May 9, 2011, 2:24 PM
The Dialogue with the Peoples Tour that the President of the republic has embarked upon is in progress, with several rallies already having taken place. One such was held in Farafenni, North Bank Region, on Tuesday. Yankuba Touray, Secretary of State for Fisheries and Water Resources, addressed a rally in what was dubbed as a victory celebration. In his address Mr Touray asserted that the percentage obtained by the ruling APRC party during the Presidential, National Assembly, and Local Government elections in NBR is a clear signal to the end of opposition in the area.
Having secured 65% of the votes in the Presidential election, winning all the seats in the National Assembly and losing two of the fourteen wards in the Local Government in NBR, the APRC victory celebration, which has become part of the Dialogue with the Peoples Tour, brought together thousands of people.
Advancing the reason for the foregoing, Secy. Touray said the developments brought by President Jammeh in NBR do not occur anywhere else and, as a result, all the 328 villages in the region will at all times rally behind President Jammeh and the APRC.
"What President Jammeh has done in NBR is a clear indication that the people of the region will forever rally behind him. There is nothing we can give him [President Jammeh] that he did not have as a reward other than loyalty. What he needs is the people," he said.
Turning to the much talked about average Gambian attitude to work, Yankuba revealed that there was a programme in place where Gambians interested in fishing can receive loans to engage in fishing activities. He however lamented that when foreigners, whom he said control the fishing industry in The Gambia, travel home during festivals, the country usually experiences serious scarcity of fish.
In conclusion, the APRC National Mobiliser advised the people of North Bank Region to heed the President's call to go back to the land.
Meanwhile President Jammeh on Tuesday visited a number of development projects as part of the engagement. He first visited Chamen Agricultural Training Centre, a service delivery institution under the National Agricultural Development Agency.
He proceeded to the Ngayen Sanjal Health Centre and then the Community Doctors Training Centre in Farafenni. As regards the Ngayen Sanjal Health Centre the President expressed his impression with how the project is being implemented.
These visits followed Mr. Jammeh's pronouncements on the topical issue of escalating rice prices amidst adverse forecasts of possible scarcity. The President first emphasised his recommendation for Gambians to take to farming and agriculture as the long term solution while threatening retailers who might be in the habit of hiking prices with possible imprisonment, urging the general public to report any culpable retailer. He maintained that it is unacceptable to sell a bag of rice at between D900.00 and D1, 000.00, assuring that the government would do its utmost to maintain the current prevailing prices the highest of which must not exceed D800.00. He nonetheless warned that beyond September, government would not be bothered even if the price rises to D1,000.00, as opposed to the figure of D10,000.00 mistakenly reported by reason of typing error on the previous issue. He called on the Alkalolu, Chiefs and Governors to protect the interest of the peasant farmers by forestalling the excesses of rice dealers and retailers who may want to profiteer, warning that he would otherwise have to hold them to account.
The Gambian leader and entourage yesterday attended a mass political rally in Kaur, visited the Wassu women's garden and spent the night in Jangjangbureh.
President Jammeh is today expected to visit the newly constructed police station in Bansang, which was built by Lawyer Lamin Jobarteh, a private lawyer.From Bansang, the President and entourage will proceed to Gambissara in the Upper River Region and then back to Basse, where a victory celebration will be held this afternoon