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City of Banjul
Monday, January 18, 2021

Open letter to the Gambia Press Union

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The 18th day of April, 2015, will linger in the hearts and minds of members of the media fraternity in The Gambia as it borne the election of a new government to steer the affairs of journalists in The Gambia for the next three years. 

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I wish to congratulate the new executive member and pray that Allah grant them goodness in office. However, you need to be reminded that GPU is not a family asset but rather a union whose ultimate aim is to protect and promote the interest and welfare of its members. The future of the media solely lies in your hands. You are elected to transparently serve the interest of the members. 

In as much as you accepted your respective nominations, you should drive the wheels of the union’s constitution and effect change, now. Be selflessly ready to be on your toes in facing challenges by dust, sweat and blood in ensuring that the Gambia Press Union shall never dance to the chorus of those ‘enemies of progress’ whose number one agenda is to enmesh innocent journalists and kick the independent media to die in the gutter. ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’.

To my fellow electorate, I humbly enjoin you to bury your political differences and take full ownership of the union. ‘Let bygones be bygones’. We should unite and support the new leadership in their quest to defend our rights, promote ethical standards and work on certain self-regulations rather than searching for fault lines to chant on and rebel. It does not matter which media house you work with, the GPU remains ours so let us cherish it with pride and dignity.

 

Saikou Suwareh Jabai (Prof),

Freelance Journalist

 

Patrice Lumumba’s last letter to his wife shortly before his eventual murder

 

Dear editor,

 

I would like to take this opportunity to share with my fellow readers a wonderful letter written by the independence hero of Congo, Patrice Lumumba .The letter reads:

My dear wife,

I am writing these words not knowing whether they will reach you, when they will reach you, and whether I shall still be alive when you read them. All through my struggle for the independence of my country, I have never doubted for a single instant the final triumph of the sacred cause to which my companions and I have devoted all of our lives. But what we wished for our country, its right to an honourable life, to unstained our dignity, to independence without restrictions,was never desired by the Belgian imperialists and the Western allies, who found direct and indirect support deliberate and unintentional, amongst certain high officials of the United Nations, that organisation in which we placed all our trust when we called on its assistance.

They have corrupted some of our compatriots and bribed others. They have helped to distort the truth and bring our independence into dishonour. How could I speak otherwise? Dead or alive ,free or in prison by order of the imperialists, it is not myself who counts .It is our poor people for whom independence has been transformed into a cage from whose confines the outside world looks on us, sometimes with kindly sympathy, but at other times with joy and pleasure.

But my faith will remain unshakeable. I know and i feel in my heart that sooner or later my people will rid themselves of all their enemies, both internal and external, and that they will rise as one man to say No to the degradation and shame of colonialism, and regain their dignity in the clear light of the sun.

We are not alone.Africa, Asia and the free liberated people from all corners of the world will always be found at the side of the millions of Congolese who will not abandon the struggle until the day when there are no longer any colonialists and their mercenaries in our country.

As to my children whom I leave and whom I may never see again, I should like them to be told that it is for them as it is for every Congolese, to accomplish the sacred task of reconstructing our independence and our sovereignty; for without dignity there is no liberty, without justice there is no dignity, and without independence there are no free men. Neither brutality, nor cruelty nor torture will ever bring me to ask for mercy, for I prefer to die with my head unbowed, my faith unshakable and with profound trust in the destiny of my country, rather than live under subjection and disregarding sacred principles. History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that is taught in Brussels, Paris, Washington or in the United Nations but the history which will be taught in the countries freed from imperialism and its puppets. Africa will write its own history, and to the north and south of the Sahara, it will be a glorious and dignified history.

Do not weep for me, my dear wife. I know that my country, which is suffering so much, will know how to defend its independence and its liberty. Long live the Congo! Long live Africa!

Patrice.

 

Michael Secka,

Ministry of Basic and Secondary education

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