The Point Newspaper, the country’s leading and widely read newspaper, today celebrates its 31st anniversary, while remembering the co-proprietor and managing editor of the paper, Deyda Hydara.
However, this 31st celebration also marks the 18th anniversary of the veteran Gambian journalist, Deyda Hydara, who was gunned down in cold blood on the orders of the former Gambian dictator, Yahya Jammeh on December 16, 2004.
Since December 16, 1991, The Point has been known for widely acclaiming its stance on issues affecting press freedom in the country. This has enabled the paper to increase its readership and by extension winning several international awards in Germany, Australia, South Africa, Zambia, United States of America and United Arab Emirates.
As the leading, most authoritative and independent newspaper in the country, The Point Newspaper speaks for the voiceless; promotes democracy, good governance, rule of law, sports, health, agriculture among others in both English and French.
In an interview with this medium, Pap Saine, co- publisher of the paper thanked Allah for the 31st anniversary, while extending special thanks to the staff and ex-staff who contributed immensely for the development of press freedom.
According to Mr. Saine, The Point is no longer a media house but an institution with senior government officials like Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Foreign Minister; Minister Ebrima Sillah of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Ebrima .G. Sankareh, Government Spokesperson & Presidential Diaspora Adviser, Isha Davies, Director of Information and Bubacarr Sankanu who all served as editors for the paper.
“I also want to acknowledge profound thanks to Mr. Bokarr Sey, Deputy Chief Officer OIC Secretariat, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, vice chancellor of the International Open University and President of the Gambia Writers’ Association who are all columnists of the paper,” he noted.
Speaking further, Mr. Saine also thanked Ebrima Sawaneh, acting director of Administration (BAC), Famara Jawneh ,MD of NGOs Bekanya , Musa Sisay, director of Corporate Affairs & Public Relations of Africell, who was The Point’s first Europe correspondent and extended profound thanks to former editors Babucarr Senghore and Abba Gibba who are pursuing further studies in America.
Moreover, he said: “Newspaper owners in the country are struggling to come out daily. Printing materials are increasing every month. Our adverts and subscriptions are not paid on time. Therefore, I appeal to the government to see how best to meet our challenges for institutions to pay our bills on time.”
He added: “I thank Barrow’s government for giving us the enabling atmosphere to work without hindrance and without interfering in our editorial line compared to the past regime when journalists in the country were killed, arrested unlawfully, made to leave the country on asylum and media houses burnt or locked down.”
“The management of The Point is remembering Deyda Hydara who always defended the voiceless. His culprits who assassinated him through the instruction of former President Jammeh ought to be arrested and prosecuted, as well as Yahya Jammeh himself,” Mr. Saine emphasised.
“I promise to continue the legacy of my dear brother and friend. His legacy: ‘Good Morning Mr. President’ which is still published every Monday giving advice to the President and also talks about issues affecting the populace. Finally, I would like to thank the Hydara family, especially the widow Maria Hydara, for giving me the responsibilities in the family and the company.
“I would also like to thank our readership, subscribers, advertisers and all for their support and patronage over the years.