The 22nd anniversary of the 22nd July 1994 Revolution will take place this coming Friday the 22ndday of July, 2016 in the usual elaborate ceremonies organised for the participation and entertainment of the rejoicing Gambian population.
In this year’s anniversary however, the inimitable coincidences reflecting the timing of the event, the day and the date appear to underscore an element of wonder that from the beginning and throughout the two decades of its resultant characterized the miracle that epitomized the transformation, its progressive sustainability and certainly the illustrious architect who spearheaded the drive since.
For those affected or interested but were not around or were too young to remember the compelling circumstances that fermented the incident 22 years ago and how the change miraculously but successfully unfolded that day coupled with the dynamics that followed since, I urge them to spend some time familiarizing themselves with the details of those events for better appreciation of the superb service His Excellency President Jammeh and the APRC government have been rendering the Gambians ever since.Understanding the nation’s development pattern in that sequence essentially helps in conceptualizing the motive behind why the overwhelming majority of the Gambian population sincerely support the status quo and wish to retain the APRC government and the Jammeh presidency as long as they are willing and able to serve them.
On the compelling circumstances that fermented the need for that change, we still could recollect how a young military police officer -a genius by every measure of his competence- from the Gambia Armed Forces, named Lieutenant Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh appeared on Friday the 22nd of July 1994, determined to rescue his country from the clench of a debauched system of government that served only the interest of foreign agents and a few Gambian families in charge of the establishment against the helpless underprivileged majority.
And obviously without the timely intervention of President Jammeh two decades ago, the deplorable conditions at home would have still been there causing appalling effects; the whole country would have still been reduced to having only two public high schools and three private ones; the convenience of middle schools would have still been limited to a tiny fraction of the population; primary schools would have still been inadequate, ill equipped, understaffed and unaffordable; university education would have still been special rights and privileges reserved for the offspring of the elite and the rich with its accessibility only reachable outside the country; there would have still been two hospitals in the entire nation; health clinics would have still been rare facilities to come by outside urban areas; the roads would have remained underdeveloped and ignore for better maintenance; electricity supplies and pipe-borne hygienic water would have still been luxuries enjoyed by the privileged few; the airport would have still looked like the helicopter landing strip that the British colonialists built at Yundum airport over five decades ago; the communication system would have still been limited to one national radio station without any consideration of ever having a television station in the country; women and children would have still been treated as voiceless, powerless and hopeless citizens whose livelihoods and importance are left to the mercy of dogmatic men living by primitive traditions; and yes, unaged girls would have still been denied basic education while being forced into arranged marriages with no concerns over whether they are mature for being wives or not; soldiers and police officers would have still been underpaid, underfed, abused and denied the fundamental rights of ordinary citizens; the list goes on.
As a result, the Allah ordained revolution materialized that day, Friday the 22nd day of July 1994; an urge inspired from the universal moral conviction of His Excellency President Jammeh who not only had run out of patience over the nonsense but was further propelled into mapping out one of the most brilliant military operational orders, that upon its implementation resulted in the most orderly and peaceful military takeover ever recorded in recent history; an operation that was conducted with the least time-consuming efficiency.
Utilizing and orientating only two infantry companies, Charlie and Bravo Companies, from the First Infantry Battalion of the Gambia National Army (GNA) at Yundum barracks, the military police commander laid out a magnificent tactical advance that within five hours of its commencement in broad daylight successfully achieved him his primary objective without a single life lost or a single drop of blood wasted. Though a lieutenant at the time, it is fair to argue that the miracle behind the success of that operation should have earned him the highest decoration in military ranking, conventionally conferred to officers with outstanding field performances; it’s a masterpiece scheme that one could further recommend for adoption as special subject of study in war college institutions for its originality and perfection. He selected his own choices of the right commissioned and non-commissioned officers to lead Bravo Company for the seizure of Fajara Barracks camp where the second biggest and most probable resistance was expected from enemy troops while he led Charlie Company to take on the ultimate forces shielding the entire government in the capital city of Banjul.
Nonetheless because of his name and reputation among the members of the security forces especially among the enemy forces, most of those who would or could have resisted the marching troops led by Lieutenant Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, decided to surrender or abandontheir positions.
But in fulfillment of his well-intended promise to change the government for the better, he immediately amalgamated the antagonistic security forces into the GNA forces, committing all of them to serve the nation together and promising them nobler careers and livelihoods more dignifying than they had had before. Every promise he had made was fulfilled.
Since then he has guided everyone into appreciating what a true representative or inclusive government means to the development and overall welfare of the armed and security forces of the nation, literally replacing their pain from abuse with deliverance from respect and worthiness.
It was however a gut-wrenching revolution that ultimately helped the entire Gambian people pierce the thick veil of ignorance that throughout the colonial and post-colonial periods had kept them trapped in endless cycles of oppression, exploitation and subjugation. In other words, with his infinite compassion, President Jammeh indeed helped the Gambian people better appreciatethe world he created for them where fairness and equality are no longer jeopardized by one’s racial, ethnic, religious or financial background. And make no mistake about it; if he hadn’t been there to courageously lead the fight of dismantling the decadent political and socio-economicsystem for the salvation of the country and its people, the nightmare would have still persisted. But just as darkness is always cast away by light, President Jammeh cast away the horrors of the Gambians in a way that should have enrolled him for a Nobel peace prize.
After the revolution in 1994, the Gambia without doubt evolved into one of the greatest nations in Africa, thanks to the architect in charge. Everything that was in short supply in the past regarding the country’s educational inadequacies, development setbacks, employment scarcities, generalinsecurityare now remedied to everyone’s advantage and satisfaction. He has invested tremendouslyon variety of programs and continue to invest more to ensure that the country stays genuinely independent, self-reliant, self-sufficient and above all remain SAFE and SECURED.
The safety and security of the country in President Jammeh’s overall agenda of nation building cannot be over emphasized especially at these volatile times in a world overwhelmed by senseless violence and terror happening every day at alarming frequencies and intensities.
Incidentally according to the statements delivered by the Turkish head of state President Tayyip Erdogan on the foiled coup that took place in his country on Friday 15 July, 2016, he squarely blamed a radical dissident cleric Fethullah Gulen living in Pennsylvania, USA for inciting the soldiers into the bloody mutiny. Sounds familiar in recent Gambian politics?
With over 160 people killed in the mutiny -may the Almighty Allah have mercy on their souls- the world was quick to express their condemnation of the troublemakers who showed no respect to the democratically elected government of Turkey.
Moreover, while the cleric Gulen is disputing all allegation that he played a key role in inciting the coup, President Erdogan has made it tacitly clear to President Obama that Turkey wants the cleric arrested or extradited or else………?
Gambians should be paying close attention to where that is heading to, if they are following my drift.
So far not a single human rights organization or genocide-preventing advisers at UN are expressing their concerns over the danger, excessiveness or potentiality for the problems to be genocidal. Hello!
It is however obvious that the death toll is still a far cry from what could have happened if the stalemate had degenerated into a civil war, which evidently would have provided ISIS in Syria the fertile terrain to spread their war of terror in Turkey and beyond.
So let me be clear about this; we in the Islamic Republic of The Gambia strongly demand that our government be spared the hypocrisy and double standard when troublemakers showing no respect to our elected government and President His Excellency President Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh are sponsored and incited by foreign-based dissidents to destabilize the nation but are arrested and given the criminal treatment they duly merit.
Long live the Islamic Republic of The Gambia!
Long live the people and government of the republic!
Long live His Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babilli Mansa, President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed and Security Forces of the country.
New York City