Archive for the ‘Domestic News’ Category

GOOD MORNING PRESSIDENT BARROW

July 10, 2017

IGP KINTEH

PRESIDENT BARROW

Firstly, Mr President, allow me to commend IGP Kinteh for his brilliant interview on GTRS on Friday. Undoubtedly, he did rise and shine in all his answers. Watching him drizzles flashes of a hopeful future for the Police under his supervision if he remains bold, steadfast and true to his ideals.

Hypothetically, it is a prerequisite on law-enforcers to be seen abiding by the law. As a consequent, Police officers must at all times exercise great care in ensuring the legality of their actions. Albeit this may sometimes register slips and falls owing to undue pressure from politicians, the public and corruption to conveniently quick fix selective situations, society is best served and protected when the police dutifully patrol within corridors of the law. That will, definitely, renovate its dilapidated image, pep up public confidence and resuscitate trust in our police service.

Despite all the worrisome clouds hovering over our Police Force, appropriate and bold conditions can disperse them to pave way for a brighter future marinated with stunning professionalism. Mr President, for the sake of clarity, let me affirm that I am not here claiming to possess all the medicaments for the police malaise but have a reasonable grasp of its seeming intractable multi-faceted virus. Some of my readers will recollect when Momodou Sabally was appointed Secretary General, I wrote him an open letter admonishing as a colleague I regard very highly and suggested possible means he could utilise to preserve his integrity. My concerns did outlive the termites of time. IGP Kinteh is my squad and we shared many experiences. Consequences, I want his legacy to be a success story.

At this juncture, Mr President, one is charmed to query why is the Police Force so enmeshed in shameful maladministration peppered with blatant corruption? In an effort to avail factual response, I will confine my argument mainly on Organisational Structure, Command and Control this morning. Until 1994, the GPF Organisational Structure was tailored to hone and harness command and control. There were only the IGP, DIG, AIG Operations, AIG Admin and CMC assisted by 5 CSPs, 10 SPs and 21 ASPs as senior officers which included Immigration as it was administered by the Police. Major Police Stations such as Banjul were manned by either a Chief Inspector or an Inspector assisted by Sergeants as Relief Commanders. Corporals formed the core of Supervising NCOs. Then arrived the “Electronic Broom” of the monster which swept many senior officers into oblivion. 1994 also witnessed the scrapping of the AIGs positions. And in 2001, came the Commissioner ranks.
The second coming of some of the swept officers brought with it the unwitting littering of the commissioner ranks. Today, The Gambia Police Force has more commissioners than the UK, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone. IGP Kinteh needs to carefully look into the organisational structure and water down the littered ranks. As a starter, the likes of Ousman Gibba, Edu Sambou, Famara Jallow, Modou Sowe and Modou Gaye all had once served as DIGs before receiving their marching orders and only to be later reinstated with demotion. The truth be told, all these men have seen their best-before dates and have nothing more to offer the police. As a result, they should be retired with benefit to scale down the excessive and unnecessary Commissioner ranks.

Command and Control is less effective due to the liquidation of the ranks, unthoughtful deployments, sexual favours, corruption and political interference. A succinct illustration is the scenario of Commissioners Demba Sowe and Buba Sarr. By service, Sowe seniors Sarr. Sowe got deployed to head Interpol while Sarr was appointed CMC. Operationally, CMC oversees Interpol, Prosecution, Serious Crime and Fraud Squad. Thus, making Sowe answerable to his junior which gravely compromised command and control. Similarly, if an IGP sleeps with Sergeant and/or Private Enchanting in Banjul station, how does the State Officer expect her to fall in when he orders? If the Station Officer isn’t careful with her, he will find himself in Fatoto within the blink of an eye. This too erodes command and control.

The creation of irrational positions is another toothache of the police. For instance, when Tijan Badjie got reinstated after been fired and locked up, the position of Deputy CMC was created for him perhaps to compensate his prosecuting of Ex-IGP Ben Jammeh. It has been brought to my notice that the position of Pateh Bah which I highlighted on my Friday series was actually Regional Crime Co-ordinator for Kanifing and not CMC-Kanifing. Very smart in deed. Who are we fooling here? What happened to OC CID in each of the Police Divisions? To me the RCC is an identical twin of the OC CID unless their operational roles are not overlapping. Albeit the RCC is answerable to the CMC, his role replicates that of the Divisional OC CID.

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK

JARRA BURENG IN DISTRESS – SEEKS YOUR KIND GENEROSITY!  

July 5, 2017

 

A heavy downpour of rain accompanied by heavy winds have caused unprecedented destruction of homes, food stocks and other properties in our hometown of Bureng in the Lower River Region of The Gambia.

In the immediate aftermath of this widespread destruction, the leadership and members of the Bureng Association USA, Inc mobilized and approved an interim emergency support of about $4500 (D200, 000). This amount will be disbursed in two tranches of D100, 000 each. The first amount will be disbursed immediately (not later than Monday), and the remaining balance will be disbursed soon, after further assessment of needs.

This is an interim measure and we are committed to doing more by the Grace of God. We have also launched a fundraising drive on GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/helpbureng to mobilize more resources to assist in this dire situation.

Finally, on behalf of our entire leadership team, we want to thank our members for their support to the Association.  By the same token, we wish to call upon all persons from Bureng who have yet to support this Association to immediately come and join.

From support during Ramadan, to helping the Arabic School and the Masjid Project, the Bureng Association USA, Inc in its short life (less than 2 years) has demonstrated high level commitment to helping the community of Bureng, especially now that natural disaster struck. We are stronger, when we are together.

your Sincerely,

Alieu SL Darboe
Secretary General
Bureng Association USA, Inc.

GAMBIA’S STATE HOUSE EXPLAINS PRESIDENT’S TO CONGO

April 17, 2017

President Barrow with his host Sasso Nguesso of Congo

A Media Release from the Office of the President, State House, Banjul, The Gambia PR/C/153/(ABS), 16th April, 2017, explained President Adama Barrow’s recent visit to Congo, as a friendly visit.

The release states:

“President Barrow made Friendly visit to Brazaville, Republic of Congo.

His Excellency President Adama Barrow, accompanied by some senior government officials, made a two day friendly visit to the Republic of Congo to cement the friendly and brotherly relations between the Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Congo. The visit was at the invitation of his Congolese counterpart.

Upon arrival at the airport, he was received by his host, His Excellency, President Denis Sassou Nguesso. Gambians living in Brazaville and Kinshasa were also at the airport to welcome President Barrow.

During an interview with journalists upon arrival, the Gambian leader said the purpose of the visit was to strengthen the relations with his African counterpart. On the state of affairs in The Gambia, President Barrow told them it was on the basis of democratic principles that he vied for the elections and it was on the same principles that the National Assembly elections was also conducted. He further stated that the election was about change in The Gambia and it was well organized. Responding on the reasons for his earlier visit to France, he informed them that it was at the invitation of the French President, Francois Hollande.

During the visit, the two Heads of State expressed joy in the excellent friendly and brotherly relations which exist between them and called for it to be re-enforced between people of the two countries.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso renewed his congratulations to the Gambian people for the successful legislative election and commended its organization. He further commended the efforts to promote peace, democracy and social cohesion in The Gambia.

President Barrow on his part took the opportunity to thank President Denis Sassou Nguesso and his government for their role in consolidating democracy, peace and economic development of the Republic of Congo. H. E Mr. Adama Barrow commended the role and actions taken by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, as Chairman of the AU committee on the resolution of the crisis in Libya and wished him a successful mandate. He also thanked his host for sending a strong delegation to his inauguration earlier in February.

The two Heads of State expressed concern on the persistent crises in African countries such as South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Central Africa Republic. They pledged to work together to promote dialogue to guarantee peace and stability. The Heads of State affirmed their commitment to realize the 2063 Agenda which calls for the transformation of the Continent and the construction of “the Africa we want”. They took note of the importance of regional integration for the realization of the development objectives of the continent.
On global affairs, they renewed their commitment to fight terrorism, which threatens peace and security and retards development efforts. To that effect, they expressed solidarity with all countries affected by the barbaric and violent acts of terrorist groups, and equally determined to support the International community in its efforts against this evil phenomenon.

The two Heads of State equally reaffirmed their position as Africans on the proposed reform of the Security Council of the United Nations and on other matters of interest to Africa.

Representatives of the Gambian community comprising elders and youths in Brazaville and neighbouring Kinshasha, also took the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the Gambian leader. They were led by the Gambian Honorary Consular in Congo, Haji Tunkara. They expressed joy for the election of President Barrow as well as the recently concluded National Assembly elections in The Gambia.

During the visit President Sassou Nguesso also hosted a dinner in honour of the visiting Gambian Head of State, witnessed by senior Congolese government officials and diplomats.

At the end of the visit, H.E. Mr. Adama Barrow thanked the President, government and the People of Congo for the brotherly reception and honor accorded to him and his delegation.

Amie Bojang-Sissoho
Director of Press and Public Relations

For: Secretary General
CC: ​Media Houses
Web Manager – State House Website”

GAMBIANS IN MINNESOTA CELEBRATE THEIR COUNTRY’S 52ND INDEPENDENCE IN GRAND STYLE

March 24, 2017

President Mohammed Fatty and first Lady Chaku Ebrima Touray waiving to the crowd

By Lamin Sabally- Minneapolis

Gambians in Minnesota have turned out in their large numbers last Saturday March 4th to mark the country’s 52ND Independence Anniversary celebrations. Organized by the Leadership of the Gambian Association in Minnesota, the event was also attended by Presidents and executive members of sister West African Organizations in Minnesota and among them were, the Presidents of Ghana Association, Edmund Ocansey, Nigerian Association, Grace Mobosi, Mali Association, Musa Diawarra, Senegalese Association, Haddy Haidara accompanied by their executive members and families and representatives of the Minnesota Mandigo Liberian Association and friends of the Gambia. Also in attendance were members and the President of West African Collaborative in Minnesota- WAC- Lawyer Kwao Amegashie, which is s made up of the leadership of West African national organizations in Minnesota. Its mission is to bring West African communities and organizations in Minnesota together to collaborate, build capacity, and address shared needs and visions. 

The colorful and fun-packed event presented selected children from the community who posed as President, Vice President, cabinet ministers and security services to exactly mimic how official independence anniversaries are celebrated in the Gambia.

In welcoming the guests, Master of Ceremony, Lamin Gibba, who is also the Secretary General of the Gambia Association in Minnesota encouraged all Gambians to be fully engaged in the political discussions of the Gambia and be prepared to put our leaders to account at all times. New Gambia cannot afford another type of dictatorship; he emphasized, and called for participatory democracy in the new political dispensation.

Speaking to the jubilating crowd immediately after inspecting the guards of honor mounted by children soldiers, Muhammed Fatty who posed as junior president of the Gambia reechoed President Adama Barrow’s independence message that his government will embark on programs that will lead to sustainable development, good governance and fix the issue of youth unemployment. He said crime against Gambians committed in the last twenty-two years will be investigated and people found guilty of crimes will be dealt according to the law. Gambia has changed for good. Junior President Fatty noted that the people are fully conscious that they can put government in office as well as remove it. No government will ever be able to entrench itself against the will of the Gambian people. This is the lesson we must draw from the change that has been brought by the people.

Lamin Sabally, the President of the Gambian Association in Minnesota called for unity among all Gambians irrespective of their political affiliations and urged the community to continue to support the Association in order for it to fully realize its goals of promoting unity and cohesion. Sabally acknowledged the high-level presence of the presidents of the sister west African organizations in Minnesota and described it as show of their solidarity with the Gambia as demonstrated by the AU & ECOWAS leaders through their direct effective involvement with the peaceful resolution of the political impasse.

The guest speaker on the event Papa Faal, an author and renowned Civil Rights activist influentially appealed to Gambians to make their political leaders accountable at all times to prevent them from possessing absolute political powers that he said is a recipe of corruption and dictatorship. Faal, who was part of the botched December 30th attack on State House in an attempt forcibly dislodge former President Jammeh, implored Gambian electorate to elect leaders with three fundamental leadership core values in mind, Integrity, service before self and accountability. In a moving speech characterized by intermittent rapturous applause from his attentive audience, Faal, who is a US Navy veteran, said the Gambia’s peaceful political resolution, which included regional bodies like AU, and ECOWAS at the forefront of negotiations, with support from the UN and powerful western democracies is an indication that Africans are capable of solving their own problems without having to rely exclusively on western intervention. He suggested that the Gambia module should be replicated in all parts of Africa as an exemplary module to solve any political problem on the continent.

Assortment of Senegambia musical entertainment was supplied by Minnesota top DJ, Bless Jagne.

THREE DIED AT CELEBRATION. WAS IT A SECURITY MEASURED BLUNDER?

February 19, 2017

The musical jamboree of Gambia @52 two in one celebration dotted by match pass of the security forces, school children and civil societies submerged Gambians into a euphoric trance of reassuring peace, tranquillity, contentment and hopefulness.  Conversely, beneath all that glittering fanfare lays three deaths and dozens wounded as a result of gross security negligence and police inaptitude at the stadium. Dependable reports emanating from Banjul confirmed the three deaths and dozens wounded gracing Gambia @52 nationhood celebration.

An eye-witness who had a gold invitation card observed, “On arrival at the stadium, I saw a huge crowd of people and few paras at the gate. Some diplomats were even struggling with civilians to enter the stadium. At first I thought is this some kind of a security sabotage? My card was useless as I have to squeeze my way in.”

Another witness also lamented, “People were jumping from the pavilion as it was packed full and no access route to go for refreshment in the loo or outside. The presence of the paras were painfully dispersed. Some other youths were likewise seated at the top of the areal on the left-hand side of the covered pavilion. That was a serious security risk and a potential accident waiting to happen”.

As a former security officer who partook in several parades, crowd control and management, I was socked with the news of such security lapse. A contingent plan must have been drawn by the Commissioner of Operations to curb any contingency of huge crowd turn out. Standby and backup platoons must have been readied to support units deployed to control and manage the crowd at the stadium. President Barrow has pulled unprecedented crowds in the past and will continue to do so in many more occasions. So for the Commissioner of Operation to fail to provide adequate security personnel to manage and control the crowd at Gambia @52 two in one celebration is a gross neglect of duty and ineptitude.

The Hon Minister of Interior must investigate this gross security lapse and ineptitude of the police. President Barrow and his rainbow cabinet will not succeed if their efforts are continually thwarted by the security services. The SIS has also failed in letting a pocket of demonstrators slip into the stadium and manifest in the presence of all the delegates and diplomats at stadium. It is their constitutional rights to dissent but there should be a time and place for it. One of those demonstrators could have cause harm to the person of the president or any of the state guests. The space of change is slow and painful.

Another diaspora Gambian who travelled to witness the celebration revealed, “The only notable change is the executive and the cabinet. Other than that, everything remains unchanged”. Many believed that most of the security chiefs and heads of units are still loyal to Jammeh. “The success of the celebration is purely due the civilians love and loyalty to Barrow. They did not want anything to rob them of the joy of celebrating”, added another.

“Barrow has lofty dreams and great intention for the Gambia but his efforts will be continually thwarted by bad elements within the security services”, lamented one youth.

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK

A SOLDIER IN FEAR – MY ENCOUTER

January 25, 2017

A soldier with Saikou Jammeh at statehouse

By Saikou Jammeh

It was, after all, going to be an easy ride to State House. Anyone who doubted this did not see what Yaya Jammeh saw. Senegal-led Ecowas troops arrived at the gates of the palaces after taking command of key military barracks and security installations across the country. The troops started entering the Gambia from multiple border points, combing the streets with armoured vehicles.

The head of the presidential guard, Ansumana Tamba, was nowhere to be found, but his men put up a barricade in what appeared to be a standoff that lasted more than six hours. No guns were fired. Just talks. And about half an hour before midnight, the heavy gates of the presidential palaces were opened. Dozens of soldiers, behind four armoured vehicles, walked in.

In the past twenty-two years, many men had attempted to forcefully enter this fortified palaces to remove Jammeh. The latest and most daring was two years ago. All failed. In the process, many lives were lost.

Now, though, those that were in command are under someone’s command. The foreign troops were received well by the people of Banjul, who poured out in huge numbers to pose for photos, cheer and served them tea and coffee.

For the Gambian soldiers at gates, this was a long evening duty. Visibly defeated and subdued, they were booed by their very own people for not standing up to Jammeh in time of need. Until that day, it’s beyond any stretch of imagination that a day would come when some Gambians would go near gates of the palaces to protest. On this night, some young Gambians unleashed years of anger. The story of two of them was quite sad. Their fathers were soldiers. Both killed. Not in war. By who? They let the soldiers on duty know about it and told them they were coming after them.

From a distance, I saw anger in the eyes of those Gambian solders. I approached one of them for a chat. ‘Here, we want just peace,’ he told me. He asked for my name and I told him. When I asked for his name, he felt unsure whether to tell me his last name. Badjie, he whispered. There was no confidence in his tone. He’s apparently a Jola. I looked at him closely. Then I realised that what I thought to be anger was actually fear.

The Gambia has a new government. New political and economic players are in charge. Generally, the change has brought about joy and huge prospects of better Gambia. But there’s also fear of the unknown, fear of being excluded.

So, when I was bidding farewell to this brother soldier of mine, I shook his hand affectionately and told him, my brother, it will all be okay. In this New Gambia, our surnames won’t matter anymore. Say it aloud, with confidence. I could have been a Jola, I share the same surname with ex-president. I could have been Serer because some of my relatives are. I could have been Mandinka because that’s what my dad and mom told me I am. But I choose to be a Gambian. As a journalist, I know that Gambians voted for the coalition because it represents unity. That’s the spirit of the New Gambia.

He smiled. Thank you, he told me. He was still waiving while I turned to leave. I hope messages and assurances like this are important, moving forward.

GAMBIA: MONICA NJIE KIBAARO’S HOST OF EVERY WOMAN SHOW RELEASED FROM DETENTION

January 20, 2017

Monica Njie released from detention

Kibaaro news  can without an iota of doubt report that Monica Njie who was arrested by the Gambia’s spy agency has been released and is united with family and loved ones. Monica is Kibaaro’s Finance Manager and host of the Every Woman show was arrested at the ferry terminal in Banjul for taking photos and detained for over 48hrs before being released without any charges or whatsoever. Kibaaro was able to speak to her on the phone after her release and she confirmed to us that it was indeed the NIA that arrested her at the ferry terminal in Banjul for merely taking photos.

She is a breast feeding Mom and lamented to us that when she was held in detention she requested to breast feed her child but the officers on duty did not answer to her demand until after 38hrs that was when her child was brought to her for breast feeding. She also lamented on the deplorable detention cells at the NIA dungeon and people languishing there for flimsy charges or no charges at all.  Monica also went on to express her gratitude for all those who campaign for her release on social media and by extension to the efforts of the British government and journalists.

The Gambia under the brutal leadership of the former president Yahya Jammeh has been marked by numerous arrests, detention without trial and disappearances without trace and we hope that in the 3rd republic such acts would be a thing of the past. We hope that the prisons and detention centers would be emptied of those wrongfully detained or imprisoned.