Friday, January 21, 2011
On Sir Dawda Jawara, Gambian's First President
NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- Sir Dawda Jawara, The Gambia first President, led The Gambia to independence on February 18, 1965 and held on as Prime Minister until 1970 when the country became a Republic.
Sir Dawda Jawara gave an account post= independence Gambia under his rule in an interview with Gambia News and Report Magazine at his residence on Atlantic Road in Fajara on Tuesday 11th January 2011.
He said his party the People Progressive Party (PPP) came from the Protectorate Peoples Party. When he was selected to the lead the party, the party first launched its campaign in the rural parts of the country. He later urged that the party name should be changed to the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) and in the electionx, the PPP won a majority of the seats.
According to him, after gaining independence, the Gambia wanted to change from a monarchy to a republic. But at 1965 referendum the government did not get the two thirds of the vote needed to have a republic ; it was not until 1970 referendum that the Gambia became a republic.
“Road development was our first priority, because there was no good road condition in the 1960s and traveling in the rural part of the country at that time was very difficult”, he said.
Looking back to his schoool days, he said World-War II had a great impact on the lives of Gambians, saying that communication between Gambia and the rest of the world was restricted by the Atlantic War waged by German submarines. Exportation and importation of goods was affected and made the cost of living hard for Gambians.
He also said Gambian soldidrs were forced to fight in the war distingushing themselves at the Kaladan River crossing in Burma At the time there was fear in Banjul that the Vichey Government which contolled Senegal was going to make an attack from Dakar.
On the 1981 coup attempt by Kukoi Samba Sanyang, Jawara accused the Libyan leader Muhammod Ghaddifi of being behind the coup. He accused the Libyan government for supporting the coup leader Kukoi Samba Sanyang,
He said his government had gathered information that the Libyan government was training people to send them back to their countries to fight their governments saying that was the reason his government had earlier broken diplomatic relation with Libya.