Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category


September 20, 2014
Reads :10



The “struggle” has been recently rechristened the “resistance”. Either befits, it all just depends on who is talking; the old school or the young-who would rather bring their message to the street for everyday Gambians to digest. Did I just say “everyday Gambians”? Oh yeah very crystal but please don’t ask me who are they. You see sometimes in the heat of a moment one is confronted by thoughts I often prefer to push and bury in the back of my mind. But the problem is they keep on resurfacing every now and again such that I am now left with no option but to dare the devil once and for all.  Two fundamental issues:

  1. What is the resistance all about?
  2. What kind of Gambia do we want post-Jammeh era?

Most often when you speak to most Gambians, they unilaterally concur that Jammeh must go. Inferring from such consummating desire for Jammeh’s exit, one cannot help but conclude the resistance is nothing but “Jammeh must go”. They certainly believed that once Jammeh is gone, Gambia’s problem is solved. That is but a desirable wishful thinking. Briefly, our fervent desire to usher or push Jammeh through the exit door has impaired our minds from seeing and tackling the more death-defying malaise abetting the resurgence of other lethal Jammehs. This leads to the second question, what kind of Gambia do we want post-Jammeh era?

Without mincing words, I would affirm a Gambia that radiates each word and every verse of the national anthem:

For the Gambia, our homeland

We strive and work and pray

That all may live in unity

Freedom and peace each day.

Let justice guide our actions

Towards the common good

And join our diverse peoples

To prove man’s brotherhood

We pledge our firm allegiance

Our promise we renew

Keep us great God of nations

To the Gambia ever true.

When Jammeh and his self-anointed “Soldiers with a difference” usurped power from the PPP elected regime, they almost had a unanimous consensus from Gambians to prove themselves that they are indeed “Soldiers with a difference”. Unfortunately, their difference was abundantly manifested in the dishonourable ways they flaunted and mutilated the hopes and dreams of the majority of Gambians who saw a beacon of hope and positive change in them.

Firstly, Jammeh began by undermining the supremacy of the constitution. Furthermore, he systematically transformed the organs of government into institutionalized politics of individuality and empowered the presidency as the supreme alpha and omega of the state functionality.  It is common knowledge that governments come and go but technocrats, the civil service and security services stay. Nevertheless, in the Gambian scenario under the guidance ship of Babili Mansa Jammeh, when he goes all these once independent institutions will very likely disperse and exit with him.

Let us take the National Assembly as an example. In many democratic situations, members of parliament take to task their very own party when they are found wanton. What do we have in the Gambia? Elected parliamentarians bending their backsides and tilling the land for the president and as if that is not enough disregard of their expectations but stand in front of national TV cameras and assert, “Farming for President Jammeh is a national duty and obligation”. What is more despicable than that fellow Gambians? Therefore, to expect such members of the national assembly to check and limit the ever encroaching powers of the President tantamount to feeding a pig with gold nuggets. For a post-Jammeh Gambia to free, fair and independent the national assembly must be given a complete overhaul to ban any resurgence of another Jammeh incarnate.

Equally despicable is the president’s use of the security forces to advance his personal agenda. The Police Force is constitutionally instituted as an independent unit to police the society, enforce the law, prevent crime and protect life and property is transmuted into an instrument of instilling fear, harassment and intimidation at best and a brutal force at worst. It can be argued about the NIA and the army.

What is even more laughable and unfathomable is the use of religion and religious clerics to justify the presidential atrocities. Who would have thought in a million years an imam not to mention the supreme Islamic Council will lend a hand at President Jammeh’s farm?  Na wahala, my Nigerian mates will call it. But to see these pathetic imams, Supreme Islamic council bending down, and farming for President Jammeh is a double wahala fellow Gambians. In sum, President Jammeh has successfully prostituted everything worth preserving in to Gambia, ranging from family cohesion to national and social institutions, to satiate his power drunkenness. To therefore believe that his mere exit without remedying this viral malaise is likened to wanting a woman one can never have even in the remotest of dream.

Then it is fitting to start thinking outside the box and building foundation for the restoration and preservation of our once upon a time independent and enviable institutions. For instance, the constitution’s supremacy must not only be restored but also jealously guided by independent legislature and judiciary. Equally important is the taking ownership of accounting and probing elected representatives by Gambian electorates. Yes a two-term limit for the presidency will help curb leaders overstaying their welcome at the same time according others to contribute their quotas, too.

Am I within limit to assert the “resistance” is but a festival of formal affairs unless we start thinking and acting outside the box?

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK


September 20, 2014
Reads :2266




An autopsy by Sarjo Bayang

Money and material loss quickly comes to mind whenever people talk about 20 years misrule in Gambia. By good account of time and human capital cost since the advent of military dictatorship, overall loss to Gambia as a nation is scary to imagine.

Freezing Human Capital Stock

In all fairness with regards to capacity building of Gambians, more people have gained employable skills and other specialised functional capabilities in last 20 years compared to what obtained before military rule. There are good reasons for that.  It was in last 20 years that Gambia home grown university education came to doorstep of those who would have never had the chance. That alone opened up doors permitting considerable numbers to enrol for various degree and professional courses.

Another situation is that those who could not cope with adversities of military dictatorship since July 1994 coup had to leave. Many of those who fled the country later discovered better use of time abroad to pursue higher education in various disciplines. It is unlikely that some of those who made advances towards capacity building pursuits abroad will choose to risk returning to Gambia soon. With the hostile political climate reaching boiling temperatures, a good stock of Gambian human capital will remain frozen abroad. At individual level, each person strives to achieve personal goals. By account of national assets, some people may never return to Gambia during their active working age.

Those who brave the political storms and prefer staying in the name of service to the nation still have limitations. The truth is that skills and abilities don’t matter in Gambia under military dictatorship since July 1994 coup. People are given jobs not to serve but pay allegiance. From the president to rest of the public servant, work ethics are at lowest performance standards. People are afraid to be reported more about their loyalty to dictatorial powers than lower output in performance measures.

Looking at the two extreme brackets clearly indicates a situation of freezing human capital stock that is here to stay for time. Hopefully someday, freedom of work prevails and performance reigns over allegiance to the boss.

Spiralling Time Trap

Starting with active politicians then the nation’s youth population everyone is entangled in a time trap by crafty design of dictatorship. To understand the nature and effectiveness of this time trap takes little thinking.

Soon after the July 1994 coup and just before gaining full control first thing that the junta conceived and put on hold was political activity. There was total clamp down on all political activities but that did not stop the ruling junta from going into popularity shows, a scheme of deception to brainwash Gambians.

It was during that period when the junta made loud noise about crude oil money diverted by deposed Jawara regime for personal use. It was all sensational news for people of Gambia to be told that deposed President Sir Dawda Jawara stole public money by virtue of his position. Everyone was keen to know what other skeletons remained in the cupboards of that high office.  Later it turned out that the junta was just about witch hunting for a name.

While striving hard to discredit deposed President Jawara and his government for corruption and abuse of high office, the junta began other popularity campaigns. The junta leader printed his personal photo on packaging material of public health drugs as image selling scheme. Did it work for him though?

Ministers and public servants of deposed Jawara regime have been arrested, detained, and tortured.  Some of them had their properties confiscated including homes and other personal possessions.

As public attention was drawn on alleged bad dealings of deposed Jawara regime, the junta leader and his cohorts spared no time stealing public money through magnetic under hands.

In what they planned to prolong their illegal rule, the junta quickly set up kangaroo courts and bogus commissions of enquiry into alleged economic crime by deposed Jawara regime.

Political parties were banned from activity giving the military junta total monopoly to propagate their grand schemes of deception.

Quickly it emerged that little known junior army ranks decided resigning and to become full time politicians.  Before resigning (by what the public was told) the junta cohorts promoted themselves from lower to higher military ranks. Still no political activity permitted, the junta eventually sneaked to become political leaders in a nation that did not invite them.

By holding everyone hostage, it was smooth transition from parliamentary democracy to military dictatorship and the clock still ticks on 20 years since.

Confident that his methods of inducing fear worked so well for his interest Gambian dictator continues testing waters. Having so woefully failed the nation and people of Gambia in all regards, the next giant move of Gambia’s self-imposed life president is to be crowned king. Everyone is caught in a time trap where some people keep zipped mouths. Such is the magnitude of political earthquake in Gambia spanning already 20 years on gigantic time trap with devastating spiral effect while the clock still ticks on.

Balance Sheet of Social Capital Assets and Liabilities

As nation and people of Gambia continue to experience worst form of dictatorship amidst intolerable corruption levels at leadership the true Balance Sheet remains to be known.

Political demagogues and sycophants take to centre stage by incredible proportion. It is no longer important to be skilful or boast of talent. Those who trade on cajoling and schmoozers enjoy the best of good treats. You only have to belong and all doors are open.

Social capital formation of Gambia continues to experience such a decline that majority of those in public offices only stay for their pockets.  Gossips and hero worship have become norms. Anyone seen to be upholding ethical work principles get criticised and at worse alienated for doing right.

Gambia is sinking largely because public resources are grossly abused by a bunch of social capital liabilities whose only interest is filling their deep pockets for selfish gains. Sooner or later, this state of affairs will render total breakdown almost beyond repairs.

 Counterproductive Public Service

Voluntary unemployment is the term used for people on payroll whose performance does not compensate their cost of remuneration adding all other inducements. These include people occupying high public positions where lot of public resources are committed. Since July 1994 military coup, Gambian public sector is crowded by such people in their majority. They simply feed on resources while failing to deliver what their office duty requires. This starts from office of the president where productivity levels reveal zero reading on the scoreboard. What makes matters even more serious is the additional damage incurred, by same people disallowing capable public servants to perform their rightful duties.

Counterproductive forces in Gambia have gained greater power pull in the tug-of-war between genuine public servants and retrogressive individuals. For some time it appeared as though nothing mattered. In the long run however damage done by counterproductive public service proved fatal enough for all to see.

Nothing seems moving along the direction of improvement about this most serious problem. Yet still it remains a taboo. The truth is best known even to those enjoying the loot. When everything falls to pieces, it takes everyone to bear the pain.

So much damage is already done. Gambia requires full recovery from 20 years wreckage. The nation continues to experience colossal loss of finance and material resources. With equal or more serious damage to human capital and time cost in vast ways recovery does not come by chance.

How a nation of 2 million permits one person rule so long with such damaging results is seriously baffling.

Best possible scenario is that once military dictatorship is unseated, there are prospects more capable hands will join up to recover from 20 years wreckage.

Halifa Sallah Confronts Banjul Central NAM to Stop Day Dreaming and Face Reality

September 9, 2014
Reads :2961
Why should a man of your calibre put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation?-Halifa Sallah

Why would a man of your calibre put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation?-Halifa Sallah

I was misquoted by Halifa Sallah and Lawyer Ousainou Darboe – Abdoulie Saine NAM for Banjul Central

The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Banjul central Hon.Abdoulie Saine was crying baby in a national assembly session that he was misquoted by Halifa Sallah and lawyer Ousainou Darbo when he suggested president Babilimansa to be crowned King of the Gambia. Mr. Saine in his rambling said, what he suggested was a constitutional monarch and not absolute monarchy. This has led to Halifa Sallah confronting the NAM for Banjul central in an open letter. In the letter Mr. Sallah questioned the rationale of Mr.Saine’s agument. The politician cum sociologist battled the fumbling Mr.Saine that by suggesting that the Gambia revert to constitutional monarchy Mr.Saine wants to live almost five decades behind time and would be out of step with both modern civilization and the constitution he has sworn to defend. Below is the full text of the open letter addressed to Hon.Abdoulie Saine of Banjul Central:

Posterity compels me to address this letter to you questioning why a man of your calibre would put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation and further drag me into it. I hope in initiating this debate you have alerted your mind to Section 112 of the Constitution which states: “all members shall regard themselves as servants of the people of The Gambia desist from any conduct by which they seek improperly to enrich themselves or alienate themselves from the people, and shall discharge their duties and functions in the interest of the nation as a whole and in doing so, shall be influenced by the dictates of conscience and the national interest”

I hope the dictates of conscience, sense of duty to people and the national interest will guide the spirit of this debate. First and foremost, I must remind you that you were elected and further took oath to uphold and defend a Constitution which states under Section 1 and 2 that :

“The Gambia is a Sovereign Republic“ “The Sovereignty of The Gambia resides in the people of The Gambia from whom all organs of government derive their authority and in whose name and for whose welfare and prosperity the powers of government are to be exercised in accordance with this Constitution “ You have sworn to uphold and defend a Republic under which authority to govern is connected with dependent on and determined by the sovereign will of the people Now you are arguing for Gambia to become a constitutional monarchy. What is a constitutional Monarchy?

What is constitutional Monarchy? Gambians who know their history know what constitutional monarchy means and would not be calling for a return to it which would amount to a retrogressive step towards a defunct era. One has to read the 1965 Constitution to know the nature and characteristics of constitutional monarchy. The Gambia was a constitutional monarchy in 1965. This is why Section 62 of the 1965 Constitution stated: “The Executive authority of the Gambia is vested in her Majesty” In order to exercise executive power, Section 29 provided for the office of governor general “…who shall be appointed by her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty’s pleasure and who shall be her majesty’s representative in the Gambia” Section 60 empowered the Governor General to .”… at anytime prorogue or dissolve parliament .” Section 66 stated that “ the function of Cabinet shall be to advise the Governor General in the Government of the Gambia “ Now who did the governor owed allegiance and obedience to? Was it the Gambian people? Not at all. His oath of office reads:

“ I do swear ( or solemnly affirm) that i will well and truly serve her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors, in the office of the Governor General of The Gambia.”

Hence under a monarchy sovereignty resides in the monarch who cannot be removed from office. A Monarch is not a representative of a people. A monarch is not elected. The throne is inherited by their children and grand children on the basis of blood line until they are overthrown as had happened in France in 1789 or defeated and given ceremonial roles as is the case in many countries in Europe. In fact threat of an Arab spring made the monarchs in Morocco and Jordan to make concessions to move towards constitutional monarchy through devolution of more power to representative institutions. The progressive route established by the history of human kind is to move from absolute monarchies to constitutional monarchies which comes with devolution of power to representative institutions and then to Republics which hands over all power to the people. The Gambian people went to a referendum in 1970 and voted in favor of a Republic instead of retaining constitutional monarchy. The Gambian people fully asserted, without ambiguity or equivocation that in a land of equals no one is fit to lead without the consent of the others. This is why elections are periodically held to elect a president, members of the National Assembly and Members of Councils.

Such representatives are considered servants of the people and not their lords. Hence a Gambian who is fully conscious that sovereignty resides in him or her would not consider himself or herself a lesser being than those who occupy positions of representation, on the contrary, one would see them as equals who by virtue of choice are in fact servants of all. Hence if the member for Banjul Central would want Gambia to return to the past he has his right to propagate his vision. He should however realise that he would be living almost five decades behind time and would be out of step with both modern civilisation and the constitution he has sworn to defend.

My advice to him in particular and all Gambians in general is to shelve this fruitless debate. I have told people in the countryside that when a person stands in the middle of the crowd to argue in broad day light that the moon was shining in the sky and not the sun all should pass and leave him or her alone. In short, every Gambian has witnessed that the president goes to vote during Presidential, National Assembly and council elections. He takes only one ballot token and cast it for the candidate of his choice in secret. Has he ever demanded for more than one ballot token or all to be given to him to cast because he is president? This confirms that the president is equal to all in terms of citizenship and has only one vote which cannot make any one president. No Gambian could ever see another Gambian political figure as a superior being by birth. Gambia has become a Republic as a result of political evolution of her people. This is the verdict of history and it is irrevocable


September 5, 2014
Reads :2519




What a shame. What a pain. Oh, What a Sin.  My heart bleeds in agony anytime I think of Gambia’s frail situation. No Gambian can deny the Gambia is sinking in her own drips of blood purged by her very own children. Eh! Allah. What an agony. It is obvious for all to see. Yet arrogance, selfishness, fear and ‘I don’t care attitude’ blind our minds and eyes to see the light, the light of love, nationalism and dedication for mother Gambia as we watch President Jammeh and his henchmen take down lives for his own good and security. Fellow Gambians solitary ignorance breeds solitary domination.

Mr. President, if you are not a monster and a mosquito sucking Gambians’ blood, why do you need guns and bullets to develop the Gambia. Suffice it to assert men of love, wisdom and dignity never disrespect humanity instead they collaborate in harmony for the best of their people. They do not crave undesirable love and acceptance. Their works do it for them Mr President. Foolish and authoritarian leaders, on the other hand, officiate and spin their own titles and acceptance as you clearly manifested. We bow down to oppression out of ignorance and fear but not for love and compassion. What a shameful fiasco for a nation to compromise the values of humanity. Many Gambians who gave you the benefit of the doubt, time and space to fulfil your promises 20 years ago, today felt betrayed, lied to and remorseful for allowing you to be. If only Mr President the hand of time could be reverse, you will not be documented in Gambian history.

If Gambians knew what they know now 20 years ago, they would have fought you tooth and nail for the preservation of her freedom and democracy which you have arrogantly obliterated. Gambians saw in you a young blood with great ideas for change but what a change did you give us. It brings to mind “the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t.”  In sum, with you, we franchised our freedom for destruction and oppression. We bartered democracy with dictatorship. What crosses your mind, Mr President, whenever you hear that verse of our national anthem “LET JUSTICE GUIDE OUR ACTIONS?”  Do you feel any guilt? Frankly, this one man domination of a nation blessed with great minds and strength in this 21st century is well beyond my imagination. Flesh and blood of the nation violated in graphic drips right in front of us, oh yeah what did they say, “it is part of the books to fulfil the prophesy”.

From 1994 to date, so many rights of the Gambian people continued to be violated by a rogue administration. Many Gambian have become victims of arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions without trial, incarceration, tortures, enforced disappearances and state orchestrated murders. The unfriendly climate compels many Gambian to flee in to exile. Do you think you can continue to fool us all the time by manipulating our feelings? Oh hell no. How can you inflict sorrow on us today and promise us a better tomorrow? Who the hell do you think you are? You are nothing but a stupid, arrogant and ignorant criminal calling himself a president. We are sick and tired of your brutal, cruel and barbaric administration. President Jammeh sappi ga nyu…demal ngirr Yallah takh.

I said this many many times and I will never stop saying it until there is a unity within us.  Since we all have a common problem, it is therefore fitting to unify our concerted efforts as one and fight against the brutal regime of President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. Why can’t we join hand in hand to uproot President Jammeh’s government for once? Although we cannot all be in the same group or organization, but all these groups and organizations can collectively join together as one to get rid of President Jammeh and his bunch of criminals.

It is understood wherever there is a problem there is a solution to remedy it. Consequently, we can be able to resolve our differences and unite under a common agenda while maintaining our varied memberships and allegiance to our different groups and organizations. I am conscious that it is a human nature to have differences and even fight, but after each fight we must also find ways to reconcile. I know there are wolves in sheep clothing within us, but is not a reasonable excuse for us not to unite beside our unity will expose them. We have intellectuals, wealthy people, technocrats as well as foolish, stupid and poor idiot in our mid but that does not punctuate we cannot unite and fight to end the dictatorship of President Jammeh.

Our struggle is to liberate ourselves from the shackles of self-colonialism and dictatorship. We need to come up with fitting strategies to develop a political power which can intelligently manoeuver Jammeh’s political decadence and replace it with one free of personal ambition, self-centeredness, corruption, power hunger and flamboyance. The collective leadership of all the groups and organizations should ensure the cohesion of our revolutionary movement to eradicate poverty, hunger, illiteracy and maintain peace for the mass on whose course we claimed to be salivating.  Every human being has fundamental rights as NATURAL CITIZEN regardless of colour, ethnicity, religious and social status.

 Lamin Saddam Sanyang, The Netherlands


September 5, 2014
Reads :2684


The hard working Gambian farmers have witnessed an opera by President Jammeh and his government in Sapu and McCarthy with the pretence of promoting rice farming. Like many ill-fated visions before it, the Jammeh government came out with VISION 2016 with sole aim of making food poverty a thing of the past and even exporting excess food. Just like its sister VISION 2020, which also aims to transform The Gambia in twenty-five years, into dynamic middle income country, a tourist paradise, a trading export-oriented agriculture and manufacturing nation, vision2016 is another illusion and fantasy of President Jammeh that will never be realise in our life time. Am not naive to know that, every development plan or strategy is based on a vision but it is foolish and self-deceiving to accept something from President Jammeh, when you know that, he is blatantly lying and blowing a hot air. President Jammeh’s shameful record in office shows that, visions are political exercises and waste of Gambian tax payers’ dalasi.

Food poverty is a serious issue and it is blighting the lives of thousands of our compatriots and their families on daily basis. The eradication of financial and food poverty forms essential part of the Vision 2020, and yet after twenty years, more Gambians are trapped in poverty and food is expensive than ever. Gambians aspire to have decent living standard for their families and affordable prices for their food stuff than anything else. People struggle to afford one square meal a day as the price of goods and services like rice have risen over 100% since the illegal takeover of government in 1994. Why would hard-working Gambian farmers believe in a fantasy like Vision 2016, when they could not achieve food security and decent living in twenty years of your Vision 2020, Mr. President?

Mr. President, when you and your intoxicated military mates defied your duties and rudely took over power from the lame leadership of president Jawara, food security has never be a priority but a political football. The PPP despite their thousands of failures and disappointments, food security and affordable food prices were achieved during their time. They declared the rainy season a hungry season and have been supported by the international community. When the food aid arrives, they shared the food to all Gambians despite their political affiliation. This saved a lot of money for the ordinary people; they used the saving to pay school fees, and other necessities. By time of the harvest, the farmers have enough food hence less need for the imported rice.  In addition, the PPP under the ageing and visionary of Sir Dawda Jawara, engaged in RE-EPORT TRADE where they support the fledging private sector by importing like large quantity of goods like rice and sell it to local traders, who export it to sub-region. Therefore, at any point in time, there is enough of rice in the country to keep the price down. That is a vision, which works. Let’s come to your wishing full thinking, President Jammeh .When you went around the world begging on behave of Gambians, your greediness and lack of sympathy for the plight of poorest members of our community, could not allow you to give those gifts to Gambians. You formed KGI Company and employ your relatives and families to sell that rice from Japan; tractors from India just to mention a few, at exorbitant market prices. Instead of you giving the proceeds from the sales of those gifts to the GRA, You diverted it to finance your flamboyant life style .Building and demolishing mosques at tune of D75million, throwing parties, using it to pay for under sex with fair colour girls like Aisha Njie. Those gifts of rice and agricultural equipment’s will have alleviate poverty among Gambians and in long term ensure food security. Your central bank has been publishing data which shows that, the re-export trade have been falling year on year. This is due to fact that, the state under your despotic leadership lacks the imagination to take the re-export trade to a new level where you will be ahead of competition from our neighbours like Senegal. The Senegalese over the past twenty years have been more economic prosperous and political enlighten and free, than their sisters and brothers in Gambia due to  your  bankrupt economic visions  like vision2020 and an acute lack of political pluralism and democratic freedoms.

When one carefully consider the capacity for food production  in The Gambia ,which is needed to achieve Vision2016,it become easier to conclude that it will remain a figment of your imagination, president Jammeh . The farming methods, equipment, the irrigation system, the land, which are available to hard-working Gambian farmers, are so basic that, they cannot dramatically increase food production within two years. In addition, the land available to rice production is limited and The Gambia is only 11000sq meters. How on earth, can Gambia farmers use that land to produce enough food to  feed over two million people, to house over two million people ,to build schools, hospitals etc, on 11000sq meters? Do you think about that, Babili mansa? Stop lying to Gambians, president Jammeh, vision2016 is not workable but just a, fantasy.

As the global economy is recovering from the greatest depression since the 1930s, national economies are recalibrating their finances and systems to make them resilience to avoid future economic collapse. Gambia cannot be immune from that, despite been one the smallest economy in the sub region. Food security either through genuine attempt to increase food production and affordable imported food prices. We can only achieve that, if we get rid of President Jammeh and his family cartel of businesses and replace it with genuine partnership with the private sector. We will pay a heavy price and put great burden on future generation, if we did not solve Gambia’s food poverty. President Jammeh’s words and vision2016, is as good as a fool’s gold.

Lamin Camara. UK.


September 3, 2014
Reads :6386




One of psychology lecturers addressing a colleague accentuated “people with long names are most often than not very troublesome” and at the time, my classmates and I found it amusing. Testing his deduction on a randomly selected people with long names I was numbed by his startling precision. Yes President Jammeh is troublesome…Yes President Jammeh has a vindictive chip on his shoulder…Yes President Jammeh is not an academic…Yes President Jammeh epitomises evil but despite all his odds, he is wittingly intelligent and has excellently mastered his games to an extend he is currently our pacesetter love it or hate it.

My intuition has been validated by Momodou Njie when he charged “call him crazy all you want, but it is the same crazy person who took over a democratic government under our very own noses. Not only was he methodical in planning but he survived 20 years of uncertainty. He is still hiring our so called intellects and tossing them in and out. As time prevailed, he is the only one still running the show and his comrades or brains are exiled, dead or missing in action. He does not listen they say, but we listen very well to every word he utters. Including the threats he unleashes on the very same who set up their citizens, and are either killed or locked up for conniving actions. He sets the agenda for us to talk about every day. We talk about his titles, firing, hiring, moving, swearing but yet he is still the crazy one! For 20 years, you would think we learned something, but oh no, tomorrow he will set the agenda again. How is a crazy person leading the nation and recognized by the International Community as leader of your beloved country with all our intellects?” Momodou Njie has not only held up a mirror for us to do a holistic reality check and carve out a realistic way forward for the struggle but equally appreciate we are not dealing with an oaf. Ironically, our efforts to dislodge President Jammeh illustrate the proverbial jester who continues determinedly to fetch water with a wooden basket from a river.

How is President Jammeh, a spurious posing as progressive, able to successfully wade off 20 years of uncertainty, amass enviable loyalty and a huge support base among Gambians despite all his recklessness, poignant arrogance, repulsive human rights violation and gruesome atrocities? Any honest Gambian who neither tiptoes around nor massages the truth knows the answer to this question is thus:

President Jammeh is READY to remain a leader at all cost. In order for him to remain in power unabated, Jammeh had to design tangible alternative with visible results for Gambians to take him seriously. For instance, his call for “Back to the Land” has enumerable loopholes yet many Gambians deem it as the only route to food self-sufficiency and eradication of hunger.  Furthermore, he uses the legislative assembly to enact laws that will entrench him more as a leader. Jammeh also claims single ownership of all the roads, hospitals and schools built by his government and made many Gambians believe without him such developments would not see the light of day. Contritely, is the STRUGGLE READY TO DISLODGE president Jammeh? Can anyone honestly tell Gambians that the Activists in the diaspora have a single realistic programme that they can present to both Gambians at home and the International Community which will earn their moral, political and financial Support? Each believes his is the only way.

President Jammeh has FUNDS to sponsor all his activities. Whether his riches are legal, clean or not he has money and he is very generous with it. He is sponsoring students, paying for medical cost of others, giving out loads of bundles to many couple with bags of rice, sugar and drums of oil to both the security services and civilians. Honestly tell me why will those people not listen to him. The struggle, on the other hand, does not have a penny in its name.  Is there an account that is said to be the name of the struggles? Has the struggle sponsored any student? Has is send medication to any hospital in the Gambia? What are we doing to help that poor family who will go without breakfast, lunch or dinner today? For example, when Demba Njie was assaulted by Jammeh’s thugs in Paris if the struggle had funds, won’t it have hired a solicitor for him to prosecute Jammeh? Moreover, it can sponsor many activities but activists have to dig into their own pockets to attend any programme in the struggle. Why is it hard for the struggle to have an account in which anyone can pay at least a pound a month?

Everyone knows President Jammeh is the FACE of the Gambia and APRC. He represents the Gambia at any National and International forum, sign agreements and treaties in the name of the Gambia. He negotiates loans, grants and arms in the name of the Gambia. Do we have a SINGLE FACE for the struggle that will negotiate and enter into agreements in the name of the struggle for us? All we are good at is sitting in corners and say what can he tell us? He was a Jammeh enabler, he is a former corrupt cop, he is an opportunist and a cyber-pygmy revolutionary. The fact is some of us are more connected than others are and will be listened to than some of us. Consequently, choosing such person will only take the struggle forward instead. People like Dr. Amadou S Janneh for example. He was a minister in Jammeh’s government, has crossed paths with many other government envoys, made contacts, and has recognition with many other governments around the world. Obviously, he will be easily recognised by such governments than Sulayman Jeng, an ex-police officer. Choosing him as representative of the struggle is not a ticket for him to take over from Jammeh but give the struggle the credibility it now lacks in the face of many Gambians and the International Community.

Jammeh organises REGULAR ACTIVITIES each weekend in Kanilai. You can dish his Kanilai programmes as exploitative and irrelevant to national development but you cannot deny they are regular. Even though most of our sisters are raped and molested there, many Gambians look forward to the Kanilai weekends. Can anyone name me one activity that the struggle regularly carries out? You see, it is high time we stop chasing shadows and become organized if we are serious about change in the Gambia. We only demonstrate when he does something or comes to America then sit and wait for him to do something else. Moreover, while we are waiting, he is having a respite and strengthening himself more.

President Jammeh instilled FEAR in Gambians to maintain his grip on power. Yes, we do not have an army, a police force or Intelligence Agency to instil fear in Jammeh or his supporters but we can step up the pressure on him. He is human and has dreams, fears and love.  When Sedia Bayo came out with an ultimatum for him, it gave him sleepless night. He heightened security. That depicts he fears too. What are we doing to constantly keep him sleepless and on the alert?  Keeping the security on constant alert will exhaust them thus forcing them to either react or lapse.

Well, the truth hurts. Hate me or love me I am just saying things how I exactly see them. May be all I am good at is talking but what are you good at?

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK



September 2, 2014
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I fled The Gambia on august 10, 2014. I was unlawfully arrested and detained under very brutal condition from the 1-2 of August 2014 for allegedly giving false information to Gambians and enemies of the Gambia government base abroad and belonging to opposition parties, an accusation which is baseless. Prior to fleeing the Gambia, I was an employee of the National Drug Enforcement Agency. I have, in the past, also worked as a journalist for Foroyaa newspaper of the Gambia and had to quit the journalism profession as a result of similar unlawful detention; and was unemployed for few years before joining the prosecution department of my current employer prior to fleeing the Gambia.

On the first and second day of august 2014, I was unlawfully detained and while under detention, I was shown all the stories I reported then as journalist at Foroyaa newspaper from the internet. They alleged that I am still connected to media and feed false information to enemies of the Gambia government like one Mr. Mbaye with an online newspaper, whose first name I cannot recall. They also played me a video of my brother’s married ceremony to the daughter of Dr. Sedat Jobe, a former Gambian Foreign Minister under the Jammeh administration, who resigned and fled the Gambia some years ago.  In the video, I sat next to Dr. Sedat Jobe, my brother in-law and Ousainou Darboe- leader of the biggest opposition political party in the Gambia. Well, according to them, because I was seated with these prime enemies of Gambia government, so I belong to the opposition and support enemies of the government. I was brutally tortured under detention and sustained severe injuries photos of which are enclosed.

Just moments preceding my release from unlawful detention, they unequivocally put it to me that I am an enemy of the state and enemies can never turn into friends and once their enemy, you shall always remain one. They did not hide their determination to go at any length in silencing the unpatriotic wolf in sheep clothing like myself and further stressed that I am black-listed and all eyes are on me. They also promised to come back for me and when they do I shall become history.  I, on the contrary, do not see myself as enemy of the government both as a journalist and officer of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, but a partner in the development and prosperity of our mother land The Gambia. Knowing that am very innocent of all the allegations made against me and that I still remain unsafe even in life outside journalism and judging them by their continuous brutality of patriotic and law abiding Gambians of my standing, I therefore deem it fitting and safe to flee my be-loved home land The Gambia and seek asylum and refuge with my family abroad than get killed by brutal government agents.

On the issue of human rights, May I respectfully submit my conviction that the principle of human rights are as valid now as then, and that now as then their validity rests upon their universality. Indeed, as the world becomes increasingly interdependent, international community becomes increasingly accountable for the impact of their conduct.

I can be reached on phone at +221775929071 or via email at

Yours sincerely,