Two Radio Stations Shut Down By Gambia
Uncertainties lies ahead in the Gambia territories as the deadline for president, Yahya Jammeh, to get out of office draws closer on January 19th 2017.
All indications from the current presiden so far suggest that he does not plan to go any where soon. Recently, the government of President Yahya Jammeh who have been in power for 22 years today shut down two private radio stations in the Gambia,
The closure of Teranga FM Radio and Hilltop Radio, both based in Banjul, came amidst an escalating political crisis caused by President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept the just held 2016 election, where Jammeh was defeat, by a real estate businessman, Adama Barrow.
President Jammeh who initially conceded defeat after the 2016 election to Mr. Barrow has now called for fresh elections, drawing condemnation from local opponents and foreign powers.
Meanwhile, the leaders of ECOWAS has sent a communiqu to president Jammeh, informing him of the possibility of a military intervention by West African forces if power is not relinguished. President Jammeh reinterated calling this act a “declaration of war”.
Both radio stations were said to have been closed down on Sunday January 1st 2017, as head of the Gambia Press Union, Mr. Emil Touray, disclosed in a statement. The Teranga’s Radio headquarters was shut down by the police force and four members of the Gambia's National Intelligence Agency, Mr. Touray disclosed further
President Jammeh's spokesman, stated that the said story could not be confirmed as to the validity of it. However, it is still not clear why the two stations were targeted by President Jammeh who is not seeking to overthrow any government.
It would be recalled that the Teranga FM, which was popular for its review of newspapers in the Wolof and Mandinka languages, has been closed four times in recent years.The station’s director Alagie Ceesay who was notedly arrested in July, 2015, and charged with sedition, was hospitalized twice in 2016 while he was still in detention. Ceesay later fled to neighbouring Senegal to seek asylum.
Mr. Touray concluded that, "this act by Jammeh is a slap in the face of the country’s democratic process,” “People will not have access to information anymore?"
Mr. Adama Barrow’s electorial triumph in 2016, was seen as a surprised victory for democracy in the Africa. President Jammeh has continued to insist on the verdit from the superior court of Gambia as the only reason to quit power.
Story by Jolly Egbon
Source: EchoAfrik News, USA