Africa cannot be given lectures on democracy Gambian leader tells French president
Friday, May 04, 2012
The president of the Republic has said that Africa as a continent cannot be given lectures on democracy ‘as we have to take up arms to liberate some of our countries from colonial hegemony’.
According to him, democracy needs to be strengthened but in Africa, it will not be imported from people who once colonized the continent centuries after the Greeks introduced democracy. “How can the descendants of the same people whom we kicked out to gain our freedom; be today’s lecturers of democracy to the continent of Africa?” he questioned.
His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh’s statement was contained in a letterof acknowledgement addressed to the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy following a congratulatory message the latter sent to him.
Below is the full text of President Jammeh’s letter.
It is with great honour and immense pleasure that I write to acknowledge receipt of Your Excellency’s goodwill message on the joyous occasion of the 47th Independence Anniversary celebrations of our dear country, The Gambia.
On behalf of the Government and people of The Gambia, my family and indeed on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to convey our profound gratitude and sincere appreciation to Your Excellency, and the Government and people of France, for the warm and cordial felicitations.
The cooperation between The Gambia and France has registered remarkable progress over the years, and I would like to assure Your Excellency that we shall continue to further strengthen the bonds of friendship and bilateral cooperation that happily exist between our two nations based on mutual respect for each other as sovereign Nations.I also agree with you that democracy needs to be strengthened but in Africa, it will not be imported from people who once colonized Africa centuries after the Greeks introduced democracy.Africa as a continent cannot be given lectures on democracy as we have to take up arms to liberate some of our countries from Colonial hegemony.How can the descendants of the same people whom we kicked out to gain our freedom; be today’s lecturers of Democracy to the Continent of Africa?
Democracy must be home grown and based on our cultural values.If this is the type of Democracy to be strengthened in Africa, I give anyone who is interested in helping us, my full support.It will entail giving back to Africa what has been taken away during colonial colonialism and slavery for all the centuries that Africa was illegally occupied by Europeans; for four hundred years in the case of The Gambia, with catastrophic consequences.
I look forward to working with Your Excellency in pursuit of these Democratic objectives for Africa.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration and esteem.
Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh
President of the Republic of The Gambia
President Sarkozy’s letter reads ;
On the auspicious occasion of the National Day of the Republic of The Gambia, I have the immense pleasure to extend my warm and heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the Government and people of The Gambia.
Despite the good relations of friendship and cooperation that exist between our two countries, I am honoured to convey to Your Excellency my commitment to this partnership.I am particularly sensitive to the interest that you have shown for the francophonie.I am really happy that it heightens the radiance of your country at the international arena, notably at the International Criminal Court.
Peace and Democracy are the legitimate aspirations of all nations and are improving on the Continent due to the convergent action of African, continental and regional organizations.France does support their interventions for the service rendered to the posterity and development of the peoples of Africa.
It also follows up its action in favour of the promotion of Human Rights all over the world.
Please accept, Mr President, the assurances of my highest consideration.
President of France
Author: Daily Observer