Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Standard, The Gambia’s first female governor said: “Our destiny and independence can only be determined by our desire to be self-sufficient especially in terms of food. This is critical and if we really want to be independent and not enslave ourselves to anybody, we have to be in control of our stomach. If we are not in control of our stomach, then we cannot claim total independence. I believe if we are self-sufficient, if someone comes and tells us bogus stories, we will not buy into them. But if we are hungry, we will definitely go with them and this is what President Jammeh has been fighting against. He does not want to see any Gambians being enslaved by a fellow Gambian and not to talk of an outsider. We cannot succeed in fully liberating ourselves if we are not self-sufficient in food and do not share the ideals of the president. I have not been privy to recent developments but I think when donors come to The Gambia, they are very mindful… No donor will come to the country, talk to us anyhow and set conditions that are unfavourable to our development. We have a government that is very proactive and does not encourage laziness. We cannot accept any conditionality that will undermine our integrity and the womenfolk I believe, have not been subject to any form of enslavement because they are active. We need to encourage the men too so that we can work together and determine our own destiny.”
Governor Hydara stated that it was important for Gambians to pledge support for Vision 2016 which has been initiated by the president to achieve food self-sufficiency. She said Gambian women have come a long way through opportunities created by the government to cement their roles in society.
“I am encouraging the people to follow what the president is propagating to enable us become fully emancipated from the bondage of slavery. We have to create the necessary conditions to be self-sufficient in the food that we eat. If you are hungry, the person who feeds you will be in control of you and during our last international women’s day, I have said that the sky is not only the limit but also the starting point for Gambian women. The president’s vision for women’s empowerment has given us the opportunity to excel in all spheres of society and this is commendable.”]]>