Full text of former President Yahya Jammeh’s 1,300-word address to his supporters

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Former President Yahya Jammeh spoke to his supporters from his hideout in Equatorial Guinea on Friday, using the address to rubbish the APRC-NPP alliance, sacking the party’s executive and naming new leaders.

Below is full text of the former dictator’s address;

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Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim. There is a lot of noise on the line. Okay if you are hearing me clearly okay.

Audhubillah Minasaitani rajim, Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim. Alhamdullillahi Rabil Alamin, Alhamdoullillahi Rabil Alamin, Alhamdoullillahi Rabil Alamin. As Salamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Tala Wa Barakatu. All patriotic Gambians, APRC, everybody that is there, I am greeting you, each by your name.

I want to thank all the patriotic Gambians, every Gambian who is development oriented. As from today, I want to make it very clear that I have taken full leadership of the APRC party as stated in the constitution of the APRC as supreme leader. I’m the flagbearer and I’m the party chairman and I want to make that clear.

The APRC party is here to maintain development… the development of the country, the peace and security where all people irrespective of tribe, whether you’re rich or poor, where you child can go to school free of charge, from primary school to university and that is what is going to continue. We will not allign ourselves to any party, or any movement that is taking Gambia backwards and destroy the infrastructure that have taken 22 years to build, it’s not going to happen. There is no alliance with any party that has destroyed The Gambia for the past four years.

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As a democratic party, we cannot prevent anybody from… No matter what your rank, position is, we cannot prevent you from going and allying yourself with any other party. In that case, you have already removed yourself from the APRC. So all those who are with the NPP, I am not approving it, we are not going to allign with NPP, we are alligning ourselves with GANU party.

Let me make it very clear why I kept quiet for so long: what we call paswarr (winnow) in local language was what was going on and if I have spoken the traitors would not have been known. That is why I kept quiet so long. And those people who left the party never had my blessing, never had my consent or permission to talk about an alliance with any party. Those who have left the party for other parties… Members of the executive who have left the party and went to join another party, I have no problems with that but they’re hereby being replaced by the following people: Honourable Abdou Jarju, Honourable Bakaray Saibo Sanneh, Muhammed Lamin Jammeh, Yahya Bamba, Honourable Jerrending Sanyang, Honourable Matarr Kujabi, Honourable Ebou Sambou, Honourable Omar Mamburay, Pa Modou Mbowe, Regina Williams, [and] Habib Secka. These team will work with the GANU team on everything. We will work together as a team.

I want to make it very clear: APRC, the A stands for Alliance, Patriotic, Reorientation and Construction. I want to apologise to all the party militants, all the Gambian people for keeping quiet for so long. But as I said the process of winnowing was not complete, because it didn’t reach the APRC party. Because everybody has to be winnowed, we winnow everything and take what is good. And so now that the party has also been part of the winnowing including Kanilai, my hometown, not is time for me to talk and that is why I am talking. But I am sorry for the silence, it has created a lot of problems, many people were confused. I am sorry about that.

As from now, APRC my party, our party, your party, is with GANU and no other party. I want to thank everybody who stood up for the truth, who stood up for the national development, national security, national prosperity, national happiness, [those] who stood behind me all along including those in the diaspora who have been defending me. I want to assure you that as from now even their meetings, I will be joining the meetings.

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I want to appeal to all Gambians, all parties… The abominable insulting of people and their mothers is not blessing the country but it’s a curse because the Almighty Allah doesn’t like anybody who believes in Him, who worships Him to be insulting people for whatever reason including insulting people’s mothers. That is very abominable, that is unacceptable in the APRC and GANU party. When we conduct our campaign, we are not going to insult anybody, we are not going to castigate anybody, we are going to focus on the development of the country as has happened in the past 22 years that I was in power. We focus on development, don’t be distracted by insult. Anybody who insults you, just ignore him if you can. Please I am appealing to you. But insulting each other’s mother does not bring peace. The Almighty Allah, as Muslims is Haram, as Christians it’s Haram. So please even if they insult you, don’t insult back. Please for the sake of the Almighty Allah and our religion. Insulting people will bring Allah’s anger upon the country and that is not good. That is why people are suffering in The Gambia today.

We have to fight to regain our country and develop our country as it was done under 22 years of my rule.

My final note to you is, to make it very clear: there cannot be any development in a country that is not secured, where there is no security, there is no peace, people are divided, people are insulting each other’s mothers, people are saying abominable things – heinous language. This is unacceptable. For the APRC… And those who want to come to the APRC and GANU, you’re welcome. Come and join but there will be no insults allowed.

What is happening in the country… The country is sinking faster than the titanic and we have to save the country. For us to save the country, we need the hands of all people, patriotic Gambians, for us to work together and get rid of what is happening in our country.

Let me make it clearer what has been obvious throughout: I’m not a tribalist, I’m a citizen and my party is not a tribalist party. I have seen from my performance, I didn’t kick anybody out of office because he is from another tribe. I will never be a tribalist, I’m a Muslim and tribalism is Haram in Islam. We’re all created by the same Almighty Allah. I’m a citizen, not a tribalist. APRC is a patriotic party and it cannot be a tribal party, so also GANU. So, let’s work together and make sure that we unit all Gambians for the benefit of all Gambians.

On this note, I want to thank all of you who have come from far and near. All those who have been insulted, please forgive. Let us stop the insult, let us work together with good people. Those who don’t want to work with you, don’t mind them. Let us work for the development and peace, security and stability of the country and for the prosperity of all Gambians. On this note, may you go back in peace [and] in safety. May the Almighty Allah give you his blessings and protection.

On this note, I don’t want to take too much of your time, it is a little bit long because I have to clarify everything. But as from today, it’s APRC and GANU in the country and make sure that everybody sleeps in peace. The security of life and property is sacrosanct, it’s sacred and it is our duty to make sure that we establish peace and security in the country for everyone, where education will be free for everyone. In The Gambia, when I was there for 22 years, even the son of a beggar or the daughter of a beggar can go to university because I was there for everybody and I will always be there for everybody. Everything has crumbled. Gambia today is the most dangerous country but we will make it the most peaceful country on earth again, within a week or two.

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