Gambia: 'I Will Not Succumb to Any Human Pressure'

The president of the Republic has vowed that he will not in any way succumb to any human pressure in the execution of his mandate. His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh made the remark while addressing over 4000 youths who were at the weekend in Kanilai to weed his 8-kilometer farm.

He said: "I am working for you [Gambians] and I will live for you and die for you. I will not succumb to human pressure, no way, but if you the Gambian people plead with me to halt the executions, I will suspend it because whatever I do, I do it for your interest. If you Gambians want the death penalty to be removed from the constitution, it will be removed."

The president also emphasised that the death penalty is not specifically for any citizen but for murderers. "It has nothing to do with politics. If I am to sign 10, 000 death warrants to save 1.6 million Gambians, I will do it. If any country has a citizen in The Gambia and do not want them to face the firing squad, let them not kill any person in The Gambia.I am not a colony of [the] European Union and I am nobody's colony," he added.

He then made it clear that he will not allow less than one percent of the population to hold the entire population hostage because of their heinous crimes. The Gambian leader reminded the gathering of the oaths he took in the execution of the functions of the Office of the President without fear or favour, affection or ill will. He stressed that The Gambia is not a colony of any regional organisation or sub-regional organisation, but an independent and dignified country.

"I live for you [the youths], and die for Africa," President Jammeh further told youths, while cautioning them to be mindful of those he referred to as "detractors". He used the opportunity to advise them to devote 20 minutes of their time to find out what is happening in and around the world. "We launched an appeal in 2011 when the country was hit by an erratic rainfall resulting to severe crop failure; some countries turned up but others did not," he said.

Maintenance of democracy

The Gambian leader opined that to maintain and strengthen democracy in a country, one has to eradicate poverty and fight hunger. "Whoever wants to bring democracy and human rights into The Gambia, let them create jobs and lift people from poverty. This is what we think is the much better way to empower people in democracy. Open universities for citizens; educate them on what is democracy and human rights. The Laws of The Gambia have nothing to do with politics. They are very clear," he concluded.

The minister for Youth and Sports, Adieu K. Jammeh, Hon. Seedy Njie, and the newly appointed youth mobiliser of the APRC, Pierre Mendy, among others, both spoke at that meeting.

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