Gambia: President tells gays to leave the country

All Africa / The Daily Observer
President Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, on Thursday, gave less than 24 hours (until last week Friday) ultimatum to homosexuals, drug dealers, thieves and other criminals, to leave The Gambia or face serious consequences if caught.
"The president equally warned all those who harbour such individuals to kick them out of their compounds, noting that a mass patrol will be conducted on the instructions of the IGP and the director of the Gambia Immigration Department to weed bad elements in society.
"Any hotel, lodge or motel that lodges this kind of individuals will be closed down, because this act is unlawful. We are in a Muslim dominated country and I will not and shall never accept such individuals in this country".

He stated that a law is in place regarding this unlawful acts tougher than the Iranian laws and warned those involved in this infamous activities to desist from them. He maintained that foreigners are highly welcome into The Gambia, but not bad elements.

The Gambian leader made this remarks on Thursday at the Buffer Zone ground in Tallinding, while addressing thousands of supporters at a victory celebration rally, as part of the 'Dialogue with the People Tour'. Opportunities for youths engaging skilled jobs top the agenda of the meeting.

President Jammeh said a lot opportunities have been provided by his administration, but yet few have been utilised by Gambians. He pointed to the public markets within KM which are dominated by foreigners, saying "all stores belonging to Gambians and rented to foreigners would be seized. We are tired of investing for only foreigners to the benefits. Today, look at the NYSS as compared to when it was newly created; Gambians have ran away from it and we provide a number of young people people for skilled training. This means that Gambians are difficult to help," he said.

The president called for attitudinal change without which poverty would remain elusive. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the attitude of Gambians and urged them to make the best use of the opportunities provided by the government. "Today, the highest concentration of foreigners is in the KM. Government from 1994 to date has invested over US$100 million in projects, but 95% of the bebefits are enjoyed by foreigners," he said.

President Jammeh then reiterated his back to the land call to enable the country achieve food self-sufficiency and called on Gambians to change their attitudes and work towards national development.

Yankuba Touray, the secretary of state for Fisheries, Water Resources and National Asembly Matters, highlighted the importance of the back to the land call.

"If the call [president's call] was answered at that time, the case would not have been what it is today".

He called on parents to encourage their children to engage in skilled jobs, noting that government cannot employ everybody.

Yankuba Colley, the mayor of KMC, handed over a cheque for D311,000 and D202,000 to SoS Ismaila Sambou as a counterpart contribution for the transformation of Charle's Jow Junior School into a senior secondary school and for a road project in Serrekunda.

Mayor Colley assured the president of his council's support at all times.

Other speakers at the rally included Ebrima Badjie, the Alkalo of Tallinding, Babou Sonko, APRC ward chairman, Amie Jatta, a women mobiliser.

At the end of the ceremony, President Jammeh, Yama Njie, an APRC supporter, Momodou Torro Darboe, a nominated councillor at KMC, Aji Rohey Sanyang, a cleaner at KMC, Edrissa Njie, manager of KMC cleansing services, Banjul Breweries and The Gambia Police Force were awarded certificates for their outstanding efforts towards the cleanliness of the municipality."

19 May 2008

Source: The Daily Observer (Banjul)