Addressing the gathering, Omar A. Jallow, alias OJ, who is the partySecretary General, said the celebration of the event in Brikama is not
an accident but a well calculated move by the party’s secretariat as
Brikama is the umbilical cord of the PPP.
He said the purpose of the meeting is for the PPP to celebrate the
50th anniversary since one cannot talk of the country’s Independence
without mentioning the PPP as the pioneer of Gambia’s Independence.
OJ told the gathering that every Gambian should be thankful to Sir
Dawda and the PPP by acknowledging that one is a Gambian because of
Sir Dawda and the PPP “If it was not Sir Dawda and the PPP, all the
Gambians would have been Senegalese based on the decision of the
colonial masters at the time of independence,” said OJ.
He told the gathering that during PPP’s 30 year rule, the Gambia was
led on the principles of democracy and the rule of law and that this
has been confirmed by the establishment of the African Centre for
Human and Peoples Right on Gambian soil.
OJ said the Gambia which was classified as one of the best countries
in the world with a good human rights track record is now regarded as
the worst under president Jammeh’s administration. “Arrests,
detentions, disappearances and the closure of media houses is the
practice in the Gambia under president Jammeh,” he added.
He cited the arrest and detention of religious leaders by the Jammeh
administration in the likes of Imam Karamo Touray, Alhayba Hydara, Ba
Kawsu Fofana, Ismaila Manjang and Baba Leigh. “To add salt to injury,
Jammeh is now deciding when Muslims should observe the Eld
prayers,” he said.
“So who is Yahya Jammeh to decide when Gambians are to observe the
Eid prayers to the extent of arresting people? This is a disgrace to
the Muslims,” said OJ.
The PPP Secretary General added “If those who are to protect and
implement the law and respect law and order are the violators of the
laws, who are the criminals and violators?”
On the issue of employment, OJ said all the employable institutions in
the Gambia were built by the PPP. He cited such institutions as the
Central Bank of the Gambia, Gambia Ports Authority, GAMTEL, NAWEC,
GTTI, MDI, Gambia College, NARI and Social Security.
The PPP Secretary General said he is challenging president Jammeh to
tell the Gambian people which institutions his regime has built and
that can employ up to 100 youths in his 20 years tenure.
“He has done nothing other than empty talks of the ‘sky is the limit’
for Gambian youth when the truth is the ‘Back way to Europe’ for
On Agriculture, OJ told the gathering that in 1993 when he was the
Minister of Agriculture, 163,000 metric tons of groundnuts were
purchased from the Gambian farmers but that for the past four years,
even 40,000 metric tons could not be purchased and yet Jammeh keeps on
telling the people that agriculture is improving in the Gambia. “Yes
Kanilai Family Farms are improving but not agriculture,” said OJ.
The PPP Secretary General said under Jawara’s administration, the
farmers benefited from a loan cancellation amounting to D83 Million in
1985 due to the drought and a Japanese food grant that fed all the
farmers for three months. “Let Jammeh tell us where he is putting the
Japanese food grant because it is still coming to the Gambia and it
belongs to the farmers,” he said.
He also talked about the poor ferry service and the high cost of fuel
and said the government has some explanation to do.
OJ concluded that his party has authorized him to invite all the
opposition parties to the meeting. However, when Fabakary Jarju called
for the representatives of opposition parties to announce their
appearance none was present at the gathering.
In attendance was Landing Jallow Sonko the acting National President
of the Party, Dembo Jatta, Dr Nyambi Touray, Nfamara Bojang, Yai
Kompins and constituencies representatives.
Mr. Fabakary Jarjue chaired the meeting.
This was the first meeting organized by the PPP and attended by PPP
leaders, mobilizers and supporters.