Archive for the ‘News’ Category

PRESIDENT BARROW LAUNCHES NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

August 21, 2017

REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
PRIVATE Office of The President
State House
Banjul
THE GAMBIA _____________________________________________________________________________

21 August, 2017

PR/C/214/(ABS)

President Barrow launches the National Security Council

Fajara, 21 August 2017-President Adama Barrow today launched a 7 member National Security Council (NSC) at a ceremony held at his office.

President Barrow urged the Council members to work together and complement their efforts. He emphasized the unity of purposed amongst the members in serving one government for a strong, safe and secure nation. The Gambian leader said with coordination and corporation, the different units of the armed and security forces could overcome potential from being real threats, nationally and globally to guarantee the security of all Gambians. President Barrow urged the various security units to take up their responsibilities to protect the country. “Let us through our Gambia Police Force and related services enforce our laws and deter the criminals. Let us through our State Intelligence Service based on informed analysis, provide advice to policy makers to enable them make informed policy options, take decisions and enhance strategic interventions.”

President Barrow underscored the importance of having structures in place and said he had confidence in the team to provide him with proper advise to make informed decisions on security matters. He further linked the importance of peace and security to socio-economic development.

CDS in his remarks thanked President Barrow for the confidence bestowed on them and congratulated his colleagues. He said the National Security Council would provide oversight advise and guide the President to execute their functions at a time when faced with security challenges. He said the council would fill the vacuum in the 3 levels of the security structure in maintaining peace and security and lay the foundation for Socio-economic development. He pledged that they would provide candid security advise and analysis. He enjoined his colleagues to work as a team to promote peace and development.

The members of the NSC are minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty, Inspector General of Police, Landing Kinteh, Chief of Defense Staff, Lieutenant General Masaneh Kinteh, Director of State Intelligent Service, Ousman Sowe Navy Commander, Momodou Madani Senghore Brigadier General, Mamat Cham and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defense, Assan Tangara.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Speaker of the National Assemblly, Honorable Maraim Jack – Denton, Secretary General Dawda Fadera, Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Ousainou Darbo and other senior officials.

End

PRESIDENT BARROW SWEARS IN NEW JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSIONERS

August 20, 2017

PRESIDENT BARROW

REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
PRIVATE Office of The President
State House
Banjul
THE GAMBIA _____________________________________________________________________________

17th August , 2017

PR/C/213/(ABS)

President Barrow swears in two new Judicial Service commissioners

Fajara 17 August 2017- President Adama Barrow has sworn in two new members of The Gambia’s Judicial Service Commission. Former National Assembly member Lamin Ceesay of Jarumeh Koto and veteran agronomist Bolong L.K. Jatta of Busumbala both took the oath at a swearing-in ceremony in the Office of the President today.

Constituting the membership of the commission and getting it fully operational is part of the institutional reforms underway to improve efficiency in the Gambian Judiciary.

Messrs Jatta and Ceesay told journalists after the ceremony that they would work diligently along with other members to contribute to sound reform of the Gambian Judiciary. They expressed their appreciation for the trust bestowed on them, and optimism that the appointment of qualified Gambian judges would restore confidence in the country’s judicial system.

Chief Justice Hassan Abubacarr Jallow said the new members of the Judicial Service Commission brought a wealth of community experience to the work of the body, and strengthened it immensely. He expressed confidence in their ability to discharge their responsibilities with professionalism and integrity.

The Judiciary Service Commission is responsible for recommending appointments of judges and magistrates. It also advises the President and the government on measures to improve efficiency.

The appointments were based on section 145(1)(e) and section 145(1)(f) of The Gambia’s 1997 Constitution.

The Secretary General and head of the Gambian Civil Service, Mr Dawda Fadera, and senior officials from the Judiciary and the Office of the President witnessed the ceremony.

End

Contact:

Amie Bojang-Sissoho
Director of Press & Public Relations
Office of the President, State House, Banjul
Email:absissoho@op.gov.gm
dpprop2017@gmail.com
Tel: +220 9957592
Twitter: @BarrowPresident
Twitter:@AmieBSissoho
Facebook: Barrow PORG
Website: statehouse.gov.gm

THE DOYEN IN GAMBIAN POLITICS HALIFA SALLAH IN OSLO

August 2, 2017

Halifa Sallah at Oslo Airport

The doyen in Gambian politics Halifa Sallah has landed safely at Oslo’s main international airport Gardermoen late yesternight and was warmly welcomed. Mr. Sallah who is the national assembly member for Serekunda constituency and adviser to president Barrow is on an Europe tour to meet Gambians and well-wishers in the diaspora. In Norway he is expected to meet with politicians, technocrats and experts in various fields. His engagement begins today wednesday August 2nd , a day in which he is scheduled to visit a waste management or recycling plant in Oslo  this morning. The Gambia has a huge waste or rubbish disposal problem which has resulted to serious environmental hazards affecting residents close to the main dumpsite at Bakoteh. The lack of proper measures geared towards finding a lasting  solution to the problem created unease between the municipality, central government and residents. Therefore Halifa Sallah’s visit to the rubbish cycling plant in Oslo will avail him the opportunity to have first hand information which he can share with relevant authorities back home as a politician and law maker.

Tomorrow Thursday August 3rd, the veterant politician is scheduled to have a seminar with the diaspora youth  at 1500hr. He would joined two other panelists to have a qualitative dialogue on the theme “Engaging Culture and Identity”. This seminar will take place at the Nordic Black Theatre down town Oslo. Before the seminar on Thursday he would have a meeting with leaders of the Norwegian  Red party in the morning at 9:30, and Oslo City Council at 12:30.

On Friday morning August 4th Mr. Sallah is scheduled to visit the Norwegian parliament  to meet  with the  leader of foreign affairs and defense committee. On Friday evening at 18:00hrs he  will grace another seminar that is going to be also a qualitative dialogue with the Gambian diaspora community in Oslo on the theme ” National Reconciliation, Justice and Democratisation in the New Gambia” – The Gambia is experiencing a new era after 22 years of brutal dictatorship which has seriously weakened the country’s social fabric. This fragile fabric needs to be carefully strengthened in order avoid a civil catastrophy. Those who invited the national assembly member for Serekunda constituency are aware of the crucial role he played as spokesperson of the coalition that outed former president Jammeh, they are aware of the calmness and resolve he displayed during the tense political impasse prior January 19th 20017. This is why they felt it is very pertinent for Mr. Sallah to engage the whole Gambian community in Oslo of different background and different political affiliation in order to clear out assumptions and misconceptions surrounding the current affairs of our beloved country The Gambia. It is through such honest qualitative dialogue that runs across the board we can together help realize the agenda of one Gambia, one nation, one people.

From Oslo Honourable Sallah will travel to Stockholm on Saturday where he is expected to be engaged in a series of meetings with the Gambian community there as well. From Sweden he will travel to Denmark and then to Hamburg Germany which is expected to be the last stop of his Europe tour. Continue to visit this medium for updates on Halifa Sallah’s tour.

Written by Landing Nyassi , Oslo 02-08-2017

HELLO MR PRESIDENT… DISASTER RELIEF

July 12, 2017

Author: Tha Scribbler Bah

In the Wolof Language they say, ‘xoddeeku balaa ngai laka le’, a crude translation of this will be ‘prevention is better than cure’. Every year, when the heavens open up, many Gambians are affected by floods or storms and their houses are destroyed. They lose a lot of their valuable belongings and are certainly traumatized. This is something that can be minimized, if not completely eradicated.

If we have the proper planning and get ready to preparation for the long term, we will ensure that the places that are prone to flooding would be identified and then measures taken to guarantee that we don’t just react; rather, we should plan ahead of the rains.

There is a Department for Physical Planning which is under the Ministry of Lands which needs to carry out a broad study of the land in the country and demarcate residential areas in a way that no houses will be constructed in sodden areas which will always cause houses to collapse. It is true that it is very difficult land for residential purposes and as such if someone acquires a land already, it will be very difficult to stop him/her from erecting his/her house there; especially those who have already struggled and put up buildings.

Of course such people may not want to leave their houses or stop constructing houses because they might have invested their lives’ savings in those lands or houses. But nothing compares to human life. We see in the developed world that when a disaster is about to happen governments evacuate residents, sometimes forcefully, just to ensure their safety. The first priority of a government is to protect its citizens, sometimes even from their own actions.

Our laws should therefore cater for such a contingency. For instance, where someone intends to build a house in a place that is known to be prone to flooding, government should have the power to stop such a person. If it does, then how, and how far can the government agencies go in enforcing this law? If this law is already present in our Constitution, then why is it not being implemented?

These are a few of the things we should start thinking about to reduce the number of disasters that are experienced by our people. I call on you to put in place measures which will reduce the damage caused by these disasters in our country.

Have a Good Day Mr President….

Tha Scribbler Bah

A concerned Citizen

BACK-WAY TO EUROPE: ONE OF THE GREATEST EXISTENTIAL THREATS TO AFRICA’S FUTURE!

July 7, 2017

Back -Way Migrants to Europe

By Yanks Darboe

On the 3rd of July 2017 to the 6th of July 2017, the African leaders met and spent 3 days at their annual AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But as usual our boys and girls club of leaders gathered at their ghetto, discussed frivolous issues of no importance, ate, drank, laughed, had fun and returned home! As if all is well in the continent! Yet the continent is plodding to the edge of a cliff! Why have we, as a continent been so much cursed by god, with so many good for nothing sons and daughters we call leaders for years! I feel like exclaiming!

How can our leaders missed another opportunity of another year’s AU summit without any serious discussions or actionable plans on how to deal with the crisis of the Back-way migration to Europe, which is eroding our continent of its great potentials. Is it supposed to be a European problem alone!

For I cannot understand that the issue of back-way, had pervaded the European political discourse and even threatened to abruptly end the illustrious political careers of many European politicians – as well as the founding pillars of the European Unity – yet in Africa, our leaders pay oblivion to its existential threat to the future of our continent.

One wonders when will they wake up from that slumber and get this into their feeble-heads that the back-way issue – if it’s a problem for Europe – is meant to be a crisis for Africa. Simply because, those leaving are not just emigrating but fleeing the continent. Secondly; they are not just migrants fleeing the continent, but the future potential: Doctors, teachers, nurses, engineers, architects, lawyers, economists, politicians, cleaners, farmers, gardeners, pharmacists, engineers, astronauts, musicians, artists, poets, policemen, soldiers, fathers, mothers, etc; who continue to flee the continent in droves.

MOAS rescue 105 migrants in rubber dinghy October 4, 2014.
Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/MOAS

When will our leaders realise that every boat that left our shores for Europe, through the back-way or the Mediterranean seas, becomes only a political problem for Europe, but for Africa it’s a depletion of an immeasurable proportion of our future! Some of which will never be recovered!

When will they realise that, if every one of our youths flee the continent, it will be a future-less continent, and they the leaders will die and leave none to inherit the continent. Yet the same leaders pretend to have visions for the future of the continent. One wonders, who they intend such visions for, if it’s not myopic visions. Those not envisaged to last beyond their reigns! If not, how do they expect those visions to be actualised without the continent’s future: doctors, teachers, nurses, engineers, architects, lawyers, economists, politicians, cleaners, farmers, gardeners, pharmacists, engineers, astronauts, musicians, artists, poets, policemen, soldiers, fathers, mothers, etc.

The issue of back way seems a problem for Europe that is not losing anything from the crisis, except being gripped by the xenophobia of being swamped by migrants and depleting their resources!

However, for the continent that is losing everything from it seems oblivion to its existential threat to their future. Their leaders do not seem bothered or threatened by its escalation; neither do their parliamentarians, media practitioners and citizens. It seems our whole continent has been overtaken by slumber from the awareness of this apocalyptic crisis.

Yet, the reasons for the fleeing of these future leaders of Africa should itself be a shame for our current leaders! For they flee not for the want of it, but for the search of hope! Hope; which our feeble, greedy and incompetent leaders could not offer. Instead, all they continue to offer is despair and frustration, something which they continue to excel, even at the apogee of this crisis!

Therefore, the solution to this crisis has been misconceived by the Europeans for long! In the case of Africa, the back-way syndrome cannot be cured by the abandoning of migrants’ ships or dinghy boats to drown in the harsh and unforgivable Mediterranean seas, or forceful removal or deportation of these migrants home empty handed, or arbitrarily imprisoning of them in detention camps across Europe.

In my humble opinion, the crisis can only be appropriately addressed through drastic measures taken against the root of its source, which are the failures of our corrupt and inept leaders of Africa. Europe must confiscate all their looted funds and give it back to the migrants to return home and achieve their dreams; they have for their families and countries! Sell all of the innumerable luxurious properties across Europe belonging to our current and former leaders of the continent and use their proceeds to assist our migrants to return home and build the future of our continent!

Impose travel bans and financial sanctions on the leadership and family members of African nations, who neglect their citizens to the point of forcing them, to have no other hope than embarking on the dangerous and treacherous back way journey to Europe!

To be continued………….

JARRA BURENG IN DISTRESS – SEEKS YOUR KIND GENEROSITY!  

July 5, 2017

 

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

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

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

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

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

your Sincerely,

Alieu SL Darboe
Secretary General
Bureng Association USA, Inc.

FR. EDWARD GOMEZ; (KANG KILLING) IS GUEST OF HONOR AT THIS YEARS ATLANTA SANG MARIE

July 3, 2017

Fr. Edu Gomez (KangKilling)

By Tijan Masanneh Ceesay

The President of The Gambia Christian Organization of Atlanta, Mr. Jean Marenah has revealed that Fr. Edward Gomez of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Banjul will be Chief Guest of Honor and Principal Celebrant at this year”s Sang Marie celebrations in Atlanta. Mr. Marenah was updating our reporter when he made this revelation. Fr. Edu is known for his tough sermons and preaching against the dictatorship that prevailed in The Gambia. He is fondly remembered for shattering the chains of tyranny and dictatorship in The Gambia when he went on Gambian Television and delivered his famous “Kang Killing” sermon. For many, this was a suicide mission but he never bulged and continued to call out the injustices and corruption in The Gambia. At that time, prolific Gambian writer and Journalist, Mathew K. Jallow wrote this;

“From under the ground in Brikama, like a phoenix, it rises. Its aesthetic calmness evoked a sense of Messianic reverence. And, even in its tranquil demeanor, the echoes of Fr. Gomez’s serene voice transcended the tribal and religious divides, to reverberate in the hearts and minds of Gambians; everywhere. Unsurprisingly, Fr Edu Gomez’s Sunday sermon touched on raw nerves, and gently challenged our better angels to act with sagacity and moral rectitude, as we ride out a dangerous religious fire-storm, in a country once renowned for its tolerance. The issue that grips the Gambia, this time again, is serious enough that hardly anyone is treating it with levity, and in soaking up on Fr Gomez’s dose of wisdom, the pandemonium surrounding the unilateral declaration of the Gambia’s Islamic state, a week earlier, resurfaced to nudge us into rejecting the injection of religion in the Gambia’s body politic. Suddenly, the gravity of the Gambia’s predicament was not theoretical anymore; it was real. And even as the temper of Edu Gomez’s sermon betrayed an Orwellian somberness, which spoke to the solemnity of the moment, only a few Gambians had come to grips with the precarious situation the country is plunged into. Only days earlier, a motley crew of self-serving Islamic clerics and elders had demonstrated their dangerous lack of objective rationality by lauding the surreptitious transformation of the Gambia into an exclusive Islamic hegemony, leaving other faiths in the lurch. Yahya Jammeh’s customary misuse of Islam, and abuse of Islamic clerics, to advance a political agenda, is unparalleled, but the easiness with which Muslim clerics and elders often succumb to the temptations of financial incentives and allow lust for material wealth to override their doctrinal liabilities, tantamount to dereliction of religious responsibilities.

In contrast, in this instance, the Rev Fr Gomez symbolized a check back into reality, something evidenced by an underpinning of professional insight and foresight in how draconian measure could easily degenerate in acts of violence. Fr Gomez’s reference to the tragedy in the Central African Republic, in his monologue sermon, exemplifies a contemporary historical attitude that Gambians can wrap their minds around, in order to understand the full breadth of the unintended consequences of superficial divisions of citizens, based solely on shallow, selfish political considerations. Rev Fr. Gomez’s lecture transported me back in time to another era, so long ago, sitting in church pews, listening to the booming voices of so many priests bellow out compelling canons of wisdom, but with the magic of imagination, that past was soon crowded out by the reality of the grimness of now, and the perils and the cataclysm that potentially looms over the Gambia. Unlike any other time in history, the sanctioning of inequality, based on religious belief or lack thereof, will drive a deep wedge between citizens of different faiths, and incite the resentment of a significant sub-section of the Gambian population. This intentional convergence of religion and politics has emerged as a centerpiece of the political conversation; a potential flashpoint of bigotry, intolerance and civil strife the Gambia cannot afford. Already, threats to the national security loom large in a political system built to appeal to the worst human instincts, and the tribe based politics that have haunted the majority of citizens for twenty-one long years. The implications of erecting barriers to opportunity, based on religious beliefs, are frightening to even ponder, considering how, so far, tribal preferences have relegated a section of the Gambian population to second-class citizen status, with a pent-up anger ready to explode into a political conflagration.

A cursory look at anecdotal evidence shows how seemingly innocuous hyperbole and bluster, have historically established footing, and turned the insipid into the awakening of the monsters in each of us. What makes the story of Fr Edu Gomez all the more fascinating is his emergence as a national icon, from a faraway parish, invisible behind thick shrubs and dwarfed by tall, majestic mahogany trees. The town of Brikama, Kombo North, is an unlikely place for a Catholic cleric to preach a message of wisdom to a local audience; a message that resonance at the national level, and has global reach. The adulation of Fr Edu Gomez is not limited to Catholics, as the verdict of history sets him apart from other clergies easily influenced by political access, and corruption of financial and material considerations. Fr Edu Gomez’s simple act of reverence has become a national call to reconcile with our better angels, and his moral rectitude has inadvertently turned into a national indictment of the systemic corruption of the Gambia’s Muslim clerics. The recent convergence of Muslim quacks at the State House, in demonstration of support for social stratification of Gambian society, based entirely on religious affiliation, has, for now, mainly receded into the dark depths of Gambians’ collective consciousness. An unpretentious sermon of piety in a back-yard chapel tucked innocently away behind thick shrubs and tall trees, has given rise to a new voice of reason. The towering character of Rev. Father Edward Gomez may not save the Gambia from sliding into the toxic mix religion and politics, but in this spat between religious excess and simple common sense, this man of God has illustrated how the cantankerous Islamic clerics have fallen into disrepute, as objects of political propaganda and the destruction of Gambian society. This may not be the march of the crusaders, but, it is certainly a reminder of the constant struggle to keep the Gambia united by tribe, geography and by religion.”

The Gambia Christian Organization invites all Gambians to join them in Atlanta during the weekend of 18th. of August as they welcome and celebrate one of our liberators in the person of Fr. Edward Gomez, Kang Killing!