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“TOGETHER FOR THE CREATION”: THE GAMBIAN -NORWEGIAN IMAM’S GREEN SHOT- AN IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW ON GREEN JIHAD AND CLIMATE CHANGE

February 10, 2016
Imam Ebrahim Saidy - Chairman of Green Jihad for Peace and Sustainable Development (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Imam Ebrahim Saidy – Chairman of Green Jihad for Peace and Sustainable Development (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The blizzard that has hit New York is said to be unprecedented over the past two decades and it is likely to trigger floods in other parts of the world. This is a manifestation that Climate Change is real and that everyone is in one way or the other affected. It is the concern for global leaders and their various governments to act to mitigate Climate Change that has pulled together environmental activists of different organizations in Norway in a series of demonstrations. The first of such actions took place on the 21st of January at Eidsvolls Plass in front of Parliament building. Among the crowd was the Imam of Daru Salaam Islamic Centre, Norway. A casual observer might be curious of the presence of a religious leader in an environmental action event but a reflection on the theme of the gathering; «together for the creation» would give the observer a clue on the presence of a religious leader in such a gathering. To protect the environment is a collective responsibility. Every sector of the global community has something to contribute to fix this global threat, be they scientists, economists, politicians or spiritual leaders; each has a part to play. The presence of the Imam, a leader of a religious community is very pertinent for two reasons; 1. He is more or less a nurturer of the souls of believers to ensure healthy consumption of natural resources. 2. He gives a shot that is intended to rectify the negative connotations associated with the word ‘Jihad’. His organization; “Green Jihad for Peace and Sustainable Development” intends to embark on an environmental Jihad. Contrary to the negative connotations associated especially nowadays with Jihad; misused by so-called jihadists to murder innocent souls, Green Jihad for Peace and Sustainable Development is out to make the People recognize their relationship with the environment and their Creator in order to deliver environmental justice and social justice. Green Jihad is out to promote the positive meaning of Jihad, which in essence means a struggle for both inner and outer Peace with the Creator and the creation.

This is why the Imam stood in the ranks of People of other Faiths and environmental activists at Eidsvolls Plass to demonstrate for serious action to be taken by world leaders and politicians in Norway in particular, to mitigate global warming. The Imam granted an interview to shed light on his work, environmental activism and the newly formed organization, “Green Jihad for Peace and Sustainable Development”. Below is a complete replica of the interview conducted by Landing Nyassi.

Landing Nyassi (LN): Imam Ebrahim Saidy, you have been the leader and Imam of Daru Salaam Islamic Centre in Norway for many years. You have been involved in a lot of work including a recent initiative that you have set up, the Green Jihad, which is an affiliate of the Daru Salaam Islamic Centre. It is a pleasure to interview you so that you can shed light on the activities you’ve been doing. Can you kindly start by telling us about you background and the activities you’ve been involved in at the Daru Salaam Islamic Center?

Imam Ebrahim Saidy (IES): Thank you very much Nyassi. Alhamdulillah Rabil alamin wa salaat wa salaam ala Rasulillah. Assallaamu aleikum to everyone! I started with Daru Salaam back in 1994 when I came here from the Gambia upon the request of Daru Salaam Islamic Centre then known as Islamic Movement to come and serve as Imam. Before that I was an assistant secretary at the then Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture responsible for culture and religious affairs in the Gambia. I started actually as a teacher of Islamic Studies at Muslim High School which was my alma mater; from there I studied at the University of Qatar specializing in Education, Languages and religious studies; mainly Arabic, English and French but then for some reasons I didn’t continue with the French. I just continued with English and Arabic. Alhamdulillahi Rabil alamin I’ve been here now for over 20years and my activities with Daru Salaam have basically been as you know, on religious affairs; teaching Islam, leading Islamic rituals like the five daily prayers, naming ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, family counseling, funeral ceremonies, social work and so on and so forth. Until the year 2011 when the Islamic Council of Norway with whom I have been working as a representative from the Daru Salaam Islamic Centre mainly in the Imams’ committee.

They nominated me to represent them on an interfaith delegation to Durban, South Africa when COP 17 of the UNFCC Conference on Climate Change. I was asked to represent them there; the Norwegian Interfaith group that went out as an advocacy group, as part of the international civil society groups that attend these climate conferences in order to put pressure on the politicians and economists to consider also the human aspect: the spiritual, moral and ethical aspects of Climate Change. To make them see that it does not only have to do with politics and economics but it also has to do with morals, the lives of human beings at the very core level. This is basically our mission at the meetings and it was since then I’ve been involved in issues of Climate Change and the fight for climate justice.

LN: Thank you very much Imam for touching on that Climate Change issue and that pushes us to my next question. Recently you have been part of an environmental action or demonstration that took place here in Norway at Eidsvolls Plass in front of Parliament building. A casual observer might be curious to ask what an Imam was doing in such an environmental action gathering. What would you say to such an observer?

IES: Like I have said the issue of Climate Change is not only about politics and economics or science but it’s also about human lives, it touches human beings directly especially the poorest of this world. Religion as I understand it is mainly about saving lives. It is about protecting lives, especially human lives. It is about building up a wholesome human being; protecting lives, property, intellect and so forth and this is why we are basically involved in this movement. The appeal that I made at Eidsvolls Plass was that we must all work together to make sure our earth is protected, to make sure that the beautiful earth that Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has bequeathed to us is not destroyed because if it is destroyed we would have failed in our mission as human beings in our responsibility towards Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. We are taught that the Almighty created humans and placed them on earth to be His vicegerents, i.e. to represent Him on earth. Therefore we are to maintain justice, we are to maintain peace and we are to maintain the balance which Allah has placed in our eco-systems and not to disturb them. The Qur’an speaks very clearly about this in many instances. This is basically my personal motivation to be involved in such a cause.

LN: You were there as a leader of the Muslims or Islam as a religion, were there leaders of other Faiths like Christians or Buddhists and if so how is your relationship with them with regards to the fight against Climate Chang.

IES: Yes, there were other leaders from the Norwegian state church as well as what they call the Norwegian free churches. Generally apart from this specific event you have asked about, since I travelled to Durban I have in the subsequent years travelled to Warsaw and to Paris last year. When I travel we are together as an interfaith delegation. It is quite interesting and Norway has been the only country sending interfaith delegations to these climate conferences, many others come but they come as single faith groups. We travel as Muslims; we have Christians amongst us from the Norwegian Lutheran church, Norwegian free churches and Norwegian Catholic churches. We have members from the Jewish community, the Mosaic Society, we have Sikhs and I think that is a possibility of having Hindus and Buddhists on board as well. Although the Sikhs were not with us in the last journey to Paris, they are nevertheless, part of the local interfaith group we have here in Norway. It has grown basically out of a long cooperation between the Islamic Council which is the Umbrella Organization of all Mosques and Muslim religious organizations in Norway and the Norwegian state church and other faith groups in what we call the interfaith council. We have been having dialogue meetings with them and cooperating on many issues. I have discovered during this period that the best way to do dialogue among different faiths is to focus on issues of mutual concern like climate justice, climate change where each one of us would come with the view points of his or her religion. We will say what our religion says about it and we would engage ourselves to work for a common cause that concerns all human beings, that concerns all religions. From these points you would find that there are no disagreements so it is very easy to move on to other areas as long as we have established a common ground which the issue of Climate Change gives us a golden opportunity to do.

LN: Thank you very much for mentioning the need for a common ground; that’s very important. So let’s move on to the initiative that you have started, i.e. the Green Jihad. I understand that you together with other concerned people were able to set up this NGO called Green Jihad for Peace and Sustainable Development. I want you to elaborate more on Green Jihad, how did it come about? Where did the inspiration come from?

IES: Like I said it all came from my experience and dialogue with the Christian community in Norway but particularly during the period I have travelled with them to Climate Change conferences. In this regard it was basically in Warsaw that I thought of the concept Green Jihad. To cut a long story short, the organization we have just formed of which, of course, you are an executive member is a Muslim or Islamic initiative with the aim of establishing an interfaith group or organization. So the nature of Green Jihad is basically interfaith or multi-religious. It would basically address issues of Climate Change, poverty alleviation, combating radicalization and combating illegal immigration via the Mediterranean Sea; the phenomenon known as the “back way” but it will in all of these work for peaceful co-existence as well as for development. The initiative is meant to first and foremost make individual Muslims and non Muslims aware of their roles and responsibilities in the broader issue of Climate Change; that we as individuals have a responsibility to take care and minimize our carbon footprints, CO2 being the main agent responsible for climate change the world over.

We are also of the realization and understanding that we cannot combat climate change if we do not work for peace and social justice. That is why you have the broader concept of Green Jihad for Peace and Sustainable Development. I would like here to touch particularly on the word “Jihad”. It is no news that the concept of Jihad has become one of the hottest issues of our day. It has become one of the most misunderstood or misinterpreted or abused words or if you like concepts in Islam. That has kind of motivated me to stand up and do my part together with good people like yourself and other members of Green Jihad as well as others who share the same thoughts as us to show the world that Islam actually is not what violent extremists or so-called fundamentalist people want to show to the world. What Jihad actually means is a struggle and the best such struggle is a spiritual struggle. It is a spiritual struggle for inner peace, for the purification of the soul and the spirit. It is the improvement and betterment of the human being and the quality of the life of the human being. It is a struggle to establish peace within one’s self and between one’s self and one’s Creator. Peace between one’s self and one’s environment, peace between one’s self and everyone one comes into contact with. This is basically what we hope to achieve in the activities we plan to undertake in Green Jihad.

LN: That is very clear. In order words you are fighting to get rid of the negative connotations that are tied nowadays on Jihad. I understand that you and together with some other organizations organized an International Earth Day in Norway last year. Is this event going to be something that is going to come every year?

IES: Yes, hopefully, insha Allah, for Green Jihad is basically an alternative to violence. Earth day is one of the activities through which we hope to continue our work under the umbrella of Green Jihad. We started it last year as part of the activities geared towards environmental awareness at Daru Salaam Islamic Centre of which Green Jihad is an affiliate; a daughter organization as I’m also the Imam of the Centre. It is a day that we would set aside every year to celebrate if you like the favor which Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has given us, which is the earth upon which we live and how to maintain it as green as Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has created it. The Prophet (S.A.W) has stated very clearly in a Hadith that: “this world in which you live has been created by Allah delicious and green and He has appointed you as stewards upon it and He will monitor your activities and see how you behave on it and He will take you to task for that on the day of judgment”. So this is basically the responsibility we are carrying out in our activities of Green Jihad and the Earth Day is to celebrate exactly that. It is with lectures, symposia, workshops, all geared towards creating awareness, fostering positive attitudinal changes and peaceful co-existence amongst ourselves and amongst people generally.

LN: Thank you very much. That is one of the activities you would embark on in Green Jihad. Are there other activities you intend to embark upon apart from the International Earth Day that you have just mentioned?

IES: We do have Alhamdulillah, other activities we plan to embark upon like the idea of “sett settal” (voluntary cleaning exercise) that we have also come up with. This will happen perhaps once or twice a year here in Oslo after massive celebrations like the Norwegian national day. You know the area in which we have our Masjid, the streets are full to capacity on those celebrations and dirt is littered everywhere. We would take up the responsibility and show that positive aspect of our faith and clean the streets when such events occur like the 17th of May and after New Year’s Day. Apart from that we have also thought about going out to refugee camps and schools. To refugee camps the refugees that are coming especially from war torn areas like Syria , Afghanistan, Libya, organizing discussions and seminars and symposia with them , talking to them, helping them resettle mentally and psychologically, helping them understand the new situation in which they’ve come to, helping them find themselves in the bigger Norwegian society . It is to kind of work as bridge builders between these new comers and the broader Norwegian society. Being ourselves immigrants with that experience and background, I believe it would become much easier but we would also collaborate with many other Norwegian organizations; religious and secular that are working in the area of peace or that are working in the area of development or in environmental issues. In the schools we would talk to young people especially of immigrant background and try to see what their needs and concerns or problems are and do our best to collaborate with the authorities in finding solutions that would be peaceful and amicable.

LN: Imam there are some scholars who say that there is a correlation between Climate Change and migration. More or less, there is a nexus between Climate Change and migration. What plans do you have for combating illegal migration especially for those coming from sub-Saharan Africa; do you intend to work hand in hand with people on the ground in Africa for example?

IES: Yes, these are part of our long term plans if you like but there is indeed a nexus or a correlation between climate change and patterns of migration because climate change brings about coastal erosion, populations are forced to move. Climate Change brings about the poverty or depletion of soil nutrients which affects agricultural production which increases general poverty of populations all over the world. All of these contribute to the fact that young people find no other viable alternative in their countries in the third world and they very naturally aspire to migrate to Europe or to other countries in the world where they expect greener pastures. We know that this has resulted in phenomena like the “back way” syndrome like I mention in the beginning. We all know how hazardous this is and the risks that are always involved; the multitudes of lives of young people that are lost in the Sahara desert and in the Mediterranean Sea and other places. Hopefully, the stronger we get with more funding we would be more than happy to work with organizations that … but we would like to go even further to grassroots level back in Africa. In The Gambia for example, to establish projects there that would give renewed hope to young people that they can still make it even without leaving their home countries. They can do better than coming to Europe by staying home and getting an education and getting the necessary training in a trade or a profession that would bring them respectable incomes so that there would be no need to leave their countries. These are part of our long term aims insha Allah. I do not want to go into the minute details right now because they are all in the pipeline and the projects will come insha Allah.

LN: Imam, Daru Salaam Islamic Centre is not the only Islamic centre in Norway and of course it is an affiliate of Green Jihad; so my question is, what is your relationship with the Islamic Council of Norway and your relationship other Mosques , are they aware of your this initiative?

IES: Yes, Alhamdulillah like I mentioned in the beginning Daru Salaam Islamic Centre is a member of the Islamic Council of Norway which is an umbrella organization for all Masjids and Islamic Organizations in Norway and I have been for many years a member of the Imams Committee which serves as an advisory board to the main executive of the Islamic Council. They were the people that got me involved in issues of Climate Change in the first place, by asking me to represent them at the COP conferences. In fact, last year I travelled together with the president of the Council as part of the interfaith delegation to the meetings in Paris and I am happy to mention here that the current annual report that the Islamic Council is about to publish for 2015 features very prominently our activities related to issues of Climate Change and the establishment of Green Jihad which is an affiliate of Daru Salaam Islamic Centre.

LN: I just want to draw you back to the trip you had to Paris at the COP 21. A report came out there about some Imams and religious leaders who were showing concern for the impacts of Climate Change by fasting and leaders of other faiths like priests, through music; can you elaborate more on that.

IES: The trip to Paris was in November – December actually last year. The “fast for the climate” is like a movement that started in Warsaw in 2014. It was inspired actually by the then chief negotiator of the Philippines who at the very beginning of the conference in Warsaw vowed in his speech that he will fast for as long as his people in the Philippines continue to suffer. It coincided with a terrible typhoon in that Island country that destroyed many lives and properties. He vowed to fast until the UN Conferences came to a final, comprehensive, binding and just agreement for Climate Justice the world over. It was there that faith delegations that were in attendance as part of civil society got together. I was invited to join and was part of the panel that drafted the agreement or the concept of “fast for the climate”. I was there to represent Islam. There we agreed, spearheaded by the Lutheran Youth World Federation that we would fast the 1st of every month until the next COP in 2014. That was the one held in Lima, Peru. The one in Warsaw was in 2013 actually. I couldn’t attend the one in Lima because there was not enough funding for many people to travel from Norway. It was only a couple people from the interfaith delegation that travelled to Lima. In Lima it was decided that the fasting would continue. So we continued until last year in Paris and that was where we did that stunt lunch during the COP meetings and the media coverage that followed. The movement however, continues, the fasting continues and the awareness creation continues until a lasting and just final solution is found and the current trend of climate change is addressed properly: that human beings take up the responsibility to clear up the mess we have created in violating the balance which Allah has placed on this planet especially concerning CO2 emissions.

LN: Thank you very much Imam for your time. You are involved in a very noble cause and we pray that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala help you fulfill all your intentions and fulfill all your aims and objective for this noble organization called Green Jihad. Thank you very much for your time Imam

IES: Thank you for the interview. Alhamdulillah it was my pleasure and I am very proud, I’m humbled actually to be part of this. I’m very thankful to Allah and thank you all very much. Assalaamu aleikum wa Rahmatullah.

MINISTER MOMODOU AKI BAYO MADE THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB OVER THE KARTONG SAGA

December 5, 2015
Ex Minister Bayo the sacrificial lamb of the Dictator's Kartong crime

Ex Minister Bayo the sacrificial lamb of the Dictator’s Kartong crime

New Minister Momodou Lamin Gibba

New Minister Momodou Lamin Gibba

The Gambian dictator after unlawfully arresting and torturing the youths of Kartong village and realising that the entire village have been unforgivably angry about his conduct, sent a delegation on a damage control and reconciliatory mission headed by Speaker Abdoulie Bojang, of the National Assembly, Cabinet Ministers and dignitaries who held a meeting with the elders and community of Kartong on December 1st 2015. The move was hatch out following the announcement that the charges preferred against the village youth that were unlawfully arrested, tortured and forced to insult their own mothers and later taken to court and charged. Realising that a serious damage had been done by his action and a once APRC Stronghold is about to be lost forever, he first decided to drop all charges against the youth and pretended it was someone else’s fault not his.

Cabinet Ministers Momodou Aki Bayo of Lands and Regional Government, Ousman Sonko of the Interior, Abdou Kolley of Finance and Economic Affairs and Sheriff Bojang of Information and Communication Infrastructure who were accompanied by the regional governor Sifai Hydara and the chief of the area Ajay Janneh and some senior government officials all went to meet the villagers of Kartong to assure them that the man who tortured their sons youths, was infact not at fault it was someone else and now Yahya had sacrificed that someone. From their speech when digested, one would come to a conclusion that the mission was not to plead with the people of Kartong but simply to tell them that it was not the President’s intention to torture their youths but he was not properly guided by one of them amongst the delegation.

From the statements of Speaker Bojang when he said that the greatest truth which was that the matter should have been addressed by the Minister of Lands and Regional Government, made their mission clear that actually Minister Momodou Aki Bayo was at fault for not doing his job properly and his statement was collaborated by the Dictator himself when he said that the matter was not properly handled and next time it happened, let no police intervene but let him handle it alone. He said he would not even do anything to them but Allah would intervene on his behalf.

Speaker Abdoulie Bojang said it is very sad for them to come to Kartong to address this issue. But it should have been shameful for them because the damage was already done. He said all those who came are people from West Coast Region and that the problem could have been solved among themselves without involving others. But why did’nt they  do that when the Youths of Kartong sent the sand miners away? I belief the Speaker was only trying to save the dictator when he said to rule a country is difficult adding that people should not leave their culture behind when dealing with such matters as these are the things they have as a people. Did the local government order for the arrest of the youths? No. Did it order for their torture? No. How about for them to be taken to court charged and remanded? No. Who did all that then? It was Yahya Jammeh, his interior minister and Councillor Lamin Jamba Jammeh both of whom are the same.

Yes the speaker was right the matter could have even been dealt with at the chief’s compound or by elders. But the truth dodged by the speaker was that power and force was used against the villagers of Kartong and in my opinion he was addressing the wrong people. Those words should have been addressed to Yahya Jammeh, Ousman Sonko, Inspector General of Police Yankuba Sonko Chief Ajay Janneh and Councillor Lamin Jamba Jammeh. The people of Kartong did nothing as they were merely defending their posterity.

It’s true as he said it was the president who sent them there and they  spoke for him during the meeting, but one thing I did not agree with Abdoulie was to tell Kartongkas that the president said he is a Kartongka, meaning an indigene of Kartong and that West Coast trusts Kartong, that is a lie if Yahya Jammeh indeed love Kartongkas, why did he do what he did to the youths of Kartong?  He expressed his regret that Lamin Jamba Bojang is not with them but he did not explain why he was not with them in his own town. The truth is the people of Kartong are very angry with Lamin Jamba who betrayed his own people to a devil that was why they told him to stay back for them to make peace first then he can face his own kinsmen. But that was Speaker Abdoulie Bojang speaking. Let’s hear what the others said.

Also addressing the gathering was now the ex- Minister of Lands and Regional Government Momodou Aki Bayo who did not even know why he was in that delegation. Definitely some people are said to be educated but education is not only to go to school sit in a classroom. As far as I am concerned Momodou Aki Bayo is one of the dumbest Gambian because after listening to Speaker Bojang, it should have been clear to him who the head of the delegation was blaming. But he was like intoxicated when he was speaking. He said someone from Kartong had earlier gone to apologise to the president during his meeting in Gunjur but was not successful in his attempts. He said the person, who remains anonymous, however persisted in his efforts and that the President eventually directed them as Cabinet Ministers to witness the meeting. Can you hear this kind of elder trying to mix the people of Kartong against one another using deceptive means? It was so hypocritical. Even if that was true why would Aki Bayo of all people himself a Kombonka say that in the open? To add salt to injury he went ahead to insult the people of Kartong saying “Rudeness or extremism should not be encouraged.

For his part the one that should have been fired for the arrest and torture of the villagers with his Police Chief, Minister Ousman Sonko, thanked all those present at the meeting, adding that the previous speakers have already said everything. Adding that “It is because of the peace which prevails that they were gathered here,” But which peace? The villagers felt brutal torture was administered on them yet no one accepted blame. Where was the peace? It should have been a forgiveness meeting and reconciliation but they were not there to accept blame. He was trying to use the fear factor they keep using whenever they use force against Gambians and things go wrong than they expected even during the 10th and 11th student massacre saying that some countries are facing lots of conflicts and that one can only start a problem but does not know how or when it will escalate. Why did he not tell that to his boss Yahya Jammeh who was the provocateur? But no he went on saying “Anything that should happen must happen can you imagine him saying such meaning the youths were meant to suffer or maybe it was Allah’s will the youths were tortured and forced to insult their mothers. Can anyone sensible human condone hypocritical advice of the Interior minister adding that If anything is to happen here in the Gambia, People should before acting, know the actual facts and go to the police to report all the matters,” so that they can be on track, but their actions may lead them to something bad and he was very quick to add the he was not saying the people of Kartong are also like that but they should not be pressured by others.

He said if the charges were to continued, then he know most of the youths may spend their lives in prison.” How did he know that? Because he knew his boss very well and he would manipulate the courts to send the youths to prison by force that was why he was confident some youths would go to prison. He said the people of Kartong should be patient and always try to be law abiding and to meet the authorities before taking the law into their own hands. Saying the president forgives them because he knows that the youths are the future leaders. He urged the elders to always put things together before they escalate saying It’s hard to see the youths going to the prison but urge them to stay calm and law abiding. Pa Demba Jabang, the Alkalo (Village Head) of Kartong, for his part, expressed his happiness to receive such a high level delegation from the government coming to talk about peace. He urged the community to pay heed to what the delegation is coming to tell them. The regional governor of West Coast Region, Mrs. Sifai Hydara, also spoke and thanked the delegation for their mission.

Modou Mbye Jabang, who gave the vote of thanks, said the people of Kartong are not trouble makers. Saying the community should have been engaged on a meeting before mining started and requested for more consultation.Just as they all expressed the matter should have been handled with maturity rather than force but because the government now knew the damage their actions had caused now they looking for a way out whereby the people of Kartong would think look President Jammeh never knew these otherwise our youths would never have been tortured. But come one It was Ansumana Jammeh who head these sand mining business who is a brother of Yahya Jammeh. How would he not have known who called the police and the PIU then to arrest the youths? Why were they tortured and forced to insult their own mothers? What sort of wickedness was that? Momodou Aki Bayo even if he was negligent as the Speaker implied, he could never have asked the police to beat the youth and force them to insult their own parents. He was simply made the circrificial lamb as he was the only odd number out of the lot in this case concerning land.

Governor Sifai and Information Minister Bojang’s are far from being tainted that was why they escaped. Now Momodou Aki Bayo is axed for the second time and this time he is replaced by Momodou Lamin Gibba former DG of Ports Authority. Now people are wondering who would be next or would  the sacrifice of Mr Bayo be enough and would Mr Bayo continue to slavishly follow the dictator in anticipation that something would come his way just like before? Time will tell as the fire and anger of the villagers of Kartong had not died since the issue of sand mining has not even been discussed by the delegation as they were not sent to discuss that.

BREAKING NEWS: SG NYABALLY IN JAMMEH’S HOT BOILING WATERS.

November 20, 2015
 Secretary General Lamin Nyabally dismissed and disgraced

Secretary General Lamin Nyabally dismissed and disgraced

Kibaaro News has received unimpeachable information that the Gambian dictator; Yahya Jammeh has fired his Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister, Mr. Lamin Nyabally yesterday Thursday 19th November 2015 while on his presidential tour in the Upper River town of Basse. According to information received by this medium, President Jammeh was not happy with the way health issues are handled in Basse and its surroundings and he kept asking his secretary general Nyabally how comes he was never briefed by him on such issues. The President was said to have blamed Nyabally for his incompetence and without a second thought, he was fired from his post as Secretary General and Minister for Presidential Affairs. After Health Minister Omar Sey informed the seriously ill President that he did discuss the issue with Secretary General Nyabally, but no action was taken since then.

The President was reported to have been very angry and the anger landed Secretary Nyabally into the presidential hot water and before the end of the inauguration of a thirty million dalasi health centre in Sabi village near the town of Basse, Nyabally was fired publicly by his boss and told to make sure he clears his desk within 24 hours. The President did said Nyabally was very lucky that he the President is in a happy mood thanks to as according to him the warm welcome he received from the people of URR otherwise he was going to the hotel. Ex Secretary General Nyabally was seen shaking and sweating continuously thanking the President like a lame duck about to be sacrificed but the owner changed his mind.
Our sources did indicated that he Nyabally still retains the forestry ministerial portfolio but his rank within the Jammeh highrachy was lowered beyond belief and many confidently continue speculating that Nyabally would not serve another year before his final engagement with the electric broom. Either the hotel or the streets is anyone’s guess. At the time of going to press, Nyabally was said to have rushed to Banjul to clear his desk as instructed and is later expected to rejoin the Presidential tour today.

GAMBIAN PRESIDENT TAUNTS SENEGALESE COUNTERPART AS FEEBLE AND PUPPET

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.

FORMER GAMBIA MINISTER OF LANDS IN PPP ERA LANDING JALLOW SONKO PASSED AWAY IN DAKAR

October 20, 2015
The Late Landing Jallow Sonko RIP

The Late Landing Jallow Sonko RIP

News is feeding in that Landing Jallow Sonko passed away in Dakar today. The former Minister of local government and lands in the PPP era was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Dakar where he succumbed to death. The late Honorable Sonko was knocked by a car and sustained serious injuries as he was returning home from early morning (Fajr) prayers at the Pipeline Mosque. He was flown to Dakar for further treatment but answered to the call of his creator today.

The PPP era Minister is hailed by many as an upright man who lived his life with humility and dignity. It is reported that the so-called commission of enquiry sett up by the military junta of Yahya Jammeh didn’t found him wanting and even the chairman of that commission praised Landing of being one of Gambia’s finest and honest Ministers in the PPP era.

Ever since news of Mr. Sonko’s demise broke condolences and tributes have been flooding social media and Gambian online news sites. Ebrima Sillah Gambian journalist in Dakar wrote in a tribute piece the following “For 30 years Hon Landing Jallow Sonko lived an exemplary life of honesty. During his time as State Minister, Hon Landing Jallow Sonko had never spent his weekend or public holidays in the Kombos. Rather he was always on his farms with the rest of his family to supplement whatever he was getting from his work as Minister”

Tijan Masanneh Ceesay, veteran broadcaster based in the U. S chipped in his condolences by asserting that “A good Man has gone home. This Man encouraged me in my journalism career like no other. Always polite and classy! Niumi is bleeding today and the Masanneh Ceesay clang have lost a cousin.”

Sainey MK Marenah also a Gambian Journalist in Dakar described him as a true son of the Gambia.
Reliable sources have indicated that Honorable Landing Jallow Sonko’s body would be flown to Banjul today and funeral services are expected to take place tomorrow. We pray that the Almighty God shower mercy on his gentle soul and grant him everlasting bliss in paradise, ameen!

GAMBIAN AUTHORITIES PICKS BONES WITH AL-JAZEERA

September 2, 2015

Al-Jazeera-logoGambian authorities have felt uncomfortable with the team of Al-Jazeera journalists who were in Banjul to film and report on a wide range of issues related to human-interest.

They were told by the Gambian authorities to stop filming or risk being arrested after the government annulled their credentials.
According to sources in Banjul the team were asked not make any film or report on any issue about the Gambia.
The sources further noted the journalists were also informed that their permit was also revoked which was obtained prior to their entry into Banjul.
“The Al-Jazeera team got the information that their permit has been revoked through their fixer” our source elaborated.
It is not clear what must have fueled the Gambia government’s anger towards Al-Jazeera but some analyst postulated that the government feared that A-Jazeera may unveil the gross human rights violations taking place in the country.

Yesterday , 1st September Al-Jazeera broadcasted an interview with Gambia’s most radical rapper Ali Cham Aka Killer Ace. He was asked about his most talked about single track “Ku Boka C Geta G” where he stood up to the power that be , highlighting the rule of tyranny and the fear hovering over the skies of Banjul. Al-Jazeera has recently made interesting documentary on Senegal’s rich wrestling culture but their wish for a similar project in neighboring country, the Gambia is derailed by a pompous dictator.

In a democratic setting a free press should be able to ask legitimate questions and keep those in authority on their toes. In the Gambia such an atmosphere is very far from being realized. The tiny West African country is the most unfriendly media government in the sub- region. The country whose debt is 80% of GDP is dwelling in a financial turmoil. Since Yahya Jammeh took over power in a military coup in 1994 he has ruled the country with an iron fist making the West African nation not a heaven for journalists, opposition parties, and human rights defenders.

This year Gambia faced United Nations human rights group to review its human rights report but the country’s report was one of the poorest, according to rights defenders.
In 2014 the country interrupted UN Rapporteurs on Torture and extra-Judiciary killing from their investigation in the country.

EDITORIAL: SAMSUDEEN SARR, GAMBIA’S DIPLOMAT OF LIES

August 16, 2015
The Author of Book of Lies and Gambia's lying Diplomat: Samsudeen Sarr

The Author of Book of Lies and Gambia’s Diplomat of lies: Samsudeen Sarr

The Book of Lies aka Coup D'Etat by Gambia National Army, authored by Samsudeen Sarr

The Book of Lies aka Coup D’Etat by Gambia National Army, authored by Samsudeen Sarr

The family of the two US citizens, arbitrarily arrested and detained in the Gambia, Alhagie Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, were forced to issue a press release, this week, debunking yet another dishonest statement from Samsudeen Sarr; President Jammeh’s newly appointed self confessed liar of a diplomat.

Mr Sarr, who without any proper enquiries with his employers, the Gambian government, misinformed the United States’ Advisor to the President, Ms Susan Rice, that “reports of the two missing Americans – Alhagie Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, is nothing but another dubious story fed to US authorities by the enemies of President Jammeh…”

Mr Sarr further went on to state that: “There is no record of the two Americans at any of The West African nation’s entry points”.

According to our sources, Sarr had in fact made no contact with anyone at the Gambia’s Civil Aviation Authority or Immigration Service, to assist him to his conclusion that the two abducted US citizens have never landed in the country in 2013.

But what truth can be expected from a man, who confessed to writing a 296 page-book in 2007, titled ‘Coup D’Etat by the Gambia National Army’, based on the fiction of his imagination; which he sold to many Gambians as the the true non-fictional biography of the 22nd July 1994 military coup in the country, which brought Yahya Jammeh into power. Sarr further continues to sell the same book on Amazon for $30 up to the time of this editorial.

They said ‘once a liar always a liar’. It seems the Ex-Lt. Col. has an enduring alliance with or allegiance to falsehood. One reason, one will be forgiven to reason with him, is the filthy benefit he acquired from his lies. In fact, such lies have consequentially assisted him to the successes he brags of in many of his writings, of recent.

Sarr had been depreciated to have lied his way to the top of the Gambian National Army, and has undoubtedly lied his way to his current post of being the country’s diplomat! Sarr is further attributed to many false statements and deceits, some of which he confessed to.

Sarr has been accused of lying to have achieved a degree in Agric Science in the US from 1981 to 1984, which he used to gain recruitment into the Gambia National Army, as a Cadet Officer, in 1985.

In 1990, he was alleged to have lied about suffering from an unknown medical condition to avoid his deployment to Liberia to take part in the Gambia National Army’s role in the Ecomog peace keeping mission in that country, at the time.

In 1994, Sarr was arrested by the AFPRC Military Junta, which was headed by Yahya Jammeh, for an alleged subversive activity to overthrow the AFPRC Junta.

In 1999 he was booted out of the Gambia National Army for allegedly giving false account of his squabble with the former Commander in Chief of the Gambia National Army, Babucarr Jatta.

In August 1999, Sarr confirmed in his Book of Lies that he had lied on his asylum claim to gain refugee status in the United States. He wrote in his book:

“Mr Goldber wanted me to build a story stating that although I had worked for President Jammeh’s government that overthrew President Jawara’s, I was all along secretly loyal to the old regime until the new government got suspicious of me. Then on a surprising investigation on me, they found some evidence of recent contacts I had had with President Jawara, who was in exile in England; but before the order was given for my arrest on charges of treasonable offence, a friend tipped me off, advising me to leave the country immediately, which I did.”

In 2007, Sarr published his book of lies, which he entitled, Coup D’Etat by Gambia National Army.

In 2014, Sarr confirmed that his Coup D’Etat by Gambia National Army book was full of lies.

In 2015, President Jammeh confirmed that Samsudeen Sarr’s book was full of lies.

July 2015, Sarr confirmed that he is appointed new Gambian Diplomat to the UN.

August 2015, Sarr lied to the US Presidential Adviser, Susan Rice, that the abducted US citizens, Alhagie Ceesay and Ebou Jobe had not been to the Gambia in 2013.

The question therefore, that begs asking, is why on earth would the Gambian President appoint Samsudden Sarr, as a diplomat for the Gambian people. A man with a long track record of lies, deceit and treachery. A man, who the President, himself, confirmed to have written a book of lies against him and was further a misfit of the Gambia National Army officers’ corps, in the 1990s, who was not fit to be a company commander, much more an army commander. How can such a misfit qualify to be a diplomat of a country; except if intended to be a diplomat of lies.

Record Locator

Flight itinerary of Alhagie Ceesay and his flight was not the missing Malaysian Airliner

It is therefore worth reiterating to Susan Rice and the US authorities that Sarr cannot be trusted; and the two US citizens have indeed visited the Gambia, where they were arbitrarily arrested and detained by the Gambian authorities. Their evidence of travel to the Gambia is published below for all to see: