It was 16th December 2004. Deyda Hydara was murdered in a drive-by shooting as he drove home from The Point premises. Two or more assailants, driving in an old taxi, shot Mr Hydara multiple times in his head and stomach. Until today, it is the darkest and saddest day for all journalists in The Gambia. Everyone knew the regime was brutal. It was heartless. It was wicked. But spraying bullets on an innocent truth-seeker in Deyda Hydara was never imagined. That was the only thing we never imagined from the sit-tight dictator.
After consistently and strenuously denying any involvement in Deyda Hydara’s murder, Yahya Jammeh may now run but he should not escape the long arm of the law in the cowardly assassination of the respected journalist.
As today is the 16th anniversary of the macabre shooting to death of Deyda Hydara, we hope that confessions by some members of Jammeh’s killer-squad would be another step closer to justice.
After severally attempting to make us believe that he had no hand in the murder of the brave journalist, Yahya Jammeh must now be squirming in his seat after his own men exposed how he furtively bankrolled a mission to assassinate Deyda.
This should offer a glimmer of hope and ray of optimism for justice.
Despite his party’s spokesman maintaining that Jammeh may not be enthusiastic to face the TRRC, he should be compelled to render his own account of atrocities linked with him. Jammeh cannot drink his porridge and have it. He needs to be stirred up because living quietly in Equatorial Guinea is too much of a thing for his victims to bear. Jammeh must be made to atone for his misdeeds!
As for the media, the best way to honour and immortalise Mr Hydara is to practise journalism without fear; hold government to account and, in the process, report truth only and resist the temptations of power. With that, coupled with our collective desire to rid the country of all draconian media laws, Deyda would look down upon us, taking pride in the fact that we are keeping his legacy alive.
Keep resting well, Doyen!