African News

"Every Gambian Will Soon be Rich"—Jammeh

By  | 25 September 2006 at 22:45 | 727 views

Gambian president Yaya Jammeh(photo) has said in Banjul that now that oil has been discovered in his country, every Gambian will soon be rich.

Jammeh, according to the Dakar-based APA news agency made the remark immediately after winning last friday’s election in which his party got 67.33% of the votes cast.

The forty-one year old Gambian strong man said the immediate priority of his government in the next five years is to "eradicate poverty" and vigorously tackle all other problems serving as obstacles in the Gambia’s march to rapid development.

He called on all Gambians regardless of political persuasion and religion to join hands with him and his government to make the country a better place to live.

He also extended a hand of friendship and brotherhood to the opposition which had rejected the election results and has described the election itself as full of flaws.There is no word yet from the international community but the Commonwealth had rejected the past election and aid from various sources to the country had been severely curtailed in recent times because of election malpractices (in past elections) and the Jammeh government’s apalling human rights record.

However, Jammeh, in a jubilant mood after his recent victory has publicly boasted that he will create a "Silicon Valley" (by establishing high technology infrastructure and industry like in the United States)in the Gambia soon and that 1000 jobs are in the pipeline for Gambians.

Asked to comment on the case of assassinated Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara, Jammeh said the matter is still being investigated by the police and that his government is not guilty of anything. Hydara was alleged to have been shot and killed by government agents.

Jammeh said there is press freedom in the Gambia but warned that people who break the law would have to answer to the courts.

There is no limit to the number of times an individual can become president in the Gambia and this is the third five-year term for Jammeh. He has vowed to rule the Gambia for at least 30 years.