(JollofNews) – President Adama Barrow of the Gambia has strongly condemned plans by supporters of the opposition APRC party to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the military coup that brought former longterm ruler Yahya Jammeh to power.
Mr Jammeh came to power in a military coup on 22 July 1994 and ruled the Gambia for 22 years. He was booted out of power in January 2017 after losing to Adama Barrow in the December 2016 election.
He has since moved to Equatorial Guinea as part of a deal brokered by the regional group Ecowas.
Mr Jammeh’s supporters have credited him for bringing development to the doorsteps of Gambians and are planning to use the event to celebrate his accomplishments.
But President Adama Barrow said as his government is a democratically elected one, it would be inconceivable for the event to be celebrated in the country given the historical perspective of the Jammeh regime.
“As Gambians, we all know the significance of this date, a date of illegal seizure of power from a constitutional and democratically elected government; also known as “July 22 Revolution Day.” It is a day which, democrats cannot celebrate as public holiday to commemorate the 1994 military coup d’état led by former President Yahya Jammeh,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Mr Barrow said he was shocked to read in a national newspaper an interview by an APRC member of parliament regarding the commemoration of the event.
And appearing to condemn the publication of the article, the president said: “While my government promotes media freedom, we would urge the media to take responsibility in publishing and disseminating information by any individual, group or party that is clearly seditious.
“The media has an important role in promoting freedom of expression, peace and stability. There is a crystal clear difference between freedom of speech and the abuse of free speech when it turns to sedition.”