By Sailu Bah
As the APRC government concluded celebrating 20 years of the July 22 coup d’etat with ostentation and fanfare, this reporter conducted a vox pop on people’s opinion regarding the event.
Mr. Jeng, a resident of Gloucester Street in Banjul, who is 48 years old, expressed his disagreement with the celebration of July 22nd which marked the taking over of a government through a coup d’etat.
“We should not celebrate a coup d’etat as this is a means of coming to power without the support of the people. We should not waste our national resources to celebrate July 22,” he said.
Dawda Drammeh of Tobacco road said he is congratulating the president on the July 22ndanniversary as his APRC government has developed the country to a level that is different from what obtained during the first republic under the PPP of President Dawda Jawara.
Alieu Jammeh, a resident of Banjul, said he has not seen any cause for celebration by the APRC government as the country after 20 years of its leadership is still grappling with the problems of increasing youth unemployment, poor electricity supply and bad condition of roads in the capital city of Banjul, etc.
He said the infrastructure that the APRC is showcasing as development is the result of loans contracted by the government and which the Gambian people are paying from tax payer’s money.
“Real development lies in the capacity and will of a government to tap and utilize the resources of the nation for the benefit of all and not just a few. After 20 years of APRC leadership, the young people of this country who have no hope for the future are risking the perilous journey to Europe in search of greener pastures. What is the 20 years of APRC leadership doing to reverse this trend by providing an alternative for the young people? Celebration could have been justified if this and other pressing problems have been addressed,” said Mr. Jammeh.
“Celebrating July 22 is justified as the APRC government has brought about a lot of development in the country since it came to power 20 years ago,” said Mbuguma Jeng, a resident of Lancaster Street.
He said there is no problem with the APRC celebrating the event if they are using their own resources to do so.
As for Kadijatou Fatty, a resident of Sukuta, the money spent on celebrating the July 22 anniversary could have been spent elsewhere for the benefit of the people. “There are so many problems in the country where the huge sums of money spent on the celebration could have been utilized to address issues such as the intermittent power cut, youth employment and many more,” said Madame Fatty.