The president of the Republic has strongly emphasised that The Gambia's sovereignty will not be compromised, while expressing the need to 'liberate ourselves and minds from mental slavery'.
His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh was speaking yesterday afternoon at State House in Banjul while meeting with his Cabinet on the proposed EU Article 8 Intensified Political Dialogue meeting.
The Gambian leader made it very clear that his government will not accept any dialogue that dictates what his government should do. "This so-called dialogue is death because we are not going to meet with them," he said, referring to the EU. "In dialogue, you discuss as to how partnership will be mutually beneficial and not to be told what to do," he stressed.
President Jammeh read one of the quotation in the document which says: "The EU has expressed its concern over what it views as a significant deterioration in the human rights situation in The Gambia in recent months, notably the execution of nine death row inmates, the forced closure of independent radio stations and newspapers, the trial against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and the arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists and human rights defenders."
According to President Jammeh, Africans are detained in Europe for no offences other than being black and so-called being there illegally, when their hungry grandfathers ran away from starvation and came to Africa, took young Africans to thousands of kilometers away to work for them free of charge and were treated worse than dogs.
"The same people are telling me about the deterioration of human rights in this country and detention of journalists. How many journalists are being detained in The Gambia? is Julian Assange not a journalist, if they think that we are stupid I think they better think twice and let me make it very clear that this is the end of our dialogue on Article 8 with the EU," he further stated.
President Jammeh said The Gambia discovered oil before some African countries and others around the world, but vowed that he would not give them [the West] the natural resources with Gambia taking only 5% which, he said is the reason why The Gambia's oil is not being exploited. "I made it very clear that the same Almighty Allah who gave it to us would give us the means to exploit it in our own. All what they are trying to do is to create a situation of instability so that they can get what they want or put up a puppet government that would succumb and give the wealth of this country to them, but by the grace of Almighty Allah all their machinations would fall on themselves, because that would not happen in this country," he assured.
The Gambian leader cited countries like Iraq where journalists are being killed, and also the death of journalists during the bombing of Palestine Hotel were Aljazeera was based. He pointed out that in some countries, journalists are beaten and killed and nobody is saying anything. He said if they [the EU] think that Gambia would sacrifice the wellbeing of the majority of the population for the interest of minority, they are in the wrong place adding that his government can't be blackmailed with their chicken change. "Let them go to hell because it is not going to happen here," he added.
His words: "If a journalist causes an offence, we will detain and prosecute him. They are not better than other Gambians. They, [the detractors] know that the quickest way to destabilise a country is to use the media and those newspapers that are being closed, we are going to keep them closed because now that they are talking about it they will remain closed. That is my message to them," he said.
President Jammeh further stated that these detractors want to destabilise the country so that they can have easy access to materials. "Our mineral resources that we have will not go in a way that Gambians will still be poor. We don't want to exploit oil and my people would be dying in the Atlantic Ocean. I am not that type of leader and I will never succumb to that. The only authority I believe in is the Almighty Allah," he remarked.
He added: All this, are just there to destabilising this country, creating chaos so that they can have access to our mineral resources.They have eyes on our resources and their only problem is Yahya Jammeh and I will always be their problem. If they want to get it the same way they are getting it in other countries, they are making a great mistake because Allah would not allow that to happen in The Gambia. Destabilise the country and get what you want and put up a puppet government that will serve their interest, I will not do that. I worship only Allah the Almighty not the European Union or any other entity."
According to him, those who breakthe law will be dealt with according to the laws of the land. "Journalist or no journalist, nobody is above the law. If they believe in this, why is Julian Assange still being held hostage in a foreign embassy? How many Gambians and Africans are being deported in handcuffs and how many are killed outside. If they want the welfare of Gambians and for me to believe in that, let Gambians require no visa to go to their countries. They came to The Gambia when they were hungry and nobody asked them fora visa," President Jammeh said.
He continued: "We execute people because we believe in God and after all is not only The Gambia that is executing people. The Quran said that if you kill somebody illegally, you should face the penalty. We didn't evolute from pigs, we are created by the Almighty Allah and we are descendents of Adam and Eve that were created by God the Almighty Allah. You run your countries the way you want and you expect us to run our country the way you want? We are not a colony. So this dialogue is off. This is insulting and it is unacceptable."
President Jammeh further observed in the document that the issue of those African migrants whose boats sink in the areas close to Europe was not mentioned in the document. According to him, these boats only sink within their coastline and when they are sinking there is naval fleet gate or helicopter around waiting for them.
"Why are Africans deported being handcuffed? And why are African migrants put in concentration camps as soon as they arrive in Europe, because they don't have visa and are seen as illegal migrants when they themselves require no visa to come to Africa. I am not afraid of anything in this world. I am afraid of only the Almighty Allah and we will not be insulted again. This so-called dialogue is death because the Article 8 said that it should be dialogue and if that dialogue is dictating as to what we should do to destroy our country in the name of afew criminals, then they will find me here, not even one letter from the Laws of The Gambia would we changed," he concluded.
The vice president and minister for Women's Affairs and other cabinet ministers who spoke at the meeting assured the Gambian leader that they are in solidarity with him and strongly support his position.
The minister for Health and Social Welfare, Bala Garba Jahumpa, who is also responsible for National Assembly Matters, said President Jammeh spoke in defense of the July 22nd Revolution, saying it took place in 1994 and was not only for the advancement and development of The Gambia, but was also a battle of ideas and a struggle of ideas between ideas of neocolonialism and ideas of imperialism versus ideas of liberation, freedom and dignity for the Gambian people and the African continent.
Dr Njogu Bah, the minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure; Abdou Kolly, minister of Finance; Fatou Lamin Faye, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education; Lamin Jobarteh, Attorney General and minister of Justice; Kebba Touray, minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment; Francis Liti Mboge, minister of Works and Construction and Infrastructure; Mamadou Aki Bayo and Mustapha Charles Camara, ministers for Local Government, Traditional Rulers and Regional Administration and Presidential affairs respectively, all expressed support for the president and the government's decision on the issue.