Gambia’s former Ambassador to Cuba and ex-National Vice Chairman of the July 22nd Movement, Pa Modou Njie, is the latest to speak on the Revolution.
Speaking on the early stages of the Revolution, Njie, a former Administrative Secretary of the APRC, said the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council embarked on one of its most remarkable and memorable undertakings during the transition period; seeking the consent of Gambians regarding the number of years they would want them to govern the country.
He said individuals from diverse backgrounds were appointed as members of the National Consultative Committee (NCC). This body, he said was tasked with the responsibility of traveling the length and breadth of the country to seek the opinion of the people. The results, majority of Gambians decided, were that the AFPRC should be given two years transition period to civilian rule. He said Chairman Jammeh respected the will of the people, thus the AFPRC established a Constitutional Review Committee, mandated with reviewing the 1970 First Republican Constitution. At the end of the exercise, the resulting draft constitution was subjected to a nationwide referendum, and it ended up attracting massive yes votes.
“It is worthy to note that this was the first time ever in The Gambia that an independent electoral commission was established,” he said, adding that towards the end of the transition, Chairman Jammeh, at the fervent request of prominent elders and community members across the country, resigned from the military to contest for the first presidential elections since the Revolution.
“With the Independent Electoral Commission, the elections were conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner. This, of course, has been attested to by foreign observers, election officials and voters themselves.”
According to him, during the two-year transition from military to civilian rule, The Gambia realised numerous achievements in key development areas. He described it as the most important period in the political history of the Revolution. He asserted that the transition witnessed a massive political and socio-economic development, noting that it was also the period the government identified numerous projects in all facets of national development.
“This was the period that was very critical. It was the moment that the whole world, especially our detractors, the prophets-of- doom, who said that the Revolution was going to fail on all accounts but thank God with the visionary leadership of His Excellency the President, he was able to show them his commitment especially not only talking about the possibility of him doing it and the Revolution, but his commitment and sincerity towards this noble objective,” he affirmed.
“He came with a vision and a mission and this was in two folds; to transform The Gambia, and to salvage her people from 30 years of political decadence under the previous government.”
Read our subsequent editions as the vanguards of the July 22nd Revolution give their accounts of the events that changed the political landscape of this county.
by Musa Ndow