Friday, September 24, 2010

“Deyda Hydra – One of Gambia’s Best Citizens” - Says O J

“OJ On the Fifth Anniversary of Murdered Journalist”
VOL: 1 ISSN: 09: Interim Coordinator of the People Progressive Party (PPP) has described the late Deyda Hydra as one of the best citizen of this country who stood for justice, the liberation and freedom of Gambians and Africans, a man who scarifies all his life to make sure he informs, entertain and educate people to be aware of their rights.
Deyda Hydara, who was murdered in cold blood on December 16, 2004 by unknown gunman/men, was the founder and Managing Editor of The Point Newspaper from 1991 to 2004.
Mr. Omar Jallow alias OJ was speaking to the Voice Newspaper in an interview at his home in Pipeline on the fifth year anniversary of the murder of Deyda Hydra.

Jallow said: “I think Gambians everywhere in the world and even the whole world are lamenting the lack of progress in the investigation of the killers of Deyda Hydra. It is unfortunate that after 5 years the people who have committed this seditious crime were not brought to justice, after he was gunned down by people who don’t respect life,” he stressed.
He added that Deyda is a living icon for the Gambian Community, because he stood by the ethics of his profession and died for what he believes, as it is said that: “anybody who was born and up to the age of 30 years he does not belief in anything that he is ready to die for, that person has no right to exist.”
According to him, Deyda will be remembered for his steadfastness, commitment and belief in liberty of the people. “He will never die, physically he is gone, but what he stood for is ever alive in the hearts and mind of Gambians and the entire African continent who believes in liberty and freedom of the press,” he said.
O J argued that there can never be a viable and sustainable democratic system and culture without the a free and vibrant independent press, but that was what Deyda Hydra stood for, he said, while citing that Gambians have lost one of the pillars of society, somebody who has done a lot of more than Gambians, who are now depriving us of development in this country.
“For me, the Gambia Press Union has taken me as a colleague and are always inviting me in their meetings, as well as all the commemorations on the death of the late Deyda Hydra and even during the setting up of the foundation (the Deyda Hydara Trust Fund), which I have been contributing to.”
However, he said what is more important is that this is not his first time to speak on the death of Deyda Hydra, but have also spoken in different occasions and media outlets in the Gambia about what he called the unfortunate process that is; those who have committed this seditious crime are still at large.
For the Family of the late Deyda Hydra, he said they still have the sympathetic feeling with them in the time of grief, but they should also agree that they have produce one of the most prominent people in The Gambia and the people of this country should see Deyda’s family as a unique family in The Gambian society.
According to him, we are seeing Deyda Hydra through his family, and he is praying for the family, while urging them to be patient because the truth shall come to light one day. “When the culprit/s are brought to book, that day the whole country, Africa and humankind, who believes in justice, will rejoice,” he declared.
“Two years ago I called upon the government to redouble their investigations and bring those who committed this seditious crime to justice and if they did not have the resources and ability they should seek assistance from countries that are far ahead of us in investigating such crimes. “They can appeal to the British, Americans and even Senegal to bring more qualified people in order to help in investigations,” he charged.
OJ also appealed to the Gambian Authorities to invite the MI 5 or even the CIA to assist in the investigations on the death of Deyda Hydra, because the problem and the death of Hydra will never be laid to rest until and unless the culprits are brought to justice.
He also charged that we should have learned from history not to allow ourselves to fall in the wrong side of history. “The countries in the continent that has refused to accept the issue of press freedom, have regretted it and The Gambia should not be an exception.”
“Gambians and the government in power should allow the press to enjoy freedom, as it is only the press that can provide people with information, educating and entertaining them.
“People have the right to know what is happening in their country and that can be if only there is an independent press, as it complements the efforts of oversight institutions like parliament in serving as watchdog of society. Government polices and programmes and the efficiency of those programmes and policies can only be highlighted and articulated by the press so that people have the right to be informed of the deficiency of their government as well as the progress. “That is what they called Democracy.”
He said: “the press plays a vital role in terms of development; politically, economically, socially and culturally, therefore nobody in the world can permanently muzzle the independent press, “it is impossible.”
Jallow also said, everyone has to speak out and we should all make sure that everybody in The Gambia including the Government and the authorities know that we have not forgotten about this faithful day, the death of Deyda Hydara.
“It is important for citizen to speak out against the impunity, suppression, and anything that is violating their rights and privileges.

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