President Jammeh declares 'all out war' against drugs, corruption
Friday, July 23, 2010
President Jammeh declares "all out war" against drugs, corruption - As he presides over 16th July 22nd anniversary
The Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh has once again reiterated his government's intolerant stance against the twin negative menaces of illicit drugs and corruption, prompting him to declare an "all out war on drugs and corruption" in view of their devastating negative impact on the development and progress of a decent country.
The Gambian leader was speaking Thursday at the Arch 22 in Banjul, as he presided over the 16th Anniversary of the July 22nd Revolution with the theme "A definitive no to drug and corruption".
President Jammeh, who has in recent times been leading a strong advocacy on the negative impacts of these menaces, told Gambians that he decided to choose this theme for the anniversary to indicate the extent his government is intolerant to illicit drugs, which he maintained have no place in the country. "It is no secret that in the recent past, the spate of drugs in particular has increased alarmingly as Gambians became flabbergasted by discoveries of huge quantities of hard drugs involving public officers who betrayed public trust and confidence," The Gambian leader stressed, adding: "These are people who we will never forgive for being unscrupulous elements in our midst, who try to use this country as a base and transit point for the most dangerous trade, trafficking of illicit drugs, and who we should therefore regard as true enemies not only of the state, but also of humanity at large."
He went on to stress that there is no way that his government and the decent people of this country would tolerate drugs and compromise on its trafficking or use in any form. He also reminded the gathering about the unending threats and dangers that drugs pose to social stability. "We should only reflect on those countries and regions of the world where drugs have become the single most lethargic source of massive and rampant corruption, lawlessness, and upsurge in crime and heinous criminality, with all the negative multiplier effects that these have on the socio-economic development, stability, unity, peace, and security of a nation and the protection of lives and properties," he stated, adding that we need to take example of these places to discover that "we should all unite and fight tooth and nail against drugs", as well as to maintain vigilance to prevent what he called such a "poisonous killer menace" from taking root in The Gambia.
He continued: "It is my personal conviction that drugs are another worst form of slavery and colonialism, because it has the unquestionable potency to colonise and destroy by robbing society of the youthful mind frame mentalities, or simply put, the talents base necessary to place society onto the path that can generate them wealth and earn them more assurances towards achieving lasting progression or development. Simply, drugs destroy the very future of an entire nation on the benefit of a few greedy, evil and inhumane creatures."
The Gambian leader further made it clear that his government will never allow unscrupulous people to hold the progress of this nation at their benefit to the detriment of the masses. Giving his government's achievements in just 16 years compared to the many years of slavery and colonial rule, the president warned that his government will not allow drugs and corruption to carry the country into what he called a "bottomless pit of degeneration, retrogression and destitution" where violent crime, lawlessness and "blatant" disregard for human life would be the order of the day. With the very impressive percentage increase in opportunities for Gambians achieved under the revolution in virtually every sector of the economy, which has contributed immensely to improving the living conditions of Gambians, President Jammeh stressed that it is the duty and responsibility of all to ensure that these developments flourish rather than degenerate.
"With the advances made in education, epitomized by the successful creation of our own university; in health with hospitals and health posts available everywhere across the length and breath of the country; in agriculture where the introduction of the back-to-the-land call has contributed to the general fall of food prices; in road networks, which almost links the entire country en route the city-state vision; in electricity and energy where we are not only enhancing accessibility but also affordability by revising tariff levels downwards; and telecommunication and information infrastructure, with the introduction of satellite broadcasting, the sky is the limit to further advances that Gambians would witness in the coming years," President Jammeh promised.
Challenge to youths
The Gambian leader then used the opportunity to urge youths to avoid being the targets of unscrupulous criminals. As future leaders and backbone of society, he challenged them to be more visible in the militancy to protect this country from destruction. "I urge youths to cherish the beauty of our heritage as Africans and the rich cultural values that lay emphasis on hard work, and the building of peace and harmony," he said.
In the same vein, the president also warned landlords and others not to allow drugs to be used or harbour drug dealers in their premises, reminding them of the penalties.
President Jammeh also spoke at length on corruption, something he described as another "evil practice" that we, as a progressive society, need to fight against. Corruption, like its twin sister, the president pointed out, could gradually "eat up" the very fabric of our society thereby leading it into the abyss of social conflict, instability and other civil strive. "My government will not condone public servants sitting on public projects owing to personal or sectional interest to the detriment of the wider interest of the Gambian society," he stated.
While reiterating that there is no place for nepotism, cronyism and tribalism in his government, he urged citizens to always endeavour to put national interests above what he called "egoistic interests" with a view to ensure that "The Gambia first before self." "The lackadaisical attitude of viewing public property as no man's property, or the mentality that "where a cow is pegged is where it grazes" should be done away with," he emphasised.
Enforcing zero tolerance
To this end, The Gambian leader informed the gathering of his government's intention to pursue the most intensive war and strictest zero tolerance policy against drugs and corruption. He announced that they will deploy every possible means, including a more elaborate legislative and security plan, to ensure that perpetrators of all forms of crimes, including crimes associated with drugs and corruption are dealt with most severely.
He asserted that the theme of the July 22nd 16th Anniversary commits all to transcend from merely recognising the two nenaces -corruption and drug, as the worst enemies of social and economic progress, to exposing and bringing all those who have anything to do with these unforgivable acts of greed and deceit to account for their deeds. He reiterated that "Operation no compromise" has been expanded, warning that in the fight against drugs and corruption, no one will be spared, regardless of his or her status.
Students and parents
President Jammeh also called on students to be respectful at school and to endeavour to acquire as much knowledge as possible from their teachers, while challenging them to respect them at all times. He also challenged parents, especially men, to take responsibilities as parents and be interested in the welfare, education and future of their children so as to become responsible and productive citizens of the country. He further advised the parents to inculcate into their children a high sense of discipline. The president then reaffirmed to the students that he will nurture his promise of not letting them down, urging them not to let him down, too.
He concluded by thanking the Almighty Allah for all the opportunities and blessings, while also expressing gratitude to the multi-lateral and bilateral development partners for their immense support to his government over the past 16 years. While acknowledging that since the advent of the revolution his government has tried to live up to the promise for positive change for rapid socio-economic development and transformation, the president challenged everyone to be doubly resolved to ensure that nothing stops this country from achieving and even surpassing the goals and objectives of the vision especially at this point when the country has less than 10 years to attain the Vision 2020.
Author: by Hatab Fadera