Some people in Basse in the Upper River Region have launched a campaign dubbed 'Dying for President Jammeh Campaign'.
The initiative, according to organisers, is meant to show the whole world and those they perceive as detractors that they love President Jammeh as Gambians and are ready to die for him, just as he [Jammeh] declared to die for them in his 2011 presidential election victory speech.
"The campaign is in response to Western negative propaganda being perpetrated by their allies and puppets in The Gambia, especially some of the opposition and so-called intellectuals," Ebrima Sorrie Bah, a member of the group, told Daily Observer in an interview.
According to him, the campaign shall seek 100, 000 signatories to its declaration defending the image of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, a man he described as selfless Pan-Africanist who leaves no stone unturned for his people.
"That is why we found it duty bound to initiate the campaign, designed in such a way that volunteers are invited for bicycle riding beginning from Basse to the State House gate through Kanilai. It is a true test of the Gambian people's love for President Jammeh," Bah further enthused.
The Basse-born local resident enthusiastically expressed his group's unshakable resolve in supporting a leader who they say have sacrificed his life to liberate The Gambia on the July 22nd in 1994. "In so doing, he [Jammeh] promised us development, accountability, transparency, probity, reconciliation, security and safeguarding The Gambia's constitution and sovereignty. Fifteen years on this promise became a reality and The Gambia became a dignified state with unprecedented socio-economic development which used to be a dream for Gambians," he said.
"President Jammeh's 18 years of administration saw more development than British 400 years of colonialism," Bah further stated, noting that until 1994, The Gambia was ranked among the most backward countries of the world in terms of development. This, according to him, has become historic, citing the significant development projects brought by the APRC government. He stressed that this is worthy of commendation and celebration.
"Cognisance of these huge achievements registered in this past 18 years, we the provincial people deem it worth celebrating to manifest to the whole world that we are appreciative of our president and we are ready to die for him," he added.
Commenting on the significant achievements in both the education and health sectors, Bah pointed out that Bansang Hospital and the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital were the only major hospitals before the 1994 Revolution, while there was only one rural high school (Armitage) before 1994.
He continued: "The rest of the few high schools were not only private but all located in the Greater Banjul Area. But today, it is difficult to count the number of hospitals and major health centres across the country. This has resulted to a significant drop in child mortality and Gambians especially children no longer leave their regions to find school in the urban area. Interestingly he has subsidized school fees for girls that make them compete boys in their academic pursuit never like before."
Bah also cited the establishment of the University of The Gambia (UTG) as one major achievement registered by the APRC government.
"He could be remembered as the first Gambian leader who championed the energy sector and for boosting the food production," he added.
According to him, the cost of living is cheaper in The Gambia compared to other countries in the sub-region, even though President Jammeh's critics blame him and his policies for what they consider a high cost of living in the country.