Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

POLICE BRUTALITY IN NEW GAMBIA?

June 18, 2018

No person except sadist would condone the medieval brutality of unarmed civilians particularly in 21st century democracy. Albeit the circumstances encompassing the murder of two environmental activists in Faraba Banta have not yet been established, that fact remains the act is callous and disheartening.

Many are arguably asking for the head of IGP Kinteh to roll without a comprehensive and conclusive investigation of the police involvement of the two murders in Faraba Banta. Hasty conclusions can almost always lead to regrettable decisions. What is prudent is to first established who fired the shots which killed the two innocent civilians. That should follow with the detention and investigation if the officer(s) to establish whether they acted under an order. If it was ordered for them to open live ammunition, who gave the order and to what extend was IGP Kinteh involved.

Perhaps, the officer(s) acted in sheer panick and alone. In that case, the officer will be sole held responsible for acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally. This only goes to reiterate that our security apparatus need urgent and thorough rehabilitation. After 22 years of carrying out heinous crimes for a sick dictator it is absolute necessity for rehabitate and reform the security services. It is virtually the same people who killed and maimed for Jammeh who are still executing security roles for us today.

It is hurtful but we must act with care and due diligence to get to the bottom of this barbaric act. Measures must be in place to avert using medieval brutality as means of curb antiestablishment and prevention of civil manifestations. The Barrow leadership must not only issue a reaffirming statement but act swift to dispense justice.

 

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK

UDP AND THE POLITICAL REALISM OF NEW GAMBIA

May 13, 2018

Sulayman Jeng

The proverbial dictum “numbers don’t lie” has stamped its truthfulness in the just concluded local government election results in new Gambia. What many ran away into solace with is the notion that social media is the sculptor of our Gambian election outcome. As such, we caressingly deduct social media activism particularly Facebook lives actualise votes on pooling day. This inconclusive notion lends support to the assumption that the numbers that go to support candidates on nomination day and to some campaign venues comfortably signals victory. Tested experience has proven that most of such numbers on the ground and support by diaspora activists on social media never translated into actual votes. Unlike Dr Ceesay’s failed prediction of the Banjul mayoral results, my assertion is amply demonstrated in results. For instance, if my claim is as shallow as his Lizzie Euston and Bakary Badjie would have been victorious and GDC would not have registered a laudable results.

It is also legit to assert albeit all parties have certain localised support in the constituencies: UDP in Jarra, APRC in Foni and PDOIS in Wuli etc for any party and/or politician to win election must stay relevant. Relevance in terms of resonating with the grassroots: needs, fears and aspirations. The campaign and results have manifested that Gambian politics has moved significantly from tribal and elitism politics to relevance, competence and inclusion. Perhaps, many who voted Rohey Lowe would not have if it were not for Lamin Jaiteh’s despicable video packaging her in a caste box.

UDP, despite being constantly crafted by its sceptics as a tribal and violent party continues to win overwhelmingly in all the election cycles. Others preposterously ascribed its victory to incumbency. Last time I checked UDP isn’t the party in government but part of a coalition in government. It wins because it remains relevant. Most of its partisan activities are executed by members and local social media team on the ground with constantly connect with the grassroots. The diaspora social media team compliments the efforts of their colleagues on the ground. Come 2021, UDP will comfortably win the presidency and secure majority in the National Assembly. UDP isn’t just a campaign period party, it works 24/7 not only to expand its membership but make Gambia a better place to live.

GAMBIA: DOCTORS REFUTE ALLEGATIONS ON A ROADSIDE ACCIDENT VICTIM

June 1, 2017

Entrance to A&E section EFSH  Banjul – Photo credit: mapio.net

Allegations of medical personnel not responding to a patient of a roadside accident at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) section of a hospital in Gambia because of lack of a police report which resulted in the death of the patient have stormed social media in the past couple of days.  The story emanated from the Facebook feed of one Malima Ceesay who expressed her disdain on how medical personnel at the said hospital did not respond to a dying patient of a roadside accident because of lack of a police report. She lamented that the patient who is the sister of her best friend, a young girl was bleeding seriously from the head because of the accident was not attended to because of the absence of a police report. The report by Malima angered Gambians around the world and many people took to social media to express their outrage or disgust over the incident.  However according to reports feeding in two Doctors; Kebba S. Bojang and Khalifa Kassama have refuted such allegations.

Doctors; Kebba S. Bojang and Khalifa Kassama have both vehemently refuted the narration that the young lady was left to die because of the absence of a police report.  Both Doctors remarked that the lady in question was brought in dead (BID).  Dr. Kalipha  Kassama said he was on the ground when it all happened, when the body was brought in as a BID with a terrible head injury and because such a body can’t  be taken to the death house without any police officer witnessing that was why the issue of involving the police came in.

Dr. Kebba S. Bojang dispelled Malima Ceesay’s assertion that medical personnel present were; a nurse who spent five minutes wearing her gloves and her supposed supervisor whom the nurse consulted on the matter. He pointed out that  when the victims were brought to the A&E, not just a nurse was on the ground, there were two doctors there too; one for surgical department and another for pediatric department.  He buttressed that the said victim was brought in dead (BID) because knowing the gravity of her injuries she would have died on the spot at the scene.

Dr. Bojang went on to lament that if Malima understood the way the TRIAGE SYSTEM works at A&E, he/she would have understood why nobody had to ‘rush’ to the victim when she was brought in after the initial assessment and that the second victim who was brought in with the deceased was treated accordingly and later released to go home.

We hope that the ministry of health and the police would collaborate appropriately to maximize patient welfare and in communicating effectively to the general public to clear doubts in such kind of controversies.

 

Written by L.Nyassi, Olso

GAMBIA: COURT ORDERS FREEZING OF ASSETS BELONGING TO FORMER PRESIDENT JAMMEH

May 22, 2017

Attorney General and Justice Minister , Ba Tambedou

The Attorney General and minister of Justice Mr. Ba Tambedu has unveiled at a press conference in Banjul that a court order is given for the freezing of assets purportedly belonging to former president Jammeh. According to minister Tambedou the freezing order affects the known properties held in the personal name of the former president or directly associated with him which includes  131 landed properties, 88 different bank accounts, 14 companies and number of livestock. The minister also urged anyone who has knowledge about  properties of the former president to make it known to the authorities. When asked by Journalist Sainey M.K Mareneh on whether the court order covers both properties in and out of the Gambia the minister responded in the negative by buttressing that the order is not interterritorial but only for properties within the jurisdiction of the Gambia. The former president of the Gambia has ruled the country like his personal property with no accountability or whatsoever. His involvement in all kinds of business is an open secret from sand mining to selling school uniforms and bread and many other businesses. Soldiers who were paid by the taxpayers’ were the ones managing his numerous farms across the country.

Many people have hailed the decision to freeze Jammeh’s assets but others queried that freezing of assets should not be limited to only the former president but should be extended to his former close aides and business partners as well. Mr. Tambedou hinted on plans to set up a commission that would properly look into the assets of the former president and to recover every butut that was lost by the country as a result of actions of the former president or his close aides. The minister also unveiled the appointment of a public prosecutor lawyer Antuman Gaye to the NIA 9 case who are being tried at the high court in Banjul for the murder of Solo Sandeng and others. Mr. Tambedou lamented on the lack of capacity being the reason behind the slow pace at which  his ministry is moving in addressing the issues at hand but he however indicated that help in building up capacity  is gradually coming from within and outside the country.

 

Written by L.Nyassi, Oslo

GAMBIA: JAINABA BAH APPOINTED AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA

May 20, 2017

Jainaba Bah newly appointed Gambia Ambassador to Russia

The wife of Gambia’s former envoy to Ethiopia Mr. M.Sarjo Jallow, Jainaba Bah has been appointed by President Barrow as Ambassador to Russia this paper can confirm. Jainaba who is based in Sweden has been very vocal against the former regime of President Jammeh and has been very instrumental in raising funds for the coalition in the run-up to 2016 elections that ushered in the current regime change. Despite her political difference with her husband who was serving under Jammeh she did not waver in campaigning against the heavy handedness of the former regime. Madame Jainaba Bah has been a revolutionist all her life from the era of the former president Jawara’s PPP regime when she was a MOJA -G militant and encountered all kinds of tortures by the then state spy agency NSS to the regime of Yaya Jammeh. Jainaba studied and worked in Sweden in a good chunk of her life. She was part of the team that organized the Stockholm-dialogue meeting in 2013 that was attended by Gambians in Scandinavia, Europe, and U.S.A to brainstorm on the way forward for Gambia. She also served briefly as a representative at the Committee for the restoration of democracy in the Gambia(CORDEG) an organization that was set up after the Raleigh diaspora conference. It was after the Fass Njaga Choi standoff of April 2015 between the UDP Caravan and state security personnel that she threw her weight behind UDP by becoming a member.

Many see the appointment of Jainaba Bah as a welcomed move and the appointment has been hailed by some on social media. Abdoulie Manneh a Gambian residing in Russia wrote on his facebook page when he got news of the appointment of Jainaba Bah as follows; “I can’t wait for the arrival of the newly appointed Gambian ambassador to Russia Jainaba Bah, it makes life a lot easier if you have your country’s embassy in the foreign country you reside in”. Ndey Jobarteh a close friend and fellow activist to Jainaba in reacting to the appointment wrote; ” She is one woman I look up to, her resilience, consistency, faith and commitment to justice and rights is inspiring. Jainaba did not end there, she showed us that we can be married and have a different political standpoint and position, yet live together. She has proven that no one can come between rights and justice, no matter what it takes one has to stand on the side of justice and rights. I salute and celebrate this phenomenal woman who kept inspiring me!! I celebrate her for her bravery and faith in Justice. I celebrate her for her fighting spirit! I celebrate her for her big heart and love she has for everyone!”. Congratulations to Jainaba on her appointment as Ambassador to Russia, looking at her track record of standing up for the collective good of our people we are hopeful that she would not betray wishes and aspirations of the heroic people of the Gambia. Good luck sister.

 

 

Written by L.Nyassi, Oslo

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.

DELUDED PRESIDENT JAMMEH RAMBLES TO THE NATION

January 11, 2017

The Dictator as usual spewing his garbage!

The Gambia’s outgoing President, Yahya Jammeh, who refuses to be outgoing President, despite losing in the country’s Presidential elections on 1 December 2016, has taken to the airways again in the space of less than two weeks to address his nation, explaining how he has the mandate to rule the country, so long as his petition at the country’s Supreme Court is not determined.

The country’s Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the President and his party’s election petition on 10 January 2017, but due to lack Supreme Court Judges, the matter had to be adjourned until 16 January 2016 to deal with the preliminary issues of serving of petition documents to the relevant parties, and the substantive appeal to be indefinitely adjourned until, the expected Supreme Court judges from Nigeria, who will be available after May 2017, can arrive into the country.

Many were anticipating President Jammeh will seize the opportunity on his latest speech of 10 January 2017 to concede defeat and offer olive branch for peace and reconciliation, after the debacle at the Supreme Court with regards to his election petition, but the intransigent Gambian Dictator made no such overtures. Instead he reaffirms his defiance message to the opposition coalition, signalling that they will not be allowed to inaugurate the President-Elect Adama Barrow on 19 January 2017.

For clarity we have transcribed President Jammeh’s speech below word for word.

Jammeh firstly started by rejecting the elections results and maintained his position with some colourful explanations to justify his rejections of the elections results 1 December 2016. He exhorted to fool many about the IEC corrections of those election results on 5 December 2016 election. President Jammeh wants everyone to believe that since he and his party rejected the said election results and filed a petition to the Supreme Court, the constitution states that only the Supreme Court can declare who is President, and until that declaration is made, he remains the legitimate President of the Gambia constitutionality. President Jammeh made this declaration, despite knowing fully well that, there is no such provision in the Gambian constitution which supports his claim that, the Supreme Court is the only entity under the constitution that can declare someone a President.

Based on his flawed interpretation of the Gambian constitution, the Gambia’s outgoing President wants everyone to obey and agree to his interpretation of the constitution. He asserted that he will defend the constitution and urge all his countrymen to do the same, as provided under Section 6 of the constitution. He reminded his people that the constitution of the country is supreme than any organisation, treaty, AU, OIC, UN, or ECOWAS and their it is their constitution they should follow and not those organisations.

Therefore, in his capacity as the constitutional continuing President of the Gambia, he will pass amnesty to forgive all of his citizenry and the opposition coalition for whatever insults they may have hurled at his mother between 1 November 2016 to 31 January 2017.

He further thanked the AU,OIC, ECOWAS and UN for their concerns, even though, they rushed to conclusions based on their misunderstandings, he wants them to know that his country can resolve its own internal issues.

This is, in summary, the madness expressed in the ramblings of Yahya Jammeh, which we transcribed below:

 

President Jammeh’s Speech 10 January 2017

Our video recording the speech missed the first sentence of Jammeh’s sentence, so we start our transcription from the second sentence>

“As the whole world knows, being the candidate for the APRC party for the presidential election my party ad I rejected the last results declared by the IEC on December 5th 2016. Because not only was it full of arithmetic errors and anomalies it also could not be credibly explained and we have challenged the results to the Supreme Court as provided by the constitution and the Electoral Act.

Fellow Gambians: on December 2nd 2016, the IEC announced a set of results which I accepted whole heartedly in good faith but in December 5th 2016, the IEC reversed and gave a new set of results and the results statement itself gave enough grounds for my party and I to suspect them. The second IEC results stated figures were transposed when actually it had the 63,000 votes for Basse administrative area wrongly added to the votes of one candidate, who is Mr. Adama Barrow.

In the subsequent correction the statement from IEC falsely claimed this amount was added to all candidates, but this amount was only subtracted from Mr. Barrow, which put his total to just over 199,000 and then his votes for Basse was doubly counted to give him the lead with 223,000 votes.

Fellow Gambians, nonetheless as our constitution provides only the Supreme Court can review our challenge and only the Supreme Court declare anyone President and so I ask each and everyone of us to respect the supreme law of the republic and await the Supreme Court review on the election results.

Fellow Gambians; our review and investigations have revealed an unprecedented level of foreign interference in our elections and internal affairs and also a sustain smear campaign, propaganda and misinformation. Even though there is no single fatality or mortality, we have seen the UN Security Council, the African Union and Ecowas take unprecedented and hasty resolutions against our republic and constitution but we have also learned the support of good people all over the world who have started to see the truth and understand that the Gambia is a sovereign republic.

Our constitution is the supreme law and does not allow, any organization, or law or treaty to supersede it, as for Section 4 of the constitution, supremacy of the constitution and Section 79 subsection 2, that the constitution does not allow us to enter into any engagement, agreement or treaty that derogates the supremacy of the Gambian constitution. As the President and Commander in Chief of our Armed and Security Forces and as a citizen and in total obedience to the oath of office, I will take all possible steps to defend our constitution. As per Section 6, subsection 2, which makes it a duty of all citizens to defend our constitution. Therefore, even where we may disagree, I believe you can, as Gambians, come together and resolves this and any other matter without undue external interference.  

Fellow Gambians; cabinet sat and will continue to sit and liaise with the National Assembly to get all constitutional measures to ensure the Supremacy of the rule of law and the constitution in the next few days. I assure everyone that as a Gambian, a Muslim and a family man, no foreigner can love this country and hold its highest of heart, more than myself and the majority of Gambians.

Let me repeat for the purpose of clarity; I assure everyone that as a Gambian, a Muslim and a family man, no foreigner can love this country and hold its highest of heart, more than myself and the majority of Gambian people. So I will also be taking all possible steps within the constitution and my conscience to do my part to resolve this sad impasse.

As we are all humans, and bound to make mistakes and only the almighty Allah Subhanahu-wata-alah does not make mistake, we therefore accept this as test Allah on our faith individually and collectively, as believing people. I hereby appoint the Secretary General as mediator General for this trying period and mandate him to:

               1) ensure the public and civil service continue to work proficiently without fear or favour in an                         apolitical manner in the service of the country.

              Let me repeat for the purpose of clarity; I hereby appoint the Secretary General as mediator General               for this trying period and mandate him to: 1 ensure the public and civil service continue to work                      proficiently without fear or favour in an apolitical manner in the service of the country.

             2) meet with all stakeholders in the country and prepare meetings so that all parties can be heard                    and will resolve any mistrust and issues amongst ourselves

            3) to work with the minister of Justice and the National Assembly to draft a general amnesty bill to                 confirm and ensure that there is no witch-hunt, so that we can ensure a climate of confidence and                     security within constitutional mandate.  

In this connection, I hereby issue an executive order to that effect that nobody be arrested or prosecuted due to acts or omissions in the pre and post electoral period with effective from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.

Let me repeat for the purpose of clarity; in this connection, I hereby issue an executive order to that effect that nobody be arrested or prosecuted due to acts or omissions in the pre and post electoral period with effective from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.

Fellow Gambians; as the whole world has seen, we continue as a people to exhibit the highest degree of fraternity and despite the heated passions, we have maintain the highest degree of in virtues of patience, tolerance and mutual respect across ethnic and faith lines and for that I personally thank the almighty Allah and all of you.

I ask all Gambians to forgive each other, especially us the political class and ask that we all continue to work together to keep and consolidate peace and harmony for our beloved country. I ask all Gambian and all residence in the Gambia to go about their business in peace and security and assure you that Inshallah all will continue to be well and this will soon be resolved in peace. I thank all my brother presidents from ECOWAS, OIC, AU and the UN for their kind words and support to the Gambia, even if some were mistaken and also assure them that we Gambians have not gotten here without learning to live and let live amongst ourselves.

I thank you all for your attention and bid you all the peace and blessings of the almighty Allah the subhanahu-wata-alah. For the Gambia ever true.