AFRICANGLOBE – It was a moment of excitement and jubilance as both the old and the young supporters took to the streets of Greater Banjul Area and the city of Banjul on Friday, 25 November 2011, immediately after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairman announced the final results of the election and declared the APRC candidate who is also the incumbent president, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh as the winner.
The jubilant party supporters and well wishers came out in their numbers with party colours, wearing green caps, and T-shirts bearing President Jammeh’s picture, and whistles, and headed towards the ‘City of Lights’ Banjul, some on foot, a demonstration of their love and adoration for the incumbent and sheer satisfaction over the results.
The declaration of the final results of the election, widely reported as free and fair by both national and international observers including the African Union, saw residents of the Senegambia area drum and dance en-mass, from the Bertil Harding Highway to the Traffic Light in Fajara and joined others in the walk to Banjul.
It was same for places like Brusubi, Brufut, and Sukuta, who assembled at the Brusubi roundabout ‘Turntable’.Even more amazing, the people from Lamin, Coastal Road, Wellingara, Talliding, Latrikunda, Bundung, Ebo Town, New Jeshwang, Kanifing and others took to the streets and assembled at the Tabokoto junction and walked along Banjul-Brikama highway to Banjul. The euphoria that surrounded the victory celebration on the faithful Thursday evening was quite phenomenal and Banjul was the melting point.
Fanfare in Banjul
It was jubilation galore right from the Arch 22, the entrance to the capital city of The Gambia popularly called the ‘City of Lights’. At the Arch 22, drummers, dancers and singers were chanting, welcoming the people into the city. The mayor of Banjul, Samba Faal, stood with some members of the City Council at Council gate, waving and smiling as the crowd headed to the July 22nd Square, the main ground for celebration.
It all culminated into a musical carnival as different musicians took turns to perform much to the delight of the crowd and speeches by some members of the party executives and the president elect.
The mayor of Banjul, Samba Faal, speaking to a local newspaper shortly after the announcement of the results for the three consistencies in Banjul; namely Banjul South, Banjul Central and Banjul North at his office in Banjul, said Banjul has done extremely well in this year’s presidential elections compared to the 2006 presidential polls. He observed that the opposition drastically lost not only at the ward, but also at both constituency and regional levels.
Major Faal also expressed appreciation over the voter turn out in the capital city and praised the level of voter education exercise prior to the election. He finally congratulated the president on the landslide victory, commended the APRC liaison officer for Banjul, Minister Pierre Tamba, APRC divisional executive committee in Banjul, council of elders, and ‘Yai compins’; and assured the president of the city’s unflinching support to his presidency and the APRC party.
Also sharing his opinion with the press, one-time National Assembly member for Kombo North, Musa Suso said the result for Kombo North was not a surprise to him because the people of Kombo North have been true supporters of the APRC and the president since 1994.
Commenting on the results of Sukuta, Suso, who has been strongly hailed by the youth of Sukuta for his contributions towards this year’s campaign for the ruling party, pointed out that Sukuta was the first village to honour President Jammeh as citizen of the town and that they have grown strong liking for him since then. The rehabilitation of the roads in the town, he said, is a clear manifestation of his love for the people of Sukuta in return.
Suso seized the occasion to thank all the electorates in Kombo North, the APRC Divisional Executive Campaign Committee, the paramount chief, governor of the West Coast Region, National Assembly member for the area and the youth for the good work they did during the presidential elections campaign.
Sally Siady, a Gambian resident in United States of America said : I came from the States purposely for this election. To me, this year’s election is the best because more voters came out to vote. We love President Jammeh; he has been doing well for the country since he assumed power and we know that he will continue because he has a vision for the country – vision 2020. I support him and I am very proud of him.
Awa Madu from Mile 7 Bakau: The outcome of the result is very good and it is worth celebrating because it is fair and free. We are happy for the president as he has won the election and we want him to continue ruling the Gambia for the next five years. I have no advice and nothing to do with the opposition because they do not want to join the good path.
Fatou Mbaye: We are extremely happy about the outcome of the election; it is not a new thing to us because we APRC members have really prepared and come out to vote in our numbers. President Jammeh has really worked for the development of the country in the past years so he deserves it. As usual we are expecting a lot from him; more of his surprise packages.
Yahya Manneh, a student: I am very happy today to be among the people celebrating the victory of His Excellency. We expect more development and scholarships for students.
Fatoumata Jah, president of the Gambia Women’s Federation: Today we are very happy because women came out in their numbers to vote. The president has done a lot for the women. We are still expecting more from him and to reciprocate his goodwill was through the ballot box. This is one of the reasons we all came out in our numbers to vote for him. We shall continue to vote and give him more chances to rule.
Wadi Jallow-Sowe, from Kanifing Estate: We are jubilating because we want him to continue to achieve what he desires for the country, which is Vision 2020. It is because of this we all came out in ours number to vote and made him retain the seat of presidency of the Gambia. President Jammeh, whatever he promises he will surely do it; that’s why we like him.
Omar Jallow believes that the president is a man of his words. “He always thinks, fights and stands by peace in Africa. I was surprised when I heard about Ecowas withdrawing from observing the election, but now we are vindicated. We have once again showed that we are good example of democracy to the world.
My advice to the oppositions is that they should know that Gambia is a peaceful country; hence the Smiling Coast of Africa. We are brothers and sisters; election is over, let’s come together and salvage the country. I also urge my fellow youths to stay away from violence.