Gambian media remembers murdered journalist Deyda Hydara
Justice minister Abubacarr Tambadou said the administration of president Adama Barrow will ensure that the good governance wishes and aspirations of Gambians are realized after toppling two decades old tyrant Yahya Jammeh on December 1, 2016.
Tambadou made the statement at a press conference organized by Gambia Press Union (GPU) to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the murder of journalist Deyda Hydara.
Deyda, a veteran Gambian journalist, was murdered on December 16 of 2004 in a drive-by shooting. He was a strong critic of Jammeh’s repressive rule and he is believed to have been targeted because of that.
“There was no doubt that Deyda was murdered…,” said Tambadou. The justice minister said Deyda was one of the people who have died for the New Gambia dream.
“Too many have died for this dream… This dream, I assure you, is on course…,” he said.
He said the draconian media laws of the former ruler that Deyda strongly criticized will be out of the country’s statute books.
“The information minister is on my back to make sure the amendment to the Newspaper Acts and all others are done. I can inform you that that bill will be before parliament before the end of the year,” Tambadou said.
The press conference was attended by a number of Gambian journalists including Pap Saine, a long-term friend of Deyda; Baby Hydara his son, and the president of the GPU Sheriff Bojang Jr.
Deyda was shot on the birthday of his beloved wife. “Imagine that your beloved husband was murdered on your birthday… We don’t even know how to wish her— how can you say happy birthday?,” said Hydara.
“I did not wish her happy birthday for over 12 years.”
It is still unclear if the former president Jammeh ordered the hit on Deyda. However, Gambian police investigating his case have indicted several people believed to have been involved in his killing.
Tambadou said based on information available to him, it is unlikely that those killers working for Jammeh have acted alone.
The ruling of the regional court in Deyda’s case has said that Gambia has failed to properly investigate the incident and thus fined the country $50, 000, half of which is paid already.
“We will not rest until killers of my father are brought to justice… We welcome the moves by the new Government but we believe more can be done…,” said Baba Hydara.
Meanwhile, the president of the GPU, Sheriff Bojang Jr, said Deyda was someone who died for Gambia.
“Deyda could have cared less about anybody else but he didn’t… Deyda sacrificed his life for you and me,” said Bojang.
The GPU secretary general has announced the press union will launch the Gambia Media Council on December 23 in honour of the killed journalist Hydara.