Nov 5, 2013, 11:51 AM
On the fifth anniversary of the gruesome murder of a beloved friend Deyda Hydara, heads of The Gambia’s various media houses and colleagues in the media have expressed concerns on the slow pace of developments, urging that more should be done to bring the culprit to book.
Pap Saine - Co-Publisher/Managing Editor, The Point
“Once again on behalf of the family of the late Deyda Hydara, the management and staff of the Point Newspaper, I would like to urge the authorities to revive the investigations into the killing of Deyda Hydara.
Hydara’s untimely death has shocked many people because of his dedication, love and the fact that is a role model in the field of journalism. His death should not go in vain because he was a man who stood for press freedom throughout his entire life. He stands for the voice of the voiceless.
We will always remember him because of his stand for the truth. The investigations into his death should be reactivated. We hope and pray that the culprits will one day be arrested and brought to justice.
I would also like to use this occasion, which is also the 18th anniversary of the Point Newspaper to say that we would continue the struggle to promote press freedom and defend the rights of the people.
The government should be seen to be opening its doors to the independent media in this country, as this will promote press freedom. Information should be made available and accessible to journalists, as this will avoid speculations. Journalists should not be seen as enemies but as partners in development. We all yearn and pray for peace for the development of the country.
Mr. Madi Ceesay Editor/Publisher - Daily News
“It is five solid years since this man (Deyda Hydara) has been deprived of his God-given right. Life is a God-given right that nobody has right to take, except where the law found you guilty in this country, and then it can be authorised for you to be killed. But in the event where somebody has used his own whatever we may call it and take somebody’s God-given right, I think after five good years there should be serious investigations into that matter.
In marking that anniversary, I am calling on The Gambia government to re-open an investigation into Deyda’s murder. It was a brutal killing and was unlawful. If government do not have the resources, they can invite outside interventions. The authorities really have to do something about it. So I think the faster they re-open this investigation the better for us all.
So what we are now calling government to do is to re-open an investigation into this matter. They are the body that the law has empowered to look into investigations concerning crimes. The private media cannot conduct the investigations and we cannot trust it to anybody, it is incumbent on them (the government).”
Mr. Samuel Osseh Sarr Editor-in-Chief - Foroyaa
“Well Deyda is a fine personality; he was a journalist who was playing his role in the development of the society. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous elements decided to end his life. What is of significance is that since his death the criminals who have taken his life are yet to be brought to justice.
I hope after five years of no result that greater effort will be made to find out who the killers of Deyda Hydara are or are and for the person or persons concerned to be brought to justice. This is the demand of the family and this is the demand of every just Gambian. If the government is having difficulties in tracing the culprits they should seek for assistance in order to solve this problem.
Deyda has done a lot as far as journalism in The Gambia is concerned. He is a founding member of the Gambia Press Union (GPU). He has done a lot in the training of young journalists. He has done a lot in terms of collaborating with other media houses to solve their common problems, issues of which affect journalists is always his concern. He has shown commitments to the work of journalists in The Gambia.
However, I have two things to advise the journalists to be committed to their work and to do their work in good faith and in the public interest. Let them ensure that what they report is accurate. Checking and counter-checking of information to ensure that what they report is accurate before publishing it. Never be in too hasty to publish any information.”
Mr. Swaebou Conateh - Proprietor and Editor-in-Chief - News & Report Magazine
Is a pity that for five years after the murder of our dear colleague, his case has still not been solved and the perpetrators of this heinous crime have not been apprehended and brought to book so that there can be justice.
We sympathise with the family on the sad occasion of the anniversary of his brutal assassination and pray that his soul rest in perfect peace.
At the same time, we urge on the law enforcement authorities to be more diligent on pursuing their investigations into this matter so that all concerned would be satisfied that justice is finally done.”
Mr. Musa S Sheriff Editor-in-Chief - The Voice
“I have a lot to say because since the unfortunate incident up to now, we have not yet seen justice and the culprits are still at large.
Deyda was certainly a journalist and he was an asset. When we talk about national resources, we are looking at humans and Deyda was one of those.
Really when you look at Deyda to some of us he is not only our colleague but also a father. This is not a celebration but we are trying to remember him, and also we in the media and the family.
To me, he is still alive and we are celebrating his birthday because he was an asset, really a man who worked day and night for the nation. I could remember in 1994 when the then foreign publisher, Kenneth Best, was deported back to
Mr. Ousman Kagbo Editor-in-Chief - Business Digest
“I will first of all like to say it is always a painful thing for me to be reminded or talked about the issue of the death of the late Deyda Hydara. Mr. Hydara was like a father to me because the most part of my journalism life in The Gambia, I worked with him as a reporter, a columnist and also as Deputy News Editor. So there is a lot I can say about Mr. Hydara. His death to me is a setback to my progress in the field of journalism but that is God’s own way. He was my Editor but he was also treating me like a father.
Most of my training in The Gambia in this field of journalism, of which I am enjoying today as Editor of papers, came through him. He used to love me personally because he taught me and also gave me a lot of opportunities when I was at the Point Newspaper.
I last saw him on the night of his assassination at a party we had with him. He was a very good man. I will ever live to remember him and if I am going to write any book about my life, he is one of the central figures that I am going to make mention of from the growth of my life as an individual and as a journalist.
I think if an anniversary is coming to take place in remembering him, it is nearly upsetting for such a person to be slain in the manner. What is most disappointing is that up to this point in time, nobody or no one has been found or caught as the perpetrator(s). The culprits are yet to be found but we are praying to the Almighty Allah to create an opportunity for the culprit(s) to be found. I believe strongly that someday, somehow the culprit(s) would be caught and whatever secret is hiding about his killing will come to light one day.
Mr. Namory Trawally Editor-in-Chief - Sport Digest
“I did not work with him as an Editor-in-Chief directly but I have many training from him, especially in sports reporting. He has contributed a lot in my area (sports) in The Gambia. I remember he was the correspondent for RFI in The Gambia on sports. He was an adviser to us. He was one of the advisers of the sports journalists in The Gambia. His contributions are immeasurable to sports because he used to organise training workshops for sports journalists. He gave a lot of lectures to us and now we are benefiting from that knowledge gained. He was very open-minded and personally for me he has contributed a lot to what I am today. It was very unfortunate that he was killed in that gruesome manner. But we can still follow his footsteps to guide us and continue to pray for him to have a lasting rest in peace.”
Nian Sarang Jobe -Wounded During Deyda’s Assassination
“This day will remain the saddest day in my life; it is a wound in my heart that can never be cured. Witnessing Deyda’s assassination by heartless human beings and also to be a victim of that inhuman act suffering from bullet wounds on my knee, which I am still curing, such a day has a great impact in my life. Deyda was a great man, who speaks for the voiceless. He always shared what he had with the people.
I will never forget him and I will always pray for him. May his soul rest in perfect peace. May Allah the Almighty reward the good deeds he has been doing for his family. We also hope and pray that such incidents will never happen in our beloved country.
Alhagie BA Trawale – A Veteran Journalist, Commentator and Researcher
He was the finest fabric of the profession serving its ethics, the norms and values and eschewing the dilution of all the principles that constitutes true journalism. These stands make him distinguishable and respected. It is not easy to be like Deyda and it is a folly for anyone to think that by the disappearance of Deyda, his name can be shrouded in obscurity. The name is still shining, conspicuous and glittering as the morning star and will remain so for good.”