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Speech by President Yahya Jammeh on the 19th anniversary of the 22nd July Revolution

Jul 23, 2013, 10:07 AM

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

I salute you all in Islam, Assallamu Alaikum Wa Rah Ma Tu Lahi Wa Barakatuhu

As we celebrate this day marking the 19th anniversary of the great 22nd July Revolution, I am overwhelmed with great joy and deep gratitude to the Almighty Allah for his infinite blessings upon this great country throughout the past nineteen years. Thanks to Allah’s guidance, blessings and protection, today we have a lot to rejoice for and celebrate the fruits of our 19 years journey through turbulent waters and stormy weather. Thanks to the Almighty Allah, the Gambian women and youth and our gallant Armed and Security forces together with Government, have succeeded in building a modern, peaceful and stable country in the most volatile and crisis ridden region of Africa.

Praise be to Allah, for all his infinite mercy, bountiful blessings upon and continuous protection of our great motherland. This year’s celebration falls within the Holy Month of Ramadan, making it a special period for prayers, sacrifice and profound reflection. It is for this reason that the celebration is low-keyed. This gives us a golden opportunity for much contemplation and stock taking on the state of our moral wellbeing and our adherence to the teachings of Islam as prescribed by Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala especially in the way we conduct our lives in private, in public and in government; in short – our lives as individuals, communities and nation as well as a sovereign people. Therefore, in this blessed month of Ramadan, I would like you to join me in reflecting candidly upon our individual and collective way of life, taking into consideration our religions inclinations. This is necessary if we are to avoid the catastrophic consequences that humanity faces today as a consequence of some very satanic, evil and abominable ungodly behavior that has never been so rampant in the entire history of human existence.

It is therefore my duty to share with you the essence of this year’s theme ‘’Let’s Live and behave according to our religion’’.

As strong believers in the One and Only TRUE GOD; THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH, we must accept that only religion and its basic teachings should provide the guiding principles for our thoughts and actions as human beings and that all our interactions and interpersonal relations should be guided by these religious tenets. Therefore, I enjoin all Gambians to continue to live by the teachings of their Prophets and supreme HOLY QURAN for the Muslims and the Holy Bible for the Christians.

As faithful believers, it is obligatory that we live strictly by the dictates of our religion in order to build on the gains made over these nineteen years and accelerate our rate of development, no matter how imperative it has been.

As human beings, we should always live our lives within the limits of the natural order and reject the moral decadence of homosexuality, lesbianism and other immoral acts that are slowly creeping into our lives as individuals and society in general. Certain societies have turned such vices into virtue and virtue into vice often incurring the wrath of the Almighty Allah, which are often manifested in inexplicable calamities. However, we are thankful that such ugly phenomena will not take root in our country. We must jealously guard our traditional and religious values as these will lead us not on to temptation and sin but salvation and virtuous lives.

In fact, promoting homosexuality and imposing it on weaker or poorer nations is a declaration of war on both religions and human existence. For Muslims, this is a Declaration of WAR ON ISLAM, A Declaration of WAR AGAINST ALLAH, A Declaration of WAR on HUMAN EXISTENCE – for which every true believer must be ready to lay down your life to defend ISLAM, FIGHTING THE CAUSE OF ALLAH and Defend HUMAN EXISTENCE.

These satanic and decadent powers that promote such UNGODLY and Satanic behavior in the name of Freedom and Human rights would fail just like the crusaders failed to stop Islam. The crusaders failed because true Muslims stood up to them. These homosexuals promoting powers would fail miserably because all true believers, Muslims and Christians are standing up to them.

I will use this occasion and in the spirit of Ramadan to commiserate with our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world whose countries have been plunged into chaos often instigated by bigger non-Muslim countries seeking to impose their evil and Anti Islamic will on Allah fearing independent minded people and countries.

Fellow Gambians, in spite of all the scepticism and cynicism expressed in the past, I am proud to state that today, a great deal of remarkable successes have been registered thanks to the Almighty Allah. Nineteen solid years of uninterrupted rapid socio-economic development, in a region saddled with economic uncertainty and senseless conflicts, provides a huge platform for us to declare that we as Allah worshipping Gambians are able to achieve this only by THE WILL AND BLESSINGS OF THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH.

A few examples will suffice to substantiate this. The massive expansions in Education at the basic and tertiary levels, and the huge investment and achievements made in health care have literally taken these two vital services to the door steps of every Gambian. Also, the construction of first class mosques, road networks coupled with the emergence of world class hotels and hospitality infrastructure, the thriving financial institutions and steady economic growth, among others, attest to the strong commitment and dedication of my Government to the building of an ultra modern nation.

INSHA ALLAH, our dream nation is within our reach as long as we remain righteous, pious and ALLAH-Fearing Muslims and Christians.

Fellow Gambians, distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

Let me reassure you again that my Government will continue to pursue the economic and fiscal policies which underpin our rapid development, and have for the past nineteen years made our economy successful and resilient to international economic shocks and global financial difficulties. So far, our remarkable feat in economic management makes it possible to transform The Gambia into an economic super power where anyone can attain the highest living standards in the world if he/she makes such effort.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

During these nineteen years, the translation of The Gambia’s attainment of Independence into positive development has endeared patriotism to many at home and abroad. We shall continue the path to rapid and quality development, with religion being our guiding pillar. The ALMIGHTY ALLAH IS OUR SOLE Protector, Provider, Sustainer and above all, our SUPREME ATHORITY that we will only bow down to. With this ABIDING FAITH in THE SUPREMACY of the ALMIGHTY ALLAH, and placing our individual and collective destiny as a nation in THE HANDS OF OUR ALMIGHTY Creator, Our Government will not only consolidate these developments but achieve greater success and make giant strides in agriculture, trade, tourism, energy, petroleum and construction. We will continue to create the enabling environment for the development of the private sector as well, in view of its great potential to contribute significantly to sustainable economic growth, development and prosperity for all inhabitants of this great nation.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

Religion prescribes hard work and living by what we sweat for. This is particularly relevant in relation to agriculture, where as Gambians, we should endeavour to ‘‘grow what we eat and eat what we grow.’’ In this direction, we will strive for and ensure self-sufficiency in food production in three years and go into the export domain in 2017 without fail INSHA ALLAH.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

The health sector will continue to be a priority for my Government, and this is evident from the massive investment in the sector that has spanned the length and breadth of the country. The result of such investment includes the expansion of public health facilities, extensive training of the much needed health human resource base, the provision of adequate supply of essential drugs and cost-effective preventive public health interventions. Although health care delivery is within reach of all Gambians irrespective of location, specialist care is still limited. In this direction, a proposal for modern diagnostic and specialist equipment has been developed for the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, as well as other major Hospitals. Insha Allah, we will implement all these projects very soon to usher in world class, medical care for all and sundry.

My Government continues to commit resources and time to developing the human capital stock by investing heavily in health and education, as this is the only way we can achieve our desired developmental goals in record time. In consequence, relevant, good quality and accessible education will always be a hallmark and a priority for my Government. In fact, it is only through education that we can understand our religion and live by it. From the beginning of human civilization, the function of education in society has been to prepare people to live useful and fulfilling lives as well as become good citizens, amongst others. In fulfilling this role, education systems the world over have indeed made conscious efforts to provide appropriate educational content geared towards this end. From this perspective, the theme for this year’s anniversary is arguable more meaningful and relevant to our social being, attitude and spirituality than anything else. We will train scientist, medical experts, professionals, in all aspects of human endeavour so that in the next decade, we will not depend on foreign expatriates who have become too expensive and beyond the reach of most third world countries.

As a guiding principle for sustainable development, we shall maintain and jealously guard our independent, dignity and our religious values for prosperity we will continue producing home trained graduates, certificate and diploma holders in various fields of study with quality and relevant knowledge, skills required for their full participation in the socio-economic development of the Gambia. Hence, our national curriculum would be strictly based on our National Development requirements.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

Our environment and all it contains is one of the most valued gifts of our creator, and it is incumbent on all of us to preserve and sustain it for prosperity so that generations yet unborn can be guarantee very healthy living standards. Given the many challenges that the world faces today, especially with regard to climate change, we must live up to the responsibility of taking care of this earth, as its condition affects all life on it. With this in mind, together with the realization of the degradation of the environment in many aspects, government has undertaken a number of initiatives to address core challenges that pose a threat to a safer, cleaner, and healthier environment. Prominent among these are the monthly operation clean the nation and the annual tree planting exercise. In fact, a clean environment is inevitable in the worship of ALLAH and the practice of our religious obligations.

The holy prophet, Muhammed (peace be upon him) is reported to have said that “if the Hour is about to be establishedand one of you is holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it.|

This clearly demonstrates the significant of protecting our environment, which justified government’s resolve to pursue such noble initiatives. I have been calling on all Gambians to plant trees annually as far back as in 1995 especially during the rainy season in order to maintain a clean environment and to have sustainable household incomes. Unfortunately, some people still cannot get it. To this end, my government will continue to encourage and support the department of forestry and the national environment agency for the realization of a clean and green environment.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

Government prides itself on the successes registered in building a modern and efficient communication infrastructure. With the operation of several GSM mobile companies, in the Gambia is ranked high in Africa in terms of telephone per capita. Cognizant of the importance of telecommunication in today’s socio-economic development, we have recently invested significantly I broadband internet through the ACE submarine cable project which connects the Gambia to the global information superhighway, thereby enhancing communication.

The internet now stands out as a unique source of vast information where people can learn about everything ranging from their religion as well as engage in our scholastic endeavour. However we also note with grave concern that it is also being used as platform for nefarious and satanic activities. Consequently, government will work with relevant partners on effective cyber security strategies to ensure cyber sanity and security.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

No nation can achieve sustainable rapid development without reliable and affordable energy. The energy sector continues to be a cornerstone of our development efforts, as the provision of an efficient, reliable and affordable energy supply is crucial to sustainable socio-economic development. In pursuit of our objectives for this important sector, my government has, over the past nineteen years, invested heavily in power generation and distribution infrastructure in our endeavour to bring electricity to the homes of all Gambians. However, we acknowledge that a lot could still be done in this area. Affordability and sustainability are the key words in our this noble endeavour. Therefore, government will continue to vigorously pursue other alternative renewable natural energy sources to complement normal power generation systems. To this end, we will pursue public private partnership as well as independent power producers to beef up existing capacity and reduce the cost.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

As the maintenances of rapid and sustainable development is depend on peace and security both at home and abroad, our foreign policy agenda is premised principally on thepursuit of and maintenance of global peace, security and the respect of each country’s sovereignty and the sovereign right to choose a way of life for its citizenry. Our domestic policies will continue to be supported by a robust sustainable development agenda that will be backed by Zero Tolerance for crime, drugs, violence and UNGODLY and Anti Human satanic values such as homo sexuality.

These will always continue to be the basis for our foreign policy framework as we continue to promulgate and pursue socio economic development that is indispensable to the realization of our supreme objective; that is the ultimate attainment of economic super power status.

Crucially, our foreign policy agenda is anchored on the principle of being a friend to all as much as possible and An Enemy to none. My government also strongly believes that any interaction between states should be based on the spirit of peaceful co-existence, mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty. This being the case, we will continue to promote regional and international peace by any means including helping to restore peace to any conflict area around the world. This is a noble and divine duty and an obligation to all human beings in general and Gambians in particular.

Islam and Christianity command us to maintain peace, promote social equity and cohesion, sustainable socio-economic development, respect for the sanctity of life and above all JUSTICE. In numerous verses of the Holy Quran and the Bible, God enjoins on us the obligation of embracing the virtues of mercy, forgiveness and trustworthiness. We are also instructed to promote the values of reconciliation, peaceful co-existence, by discouraging Fitna aggression, adhering to peaceful resolution of conflicts and respect for the rule of law. Furthermore, our Islamic faith entrusts on all leaders the sacred responsibility of promoting social JUSTICE, equality and fair play, respect for religious and cultural diversity, eradication of satanic tendencies and ensuing equitable distribution of national resources.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

In the coming months, due priority will be given to the proposed “pay and pension reform” and the implementation of civil service revolving loan scheme that is aimed at boosting staff morale and improving on retention strategies.

Importantly for us all, we should not allow the achievements of the public service in the socio-economic advancement of this country to be derailed n the altar of foreign value systems passing off for modernity and freedom. For example, it is unacceptable to allow imported cultures such as homosexuality to reduce us to ALLAH DISOBEYING satanic children that would eventually live in an anti Islamic devil-worshiping and immoral state. Rather, we should preserve our God-given human dignity and live according to the teachings of our great religion, Islam.

The philosophy of being spiritually and morally up right in our daily lives as in the theme for this year’s commemoration of the July 22nd revolution should commit us all to transcend the shallow recognition of one another as mere Muslims and Christians and rise up to the challenge to live by the values of our great religion in all our activities and interactions. Islam and Christianity advocate a society of equal opportunity, respect and love, fair dealings, truthfulness and sanctity of life with the ALMIGHTY ALLAH BEING THE ONLY SUPREME POWER AND AUTHORITY. These are virtues that required universal application in both private and public life.

We will live and die as true servants and slaves of only the almighty ALLAH and nothing else. These virtues we live for and if need be, die defending for the rest of our lives.

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished Friends, Africans and the rest of Humanity

Finally, I wish to congratulate as well as thank all Gambian patriots and genuine friends of the Gambia who have contributed to the successes that have characterized our noble struggle and divine journey throughout the past nineteen years. The struggle continues until we reach the promised land of “all for ONE and ONE for All” in absolute peace and prosperity.

I commend the Gambian women and youths whose tremendous support and subscription to the vision, ideology, ideas and principles of my leadership; led to this very great success story.

However, the journey is just beginning and I continue to count on the unflinching and ALLAH guided love and support of the most wonderful women and youth of Africa, you the Gambian women and youth.

Together with you, you have made our journey a very comfortable and rewarding one for the past nineteen years.

We should therefore be more determined for the rest of the journey knowing that the ALMIGHTY ALLAH is ON OUR SIDE ALWAYS. WE WILL NEVER FAIL AS LONG AS THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH IS WITH US.

Long live the July 22nd Revolution

Long live the Gambia

Long live Africa


I THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION, Ramadan Mubarak and I pray for good rainy season and a bumper harvest.