DA Jawo, Information minister

(JollofNews) – The government of the Gambia has warned against the celebration of 22 July military coup which brought former President Yahya Jammeh and his regime to power.

Mr Jammeh’s supporters are planning to mark the 23rd anniversary of the revolution which they have credited for transforming the Gambia into one of the fastest developing nations in Africa with a university, modern airport, schools and improved infrastructures.

But the Gambia government has denied issuing Mr Jammeh’s supporters a permit to mark the anniversary  arguing that it should not in any way be glorified, hailed or celebrated by any well-meaning Gambian.

“The Gambia government maintains that the 1994 coup was an illegal act, staged principally, to usurp power and subvert the popular will of the Gambian people who fought through their sweat and blood to establish and nurture a democratic culture for 30 years that became an envy of the whole world,” said Demba Ali Jawo, minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure.

Ex-President Jammeh and his supporters

“Memories are still fresh of the brutality that the July 22nd coup brought on Gambians. Families were torn apart; innocent citizens willfully killed; businesses unlawfully closed and so many of The Gambia’s most experienced and finest brains forced to flee the country because of the organized and systematic abuse of their fundamental rights.

“Notwithstanding its unwavering position to respect and broaden democratic principles and personal freedoms of citizens, the government of The Gambia maintains that the July 22nd coup still leaves painful reminders of torture, unexplained disappearances, killings and plunder of state resources.

“This day therefore should not in any way be glorified, hailed or celebrated by any well-meaning Gambian. Furthermore, the government of The Gambia warns that any public gathering which requires a public address system needs a police permit. It is on record that the Inspector General of Police has not issued any such permit to authorize any individual, political party or any other group to hold festive celebrations of the July 22nd 1994 coup.

“The general public is therefore warned to be law abiding and follow due process especially in matters related to public safety and national security and to avoid anything that may endanger national security.