Since the defeat of the incumbent in the presidential election, the state-controlled broadcaster, GRTS, has not been covering or reporting any public engagements of President-elect Adama Barrow, even though his official engagements which are in the public interest continue to feature prominently in reputable international radio and television stations around the world. It is too late now for the outgoing president to attempt to control the behavior of the people who voted him out of office by deliberately censoring and manipulating the news broadcast of GRTS to stay in power.
Media propaganda and State repression have been the two important tools that Yahya Jammeh have been using to stay in power for 22 years. By maintaining only one television station when all our neighboring countries have allowed a multitude of private TV stations to operate in their countries, he is foolishly espousing his deliberate policy to affect the minds and emotions of the people in furtherance of his political agenda.
So when Malick Jones mentioned the need to have a sister TV station at a Gala program he was hosting on behalf of Africel about five years ago, he was immediately removed and transferred to the Information ministry. Today, we just heard that he’s been re-instated back to do the dirty job of disinformation in order to manipulate and control news output and content at the GRTS for Yahya Jammeh’s survival out of the current political impasse.
As propaganda and state terror become effective ways to maintain Jammeh’s dictatorship, the manipulation of the news from GRTS will no longer have an impact to influence people’s attitude, beliefs and behaviors. Jammeh has less than one month to hand-over power and until that time informed Gambians will continue to use their smart phones and social media to follow the internal political developments inside the country from international reputable media abroad. Jammeh has exhausted all avenues of survival to prolong his stay.
The political situation of the country has gone beyond broadcasting distorted news on GRTS or censoring publication of specific news in the pro-government Observer newspaper, people have become more informed and are ready to take their future into their own hands. We are confident that Barrow and his team will grant numerous TV licenses to private individuals and firms capable of giving Gambians a vast array of exciting TV channels in a vibrant television industry thus circumventing any censorship or distortion of news for propaganda purposes.
The people have spoken. It’s time to respect the will of the people and accept defeat. No amount of media propaganda, censorship, co-optation and state repression can alter the desire of the citizens for urgent and immediate transfer of power to the president-elect Adama Barrow. The balance has shifted. Farewell President Jammeh. You can take your GRTS with you after you leave office.
Written By An Insider