Speaking in an interview with The Standard while accompanying the president on a tour of Vision 2016 farms in LRR, Mayor Colley said: “President Jammeh is the main man in building an independent Gambia politically. Yes! He (President Jammeh) is the main man we should reflect upon as we celebrate 50 years of independence because he is the person who has brought us independence in this country. I am making the comparison between the lives of the people who lived these three eras. Anybody can argue that we were independent before and give someone else the credit but how independent were we? That government (PPP) was under the dictates of the outside world and they listened and worked for them. That is why you can see those same people were paying allegiance to those same colonial masters. If you are old enough to see The Gambia before and The Gambia now, you will know that President Jammeh has recorded a huge achievement for this country. He has made Gambians proud of themselves and respected.
“I think the Gambians who were here before independence, the first republic and the second republic would definitely know that The Gambia’s progress started in 1994. Before 1994, we had independence but how independent was this country? Then we could not make our own decisions compared to now when we can make our own decisions, have rights to health, education, and basically to everything. So definitely, 1994 qualified The Gambia to be called an independent state.”
He added that it is under the rule of President Jammeh that people from poor backgrounds were granted educational opportunities to rise beyond the circumstances of their birth.
“It is also during President Jammeh’s time that a poor man’s son will attend the university, get good jobs equally as the sons of the permanent secretaries and directors. The APRC is not an era where one can keep a position for his son; it is an era when one’s merits get you a job. So Jammeh has done a lot towards the independence of this country. Had the first republic has been as pro-active in terms of development, by now we will not be talking about electricity, water problems and other issues. Before 1994, we only enjoyed electricity in Serekunda and Banjul because in Brikama, not even 10% of the people get electricity. So anybody can do the comparison. If the previous government had achieved what the APRC has achieved in 20 years, we would have got 100% electricity by now.”
However, the APRC chief propagandist paid tribute to the role that Edward Francis Small played in the struggle for The Gambia’s independence.
“We recognise the fundamental role that Edward Francis Small played in the independence of The Gambia and that is why we, APRC, have recognised his efforts. He is respected by the second republic and that is why the hospital that was upgraded by the second republic to become a teaching hospital and renamed Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital. Preparations are in high gear to make sure independence is given a befitting recognition and celebration [on 18 February 2015]”.]]>