Posted - 17 Dec 2021 : 11:48:56
Point clocks 30, remembers Deyda
The Point: Dec 16, 2021
By: Pa Modou Cham
The Point Newspaper, one of the country’s most popular and widely read newspapers today celebrates its 30 years of existence, while remembering the Co-proprietor and Managing Editor Deyda Hydara, who was assassinated in cold blood on the orders of former President Yahya Jammeh.
The paper till now has been widely acclaimed for its proactive stance towards issues affecting The Gambia media. The paper has won seven international awards, thanks to its stance on the independence of the media and press freedom.
Mr. Pap Saine, Co-publisher of The Point, speaking ahead of the anniversary, thanked Allah, the staff, advertisers, and readers for achieving great success in reaching this far despite some obstacles. He stated that the paper was established on December 16, 1991, by him, the late Deyda Hydara, and Baboucar Gaye. He added that in April 1992, Baboucar resigned and established his own newspaper and radio called Citizen FM.
“It was a big vacuum in the media to have tabloid newspapers but through encouragement with some friends, we launched the paper with support from Alhagie Gabbi Sosseh to start the paper.”
Late Babou Sowe signed the bond and Pap Demba Jobe, a businessman also put his weight and gave us a one-year advertisement. I thank them all for supporting us in that hard time.”
Mr. Saine further reiterated that it’s difficult to manage a newspaper in The Gambia because the readership is not big and advertisements are not paid on time. The award-winning journalist hopes that with Barrow’s government, there will be change to support the media and abolish the draconian media laws.
“The Point won seven international awards in Germany, Australia, South Africa, Zambia, United States and United Arab Emirates for its stance on press freedom. We wish to expand and get both radio and television with the support of the international community.”
The veteran journalist thanked all those that worked for The Point in the past and present, saying the list is long. He, however, expressed his sincere thanks to the eminent staff that always support the paper during hard times.
“Today is the 17th anniversary since veteran journalist Deyda Hydara was assassinated in cold blood for no reason. He was defending the voiceless and championing press freedom. He cannot be forgotten, and the government should remember him by naming a school or institution after him.”
Saine appealed to the government to arrest the culprits and make them face justice without delay. He also thanked Deyda’s family for the confidence they have in him to spearhead the affairs of the paper.
Speaking on behalf of Hydara Family, Marie Deyda Hydara said: “On your 30th anniversary, we would like to send our profound gratitude and prayers to Uncle Pap Saine, Baba Hydara, staffs past and present, sponsors, advertisers, friends and families.”
“It has been a crazy couple of years, with hardships and huge challenges, having struggled through a lot of hurdles but Alhamdulilah...You gave it all your very best, with perseverance and steadfastness you kept Deyda’s pride and joy afloat.”
“May you all be rewarded with goodness.”
Uncle Pap has made huge sacrifices for The Point Newspaper, great accomplishments and improvements in the last 17 years. He had kept a level head in all of this, when all we cared about was fighting impunity, he fought to keep The Point Newspaper open.”
“He did not only look after The Point but looked after all of us. He tried his best to ensure he stood as a father would, represented us if and when needed, in short as a dad would. For this, we cannot with words express our heartfelt appreciation and pray that Allah would reward him with goodness here in Dunya and in the Ahira.”
A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone