The people of the Upper River Region (URR) have overwhelmingly spoken about how the advent of the Great July 22nd Revolution in 1994 has transformed the region, especially the provincial town of Basse.
From good roads, uninterrupted power supply, potable water supply, good health service delivery, security, presence of financial institutions and booming businesses; the people of the provincial town of Basse and URR could not wait to receive the historic “22nd July Development Caravan” in order to have the rare opportunity to speak for themselves about the positive impact of the Jammeh Adminsitration on their lives.
The entrance by the Caravan into Basse was characterised by singing and dancing as people rushed leaving all what they were doing just to have a glimpse of the Caravan.
Amadou Muctarr Jallow, a shopkeeper and a native of Basse Koba Kunda, was thankful to God for giving Gambians a leader like President Jammeh who has the interest of the people at heart.
“We can’t ask for more because the President has fulfilled all his promises to us. We are enjoying a good road network, potable water, good health facilities, good electricity supply and business is booming here,” he said.
He wished the President and all Gambians many more 22nd July anniversary celebrations, while praying for his longevity and good health.
For Sorie Jaiteh, President Jammeh is a patriotic citizen and a leader who loves his people and wants everything good for them. “The 22 years of the Revolution has put The Gambia on the world map because many Gambians are enjoying basic social amenities thanks to the Revolution.”
Ebrima Sorie Barry, a cola nut dealer and native of Basse Santa Su, reflected on the unprecedented developments being witnessed in the country. The Basse-based Guinean, however, reminds Gambians to know that government cannot do it all alone.
“The President and Government can only provide few and the rest, citizens have to complement. The people of Basse are quite happy because we have been enjoying stable power supply since the start of the Ramadan,” he told the touring 22nd July Caravan in Basse, while advising aliens residing in the country to be grateful to the Revolution for the security and stability they are enjoying.
Isatou B Jallow is a student of St. George’s Senior School in Basse. She was full of praise for the leadership for providing free education and the President for banning FGM and early child marriage in the country. “It is highly welcome because this helps us complete our education and be productive citizens of the country.”
For a region where early child marriage is high, another student of St. George’s Senior School, Saffiatou Jallow, thanked the President for his responsible leadership style and for empowering the girl child. “I want to thank the President for making education free because this will help many students to remain at school.”
The teenager, who is aspiring to become a Banker urged parents to support the President’s ban on child and forced marriages.
Also sharing her story with the Caravan crew, Tappa Kuyateh of Basse Mansajang hailed the good roads from Basse to Banjul. “Now you can leave Basse in the morning and have your lunch in Banjul, all thanks to this extraordinary leader [President Jammeh]. I can only keep praying for him for God to keep him here so that he can realise all his dreams.”
She finally thanked the President for empowering rural women in all aspects. “We will continue to rally behind him.”
Fatou Susso is another native of Basse Mansajang and also a member of the GRTS Fans Club. “We can only pray for the President for all the developments and for giving the country the first ever national television, which has enlightened Gambians.”
Alhaji Omar Sampo Ceesay, the Governor of URR commended the Director General of GRTS who also doubles as the Managing Director of the Daily Observer Newspaper, Momodou Sabally for dispatching a Caravan of journalists to go round the country sounding the thoughts of ordinary people.
According to him, his region has benefited more than any other region as far as the Revolution is concerned. “Basse of today is far different from Basse 22 years ago. There are numerous developments in all sectors in this region.”
Ahead of the anniversary on Friday, Governor Ceesay said his people were getting ready to travel to Banjul to join in the celebrations.
All those who spoke to the Caravan crew, among them Maimuna Jeng of Basse, Sheriff Sillah of Sabi, Alhaji Fofo Sanyang of Basse, Chief Julaba Kora of Tumana, Isatou Camara of Basse Allunghareh, Muhammadou Susso of Tambasansang, Basama Jameneh of Wuli Nyakoi and Sanou Sambou of Basse, all expressed gratitude to President Jammeh for transforming URR.
At the time of filing this report, the Caravan was departing Basse to Farafenni for a night stop.
by Alieu Ccesay
& Modou Lamin Jammeh on tour