Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

“A COUNTRY NEEDS A STEADY AND EXPERIENCED LEADER, NOT A BUNCH OF HORNY AND ANGRY JUVENILES”, KABA SALLAH OBSERVED FROM EBOU JALLOW’S INTERVIEW

July 30, 2014
Reads :1308
EBOU JALLOW- RE-INVENTING HIMSLF

EBOU JALLOW- RE-INVENTING HIMSELF

 JAMMEH-THE RELENTLESS DICTATOR

JAMMEH-THE RELENTLESS DICTATOR

Pa Nderry Mbai, of Freedom newspaper Online, recently scored two long and interesting interviews with Captain Ebou Jallow; the first spokesperson of the Yahya Jammeh Military junta. Ebou Jallow was the face and voice of the military junta early in 1994. Captain Jallow was also the first high profile member of the junta to abscond, sometime in 1996, under controversial and mysterious circumstances. He absconded not long after the mysterious and gruesome assassination of the then Finance Minister, Koro Ceesay. Therefore, Ebou Jallow’s arrival was a difficult and confusing time as Gambians began to see the first signs of trouble after the excitement and drunkenness of the toppling of the elected government of President Jawara.

Consequently, Ebou Jallow’s interview may sound exciting to the younger folks, but no new grounds have been broken yet for the older generation. Ebou’s version of events and the depth of his involvement is at best, highly sanitized and aimed at cleansing his image and reputation.  This is not an attempt to take on Ebou Jallow personally, but a cautionary message for the faint hearted to do their own research. Ebou Jallow’s record on his position and involvement in the junta speaks for itself. Long before the advent of the online resistance media and radio stations, there were Online fora, notably the Gambia-L and Gambia Post. Just Google Ebou’s name for yourself and see what comes up, and make your own judgment. Ebou had long running cyber battles with the “original” resistance to the junta, when he arrived in the diaspora. Therefore, in short, Ebou Jallow has been fighting this battle for acceptance as a bonfire member of the resistance to the Jammeh Junta.  In my opinion, it is fitting to assert Ebou Jallow is no different from those who  knowingly joined the Junta, only to find themselves running for their lives. We have accepted these people after they have repented, so we should accept Ebou as well, it is about time.

Ebou made several admissions and claims many of which require further examining. In his own words, Ebou Jallow painted a picture of confusion and immaturity once the junta realized they really had control of the country. This brings to mind the saying that “revolutionaries do not necessarily make good governments”. The junta members themselves were clueless, jumpy and insecure. Another point is that, not only were the Junta members young, but also angry and vindictive. In his own words, Ebou Jallow also negotiated a $35 million in the name of Gambia, from Taiwan. Ebou admitted he accepted $100,000 of that money, which could be equivalent to some $3million or more in today’s exchange climate of hyper-inflation! Accountability dictates that one day, Ebou Jallow will make a good state witness for illicitly acquired wealth. By the way, Ebou has not mentioned that he saw any proof or evidence of “President Jawara’s corruption”! I guess they were too busy sharing the loot and rewards of using brute force! How about the list of shady characters that Ebou met from money launderers, drug smugglers to merchants of death of the under-world all for a small country like Gambia? That is a topic for another day ….

Ebou described himself as a “Banjul Ndongo”, and he saw the junta members as Ndongos. The definition of Ndongo has a romantic connotation, but nothing rosy. Ndongo could also be defined as someone who is “street smart”, but also a thug, anti-authority, anti-social, an opportunist, a bully, just to name a few. Therefore, a group of Ndongos running our country was a recipe for disaster and a bad omen for things to come. Therefore, it was no surprise that, Ebou, as a Banjul Ndongo, who looked better in a suit, looked well-fed and well-spoken, was chosen to be the face of the Junta. In comparison, Yahya Jammeh looked malnourished, with cracked lips, sharp, and bony facial features. Jammeh, if anyone noticed in his early pictures, started wearing dark glasses to hide his sunken eyes. Gambians also noticed this physical appearance and speech impediment and disability. His street name was “Tony Daaba” - Senegalese comedian with similar characteristics.

Compared to Ebou Jallow, Jammed has a muttered speech and his voice is feminine. Gambians want to crawl under a rock anytime he opens his mouth, to this day! Gambians are known to be very expressive and able to communicate, but Jammeh is limited in that department and no one dare remind him!  I said all of these to point out that Jammeh came to power with a chip on his shoulder, that he had a score to settle and an inferiority complex to improve. In his own mind, that he is not getting any respect because of his Jola ethnic background, Ebou said as much. Jammeh’s early pronouncements and policy decisions support this theory that he wants to uplift the social status of the Jola ethnic group. The Jola are known as hard-working, industrious and independent people, in Senegambia as a whole. They never asked for pity, but Jammeh, through his policies has continued to pit the ethnic groups against each other. Today, it does not take much to see that Jammeh’s senior officials, especially in the security services, are disproportionately Jola. Jammeh continues to demographically manipulate the facts on the ground by grabbing arable land across the country and resettling the paramilitary “Green Boys” and Cassamance “migrant” voters.

Finally, it is shocking to hear Ebou describe the level and depth of moral and ethical background, the debauchery, of the so-called Ndongo junta government. Ebou proudly admitted that the junta established a “slaughterhouse” – translation, a brothel for sex for the horny young “revolutionaries”! Thought Revolutionaries are so supposed to hold high moral values to mirror those of the people they purport to defend, but these revolutionaries were “soldiers with a difference”, they were alcoholics and sexual perverts. Throw alcohol, money and prostitutes (women) in the midst of any revolution, it will collapse or degenerate into a rock band!  They established a special wing of the NIA, according to Ebou Jallow, led by the late Mouniru Darboe, who supplied the junta with prostitutes from Guinea Bissau as “comfort women”. Gambian women could not satisfy them, so they openly engaged in sex-trafficking to tame the wild revolutionaries with rampant sex and liquor! Remember these were hard working revolutionaries who needed these perks of power, and Ebou, admittedly as a married man at the time, partook in those taboo pleasures of the flesh, as a man of the people! …

Of the jury, this is no laughing matter, a country needs a steady and experienced hand, not a bunch of horny, sexually deprived and depraved, and broke, and angry juveniles. Those young Ndongos never matured into real men, and today, only one of them is left standing – Yahya Jammeh! Remember, there is no  honour among thieves….these were my conclusions and observations on the Ebou Jallow interview, …what is yours after you completed your research?

 

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

July 29, 2014
Reads :1643
 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 :2503
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.

 

Reflections on 22nd July Oslo Bombing and Terror Attack

July 25, 2014
Reads :505
Ander Breivik left, Photo: Reuters/Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen

Ander Breivik left, Photo: Reuters/Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen

On the 22nd July 2011 Oslo became no longer the Oslo it used to be. The peaceful capital city of Norway was rubbed of her peacefulness by one of her native citizen, Anders Breivik. Norway in contemporary times is like a maiden virgin of peace that with the terrible event of 22nd July lost her virginity. Just like a young innocent girl who suddenly lost her virginity would look at her body and surrounding cloths in bewilderment so Norway also looked at the shattered city centre and the 77 bullet ridden corpses of youngsters and grappled for answers. Immediately after the attack by the lone man speculations were high as to who must have been responsible. Some media houses didn’t hesitate to point fingers at Islamist groups . They believe that Norway was attack because of its liberalism and freedom of speech or in a nutshell democratic values. They also cited Norway’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan as perceived reasons of the attack. However when it was confirmed that the attack was in fact carried out by a native Norwegian, a 32 years old male, many people including media houses who were spreading the narrative that the attack was carried out by Islamists were left gobsmacked.

At the beginning of his trial in Oslo on 25th July 20011 Breivik admitted without remorse the killing of Seventy Seven people on 22nd July in two successive attacks; the first one was a bomb detonated around government buildings in central Oslo and the second one was on the tiny island of Utøya, 38km from Oslo (literature). He didn’t regret carrying out the attacks because he believed it was done to protect his country Norway from Muslim dominance or Islamization. He believed that it is the Norwegian Labor Party and advocates of multiculturalism who are making it easy for the purported Islamization of Norway. This means that the bomb explosion and the killing of youngsters of Labor Party at Utøya Island was done to score a political point and therefore denied committing any criminal offense.

Breivik said that the “ shooting spree on the Norwegian Labor Party summer camp which claimed sixty-nine lives was necessary to wipe out the next generation of party leaders in order to stop the further disintegration of Nordic culture from mass immigration of Muslims and kick-start a revolution to halt the spread of Islam” (literature) The orchestrator of the attack feels that the Nordic culture , a culture he strongly identifies himself with is seriously under threat because of mass immigration of Muslims into Norway. He targeted the Labor Party because he perceives the party of being enablers to the disintegration of the Nordic culture and Europe in general. Before Breivik carried out the attacks he is reported to have published a Manifesto online one day before the bombing and terror attack (literature). In the Manifesto he called European Declaration of Independence, 2083 containing 1,500 pages Breivik “believed that European elites were pandering to multiculturalism and enabling an Islamic colonization of Europe and that Norway’s liberal values were under threat from ‘radical Islam’.” (Literature)

But why or how did Breivik escaped the security radar despite his online activism prior to the attack? A possible explanation is that he may have been seen as another extreme right-wing group member who is toothless and would not go beyond the rhetoric and cause harm to society. His online activism may have been taken for granted. It could also be analyzed that the security focus of the West post 9 11 was mainly on Islamist extremist groups. This is why when the attack took place speculations were high that it must have been carried out by an Islamist group. The way the security apparatus in the west perceive the counter jihadist and far-right groups is proving to be a security lapse. This is manifested in Norway when after the mayhem in 22nd July 2011 about a year PST the Norwegian equivalent of the U.S CIA still claim that the greatest threat to Norwegian security are the Islamist groups. This could be because Muslims are categorized as the enemy within as literature puts it “new legislation, policing and counter terrorist measures are casting Muslims, whether settled or immigrants as the enemy within …and Islam is seen as a threat to Europe, which is responding not only with draconian attacks on civil rights but also with moves to roll back multiculturalism and promote monocultural homogeneity through assimilation”. It is because of the counter jihadist groups or extreme right-wing groups and the security mainstream discourse in Europe have a common enemy this is why the activities of the former goes unnoticed and not termed as a serious threat to national or international security. This is what some literature calls the security blind spot in the West. The close proximity of the counter jihadist views which Anders Breivik shares to mainstream security discourse may make it difficult to identify persons willing to carry out violence in the name of those views.

Excerpts from a paper on political and religious ramifications of the Oslo bombing and terror attack by Landing Nyassi. The author is a graduate student of international relations at the Norwegian University of life Sciences

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

July 25, 2014
Reads :2270
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 :2229
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

EX-PREMIERSHIP PLAYERS TO TAKE ON GAMBIAN EX-FOOTBALL STARS

July 24, 2014
Reads :2266
Stephanie & Alan

Stephanie & Alan

Ex- Barclays Premiership and English national team footballers and celebrities will next February play an international art-football match with ex-footballers of the Gambian national team and artistes at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. The football match which is jointly organised by Karmic Angels, a charity registered in the Gambia since 2008 and the UK 3 Lions, a UK based charitable organisation is part of events to mark the Gambia’s 50th Independence Anniversary from the UK. It is aimed at building the UK and Gambian relations in sport, art, education, business and tourism and also to raise more awareness and funds for Karmic Angels International charitable projects.

According to UK philanthropists, Stephanie and Alan Turner, who are also the founding director and chairman of Karmic Angels, the football match on Independence Day, will attract thousands of Gambian and European football fans. This will be preceded on 17th February by an International music concert with UK, US and Gambian musicians and artistes (Hip Hop and Rap and more). Jaliba Kuyateh is performing alongside many other top Gambian artistes.

“This is going to be a great celebration and we want thousands of Gambians to participate. Obviously there are many things to collaborate, but with the help of the National Sports Council, the Gambia Football Association, the ministries of Tourism, Sports and Education and of course the President of the Gambia, we will make this an event never to be forgotten,” said Alan Turner.

“UK 3 Lions will be bringing celebrities, artistes and footballers who played for Barclay’s Premiership clubs like, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United who will as part of the tour visit  Gambian schools, colleges, training institutes and orphanages to give mini sports fitness sessions, motivational speeches, mini music taster sessions run by the artists.”

“We have documentary crews from Satya Media Group from Miami, USA, together with our own UK media team. We also have the services of two Gambian video professionals and have also invited GRTS to be at all occasions together with the press. This will have the benefit of having a documentary across the US and UK as well as Gambia.” said Stephanie Turner.

Stephanie and Alan Turner expressed hopes to make the event an annual one to provide more support for the people of the Gambia and towards their projects for help in education, health, agriculture and sport.

Having gained the interest of a number of companies in the Gambia and UK, Stephanie and Alan Turner said they are still looking for more sponsors and Gambia organisations that would like to be part of the event can either log on to their website www.karmicangels.org.uk or contact their Gambian offices on 6310379/7926456, 7431185/3931185 or email karmicangels@hotmail.com.

Since it started operations in the Gambia, Karmic Angels have built three nursery schools, renovated another three classroom block, donated educational and health materials worth millions of Dalasi to schools, hospitals and clinics. They have also donated agricultural items to help the women in the crop fields on the North Bank.

Stephanie & Alan