A United Democractic Party Member of Parliament has touted the Gambia government’s decision to “red card” the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) over its desire to celebrate the July 22 1994 military takeover.
“Considering the new political dispensation, the celebration of July 22 coup d’etat would be a proper mockery to democracy,” said the Serekunda West National Assembly Member, Madi Ceesay.
Last Thursday, the Ministry of Information issued a news release denying newspaper report that the police had issued a permit to the APRC to celebrate July 22 coup. Although former ruling party has been quick to say that its Foni Kansala NAM Musa Amul Nyassi was misquoted, the incident provided an opportunity for the government to send a clear signal to coup d’etat apologists. The Gambia government made it clear that the “1994 coup was an illegal act, staged principally, to usurp power and subvert the popular will of the Gambian people who fought through their sweat and blood to establish and nurture a democratic culture for 30 years that became an envy of the whole world. Memories are still fresh of the brutality that the July 22nd coup brought on Gambians.”
The former Committee to Protect Journalist awardee, who was jailed by the Jammeh regime for taking a stance against the glorification of coup d’etat, recalled the sizzling editorial he penned some ten years back and published by The Independent newspaper banned by Gambia’s longtime ruler.
“When I wrote “Celebration Of Coups Are Mockery To Democracy,” we were under still a dictatorship,” Madi Ceesay said, ruling out any reason why coup d’etat apologists should celebrate illegality. “What message are we going to send to soldiers?” he quizzed.
Hon. Ceesay agreed with the Information Ministry that “July 22 coup still leaves painful reminders of torture, unexplained disappearances, killings and plunder of state resources. This day therefore should not in any way be glorified, hailed or celebrated by any well-meaning Gambian.”