Yaya Jammeh made his first speech immediately after the toppling of Jawara’s regime solely masterminded by Sana B. Sabally, Edward Singhatey and Sadibou Hydara.
This quickly scribbled script followed the initial announcement by captain Sonko nicknamed Kenyeleng Manso –which was viewed as hostile and not reflecting of a military government looking to win over hearts. This comes immediately on the heels of sharing of portfolios which Jammeh had installed as chairman on Edward’s recommendation and the disgruntled Sana as his deputy.
Gambia News took time to dig through the archives and transcribed verbatim Jammeh’s first public speech aired over radio 25 years ago.
Below is the script:
“Diplomatic mission, ladies and gentlemen. As the situation in the country is already known to everyone out there given the current security state of our country, it is indeed very important at this moment. to inform every individual within this country about what is happening and why. A peaceful takeover from the PPP regime took place yesterday the 22nd of July 1994. The PPP government has been overthrown and an Armed forces Provisional Ruling Council headed by lietenant Yaya A.JJ Jammeh has been instituted. The reason for this takeover are basically, the PPP government was supposed to be democratic and accountable but this was never the case as there has never been an independent electoral commission. There was rampant and outrageous corruption to the scale the nation’s coffers were looted by few individuals who for the past three decades made sure that they remain at the top Misuse of public funds and embezzlement of the state machinery apparatus was the order of the day. Majority of Gambians are poorer today than they were in 1965 and only a few Gambians at the top lived in flamboyant life style and had everything at the detriment of the majority. This action is taken to rescue dear motherland from the strangle depth of a corrupt democratic system and not against any foreign country. The Gambia as from noe strengthen and honour her international obligations under the new regime and will actively participate in all international foras including the United Nations, OAU, the Commonwealth of Nations and Ecowas. This regime is only transitional and only and as soon as feasible, a transition to a democratic and non-corruptible rule will be conducted. This regime will at all times maintain a liberal free economic system and will open the door to international bonafide investors. To our sister republic in our sub-region, especially Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and others, a new era of strong fraternity and cordial brotherly ties mutually beneficial to all will be maintained. To our Gambian compatriots both home and abroad, we assure you that you do not need to have any fears reprisals or vengeance or retribution for any reason whatsoever. The new government will institute measures to ensure public accountability welfare, equal distribution of the national cake, state transparency and a just system of justice for all. You are assured of your security both at your home and in the streets and of your general welfare. You’re however advised to go on your normal daily business peacefully. All workers in essential services, medical facilities, electric power and water supplies in particular should report to duties immediately. All these places should open for normal daily business. Everybody is hereby warned that no malicious act or looting will be tolerated and police is hereby directed to ensure their normal general duties under their normal chain of command. All minister of the former PPP government are to report to the nearest police stations in their own interest. All permanent secretaries and civil servants in all levels of government should report to work not later than Monday the 25th day of July 1994 The permanent Secretaries are to take charge of their office till further notice. All officers and men of the Gambia National Army, the tactical support group and the police should report to work immediately. All Gambians are required to participate positively towards the development of our beloved country. Fellow countrymen thank you very much indeed for your corporation and may the Almight Allah bless you all. Thank you.”