GOOD MORNING MR PRESIDENT: Deyda Hydara, a man who still lives with us in...

Monday, December 18, 2017

December 16 is always celebrated as the anniversary of The Point Newspaper. This day used to be a very happy and joyous day in The Point as it also marks the birthday of Maria Hydara (Deyda’s wife) until that fateful December 16, 2004, at around 10.00 p.m. when the co-founder of The Point Newspaper Deyda Hydara was gunned down by unknown assailants along the Sankung Sillah Road in Kanifing.

Mr President, despite efforts of your government, promising to compensate the family of the late Deyda Hydara as recommended by the ECOWAS court, the suspected killers of Deyda Hydara are still at large.  An arrest warrant was issued by the police last May for the arrest of Ex- Lt. Colonel Kawsu Camara, former commander of Kanilia and Ex Major Sanna Manjang who have been identified. They are reported to be living in neighbouring countries. Offensive diplomatic moves should be done to make sure that they are repatriated to come face justice. Your government should also channel your requests through the Interpol to help facilitate their extradition.

Mr. President, as we celebrated 26 years of existence of The Point, on Saturday, 16 December 2017, we are still appealing to your government to abolish the draconian media laws. Other bills like the Human rights commission bill, the Truth Reconciliation and Repatriation Commission bill were passed during National Assembly sessions.

We appreciate your government’s effort of reviving freedom of expression and freedom of the press in the country but cant’s still claim that the press is 100% free with these draconian media laws which are still in effect. The abolishment of these draconian media laws will assure journalists a suitable environment where they can work without hindrance and fear. Journalists on the other hand should be responsible and respect the ethics of this noble Job. They should always be objective in their report and not to take the abolition of media laws as an excuse to defame people.

Mr. President, finally, the visit of your German counterpart, Frank Waller Steinmeier, was an opportunity for your government to revive bilateral cooperation between the two countries and to encourage German investors to invest in The Gambia. This will also create more job opportunities for our youths and help in combating illegal migration. We welcome German investors to invest in areas such as energy to help solve our electricity crisis and in agriculture, tourism, and transport.

Good Day