Abdoulie G. Dibba The Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP) celebrated the Gambia’s 50th anniversary with a rally held on Saturday, 28th March, 2015 at Brikama, West Coast Region,. 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 Gambian youths. 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.]]>
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