Archive for the ‘Domestic News’ Category


February 28, 2016

I have written 22 articles on why the Gambian needs a new President and her Armed Forces a new Commander-in-Chief. I do hope that you will accept my challenge so that there would be no need to publish them.

My Challenge to President Jammeh

My Dear President and Godfather,

IMG_3894 - CopySome political scientists, analysts and commentators have argued that a long tenure in office by a head of state erodes the balance of power between the people and the government thereby weakening the authority of autonomous legislatures, independent judiciaries, neutral electoral authorities, and competitive political parties. Overstaying in power distracts a president from implementing important policies, it contributes to political polarization and leads to authoritarianism/ dictatorships. Overstaying in power also promotes corruption and is a significant obstacle to economic development.

On the flip side of the coin, when leaders serve for a limited term in office, politics ceases to be viewed as a zero-sum game. In this way, ruling parties are able to cultivate new leadership which can carry on the successful policies of their former leaders while at the same time also correcting for past missteps. They can remake themselves in the public eye and adapt to the dynamic challenges of the world around them. As an advocate for fixed presidential term limits and good governance, I also share these views.

Your Excellency, I am aware that you have just been nominated by our great party to run for a fifth term in office. However, in a world where two term presidential limits is very much the norm, I urge you to reject this nomination as it is not binding/mandatory on you. There is still adequate time for the party secretariat to nominate another candidate to lead our party while you preside over a free, fair and peaceful election in December and then to hand over power to whoever the Gambian people choose as their next president. I do believe that 22 years in power is more than enough for any individual to lead a country in this 21st  Century.

This course of action would juxtapose Your Excellency on the list of the few African leaders who voluntarily and peacefully relinquish power thereby earning you a niche in the enviable club of the respected elderly world statesmen like Abdou Diouf of Senegal, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Tijan Kabbah of Sierra Leone just to mention a few. I believe that the goodness of such a move would outweigh all the shortcomings that your critics levy against you and I have absolutely no doubt that the kind, religious, forgiving and peaceful nature of the Gambian people would overcome whatever rancor, grieve or disappointments that they may have encountered/endured during your 22 years in power.

Personally, this is what I will do if you accept my challenge Mr. President. I will give up my ambition to become a Secretary General of the United Nations and immediately return home to campaign for the new APRC presidential candidate. Then after you have handed over power following the elections, I will continue to be your Aid de Camp/Security Officer and follow you to Kanilai or wherever you choose to go in the world. I am still reminiscing the two years we spent together serving our homeland. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Your Excellency and I recognize that you have made tremendous impact in the lives of many Gambians including my self and have brought about unprecedented developments/ improvements on various sectors of the country. But for your own peace of mind and the continuous well-being of your family; for the sake of the Gambian people; and for the sake of the patriotic and gallant men and women of the Gambia Armed and Security Services, please do not run for this year’s elections.

The good old days when we served our country together
President Jammeh and my humble self: The good old days when we served our country together

However, if you reject my challenge and really run for a fifth term, then you will lose a very loyal supporter in the person of my humble self. I have written 22 blog posts on why the Gambia needs a new President and her Armed Forces a new Commander-in-Chief.  I hope that you will accept my challenge so that there would be no need to publish my posts. Long live the Republic of The Gambia and long live the Gambia Armed Forces. Together, we can make The Gambia smile better by working for a Third Republic!!!!

Courtney of Lamin GANO Blog


February 17, 2016


Gambia Presidential Aspirants we knew so far.

Gambia Presidential Aspirants we knew so far.

17 February, 2016

Dear Messrs Bah (NRP), Darboe (UDP), Fatty (GMC) Gomez (GPDP) Jallow (PPP), and Sallah (PDOIS):

The time for unity is now: open letter to Gambian political opposition

We, representatives of civil society organisations in the Diaspora, write to implore you to put aside any differences and stand as a united front, speaking with one voice that echoes our sentiments and collective desire for urgent and far-reaching reforms in The Gambia.  We appeal to you to bring pressure to bear on the Gambia government and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), to annul the Electoral Amendment Act 2015. The Act, has no legal basis due to its flagrant contradiction of the nation’s constitution.  It violates the regional Principles and Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance binding ECOWAS member states, to which The Gambia is a party. 


Further to this, the Diaspora also organized a meeting for political parties and civil society to deliberate on the upcoming 2016 elections with a particular focus on the Electoral Amendment Act 2015.  In that meeting of October 2, 2015, we agreed that: opposition political parties should set minimum acceptable reforms to the electoral law that must be implemented ahead of the 2016 elections; and both the legitimacy of the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission’s mandate and all bills passed under his expired mandate must be challenged.

It is baffling, however, that opposition parties are themselves campaigning within the framework that they denounced as flawed and illegal. For the record: the electoral laws were flawed as far back as 2001 after the second round balloting was conveniently expunged from the statute books, and a first past the post system introduced; when the abuse of state resources by the APRC party was and remains the order of the day; when security forces practiced and continue to practice intimidation of opposition supporters; and when GRTS, which is a national broadcaster paid for by the public purse, is wholly monopolized by the APRC. The electoral processes were so bad and out of sync with accepted practices, norms and standards that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) refused to observe the elections in November, 2011. The organization stated that it was conducted in an atmosphere of “intimidation, an unacceptable level of control of the electronic media by the party in power, the lack of neutrality of state and parastatal institutions, and an opposition and electorate cowed by repression and intimidation.” The sub-regional bloc further stated then that conditions on the ground will not ensure a level playing field.

Today, the situation is much worse.  The illegitimate practices of electioneering in The Gambia as overseen by the IEC has now been legalized by a National Assembly that exists only to serve at the whims of President Jammeh.  The Amendment Act, as it stands, contradicts the principles of popular participation and undermines democracy and good governance in the process.  Participating in them validates these unsavoury political traits.

We maintain our stance that the Elections Amendment Act 2015 should not be allowed to stand.  Political participation of opposition parties has gotten tougher.  Aside from the prohibitive costs to vie for public office, this Amendment Act also places restrictions on citizens living outside of the country for more than 18 months, who have not paid taxes/worked in the country for the duration, to run for office. The Diaspora is responsible for injecting more than 90 million US dollars into the Gambian economy, through remittances. This is more than twice the size of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, and equivalent to net official development assistance (ODA) and official aid to The Gambia.  Yet we are not allowed to vote, and are now further restricted from running for office.

The recent announcement by the IEC for parties to comply with the Electoral Amendment Act 2015 and register before March 31st is absurd.  We are now waiting for a properly constituted IEC to announce a process they will deploy to ensure that the criteria set for party registration is consistent, transparent, and applicable to all parties, including the APRC. We hope an IEC with a legitimate chairperson will adopt an open vetting policy and process. We will scrutinize the entire exercise closely and launch a challenge if the processes and procedures continue to fall short of acceptable regional standards.

We will also support any person, and / or party, that wishes to challenge the illegal Act in court.  Given that the rule of law and the justice sector in The Gambia is heavily compromised and highly politicised, we stand ready and are united in challenging the matter in the ECOWAS community court. And we will not rest until the criminal move by the IEC, President Jammeh and the APRC to extinguish our basic rights is addressed. But we need the political opposition to stand up and speak with one voice to effectively advance the conditions agreed to in the 12-point plan and the Diaspora meeting.  Finally, the opposition parties must give a firm ultimatum to those responsible for the political quagmire the country finds itself in.

As we reflect on our 51 years of independence, this month, we must also realize that the nation is at a crossroads, and that it must not return to the same path treaded for the last four election cycles. It must pursue a different path.  The Diaspora and other citizens of the country will work with leaders of the political opposition all the way, provided that the right path is chosen to lead us on this journey of putting the country first.


Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG)

Coalition for Change – The Gambia (CCG)

Democratic Union of Gambian Activists (DUGA)

Gambia Human Rights Network (GHRN)

Senegambia Human Rights Defense League (SHRDL)

UK Campaign for Human Rights – Gambia (CHRG)

Xc:       ECOWAS Committee on Political Affairs, Peace & Security

ECOWAS Early Warning System

ECOWAS Communications Department

            African Union: Democracy & Electoral Assistance Unit

            U.S. State Department: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

European Union: European External Action Service

            U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia

            British High Commissioner, The Gambia

            The International Institute for Democracy & Electoral Assistance

The Media




For further information, please contact Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh +1(912) 332-9875 or at


February 16, 2016
UDP Secretary General Alhagie Ousainou Darboe

UDP Secretary General Alhagie Ousainou Darboe

In a strongly worded statement backed by tangible statistics, the leader of the United Democratic Party – Lawyer Ousainou Darboe has challenged Gambian Diaspora to use their economic leverage to help influence positive political change in the Gambia. In a blunt statement Mr. Darboe gave tangible statistics on the overwhelming economic contribution and influence Gambian citizens have on the Gambian economic and social status development. Mr. Darboe made this statement during a meeting of party supporters and Gambians in the UK which he also published on his Facebook page. Darboe under emphasized the kind of power the Gambian Diaspora possess to help positively influence peaceful political change in Gambia… below is Darboe’s statement as published on his face book page.

I am on a short private trip to the U.K, to meet the family and party supporters. I am very humbled by the receptions I received in London and yesterday in Birmingham. I am greatly touched with all the hospitality and kind words. Below is my short observation of the Gambian diaspora. I salute you all.


The total number of Gambians in diaspora from conventional sources such has the World Bank and IMF, is in the region of 135, 000 or 7% of the total population. This does not take into account the number of influx into Europe through the backway. You are not an ordinary segment of our population. Of this number, you have a significant proportion that is highly educated and skilled segment. Not to mention the youthful nature of this composition of the number. Contributions in terms of remittances alone to the Gambia accounts for 12% of the GDP. And this is through the official banking and foreign exchange bureaus.

Other impacts include direct support of families, neighbors, communities, schools, hospitals/health centres and mosques/masjids, and Churches (the list is not exhaustive). In return you get our individual and communal acknowledgements and ‘dua’. Now unlike Senegalese diaspora, your political capital need to be transform and your power base utilized to something politically formidable. Imagine the number of people you can influence in registering to vote against the incumbent.

Contribution of the Gambian Diaspora To The Gambia’s Economy

The contributions of remittances from Gambians living in the Diaspora to the country’s economy are huge. In essence, and without hesitation, the Gambia’s ailing economy is being sustained by the people in the Diaspora
· Recent figures from the Central Bank of the Gambia has shown that remittance of Gambians in the Diaspora has grown significantly over the last decade from a mere 2.5 per cent to nearly 10 per cent of the country’s GDP around 2013.

As we speak, a 2014 data from Central Bank indicate that inflows that are channelled through the recognized money exchange bureaus amounts to more than 85 million dollars. Now if you look at the money that go through the unofficial channels, we can safely say that Gambians living in the diaspora are contributing to the cumulative figure of more than $100 million dollars to the Gambian economy annually.

In the past, tourism and the export of peanuts, cotton and other agricultural products were the main source of foreign exchange in the Gambia. However, Central Bank data has shown that remittance of Gambians living abroad has now become the single largest source of foreign exchange for the country. · Now it is safe to say that it is you people in the diaspora who are sustaining the construction industry, housing development and other development activities that the Gambia is witnessing now.

The same also goes for the retail and wholesale trading sector. Without your remittances, this sector too would have collapsed. I believe no responsible government would side-line the diaspora. The government needs to improve the regulatory aspect of payment infrastructure to reduce the cost of remittances that you and Gambians bear. Government should also reduce the fee money transfer operators charge for remittance to increase inflows of remittances.

Diaspora now have to concretely play their part in politic. The number involve in politics is very small, and that have to change. Whatever changes we are fighting is impacting on all of us. Therefore, I urge diaspora to significantly get involve in the political life of the country and contribute in enhancing the utility of their respective political parties. I thank the event organisers in Birmingham, the gathering in London and all the private visitors. UDP is alive and strong today more than ever. Together, with your commitment and involvement, the end is in sight; let us not lose hope and determination. A special appreciation to Alkali Conteh for travelling all the way from the U.S to meet me in England, and to all my team here in U.K under the stewardship of Mr Kanjura Kanyi. Thank you everyone.

Courtesy of Gainako radio


December 25, 2015

UDP Secretary General Alhagie Ousainou Darboe

UDP SECRETARY GENERAL Alhagie Ousainou Darboe

Fellow Gambians, as the year comes to an end, we all look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.  His birth represents peace and harmony to mankind.  His message was and still is one of peace, enthronement of the truth and rejection of injustice. The hallmark of his teaching has defined the lives of a huge number of people in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.

This year’s Christmas is a special one.  We celebrate the birth of Christ the day after we celebrated the birth of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH)-the last messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets.  The prophet of Islam like Christ has preached the values of peace, tolerance, justice and good neighborliness.

For Christians and Muslims the world over, Christmas season is a unique one, but it is more so for us Gambians as Muslims and Christians live together in the same household, attend the same schools, marry into families of different faiths and take part in each other’s feasts and festivities.

Fellow Gambians, it is this special relationship that makes The Gambia a unique society whose citizens do not only believe in the values of peace, tolerance, justice and good neighborliness but practice what they believe in.  We have always been an example of inter religious harmony worthy of emulation.  Gambia’s religious pluralism is in eclipse and its future uncertain.  It is a matter of regret that the President of The Gambia who took the oath to protect and defend the constitution of The Gambia and other laws will declare Gambia as an Islamic state at a time when Christians of the various denominations in The Gambia are preparing to celebrate Christmas.  The ill-considered declaration, influenced by ulterior motives could be seen coming several years ago when the President stated that Sharia will be made applicable to very Gambian.

The reason for the President’s anti-religious pluralism declaration is ostensibly to fight so called imperialism but this is no justification for disturbing the peace and harmony built up in our country for centuries. This is a sinister attempt to distract the Gambian people from the real problems that they face daily.  Problems such as the skyrocketing prices, collapsing economic, inadequate health service, poor education standard, mass exodus of youths to Europe by the backway, threats to the independence of the judiciary and dismissal of public servants on executive directives.

The secular status of The Gambia is not only spelt out in our Constitution but ensconced deeply in our way of life long before we became a Nation. It has always been live and let others live. Pray to your God and let others pray to their God. Christmas has never been an affair for Christians only but of all, just as Tobaski, or Banna, has never been an affair for Muslims only.

Fellow Gambians, Christmas this year falls on Friday, let all Muslims therefore turn out at the mosques for Jumaah prayers and our Christian Brothers and Sisters in their churches and we all pray for One People, One Gambia united and indivisible. Let us after offering prayers for the wellbeing of The Gambia, go out and enjoy our traditional makalos, kankurangs, kumpos, gessehs, huntings etc in solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters as has been done many generations before us. This is what we have been born into and no pernicious religious falsehood will change that. This Christmas is a defining moment for all Gambians.

On behalf of the United Democratic Party and on my own behalf, I wish you all a merry Christmas.




UDP Secretariat

December 24, 2015


November 12, 2015
Jammeh is mad with Sall for dressing like him!!!

Jammeh is mad with Sall for dressing like him!!!

The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh has started, what could be best described as, a dangerous diplomatic spat against his neighbouring President, Macky Sall of Senegal, by taunting the latter as feeble and puppet. The erratic Gambian leader made the remarks at a meeting in a major border township of Farafenni on Wednesday night, during his annual meet the people’s tour of the country.

In what could be best described as a premeditated and calculative move, the Gambian leader took advantage of the town’s large Senegalese populace to hurl his spleen at the Senegalese Presidents of past, immediate past and present leader Macky Sall. He berated President Sall as a bad leader, a hypocrite and a stooge of the west, who wants to destroy the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The erratic Gambian leader further berated the Senegalese leadership of responsibility for the ongoing border impasse between the two countries and further accused them of engaging in subversive activities to undermine his country’s economy and security. To which, he declared a warning to his counterpart that his country is not scared of any country and is prepared to fend off any inevitable attack.

I am ready for Senegal in every way ……….., and let Macky Sall be warned that we are not afraid of any nation on the face of this earth. Whatever they are planning, they will find us here. We will deal with them mercilessly.”

The paranoid Gambian leader justified his accusations by claiming that Senegal continues to harbour his enemies. By these, one could only think of the Gambian asylum seekers in Senegal, who sought refuge in the neighbouring country from fear of his persecution of them in the Gambia. However, the Gambian leader had for long feared these refugees in Senegal and wants Senegal to hand them over to him, so he can simply exterminate them.

Jammeh further went on to disclose his personal dealings with the current, immediate past and past Senegalese leaders: Macky Sall, Ablaye Wade and Abdou Diouf respectively, to his bewildered audience, who were wondering what must have spurred the Gambian leader to expose such diplomatic dealings public.

But considering the fact that the location of his tirade was a major crossing border town, one can be forgiven for concluding that, Jammeh’s tirades were simply his way of explaining the border impasse to the masses in the town. This is because Jammeh seems to perceive the border impasse with Senegal, as a Senegalese leadership’s ploy to sabotage his country’s economy. For that reason, he explained that he is not blaming the Senegalese people, but that of their leadership from past to present.

As a result, the Gambian leader is not a fan of Senegalese Presidents, especially the current and his immediate predecessor Ablaye Wade. He derided President Sall as feeble, who is incapable of developing “a backyard much more a country”. Jammeh did not further have better words for Sall’s predecessor, Maitre Ablaye Wade, who he chided lack the ability to become responsible of a hair on his head, much more bearing the burden of the responsibility of a country. “How can someone whose head could not bear the weight of human hair be tasked with the responsibility of shouldering the affairs of a country.”

Gambians should however be warned about the dangers of Jammeh’s undiplomatic spat against a sitting President of another country, much more a country as close to the Gambia as Senegal. What Jammeh is doing is not only insensitive, childish or stupid but very dangerous.


October 9, 2015
If corruption is not halted, we will soon return to pre-colonial educational system.

If corruption is not halted, we will soon return to pre-colonial education system.

By Lamin Fatty – Banjul Correspondent.

Quality education continues to drastically free-fall in the Gambia, as rampant and systematic well institutionalised corruption takes toll at the country’s education sector, threatening the future of hundreds of thousands of children in the west African nation, an insider revealed to Kibaaro News’ Banjul desk.

Our source hinted that it is now an open secret that, despite the proliferation of schools in the past two decades by the Jammeh administration, the quality of teaching and learning has stubbornly continues to lay flat on its back in the Gambia, refusing to rise up; as a result of corruption and neglect by the Government. The public schools are highly under funded and it is increasingly becoming a worrisome for the majority of the country’s poor parents, who cannot send their children to the few private schools in the country.

In 2014, the country started implementing a multimillion dollar United Nations funded educational empowerment programme called “School Improvement Grant”(SIG). This project calls for universal access to basic “Education for All” from Lower Basic to Senior Secondary levels.

However, it appears the purpose of this life changing initiative will be defeated, unless drastic actions are taken against a deeply rooted corruption within the education sector, including senior policy and program officials, regional education directors, cluster monitors and headteachers.

According to our source close to the corridors of power; as part of the project, each school is allocated with a special budget and an account aimed at the improving the teaching and learning of that school. However, it is under this budget that headteachers and cluster monitors with the “rubber stamp” approval of the regional directors, embezzle monthly budgets worth hundreds of thousands of Dalasis. Sometimes bare handwritten documents are produced as invoices for materials needed towards “maintenance” of schools.

Our sources warned that if the practice continues unabated, the dream of thousands of innocent poor children’s will remain an illusion.

They blamed it on the virtual absence of check and balance mechanism in the government to enable accountability and transparency. Our source indicated that sometimes monthly maintenance budgets are fabricated in the pretext of trying to buy Laptops, printers, packets of corrugated iron sheets, bags of cements, etc , worth hundreds of thousands of Dalasis, which end up being shared among senior education officials.

This is done at the expense of hardworking teachers, whose financial situation is not assisted by their meagre salary of Four Thousand Dalasis (4,000) per month or (£64 per month) for Higher Teacher Certificate holders, after three years of training at the country’s only national college. The teachers are meant to benefit from SIG, but instead it is their heads that are profiting it all.

Our source lamented that: “those in charge of overseeing the nurturing of good moral virtues, honesty, sincerity and patriotism, into the minds of our children, are in fact the masterminds behind a systemic campaign to defeat the long yearn destinies of many poor children in the country”.


October 8, 2015
This thuggish President must lay his hands off our forex monies for our parents

This thuggish President must lay his hands off our forex monies for our parents

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials in the Gambia have warned the country’s recalcitrant Dictator Yahya Jammeh to loosen his tight grip of the country’s foreign exchange operations, or risk putting the country’s external viability and fiscal sustainability at grave risk.”

The country’s Dictator, Yahya Jammeh had unilaterally issued a Presidential directive in May 2015, imposing exchange rate overvalue of the country’s currency by more than 20 per cent compared to the prevailing market rates, which the IMF staff noted was not in equilibrium. The decision has also closed down many businesses in foreign exchange business in the country.

In September 2015, IMF issued a dire warning that the President’s directive was a major policy slippage, which had led to worsening economic outlook for the country, at a time when the country faces major cuts from its development donors, due to its appalling human right records.

The IMF officials and relevant stakeholders in the country including: Hoteliers, Import and export firms, shipping companies, etc., are meeting with the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry officials to discuss possible solutions to looming crisis to the country’s economy.

The Gambia’s economy is currently described as suffering from malaria, due to the dwindling currency crises compared to other foreign currency.

“The imposition of the exchange rates directive has already damaged the near-term outlook and increased vulnerabilities in the country’s economy”, warned the IMF’s latest report on The Gambia after it concluded an Article IV consultation in the country on 18 September 2015.

“The directive in fixing forex rates has been counterproductive”, said Mr Mpatswe, IMF country representative, while briefing members of the private sector about the IMF report and current state of the Gambian economy”.

According to the IMF expert, the Gambian President’s directive on foreign exchange rates has brought about no reduction in the country’s food prices; rather it has impacted negatively on the forex market and the banking system in the country, to the benefit and expansion of parallel markets. Furthermore, International or external budget support had not been forthcoming, as a result of the policy slippages over the recent months and years.

He warned that the gross international reserves’ import coverage is expected to remain low for the next three months until end of 2015, even if the government reverse its current policy and implement corrective policy actions.

In the absence of such urgent corrective actions, he warned that social progress made in recent years would be “under threat”. “It is crucial that the recent exchange rate directive is rescinded immediately, and The Gambia returns to a flexible exchange rate policy,”

“In the event that the directive is not immediately rescinded and the fiscal slippages are left unaddressed, The Gambia’s external viability and fiscal sustainability will be put at grave risk,” the IMF report presented by Mr Mpatswe stated.