The President, party leader and founder of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) party has outlined plans to completely eradicate poverty, hunger and destitution in some parts of The Gambia.
Speaking at the Jarra Soma meeting in Jarra West District of LRR, the President said Gambians will not know poverty, hunger, and destitution anymore. According to him, Gambia is the only country after Cuba in the world where basic education and maternal care is free, adding the country has the cheapest medical care in public health facilities.
“There is nowhere in the world where one can see a doctor for as low as D5 as it is in The Gambia,” said Professor Jammeh. For 22 years, President Jammeh said, no one has died of starvation in The Gambia, vowing that no one will, therefore, do so from henceforth.
Professor Jammeh told the meeting that The Gambia will be the only country in the world by 2018 to offer free university education.
On women empowerment that the West claim to champion, President Jammeh said the West has the poorest women empowerment record as they are still facing gender inequality in salary pay. He said it will take European Union countries many decades to achieve gender parity in salary pay.
“Since 1994, men and women are treated equally and paid the same salary [in The Gambia] because a female director is paid equally as male director. We have been empowering the women since 1994,” President Jammeh told the cheering crowd, citing he has the longest serving female vice president in the world.
Despite the West labeling him as a “dictator”, Professor Jammeh said he is not bothered in as much as he is a dictator of development and progress. He added that his 22 years of unprecedented developments cannot be compared to the 400 years of British misrule, looting and stealing the country’s endowed resources.
“My presidency is in the hands of the Almighty Allah and no one, not even the Western powers can take it from me except the Almighty Allah,” he stressed. He reminded Gambians that he is not a politician, but a servant of God and Gambians, saying he was brought to power by Allah to change the lives and livelihood of the people.
Speaking earlier, Aja Dr. Fatou Lamin Faye, minister of Basic and Secondary Education urged Gambians to go out on Election Day and vote for the ruling party. The President, she said, has fulfilled all his promises to Gambians and shall fulfill any promise he would make by the grace of the Almighty Allah.
On the issue of free university education by 2018, Minister Faye challenged students to take their education seriously to meet the entry requirements to the university. She urged parents to support and guide their children to focus on their education, especially the girl child.
Yankuba Colley, APRC national mobiliser general thanked the people of Soma and LRR for the rousing welcome accorded to the Presidential delegation, while hoping it will be translated into votes when the results are announced.
He used the Soma meeting to applaud the APRC militants for maintaining high sense of discipline since the nomination.
Aja Fatou Njie-Fofana, APRC deputy national women mobiliser said the people of LRR love President Jammeh now more than ever and assured him of a landslide victory. “We will not let him down because we have witnessed numerous developments,” she told the meeting while thanking the President for constructing the Soma Tenda and Sey Kunda rice fields’ access roads.
Governor Salifu Puye said his region is fully behind President Jammeh, saying the Jammeh administration is the one that gave Gambia true independence.
Fatoumata Bah, Sarr Saidy, Baba Jerreh Drammeh, Chief Yahya Jarjusey of Jarra West, and Arfang Abdou Darboe, all renewed loyalty to President Jammeh and assured that LRR will vote for the ruling APRC party.
Thousands including horse riders and motorists accorded the Presidential entourage a befitting welcome as the Presidential convoy drove into Jarra Soma.
From the entrance of Soma, the crowd escorted the presidential motorcade to the Soma Lower Basic School for the meeting.
Upon arrival, President Jammeh went round to greet people, shaking hands amidst joy and fanfare. “We need Yahya, we don’t need anybody!!” chanted the delighted crowd that include students.
by Alieu Ceesay & Musa Ndow