight Jammeh. Is the opposition leadership the cause of our predicaments? Is the opposition responsible for the human rights abuses, the economic downturn, the misplaced priorities and the bad policies affecting the Gambia? No.

Yaya Jammeh and the APRC executive will NEVER come to the diaspora online media to grant interviews. By not doing so, the online media spare them the virulent criticism leveled on the opposition that avail themselves to their platforms. That is not fair. We should treat our opposition leaders with respect. Yes we should criticize them constructively without using foul foreign words. Negative criticism is not constructive and can lead to further division that further delays the opposition unity that we are all calling for. Let us not loose our traditional values. Let us not loose our bearing.
The struggle to remove Jammeh has become too personal. Every one wants to remove Jammeh but all of us want to be the hero and the leader dictating the narratives. Gambians are our own enemies. Some Gambians enjoy seeing Gambians fighting each other. Will this attitude advance the struggle to remove Jammeh?

It is more than high time that we put our house in order if we are sincerely committed to removing Jammeh. Talking about the problems too much will not solve our problems. It is the brainstorming on providing solutions, ideas, and tangible proposals that can help us achieve our objectives.

There are only four ways to remove Jammeh from office beside natural death:
1- Coup d’état.

2- Assassination.

3- Insurrection.

4- Elections.

The vocation of the political parties is not to conduct the first three violent options. They only can do what the law allows us to do and that is electioneering. Nothing stops those that want to use violent means to carry on their actions for change. My advice to them is to take up arms because they will certainly need them.

Since we are in an election year, we should make full use of it as responsible citizens. As democrats fighting dictatorship, we should not discount the democratic process. The international community partakes in elections, assess the process and even fund them. We should not loose sight that after Jammeh, elections will be the order of the day for change of regime. Just like we accept in our discussions to agree and disagree, we should also inculcate electioneering culture in our political discuss. No Gambian wants to see the Gambia in post-Jammeh to be ruled by coup d’état after coup d’état like in Guinea Bissau. The problem with elections in the Gambia is Yaya Jammeh and the APRC stealing, rigging and monopolizing the local media and not the opposition. If there is any virulent criticism that the online media should blast upon it should be the APRC and not the opposition parties or leadership. The online media should call out an all out war with FULL FORCE against the APRC and the IEC to stop registering foreigners and the ARPC shamelessly lying to people to vote for Jammeh. This is what will help the masses to get involve and take full OWNERSHIP of the power of their voting cards. Failing which and continuing the negative propaganda will only help Jammeh and the APRC to entrench themselves without a fight.

Election is a win or loose on numbers. In any case Gambians in the election registry are far greater in numbers than the illegal foreign voters.

Thank you for your attention.



  1. Hydrara , I agree with you that majority of online media never take jammeh head on because most of them are simply afraid to publish , write and run critical stories about jammeh and Top APRC members . I have long observed that online media are scare to run critical stories about so called friends or relatives in the government who are helping jammeh to oppress Gambians . Majority of Gambian journalists do not know much about what is happening in the statehouse but they also pretend to have reliable sources within the corridor of power . Whistleblowers don’t trust these online
    Media which is why they don’t get right information . They need to establish trust and have goals based on national interest . But if you listen to some of them, they are following their narrow political , regional , tribal and personal agenda while they give little attention to common interest of the Gambian people . If online media refused to take jammeh head on, why do we blame the opposition leaders who are on the ground ? Jammeh is Gambians creation and he is supported by Gambians who carried out atrocities , corruption , mismanagement against their fellow citizens . Online media are always sympathetic to Jammeh’s enablers when they get into trouble. They have no agenda but only react to stories from statehouse . Online media should start to profile top APRC leaders to expose their involvement in corruption, human rights abuses and political oppression . Online media should also call out their colleagues who are obstacle to liberation of Gambia.
    Media has the biggest role to bring about democratic change or any change in The Gambia . Information is power and when it is use effectively it can make greatest impact on our struggle for better Gambia . Today we have so many online media , Some of them are even working for Jammeh and are doing counterintelligence and political propaganda work for him. Gambian online media needs to do self evaluation and change strategy . Jammeh ,every leader of APRC regime and any leader who contribute to oppress Gambian people should be a fair game and should be exposed .
    I commend few online media personnels who are doing good job to educate Gambian people and to expose jammeh and his gang of criminals

  2. What an excellent article. In fact Deyda, there are many uneducated men and women doing damage in the Gambian society for Jammeh. These are the people who buy the loyalty and trust of people with money and gift. Jammeh’s criminality is one side, the other side is his secret arm of illiterates that campaign for him tirelessly. Spot on.

  3. Wow, factual indeed . Truth shall never die

  4. Wow! It seem like you read my mind about the online medias disrespecting our opposition leaders and focusing all their attentions on opposition unity instead of exposing the APRC abusers and vagabonds who are making life difficult for the oppositions in the country. Deyda, thank you for the article. Our focus should be encouraging more Gambians to register and vote in next coming elections and exposing all the obstacles the oppositions are facing with this dictatorial regime of Yaya Jammeh. Let the oppositions workout their unity platform within themselves. Long the Republic of The Gambia. Down with the APRC.


    I agreed with you Deyda 100%. Some of the arrogance and senseless arrogance shown by some of this online commentators is unbelievable. The biggest liar among them is the fat Pa Nderr Mbye. I’m not saying noboby should criticize the opposition but it should be done with respect in the mutual interest of all. Instead of calling for unity in the opposition rank, the fat boy surface again with his blatant disrespect for UDP and its leadership.

  6. Max ” they are following their narrow political , regional , tribal and personal agenda while they give little attention to common interest of the Gambian people” this statement is true and the biggest obstacle we have to tackle before any meaningful change

    Gambians are so divided, I have said this so many times. Watch they will discuss any and everything in the open except their bigotry.

    Its Wollof this, Mandinka that.

  7. Is it fair to the opposition that have no platform on the ground to express their views and agenda only to come to the online media to be demoralized, dehumanized sometimes insulted using the foreign BS language said Deyda, “Well-spoken Mr. Deyda! I agree with you on this article, it’s well articulated. If they want to be president, let them show up their interest to the Gambian public. We all know from the bottom of our hearts, who are helping Yaya Jammeh to remain in power, no matter how many Gambians he kills per day.

  8. Thank you Bro. ..This article has said it all. Hidden agenda and misplaced priorities are what constitute the greatest obstacles to diaspora effectiveness in the struggle, and opposition electoral victory against the APRC…

    And the online media, both print and audio visual, have played no small part in this self destruct tragedy…Perhaps, operating from the Western Hemisphere, they need to learn from their counterparts in the Western media, and see how agenda driven journalism can facilitate change, through mass media…

    Every body supports balanced reporting but when you are established to bring about a certain outcome, in a certain place, you don’t target for redicule, criticism and insults, those elements that will facilitate the achievement of your goals….You may even bury negative news about them or find some plausible explanation for any negative actions by them..

    For example, in the Ukraine during the maidan disturbances, the Western media focused its lenses on the government, blaming them for every act or actions of violence and praising the demonstrators as Democrats. ..

    Once their goal of regime change was achieved, their lenses instantly switched on the opponents of the new regime, who are blamed for all violence, whilst the government’s right to maintain law and order is being drummed into the public conciousness.. (which wasn’t the case when the pro-Moscow government was in power and dealing with the maidan disturbances )

    We see the same “balanced” reporting in Syria and even Yemen…In Syria, it’s only civilian casualties from Russian bombs that appear on our TV screens and newspapers, whist in.Yemen, it is the Iranians that get blamed, though the maximum damage comes from UK & US supplied Saudi bombs…

    In Saudi Arabia, the execution of a prominent Shia cleric is either been downplayed by Western media or given plausible explanation by their numerous experts because Iran is somehow involved. ..

    Information is power and those who control the media, through which information can be spread, are very powerful because they can shape and influence public opinion, and thus, mass action/inaction..

    Unfortunately, by constantly targeting our opposition for criticism and dismissing any chances of electoral victory against Jammeh, our media is actually influencing and shaping public opinion (because they are heard) against the opposition by encouraging voter apathy and creating the impression (in the public mind), of a lack of viable choice/option against Jammeh and the APRC…

    The online media may actually be Jammeh’s greatest free PR tool through their misplaced priorities..

  9. Bax, you made very good points . we have very few journalists who are actually interested in Jammeh’s removal . The rest of the journalists are showboys who are in the business making names for themselves for their personal selfish interest. Many of them are not even credible in the eyes of majority Gambians . They foolishly compete for rating by engaging in sensationalism , tribal and regional favoritism and tasteless individual political driven agenda with total disregard to common national interest. They should have engage in information warfare with criminal APRC government to ensure that those who truly helped jammeh to oppress Gambians or to win election are expose to highest level but they are afraid to call out these people . Gambian journalists are only reactionary to events in Banjul . They should have made strong partnership with opposition parties to ensure electoral victory . They do not have any agenda of their own which will shape or influence the public opinion. Instead of being on offensive , they are on defensive . Yaya jammeh dictate to them what they should write or talk about . For God sake , come up with information that will shock even Isatou Njie saidy because she may not be aware of everything going on in this regime .There is nothing like playing nice with this regime . Every week , they should have profile prominent APRC members , NIA, top military leaders in each online media to expose those who are responsible for human rights abuses so that when they get fire they won’t have access to western nations . Today online media even facilitate the asylum process for some of these criminals who work for jammeh . Many of these criminals are now in diaspora keeping low profile while their victims are in The Gambia without having any justice . There are some who even refused to acknowledge their involvement In various atrocities but they can play victim card to ensure that they have sympathy from online media in order to get their asylum .The reason the online media give in helping these criminals is that ” jammeh is responsible and those who work for him have no choices “. Some of Online media is really scam . Why would they help these criminals to get asylum at the expense of poor farmers in Jarra , Baddibu, Brikama or Basse? Online media needs to be united with common objective . Their unity has significant influence on opposition unity and willingness of Gambian people to get rid of this evil regime destroying our very existence as people . Put away your personal differences , individual and tribal politics , focus on our national interest .

  10. Without any prejudices against Pa Nderry Mbye himself, his Freedom Newspaper deserves to be singled out for maximum criticism for this undoubtedly, unintended anti-established opposition campaign..

    I don’t know Mr Mbye and have never met him in person, but I have nothing but respect and admiration for him, for his tremendous achievement, as an immigrant American…To establish and run an effective and efficient online news medium is not an easy feat and Mr Mbye deserves all the credit there is for this wonderful achievement…

    The Freedom Newspaper and Radio, due to its “chat show” nature, is arguably, the most listened to, and followed Gambian online medium and can therefore be very effective for the struggle, if Mr Mbye and Co get their priorities right…

    I have heard callers from The Gambia taking part in live Freedom talk/chat programmes and this is evidence that he has a following, whatever the size, on the ground in The Gambia..

    I think those who know Mr Mbye and can have some influence over him, should encourage him to change tact and begin to adopt a strategy that matches his agenda, which no doubt, is regime change in The Gambia…

    After all, battles are fought and won, not by merely having an agenda, but with clear cut strategies that match agenda…The strategy should include, not only deconstructing the APRC’ ‘s propaganda favourites (development projects), but also presenting an effective opposition to the electorate, by concentrating on the commonalities, rather than the differences.

    Differences, either of ideology or policy of different opposition parties, is unavoidable in a multi-party system, but the role of the anti-Jammeh online media at this point in time, should NOT be to highlight these differences, but rather, to either down play them or give plausible explanations for their existence…whilst doing everything it can to encourage the bridging of those differences, in collaboration with other players in the struggle…

    Unless a strategy matching our collective agenda is devised and adopted by the entirety of the Gambian online media, they risk being an impediment to efforts to achieve change, rather than facilitators for change, and that would be a tragedy…

  11. I thank you all for your positive reactions. I know I could also count on Marx and Bax to drive home strategically and constructively the message as always.
    We have 11 months to go and two months for voter registration, all is not lost if we refocus our energies in the right direction and help the opposition do what they can do best.
    Have a nice weekend.

  12. Thank you my brother for a bold and factually on point piece. It has always been my position that our political opposition leadership (be it Hamat, Halipha, Ousainu,…you name them), deserve our unconditional respect, endorsement and support. This is not to say they are insulated from our criticism (which should be constructive and conveyed with maturity).
    One is left to ask those who are accusing our opposition leadership of cowardice and insincerity why they (the accusers) are not willing to either step foot on Gambian soil and launch their ideas some of which include unauthorized demonstrations, or more simply reveal their true cyber identities since they are outside The Gambia. You ask them how much material support they have ever given to any of the parties, they will come out with irrational conditionalities like ‘coalition’ before funding. But I’m glad you unveiled the truth; some of them are nurturing leadership ambitions (post-Jammeh) so they prefer an open field.