Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

“DON’T GET ME WRONG”, ASSERTED MOMODOU NJAI, “BE FIRM IN YOUR BELIEF AND STAND FOR WHAT IS JUST”.

July 29, 2014
Reads :102
 MOMODOU NJAI-GAMBIA'S NEW PEACE BROKER

MOMODOU NJAI-GAMBIA’S NEW PEACE BROKER

 JAMMEH-THE RELENTLESS DICTATOR

JAMMEH-THE RELENTLESS DICTATOR

If great leaders starting from Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) to Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela went by what was popular for political points or reasons, we would probably not be living in a civilized world albeit all its flaws. Words like mercy, compassion, reconciliation, dialogue, freedom, peace, love, community, justice, change, hope, and individual rights would have being missing in our vocabulary.

My brothers and sisters, even though we cherish the agony and pains in our hearts for victims everywhere, we must to work together for the common good and do away with sentiments such as retaliation, hate, kill, animosity, insults, and chaos. We all know we have a problem and in order to fix it, we have to identify, verify and understand the problem. It is only then that we find sustainable solutions to the problem. It is the duty and moral obligation of each one of us to do whatever we can to solve the problem. Whatever approach one takes, it does not have to be popular for political points, or be in fear of getting condemned and left alone to stand for a just cause. I am at the solution face and hope you will join anyone who wants to solve our problems and not add to them. There are brothers and sisters who are genuine and will go about doing things differently but that do not make them unpatriotic or anti-government. There are members in different political parties who may share the same just cause we are all fighting for but are scared that they will be turned away because of their past relations. In addition, others are just waiting for the right words and actions to unite us all, but see little hope because the hope and inspiration they need is lacking. No one should attack anyone for choosing a side but should work tirelessly to gain their support so that you can snatch them away if you mean well.

Do not get me wrong, I strongly believe that the same thing all the organizations are yearning for is the same thing I want. That same thing is a peaceful Gambia living up to democratic principles, with freedom and peace each day. Where one gets to be proud to live in dignity, respect, and pride as a born Gambian. However, we may disagree with logic and methods as to the way forward, but for anyone who believes that violence is the only way to achieve peace, you are clearly mistaken and need more guidance. I will give you some examples to reiterate what I just said.

The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) who Muslims look up to as a guidance, was a husband, father, General, and Prophet of Allah sent on to us mankind with God’s mercy for us. Yes Islam and many religions fought but the Prophet (S.A.W) endured so much before he fought with his people. Not to say that you haven’t, but let us learn from his actions and ways of dealing with those that oppressed him. The Prophet (S.A.W) was driven to exile after all the terrible ordeal he went through with his people in Mecca, to Medina. The Prophet (S.AW) had to negotiate and sit with the opposite side for a peace treaty after all the blood and sacrifices that was made. When he started writing in the name of Allah and his Prophet (S.A.W) they automatically stopped him and told him to erase that because they don’t believe in his God and him. His companion Caliph Omar peace be upon him could not stand it and was furious. “How can you allow this for them not to recognize our God and you are the Prophet of Allah? No No!” According to a hadith this was said by Caliph Omar (Pbuh). The Prophet (S.AW) said not to worry and took the name of Allah and his name off just to gain peace for 10yrs. After that, Islam grew and the people just marched to Mecca without hurting anyone. The Prophet (S.A.W) showed compassion by releasing all those who were plotting and killing his people.  When asked about Jihad which many people misinterpreted, he said that the Jihad we should be worried about is fighting our inner self. May Allah guide us to the right path?

Other examples which I will shorten are in the case of Nelson Mandela who was meeting with the Apartheid leaders that instructed to kill many Africans. You probably all know how that ended. Martin Luther King Jr had numerous meetings with the government and African Americans who thought that violence was the only way out. He was a man of character full of conviction that non- violence is the just way out and that is what I believe too. As Martin Luther rightfully said, “said,” Cowardice asks the question – is it safe?

Expediency asks the question – is it politic?

Vanity asks the question – is it popular?

But conscience asks the question – is it right?

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.” This is where I stand, so let us stop the blame game and do what is right. Although risky, I like many others have faith in what we are doing. What I believe is right is to fight injustice everywhere not just in Gaza, Nigeria, U.S.A, but even in your own backyard. What is right is to learn from Martin Luther King’s inspiratory called Mahatma Ghandi. Ghandi achieved a lot for India and around the world by nonviolence. He had numerous meetings with the British Colony, and eventually got the freedom they rightfully deserved.

Nothing easy that is worth something or valued comes easy as President Obama said before. We need to make huge sacrifices in order to achieve our goals. While the time calls for unity, what we cannot afford is to sit by and rant or make excuses when action is what is needed. I may not have the consent to speak for all at this moment with this approach I am taking to open dialogue with the President of our beloved country The Gambia, but I would ask that we have an honest debate when we meet in August to show vision and clarity as to a way forward. A way forward that would lead us to a peaceful Gambia. May we all do what is right for the greater good of all and not just self. May we all unite under one voice and leadership to fix what is broken. Let us exhaust all diplomatic channels with sincerity, faith, and hope for a better Gambia that will protect its National Interest. The interest of the people of the Gambia. I am one of you, and you are one of me. Regardless of party affiliation, tribe, religion, gender, or colour, we are one big family. Senegal is our family too and we shall always have the same National Interest because we are too close of a neighbour and bonded in family to do otherwise. May we always stand firm with our beliefs and not let any political points or popularity choices overshadow the moral good of what we have to do. May God continue to bless us all and may we all have a blessed Eid!!Let justice guide our actions towards the common good as the National Anthem rightfully says. May God continue to bless the Gambia!!

 

“JAMMEH WANTS A PRESS THAT IS PART OF THE LABYRINTHINE MISCARRIAGES OF HIS LEADERSHIP”, DEVULGES CHERNO BABA JALLOW

July 27, 2014
Reads :2429
Cherno Baba Jallow-A brilliant writer and a seasoned journalist.

Cherno Baba Jallow-A brilliant writer and a seasoned journalist.

JAMMEH AND THE PRESS

JAMMEH AND THE PRESS

Mentioning President Yahya Jammeh and the Gambian press in the same breath is sure to evoke passionate feelings. And it should. Jammeh and members of the Gambian Fourth Estate don’t mix; the two are at variance with each other in their respective roles in public affairs. The Gambian press wants to inform and educate the people; and make them an informed and engaged citizenry. But Jammeh wants a press tending to his own parochialism, to be a part of the labyrinthine miscarriages of his leadership. It wasn’t supposed to be this way: a press tethered to the chains of Jammeh’s megalomaniac dispositions. In 1994, he was the darling of the press. Some editorialists and commentators heaped praises on his so-called revolution. Jammeh was accessible. Journalists went in and out of the State House with relative ease.

The recent video footage of the then Capt. Yahya Jammeh being interviewed by a former Daily Observer News Editor Ebrima Ceesay exemplified the geniality that existed between the Gambian press and the new military leaders in the State House. Ebrima, shrugging his shoulders and looking Jammeh straight in the eye, and basking in the glow of professional alacrity, asked the new military leader some pointed questions. He warned Jammeh about falling for the inducements of power, and consequently, staying longer in office than the two-year mandate for the return of constitutional rule. In these days, Ebrima can’t do a similar interview. Two reasons: one, Jammeh is inaccessible; he is no longer welcoming to the members of the private press. And two, the frills of power have eviscerated whatever goodwill he had had for the Gambian press. CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO

Put simply, Jammeh has now become outrageously power-hungry as to see any pungent journalistic interviews as an affront to his self-serving grandeur. More than that: Jammeh has become the human Vesuvius on the Gambian political landscape. And just as Mount Vesuvius was prone to occasional, paroxysmal eruptions, Jammeh’s perennial outbursts have been dangerous to the body polity. Gambian journalists know a thing or two about what it means to be at the receiving end of Jammeh’s threats and actions: if it is not public rants about six-foot deeps, it is about hurrying journalists to jail on flimsy reasons. For the Gambian press, it has been like a dash to the abyss. Perhaps, no other sector of Gambian civil society has endured such hardships and hurdles as the press.

Thus, to what extent can a press, faced with such intolerable, coercive conditions, perform its important roles in informing and enlightening the people on the intersections of life and event? Given the Gambian situation, the press is in perilous territory, for press freedom, like all other freedoms, hinges largely on a constitutional order: the supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and more than anything else, the willingness of the custodians of power to submit themselves to the dictates of law and its curbing powers. This does not obtain in The Gambia today, for Jammeh has virtually become the totality of Gambian existence. Deference to law is at its barest minimum. Journalists can’t operate fully in a climate inhospitable to the integrity of institutions and values.

But broadly viewed, the constraints of the Gambian press go beyond Jammeh’s poisonous discourse and malevolent actions. It is more of a reflection on the weakness of Gambian civil society rather than the harmful effects of one man’s policies. Our institutions are weak and porous, making them easy tramplings for a leader in the mould of Jammeh. Nigerian society underwent successive military dictatorships and a civil war, but its society was still buoyed by an educated class and strong, independent institutions. The press was able to survive the Nigerian military by dint of its vibrancy and resiliency. Newspapers such as Tell,TempoNewswatch were muzzled, but they still survived total extinction.

In Uganda, the press benefited hugely from the intellectual output of Makerere University, which played a vital role in the dissemination of information. The late Indian-Ugandan editor Rajat Neogy, barely 26 at the time, used his Transition magazine as an outlet for intellectual commentary and insight on his society and virtually on every part of the world. The Rev. Martin Luther King, the writers Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Dennis Brutus, Nadine Gordimer, V.S. Naipul, Paul Theroux and many others contributed articles. The Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere had a number of debates with Professor Ali Mazrui on the pages of Transition. Rajat was able to survive the difficulties of Idi Amin for as long as he did because he was brave and assertive, and he and his magazine operated from strong and efficient institutions. Out of the concrete jungle of Amin’s repressive dictatorship, Rajat and the Ugandan press were still able to survive the tremors of one of Africa’s worst dictatorships and be relevant conduits for information and mass enlightenment.

This partly suggests that press freedom, particularly in Africa, does not just depend on governments willingly obliging to a friendly press climate, but also the Darwinian adaptability of journalists and the quality of their body of work. True, vibrancy is not synonymous with freedom, but for most African journalists, their freedom is greatly enhanced by the integrity of their work and the vitality gushing from durability and diligence. It is the role of the press to be the educator for society, to create the passageways for the eddies of public opinion and to protect the citizenry from the consequences of reduced and muddied understandings about matters contiguous to their lives. But it is the pity of the Gambian press to be doubly-jeopardized by both Jammeh and by its own litany of inadequacies — although the former provides more cogency towards appraising, even sympathizing with, and the current state of affairs of the Gambian Fourth Estate.

Editor’s Note: this article was first published in Gainako circa 2008.

 

“GAMBIA LOST MORE THAN 20,000 LIVES IN TIME VALUE OVER 20 YEARS; EVIDENCE SUGGESTS”, POSTULATED SARJO BAYANG

July 25, 2014
Reads :2214
SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

West Africans may turn to the miracle cure of Dr Jammeh

West Africans may turn to the miracle cure of Dr Jammeh

Cost of burden in keeping Yaya Jammeh as president for 20 years

Critical assessment of damage incurred by Yaya Jammeh since 1994 reveals true life loss in thousands. This evidence is clear to see without complicated mathematics required. Gambia has a population pegged at 2 million. Everyone lost 20 years of life time in waste moments. By proper accounting of real time values, the figure is even higher. Take 2 million as the compromised basis of counting. Total loss of time incurred means everyone having equal share of potentially productive time lost while one person makes use of everyone’s time, money, and material resources to build his personal wealth. That person Yaya Jammeh allocated himself what belongs to everyone. Multiply 2 million (Gambia’s population) by 20 years and what you have is a staggering 20,000,000 years. That is how deep Yaya Jammeh has buried generations of Gambians in his 20 years mishandling of national possessions. His killings transcend physical life. On the death list includes truth, decency, family life, honesty, intellect, productivity, social capital, finance, economy, systematic administration, good governance, freedom, happiness, skills, professionalism.  

Time deaths and life loss accounted for

If you worry about amount of people that Yaya Jammeh killed in his 20 years of misrule, there is more shocking information adding to that. Going by head count of those killed by wilful act or through negligence it is phenomenal.

Life loss refers to real human deaths in the period under scrutiny. That includes enforced disappearance without trace, extra judicial killings, accidental death through reckless driving by the presidential motorcades, and torture-to-death carried under command of Yaya Jammeh as in what is called executive orders.

Time death is the overall loss to whole Gambian population in terms of potentially useful social time shared proportionately. While one person is stopping everyone from embarking on productive efforts this has bearing on potential gains in terms of collective optimal output. That means every passing moment is cost to whole society.

Jammeh’s iron fist control over people and resources is costing each person so much. Adding that up the picture becomes clearer. In that regard one minute amounts to 2 million minutes. That translates into 33,333 hours taking full account of Gambia’s population pegged at 2 million. When you divide this further it turns as 1,388 days. Therefore every minute wasted by Jammeh stopping people from productivity is time death of 1,388 days in proportion to Gambia’s current population. Any increase in population will correspondingly trigger the reading upwards.

People killed wilfully are withdrawn from productive life cycle. Theirs is loss of both life and time death. Such is the situation Gambia is faced with in the course of 20 years dictatorship by whims and caprices of Yaya Jamus Jammeh. You can carry out rest of the calculations to get the bigger picture.

Misplaced priorities

National priorities are placed on the lowest scale. Everything is done to satisfy Yaya Jammeh’s personal desires. There is no serious planning as people in responsible public position play the tune that pleases their master.

So long the master feels good, nothing else matters. It is hard for people in certain organised settings to imagine that entire government and public resources can be abused by one man for so long.

Opportunity cost

Gambians are not only running out of time, money and material. Lost opportunity is even greater. Decision making is not shared responsibility. What satisfies personal desire of Yaya Jammeh as someone in high post of president does not translate to real needs.

In seeking to please Jammeh because he is president and commander of everything other custodians of national resources with responsibility for hard decisions end up choosing alternatives on the lowest priority ranking by which process resulting to very high opportunity cost. That leads to a situation of colossal loss in potential gains.

Resource risk

When Yaya Jammeh seized power to take control of public resources, his net worth was below a Dollar. He was poor in the real sense of spiritual, money, and material poverty.

Loading on the Gambian economy and financial resources the magnitude of poverty experienced by Jammeh could not go without pains. To lift him from the lower depths of poverty using government platform remains the biggest resource risk. Rising from his level of poverty induced destitution, to become richest on that part of this planet is what keeps Gambia sinking deeper. Jammeh getting richer, Gambian people and nation getting poorer is enough hardship to serve as warning. There are good and decent people in very low income brackets like Jammeh was before seizing power by force. They will respect decency and not take the line that Yaya chose doing.

Placing in the hands of one person what belongs to everyone is very high resource risk. This becomes more serious when someone like Yaya Jammeh who equates being president to mean getting rich. He does not respect boundaries. National resources are grossly exploited to build his personal wealth. Yet he will stand before the whole population to condemn corruption and promise setting up anti-corruption commissions of enquiry to curb this human vice.

Although there are some competent persons in government who know the truth, they fear to scrutinize, challenge, or even mention about this serious menace. Here is another good example of how public resources are going down drain for no collective benefit. People are hired to oversee ghost positions.

If Yaya was reasonable and just enough, he would have permitted reason to prevail and draw thick line of demarcation between his personal and public resources. With his notion that everything for government and people of Gambia belongs to him, public resources are put at highest risk. Jammeh as chief custodian and key decision maker is himself real resource risk.  Cost and maintenance of Yaya Jammeh in power for 20 years puts this resource risk even higher.

Collateral damage

One serious danger that Gambian people ought to have recognised from Day 1 is the fact that Jammeh had and still has nothing on the table as bargaining strength in power negotiations. He came to power with no particular set of skills and expertise to warrant being handed full national authority as president. That was, and still remains crucial piece of evidence, resource risk and worse collateral damage suffered by Gambians.

Anybody to serve as president is normal. The problem is when that person refuses to observe regulations while also too hungry for power and public resources including an insatiable desire to get rich by all means, is totally out of place.

Yaya Jammeh is not qualified to keep the position of Gambian leader not only by demerits of his other defects but the fact that he had nothing to bargain. He had all the doors opened to form a political party as decent entrance point. He chose the most barbaric method of usurping power and still refuses to take stock all these long painful years feeding on Gambians by force of gun power.

Social capital loss

Apart from rampant hiring and firing of people in public office a good stock Gambia’s social capital is lost to 20 yeas maltreatment thanks to heavy hands of Yaya Jammeh. This generation is robbed off vital human capital by a scale never in history of a nation needing so much social capital.

Public office holders have been molested and experienced the most degrading treatment by whims and caprices of a single person. Unless Gambians get rid of Yaya Jammeh from meddling with public office the loss of social capital and other vital resources will continue rising while output declines to counterproductive proportion.

As result of harmful encounters that some public office holders suffered, many died prematurely. Others have fallen ill and not likely to recover. Bread winners are made hopeless beggars adding to their despair. Youths have resorted to taking risky ventures of travel abroad by open boats in the wild ocean and some ending their lives before reaching desired destinations consumed by deep sea blue waters. Number counts are not known. Now even female youth have joined the risky voyage by dangerous sea waters at very high perilous consequences.

Conclusion

Lot of deaths in Gambia are not related to human life only but beyond. People get killed. Systems and due process of orderly dispensation also die down through negligence or by dictates of force.  Time is killed too in counterproductive ways.

Apart from loss of life by direct harmful encounters with Yaya Jammeh and his military they bear direct responsibility for tearing the country down in vast ways. It is a case of total loss with casualties including time, life, personal freedom, truth, decency,  property, social capital, peace, public resources, governance, to name only few. Translated in realistic terms, every person has a share in the amount of wilful damage incurred by Yaya Jammeh. He is eating up time as self-perpetuating scheme of entrenchment. After failing woefully on deceiving Gambians about development into world class superpower by this year 2014, he is now advancing another plot of deception pegging 2024 as time line. When will Gambians recognise truth from lies?

Even if he was given half of the world’s resources, the mind set of selfishness and greed sitting inside Yaya Jammeh will not permit him distribute one bit of that for best shared good of every person in Gambia. Stakes are too high to permit one person continue exploiting the good nature of Gambians. It has to stop. Gambians have to stop Yaya Jammeh before he stops the nation and people living the good life everyone deserves.

In passing, shall we add that lot of things and whole system of orderly dispensation died under the cruel grips of Yaya Jammeh’s lethal hands and through dictates of his inhuman mind?  Now one more thing needs to die so that Gambia returns to normal life. Gambians have to kill fear and that is enough to bring other dead matters alive. Leaving fear alive, more people and good life will continue to die by worry and harmful encounters. Before another venture into the fantasised Vision 2020 now rebranded Vision 2024 let Gambians take the country back. Kill fear and keep Yaya Jammeh alive for him to give account what happened in his 20 years forced rule.

THE 20TH YEAR OF JULY 22ND 1994 TAKE OVER

July 24, 2014
Reads :2201
BURAMA JAMMEH

BURAMA JAMMEH

On July 22nd 1994 (20 years ago) Yahya with fellow junior soldiers of The Gambia National Army overthrew Jawara and his seemingly indispensable People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government out of Banjul.  This was after almost 30 years in the dugout in Banjul but not without warning that people don’t want perpetual stay in power in the form of Kukoi Samba Sanyang’s 1981 coup. Jawara return on the back of Senegal through some dust-up treaty they (Jawara and Abdou Joof) activated.

Shortly thereafter the hastily cobbled up Senegambia Confederation began fall apart; Jawara formed a National Army that eventually produced Yahya Jammeh. Was it formed to protect him against Senegal and/or was it to protect the sovereign integrity of The Gambia? Both are not reasonable. The Gambia National Army even after 30 years can’t stand up to Senegalese army. More importantly there is no historical territorial dispute between our two nations. If Gambia can’t foresee going to war with Senegal that sits on all sides except the 48km span on the West Coast of The Atlantic Ocean – then every other justification for an army is simply bogus. More over the taxes of the poor are investigated to house, feed, clothe and equip these bunches for no reasonable return. I can see employment as a good return but not at that cost. The same amount of money or even less could engage that much of our population in other productive sectors.

Our past (meaning years before Yahya in Banjul) was bad. Recently I have heard people dismissing those wrongs. Some downplayed and/or minimized them. Others even argued that belongs to history and has no relevance to today’s Gambia. Whatever obtains today has its roots in our past. The only difference is magnitude.

Nonetheless Yahya is here – for 20 years and counting. He promised heaven on earth and delivered hell. During this period our people suffered tremendously while few enjoyed temporary and erratic sense of belonging. The social structure has changed unimaginably and cultures/traditions obliterated. Among the first victims were Sadibou Hydara and Sana Sabally, both members of the gang that overthrew PPP, with the former paying the ultimate price in prison. That has been the story – besides few nicely painted buildings, few street lights, 100s of kilometers of road length asphalted, bunch of school buildings, flamboyant presidential vehicle fleet and so-called hospitals every Gambian has his/her share of the despair. It’s so bad that the whole nation is at the service of one person, neighbors can’t freely opine on national matters without risk being picked up by the secret service agents while families are broken either by denying national jobs, killings, disappearances and/or exile. The civil services constantly recycled for no apparent reason. Socio-economic conditions deteriorated and overall poverty compounded. Petty crimes increased, looting of public coffers an open secret, sex trade/prosecution a livelihood and our ports turned to narcotic hub nation for global distributions.

Where’re we and what have we done as citizens? This question can also be flipped to what we haven’t done? Back home all hopes are placed on political parties to effect the desired changes.  This hope has number of problems. First it assumes we’re democratic so the normal electioneering will remove Yahya.   Second we hope any such eventual winner will serve our interest (democracy) – if Jawara and Yahya are any example there is not much to be hopeful. The third is that many assume is someone’s problem (usually the opposition) hence out sourcing the solution. The Gambia is not a functioning democracy; elections were/are controlled by another contestant and any winner under such conditions will be another dictator with a different name – tribe, religion, education, village/town/cities, etc.

The diaspora on the other hand has one thing to celebrate – the advent of activist online media houses/journalists. These are both individual entrepreneurial talents and as well enormous contribution to the national enlightenment efforts. Bravo girls/guys!  Unfortunately the full potential of these efforts are yet realized because of the disjoint of home and abroad efforts of our struggle. Besides many efforts were made in the name of unity.  The unanswered question is a call to unity to do what and/or to unite on what? To have one opposition candidate has not and will not work. To removing Yahya has not and will not work! To bring back Jawara’s Gambia or something like it hasn’t and will not work.  Years of inter/intra group fighting have become commonplace at our various forums. Yet a clearly articulated vision backed with well-set program of action pretty much none exists.  The common outlet for skeptics…”Yahya will not agree or allow this or that”. My position our legitimate fight is not about what Yahya and/or any other person sanctioned or otherwise.

This produced a more powerful Yahya and a weaker/non-existent struggle. Recently I learnt his agents’ denied the return of late Buba Baldeh’s remains for burial at his hometown. This is very sad but is not as bad as many emotionally charged made it to be. For instance you and me are in exile – besides we’re living for now what’s the difference? We can’t fight this battle on emotions but one reason. Over the last 20 years here are few remarkable incidences – Ousman Koro Ceesay’s reported accidental death is unresolved, Foday Makalo remained mysteriously missing, Deyda Hydara killings unresolved, 14-unarmed students killed unresolved, unknown mass graves of alleged attempted copyists still a mystery, Ebrima Manneh and Kanyiba Kanyi dead/alive is anybody’s guess, Daba Marenah dead/alive a mystery and so on and so forth.  An untold number of citizens physically abused for no crime. Many others denied access to their livelihoods and others were forcefully evicted from their real estate.

To believe that one such emotional event will/might eventually produce the almighty trigger is a folly. Our triggers came and gone and nothing happened. In fact we do not need a trigger. We need is a deliberate action of citizens for our sovereignty. That has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong, instead it’s a given that we’re denied since 1965. Let reclaim it now!

How can/do we reclaim our sovereignty as citizens of a Republic? Last year I posted an article titled – “The Hard Way The Only Way”. A disclaimer – “The Hard Way The Only Way” is a title of a movie I watched years ago. I’m not even sure if I have the wording arranged in the right order.  The movie was about taking out a drug cartel in a South American jungle with the only possible plan that is very risky and dangerous to execute.

That was a warning that we do not have the luxury of many approaches to solve our problem.  Certainly we neither have luxury to continue to argue who is the candidate of next election nor who’re the executives of one group or another.  Let everyone who so wishes be a candidate in an election and let anyone have organization based on his or her interest. Ours is a national problem requiring a national solution. That solution should be all-inclusive except those who choose to stay away at any given time. The diaspora should recognize her strategic role but not over play their importance’s that disincentives the participation of the home-based crowd. Although unorganized, resource less and weak, the home-based crowd are indispensable – some critical roles of the diaspora is to facilitation, influencing and advocacies.

Hereunder is the 10-phased plan I said is the only way but a hard way: To appreciate these steps you have to understand the assumption as to what’s the problem.

1)     Define ‘The Problem’

2)     Develop ‘A National Democracy Vision’

3)     Negotiate ‘A National Face’

4)     Take Our Case To The International Community – Moral & Financial Support

5)     Engage Government of The Gambia – democratic overhauls

6)     Engage Foreign Missions, NGOs, CSOs – begin to nationalize democracy campaign

7)     Going To The People – enlightenment, organize and mobilize citizens

8)     Reporting and Assessment of Progress

9)     Reviews, repositioning and re-strategizing

10) Repeating 4 -9 over and over until we achieve the ultimate vision – A Functioning Institutional Democracy

11) Phase-out mode – turned into several Civil Rights/Liberties Watch Groups to keep the citizens watching and timely acting to safe guard the gains

This approach could be twig by interchanging the order of the phases and/or even formulate different implementation organizational arrangements but the core principles can’t be avoided. Until we come to these basic fundamentals our efforts will be largely noisy than truly result orientation.

For The Gambia Ever True!

Burama FL Jammeh

Founder/General Secretary

The People’s Movement For Democratic Gambia

admin@buramajammeh.com

facebook.com/Burama.jammeh

twitter.com/bfljammeh

810 844 6040

BABUCARR DARBOE CALLS JULY 22ND “THE REVOLUTION THAT ROBS GAMBIA OF ITS SOVEREIGNTY”

July 24, 2014
Reads :2318
BABUCARR DARBOE

BABUCARR DARBOE

JAMMEH, THE  UNRELENTING TYRANT

JAMMEH, THE UNRELENTING TYRANT

Reading the Daily Observer Wednesday 23 July 2014 editorial captioned “Still moving on” left me emotionally deflated and wondering what happens to the moral conscience of the editor-in-chief of the paper. On a second note, I concluded perhaps he is coerced to dress the Revolution that is “a misdirected course of history”, to sponge his words, in borrowed rob. Whatever his reasons may be I am convinced that in his quiet moments, he will beat himself for going down in the history of the Gambia as a journalist who not only misinformed his fellow citizens but attempted to distort reality. For example, he has this to say, “A new wave of consciousness and awareness among the masses was evidently conspicuous in the political and socio-cultural terrain of the country”. I wonder what exactly he meant by this. For I believe a conscious and aware masses will not compromise their freedom.  How many Gambians are persecuted just because they said “the country is hard”? An informed citizenry will not be afraid of its government. They will compel their elected representatives to deliver what they tasked them to do. Is that the case in the Gambian? Is the Jammeh regime accountable? Oh, hell no!

The July 22nd Revolution has only succeeded in systematically suppressing Gambians with tear-jerking impunity for the past twenty years instead of empowering them.  Of course any revolution ushers in change; either for the better or worse. And the Jammeh led 22nd July 1994 Revolution has robbed Gambia of its sovereignty and dignity. Politically, the Gambia is potentially more catastrophic under Jammeh’s watch as opposed to Sir Dawda’s.  The unprecedented record of human rights abuses, killings, tortures, enforced disappearances and banished have never been a Gambian phenomenon prior to the advent of Jammeh into the presidency.  Former civil servants are immediately arrested and slammed with laughable doctored charges and incarcerated for no other reason than expressing a different view to Jammeh’s. That is the type of revolution Jammeh dished out to Gambians. A revolution devoid of any significant and meaningful change.

What is development without the freedom of expression? Can development be sustainable in a volatile and insecure atmosphere? Politically, the Gambia is unstable. Jammeh has carved so many enemies for himself such that the Gambian political environment is likened to a ticking bomb which can trigger off any second. Certainly that is not what development entails. On another hand, has the living standard of Gambians improved or worsen?  Twenty years ago, five dalasi could avail one a lot of things in the Gambia like a loaf of bread, sugar and a tin of milk and still have some change. Can five dalasi afford you the same in the Gambia today under Jammeh?  Needless to say the value of the dalasi has so much depreciated that what one dalasi used to purchase twenty years ago a hundred dalasi cannot get today. Well, a development is meant to augment one’s life but not to retrogress it. Therefore, I can opined that the Jammeh led Revolution is a complete failure.  The reasons for my assertion are written on every aspect of Gambian life.  Majority of Gambians are more impoverished today than before July 22nd 1994. Electricity and water supplies are still inaccessible and unaffordable by majority of Gambians.

The so-called hospitals that Jammeh often brags about are white elephants.  You pay D25 for consultation fee only to be told to go and buy your prescribed medicine.  The wards are dirty and lack privacy. Beds are deplorable and medical care is the worst you can get anywhere in the world. Both nurses and doctors are arrogant and uncaring where you find them.  At least there were only two hospitals during the PPP regime but they were never short of medication or doctors. So what development has the revolution brought for Gambians? Education is now exam oriented rather than equipping the student for life time challenges and productiveness.

Now you portray Jammeh as being humble, compassionate, truthful and faithful. Will a compassionate person kill 9 people just to prove a point? A compassionate person forgives those who err against him but not retaliate. He cares and values human life. How many people have Jammeh ordered to be killed, tortured, incarcerated with impunity or banished? That is a man you call compassionate? A compassionate man does not violate a woman. And Jammeh is a perv. He is far from being humble. Because a humble person does not ride on the backs of his fellows like Yahya does unabated. Jammeh carries himself as the only human in the Gambia and everyone else is a beast of burden. Surely such a person cannot be said to be humble and compassionate.  Furthermore, he is neither truthful nor faithful. He persistently lies through his teeth.  Thus, Jammeh is an embodiment of evil, hence a monster who derives insatiable pleasure in the sufferings of others.

The Gambian economy is saddled with high deficit and mounting debt rates. Foreign investment has become rare gold dust for the government as potential investors are shying away for the volatile political environment. What has the tourist industry turned into? Beaches filled with armed uniformed men and women like a war zone. That is definitely not the revolution Jammeh led junta promised Gambians twenty years ago.

Babucarr Darboe, Chelmsford, UK

UK GOVERNMENT HOSTS GIRL SUMMIT

July 23, 2014
Reads :1105

DAVID CAMERON-UK PRIME MINISTER

DAVID CAMERON-UK PRIME MINISTER

By Sarata Jabbbi

The UK government in partnership with UNICEF have on Thursday July 22nd, hosted the world first Girl Summit at the Walworth academy in south London. The aim of the conference was to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child early and forced marriage (CEFM) within a generation.

Speaking at the Girl Summit– the Home Secretary, Theresa May, said the cross-party unit would help protect thousands of girls across the country. The unit, which could operate in a similar way to the government’s forced marriage unit, has been a key demand of campaigners against FGM. “These measures will ensure that we can maintain the momentum on stamping out these harmful practices,” May said.Home Secretary May added that the government would also strengthen laws around FGM, by holding parents responsible if their child was a victim of the practice. May, however, went further to announce a consultation into making it mandatory for professionals to report FGM and said victims going through court cases would be given lifelong anonymity.

As part of a £1.4m prevention programme, charities will receive funding to create community “champions” with the “cultural knowledge and the connections necessary to challenge beliefs and behaviours”. “We are making progress. Today we are taking one more step on the road towards giving women a voice and eradicating these harmful practices,” concluded May.

FGM has been illegal in the UK for three decades, but the first prosecution was only made in March and is currently going through the courts. As part of a £1.4m prevention programme, charities will receive funding to create community “champions” with the “cultural knowledge and the connections necessary to challenge beliefs and behaviours”.

For his part the Prime Minister David Cameron saidthe government is to legally oblige doctors, social workers and teachers to report FGM if they see it. “What we are trying to achieve is such a simple and noble and good ambition, which is to outlaw the practices of female genital mutilation and early child forced marriage,” he said.

Cameron highlighted the equality between boys and girls by saying, “for me the context is very simple. The context is about equality. I am a dad with three children, two girls and a boy. And I want my girls to grow up with every opportunity my son have, and that is what this is about – equality.”

Many speakers including FGM survivors, gender activist and girls’ education campaigners expresses their concerns over harmful traditional practices, among them was Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani education advocator said people to abandon traditions that are harmful to human beings.

She added that Islam did not condone FGM and early forced marriage, and challenged those who used religion as an excuse to subjugate girls. “There are people who need to read the Qur’an again and do a little bit more study,” she said. Around 600 people from England and the rest of the countries in the world attended summit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO CELEBRATE ON 22ND JULY MR PRESIDENT?”, SAUL JENG ASKED JAMMEH

July 23, 2014
Reads :3719
Gambia's most expensive first family for its taxpayers

Gambia’s most expensive first family for its taxpayers

22nd July 2014 is another year which retells the accounts of Gambia’s nightmarish and tear-jerking political and economic squashing for the past twenty years by a one-man absolute government. Today, the Gambia commemorates another year of repression, insecurity and a glossy totalitarianism.  Little did Gambians know on that fateful Friday afternoon of 1994 when the Jammeh led junta announced that they have taken over affairs of the country’s governance from the PPP regime. A euphoria of hope descended on the Gambia as many rode smoothly with the hopeful promises of the young junta dubbed as “soldiers with a difference”. Yes, indeed, what “soldiers with a difference” they really turned out to be.

Shockingly, apart from failing to deliver their maiden promises to the Gambian people who looked up to them, at the time, to transform the tiny West African state into an African Singapore, they robbed us off our freedom as a people and held the country’s economy and politics to ransom. Albeit, the takeover was said to be bloodless, its aftermath was an orchestra of chilling and degrading forms of killings, tortures, solitary incarcerations and enforced disappearances. Jammeh’s supporters will always contend that he brought development to the doorsteps of Gambians. For them development is nothing but the building of Hospitals, a television station, Five Star hotels, roads and Schools. Certainly it can be perceived as development provided it punctuates its functions to the letter. For instance, let us unveil the mask behind the hospitals and look at the reality from within. In any of those hospitals he had built, how many qualified doctors, surgeons and consultants work in each? How many cases are referred for outside treatment because of lack of facilities, medication and medical care? Are there enough medicines in the pharmacies? How often are patients referred to buy their own medication at these hospitals? Suffice it to say a hospital that fails short in measuring up to standards and requirements that qualifies it to be a hospital is nothing but a mere building.  The same can be said of the schools and hotels. What is even more depressing is how these people reluctantly fail to accept the sufferings of the rest of Gambians. For them, Jammeh’s cosmetic development is all they care for and see. What a pity?

Agriculture is Gambia’s economic spine but what has Jammeh done to it? Again some will excuse him for being a farmer and calling for “back to the land”. Funny isn’t it? Agriculture in the Gambia under President Jammeh is synonymous to Jammeh’s farms. We have seen a selected few of the department arrested and still languishing in detention awaiting doctored charges from the state persecutors. He made Gambians believed these gentlemen are solely responsible for the decadence of the Agric department. It is no secret that a bag of fertilizer equates the price of a bag of rice. How the Jammeh regime does expect a poor farmer in Sare Gai who cannot afford three daily meals for his family buy a bag of fertilizer and/or seeds to burst his yield? Let us agree for argument sake that the government has an allocated budget to lend money to farmers to buy fertilizer. If each farmer is lent one thousand dalasi for a period of six month with and APR of 40%, is that farmer being help to improve high living standard or to further impoverish himself. When was the last time that farmers were paid cash for their groundnuts on the spot at seccos? Most of them resorted to taking their produce to Senegal or market it elsewhere. How many factories are there in the Gambia today that can produce tomato paste? Please don’t tell me Mr President that you are not aware of the amount of tomatoes that perished every day in the Gambia due to lack of buyers, storage and manufacturing facilities. What about availing the farmers with the right machinery for their farms? Most Gambian farmers are still tilling their farms with traditional tools. Is that how you expect a national Agriculture to flourish? As if you have not impoverished Gambians enough, you now resort to enslaving them in your farms. If truly you love the Gambia, why not nationalize your farms? How many fishing trawlers do the government has? You see next time you want to open your alligator mouth, think first.

You so much want to keep Gambians uninformed that you clamped on the press like a tick on flesh sucking life out of it.  You and I know that an informed citizen is a sovereign people who will not allow their elected representatives ride on their backs. Consequently, no other news that put you and your corrupt and repressive regime on the spotlight is featured on it. No wonder most Gambians now watch Nigerian movies and foreign channels instead of GRTS. I guess you know why Mr President. Yes, the Gambia has a University and you have built more schools. But you even admitted on your GRTS that the products of your schools cannot be compared with the products of yester years. If I remembered well you gave a comparison that if you ask a Grade 12 student the name of one of the state ministers he or she won’t be able to tell but ask them about the Hollywood stars or rappers; they know all of them like the back of their hands. Isn’t that spilling the beans for you oaf?

What do you have to celebrate on 22nd July  Mr President?  A worrisome mounting youth unemployment? Certainly not. Every young Gambian now prefers to risk his or her life by taking the perilous back way to Europe in search of a better life than remain in the Gambia under your leadership. For those who are lucky to find employment, do their salaries sustain them? Let us move on to electricity and water supplies. I knew it; this one will dent your bloated ego. Their supplies are unaffordable and inaccessible. To make matters worse, they are rationed: persistent and unreasonable cuts.

Gambians have for long forgotten what freedom is under your twenty years of oppressive rule. People are so much afraid that pseudo names are used in public to refer to you. Anyone who opposes your view is either killed or incarcerated without trial. That is not worthy of celebration mop head. Insecurity is the order of the day. No brother is now the other’s keeper all thanks to you. Your human rights records are chillingly appalling. Innocent Gambians are harassed, tortured, maimed, banished and killing daily under your watch and command. Mr President that is not worthy of celebrating.

Is the judiciary independent in the Gambia today as your celebrate July 22nd Yahya AJJ Jammeh?

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK