Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category


August 16, 2014
Reads :6025




It’s alarming and utterly shameful, that the Gambian government under the authoritarian leadership of Yahya Jammeh have no   job to do, than arresting people for being gay in this 21st century. Peoples’ sexuality is their choice and their private life; hence the state or the police have no business in that. President Jammeh and his clueless Inspector General of Police cannot tell Gambians or non-Gambians, how to live their lives by taking a moral high ground.

We don’t need a rocket scientist to tell us that, this is Jammeh’s retribution against America and west   for the humiliation and disrespect; he was subjected to by the patriotic Gambian demonstrators. He is doing this to attract western media attention and to deflect the debate in Gambia concerning his diabolical trip to the Africa summit, which was an absolute waste of Gambian tax money and a trip Jammeh will not forget in a hurry. Frankly speaking, president Jammeh, the west doesn’t give a damn about you and your chaotic administration. Nevertheless, don’t be under any doubt, the west especially America and Great Britain, will not shy away to defend the rights of persecuted communities like the gay and lesbian people. If it means, kicking you of power unconventionally, they will do it.

As we mount the patriotic struggle  to free our homeland, from the tyranny  of president Jammeh and his cronies ,and replace it with a transformed and progressive society  ,where everyone’s rights including minorities, is respected and given, we should end the conspiracy of silence on the gay and lesbian issue and debate about it. The starting point is that, we should acknowledge that, we have Gambians who are gay or lesbian.

For so long, Gambians always believe that, homosexuality is a foreign import and it’s corrupting our cultures, tradition and religions. There is an element of truth in this argument but can we say, for certain that, we do not have Gambians who are gay? In UK, for instance, Some Gambians have be coming out saying, they being gay all their lives. Yes, our religion especially Islam and Catholicism, do not accept homosexuality, but the minority Gambians practicing it, cannot be incarcerated for the rest of their lives for just been gay. This is an uncomfortable truth and we need to take action about it rather criminalizing it.

The Jammeh administration, who supposed to protect and guarantee the rights of every Gambian regardless of their sexuality ,gender ,tribe, religious beliefs is rather shamelessly exploiting the issue .President Jammeh  ‘s attitude and determination to exterminate the gay community exposes him as an out of touch  and insensitive head of state  ,who will use any situation to remain in power. Because, this negative and retrogressive stand of President Jammeh, might be popular and a vote winner, does not make it right. Gambians who are gay, have the constitutional rights to private life and life style, that cannot violated by the president or religious views. On the issue of seeing the gay and lesbians as immoral and indecent, president Jammeh should be the last person, in the world to open his disgusting mouth to speak about it. President Jammeh is a well-known womanizer, who has insatiable appetite for light skin women and virgins. Just recently a brave and fearlessly, young girl ,Aisha Njie ,came out publicly to say she was kidnapped and raped by Yahya Jammeh in his home village of Kanilai. Since this revelation, former female body  guards came out  to say how Jammeh have sexually abuse  them and how he have been importing light-skin prostitutes from the neighbouring countries. With this terrible, record of violence against young girls and women, Jammeh has no moral rights to condemn gay people  as mosquitoes .The Inspector General of police should question Jammeh about the deflowering and rape of Aisha Njie  at his Kanilai villa than sending his thugs to arrest suspected gay  people.  Jammeh’s sex life is disgusting and vile and Gambian parents should worry about having their lovely daughters especially the light-skin ones around him.

To the wider Gambian community especially those living in the west, if we can co-exist and accept gay, lesbian and transgender people, why can’t we accept our own gay People? It will be hypocritical, if we have strong views for gay in Gambia and then favorable view on gays in the west. In addition, to president Jammeh, sort out your miserable sex life and stop raping your female bodyguards and our young vulnerable innocent girls. One day, president Jammeh, you will be accounted for this sexual violence, just like Colonel Gadhafi, who was prostitute like you. I think it’s mark of our maturity as a democracy and modern nation, to accept own citizens who have different sexuality from us to live their lives the way they want as long as they did not impose it on us. We should passionately defend anybody arrested for gay related charges, as long as it’s not child pornography or underage sex, which we should have zero tolerance approach, regardless of who is involve.

Lamin Camara, UK.



August 16, 2014
Reads :7159




I have recently listened to the talk show of Ambassador Sey, and I have been very much disturbed by both the tone and the content of his speech.  I have been so much discomforted by what I heard that my first conclusion was that “the man has lost it!” However, after listening to the talk repeatedly and analysing it more carefully, I came to a more sensible conclusion: Ambassador Sey has not only lost it, but he is playing a very dangerous game. Before I proceed with the analysis; let me sum up a little bit what the former Ambassadors said.

Mr. Sey was commenting on the last visit of President Jammeh in the USA. He was advising his listeners what to do, and was providing information on the location of the President, etc.  Mr. Sey took advantage of his one-man talk show to insult The President again, and used very derogatory and racist epithets toward The First Lady of the Republic of the Gambia. I have willingly used the word “racist” because Mr. Sey has referred to the First Lady as a “Moroccan…..” Mr. Sey has also trespassed the private life of Pierre Minteh, a junior diplomat at the Gambia embassy in the USA, talking about the christening ceremony of his son and other issues related to his personal life.

I was very troubled by the speech of Ambassador Sey because it is so unbecoming of him given his service to The Gambia, and his status as a former diplomat. Mr. Sey has earned the title of ambassador thanks to President Jammeh, and he will never lose that title whatever the circumstances. Hence, hearing certain comments from him is so disappointing. Mr. Sey is not new to making incendiary comments about people with whom he has scores to settle. In fact, one who listens to him carefully realizes he does not hesitate to have recourse to any sensitive issue to demonize The President and his entourage. Those who listen to his one-man talk shows know very well what I am talking about here.

Ambassador Sey uses racial, ethnic, tribal, and religious cards without measuring the consequences this may have on the Gambia.  He will be the first one to deny such observations in his regards, but any careful listener can see through his speeches the division he is trying to create.  This is very sad because Gambians are blessed with a small land as a national territory, but they have open hearts to welcome all peoples from all around the world. To see a Gambian diplomat (whether active or inactive) plays with ethnocentric cards is shameful and dangerous.

Ambassador Sey has just lost it! Not only does he play with sensitive issues, he also talks about trivial issues and makes personal attacks that have nothing to do with advancing The Gambia. How meaningful is a talk on whether or not to call Sheikh Omar Faye “Ambassador Faye”?  What are the relations between Pierre Minteh’s son christening and the public interest of Gambians? Why threaten Pierre on live radio?  What interest do Gambians have in who is cooking for Ambassador Faye? Why is it so important for Mr. Sey to display hatred and disdain for Ambassador Faye?  Why insult this honourable man on live radio without taking into account he is a representative of The Gambia, he is a father and a husband?

Hearing Ambassador Sey talk about sensitive and  trivial issues such as the ones already mentioned above is very  embarrassing especially when you hear it  coming from someone who has served  The Gambia in several countries not as a very junior diplomat but as an Ambassador.  Essa Bokar Sey and his likes embarrass our country a great deal because of their past services in our government and their social status. I have never heard a former diplomat talk trash like Essay Bokar does! It is just embarrassing!

While talking about people’s private lives, Essa forgets he has his own.  It would be very interesting to hear Mr. Sey explain how from a mere protocol officer he became an ambassador, and how he brought his extended families to the USA. Mr. Sey must know Gambia is a small geographical territory and that each one knows about each one. He should not downgrade himself by engaging himself in trash talks. When he talks about people’s families, he should remember he has one. Wives, children, cooks, titles and other trivial issues have no place in the dialogue for a better Gambia.

By Samba Sanyang  


August 16, 2014
Reads :6227




It was a cool and quiet Sunday afternoon. Amadou was sitting on a settee at the front room with his beautiful wife, Musukoi. He has his right arm around her waist as they watched the Seyfo’s meeting with the Balang Kunda ward. Their three children, Buramanding, Faburama, and Dobally, were buried in their homework. He always spends Sundays with his family. Every other Sunday, he drives them to the coastal village of Fansoto where they first enjoy a long walk on the clean sandy beach before settling down at a quiet corner for a family pick nick. Pertinent issues affecting the Kanbeng family are openly discussed and crucial decisions made. Each view is heard and carefully looked into before it is discarded or taken on board. The Kanbeng family is very closely knitted.

Amadou smiled as he watched the Seyfo adjust his white grand mboubou from left to right in agitation. His scary face was precipitating with sweat pungently. He waved his pray beads threateningly to the enthralled crowd: “I know you do not like me. Well…Let me tell you this…in fact I don’t care whether you like me or not I am the Seyfo of Kankary Kunda. For your information, I will be for the next billion years. What will you do about it?”  The camera shifted from the Seyfo and slowly cruise the crowd; paused and zoomed on the Kebba of Fansoto ward. He was calm and his face expressionless. “My jinni has just disclosed to me what your Kebba is currently thinking of. Do you want me to tell you what is in his mind? Anyway, it is not important. However, I want to tell you this that as long as I am the Seyfo of this land, you will not have anything from me…no water, electricity, roads and health centre. I will ensure that you remain poor and miserable for the rest of your lives or until you decide to love me more than yourselves.”  Musukoi looked into Amadou’s eyes and shook her head in disbelieve. “How can a Seyfo say such a thing to a people whom he has sworn to protect and care for” She asked the love of her life. “Musukoi, if all the people of Kankary Kunda were like those of Fansoto the Seyfo would have been history now. Unfortunately, the majority of our people are self-centred. They do not care about the welfare of all. They will do everything possible to keep the Seyfo in power as long as he gives them rice, oil and meat every day”.  Lamented Amadou.

A loud knock on the door interrupted Amadou. Buramanding rushed to see who was at the door. Two uniform Police officers walked in. Without hesitation, the Sergeant said: “Amadou, you are under arrest”. He grabbed Amadou by the collar and pulled him up to handcuff him. The Corporal who looked smarter and seasoned stopped his Sergeant and whispered something to him. “Shut you mouth or I charge you for insubordination now now”, commanded the Sergeant. “As I was, Sir!” saluted the Corporal “But I don’t think it is proper to handcuff the gentleman before his children. Moreover, he is not resisting arrest. First and foremost, you have to inform him of the reason for his arrest and his rights sir”. The sergeant let go off Amadou and turned to face his corporal. “Corporal, Na who be senior man here; na me or na you? Attention! And keep still” ordered the Sergeant sternly. While the drama shifted towards the two officers, Musukoi sent the children to their rooms. She gazed into Amadou’s eyes the look on her face oozing fear and confusing. For a moment, she thought she was dreaming. Her Amadou who cannot even kill a fly or reproach a person to commit a felon was beyond her comprehension. Tears began surging from her eyes. Images of her history with Amadou began to flash in her mind’s eye like Grammy award Hollywood blockbuster movie.  The smiling and easy going man who is always eager to please others to spend a night in a rotten cell with criminals ate up her heart. The thought of her beloved alone with this barbaric sergeant in a police station numbed her every nerve. The police are notoriously known for man-handling suspects. It is narrated that there were instances when some suspects were electrocuted, while others had their hands handcuffed, legs tied, a long log put across their hands and legs and then hung between two tables. These and other unconfirmed allege tortures meted by police investigators on suspected accuse awakened the fighting spirit in Musukoi. “Oh hell, No!” she heard herself screamed sending Amadou and the officers in utter surprise.

“Whating na you say?” the startled sergeant asked turning brusquely to face the charming Musukoi. Sensing the determination of Musukoi to protect her beloved husband at all cost, the young constable safe the occasion by assuring her that her husband will be treated with all the respect he deserves. “Your husband is a highly respected member of the society; consequently as law enforcement officers, we cannot treat him any less. It is just a routine process when we get orders from the top to carry them out. I can assure you that he will be home sooner than you expect”, the young constable further reassured Amadou’s beauty queen. “You better do or else you will have me to deal with”, gave in Musukoi.

At the Police Station, the smell of mixed odour of detainees and sweats of the officers filled it with a repelling obnoxious aura. Flies, litter and stains like an unfinished painting of a careless artist decorated the station’s walls, floor and furniture. The station officer followed Amadou’s eyes as they browse his new environment. “Sorry, the cleaner called in sick today”, he apologized to Amadou. “I will not keep you here for long. We will go through the cautionary and questioning process as quickly as possible so that you can get back to your family”, consoled the officer. The station officer was a man with enviable moral and ethical character. He was feared and respected by most officers due to his firmness to uphold justice and the rule of law. In fact, it is narrated that he once fell out with the Seyfo who ordered for his arrest and imprisonment. He was later released and reinstated but he remained steadfast and just. After the usual obtaining of a witness statement from Amadou and all the other protocols, he had a private and personal chat with him. “This is between you and me Amadou”, he murmured “our beloved country is sinking in chaos. Babili Mansa should be very careful. It appears that he is not taking any advice these days and that is not good for a leader”. “But I don’t understand why you have to comply with an unlawful order”, Amadou countered. “Seyfo cannot personally go and arrest, detain, torture and kill people. It is you people who are helping him sink our country”, swiped Amadou. “My friend, you are missing the point. Can’t you smell the coffee?” demanded the officer. “If you fail to carry out his directive, you will disappear and never be seen again by your family. Some of us are in this mess but we hate it more than you will ever know”. After a long silence, Amadou said, “I understand”. “Thank you Amadou for understanding and keep up the good job you doing for the community. You may go now until I receive further instruction”.

At home with his family, Amadou cracked his head searching for answers for the mess in Kankary Kunda. Is it the Seyfo or the people who are the problem? He wondered. As if his perturbed wife was reading his mind, she interjected his hallucination, “What do you intend to do next?”

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK


August 15, 2014
Reads :6687




Though not mutually exclusive the following are said to inform US foreign policies:

1) America’s Interest – National Security, Economics, Politics and rarely Social

2) America’s Ideals/Values – Democracy, Freedom, Liberty & Self-Determination

3) International Laws/Norms/Standards – in practice is hard to tell if there are global standards but things like genocide, ethnic/religious cleansing, etc. can land you in trouble with most of the world except if you are China or Russia

4) Humanitarian concerns – Bosnia Herzegovina conflict, Civil wars of Charles Taylor/Foday Sanko in Liberia/Sierra Leone, Somali war and Rwandan conflicts are few examples with different responses/no responses from America

In the 3-pronged governing structure foreign policy is one area controlled/dictated by the executive branch. Hence the political ideology of the executive, global events and public opinion are the main determinants. Intelligent findings should form the bases of most of the decisions but is one area manipulated to suit the desired agenda – remembered the bungled up intelligence over Iraqi WMDs. The subtler is ignoring/downplaying of the significance of intelligence on Al Qaida before 9/11 attacks.

Generally speaking many/all presidents except Obama & probably Carter conducted foreign policy with good-will diplomacy plus explicit threat to use force if necessary. There were variations as to how such force is employed by different presidents. Regardless the threat of force served as incentive/deterrent – whether we agree or not is another debate. Obama and probably Carter essentially removed the threat of force as a necessary element of foreign policy tool. Again make your own judgment if that earned America any better global standing and/or fulfillment of foreign policy objectives.

Obama’s approach is pretty much purely diplomacy – talk, charm, personal charisma, ideas and reasons. He’s somewhat symmetrically opposite of his predecessor. In as many foreign policy pronouncements he ruled out the possible use of force. In the few instances he uses the military; he was visibly reluctant and would announce withdrawal date even before the commencement of such mission. Bush also uses diplomacy but not as long before he ordered drones into action.

America’s economic might, military superiority and willingness to use force earned her global leadership. That power has served as a deterrent. In recent years America sounded fatigue of a role they willing played since end of WW II with military alliance (NATO) protecting most of the Western Hemisphere, War Ships littering High Seas, Nuclear bunkers protecting the mainland, military bases at strategic nations, global spying programs and an economic goodies to induce compliance. Why such an abrupt want to change is anyone’s guess.

Explicitly eliminating the threat of use of force from the mix in the toolbox is bound to encourage bad behavior or opposing interests jumping loose. Right now we can point to many such happenings at various corners of the globe – Putin/Russia erasing international borders at will, China stepping up her claim over Islands in the China Sea, Middle East as always in more turmoil/firefighting and North Africa in more troubles than anytime over the last 30/40 years. Many pundits maintained that the bad policies of the Bush era are still manifesting out. That may or may not be true – but Obama was elected to fix the wrongs. After 6 years (about 2/3 of his tenure) is hard to keep blaming the past.

As government of, for and by the people – governing/politics is largely driven by public opinion in US. Yet public opinions are not necessarily well informed on complex foreign policy issues and objectives. Military interventions are hardly supported by public opinion unless America is attacked as in Pearl Harbor or 9/11. However the average American wanted a dominant America on the global stage yet many will back-out on use of the military or throwing out lots of dollars to distant lands. Without those 2 (military and money) is hard to imagine how America can remain the most influential nation. Leaders clarify specific foreign policy objective/goal to rally their nation.  Of course after bogus intelligence about Iraqi WMDs and over 10 years of very costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this has become a harder task for any president. One best example was Obama’s attempts to convince the nation into Syria (his Red Line Ultimatum). The nation wasn’t buying his arguments probably not only Americans are war weary but they were also not so sure if there are any national interests at stake and/or merely an enforcement of president’s words.

Some pundits also asked but what else could America/Obama do? They could also ask what America/Obama didn’t do? Honestly in many of the current trouble zones there are no good options for America as is – either stay out or pick-up lesser of the bad options. The former maybe easy but its longer-term consequences could be worst than anyone may imagine. Today’s problems are products of yesterday. That yesterday could be what was done or not done.

For instance had America remained in Iraq, ISIS/ISIL might never be a problem or they could be handled easily. Obama administration thought otherwise, resulting into withdrawing all troops from Iraq Theater. Wrong or right, regardless of political ideology America is largely responsible of unbalancing order in that country. The argument this was a wrong war has no consequences over America’s responsibilities to fix what they mess-up. The same scenario is playing out in Afghanistan. America destroyed the old orders with promises for democracy and opportunities. Before the job gets done they’re packing up. The most fanned up so-called Arab-Spring encouraged Mubarak to go but Egypt still in flames.  NATO led by US claimed humanitarian crisis to aid Libyan rebels to down Gaddafi but that nation is since without a central government. On the other hand America is still in Japan, Germany and Korea – maybe because those are no longer hostile. Some also argued Iraqis and Afghanis should take up responsibility of their country. That’s true, except when you begin to think they weren’t capable in the first place. Should we argue then it would have been better to leave Saddam (for Iraq) and the Mullahs (for Afghanistan) – that will be a difficult argument for someone who believes in democracy and freedom to make.

US resumed military operation on ISIS/L in Iraq years after Obama declared that theater closed. They’re also dropping food and water for those stranded in the mountains. While the administration maintained no-boots on the ground some estimates has over 600 military personnel in Iraq and in plus supplying Kurds (not Iraqi army) with military hardware. In addition they’re fanning flames for Prime Minister Al-Maliki to go – any pattern already developing? In retrospective wasn’t Al-Maliki their guy few yeas ago? So too Saddam during the war with Iran! So too Bin Laden during the war between USSR and Afghanistan!

This is no indictment of America’s foreign policy but an attempt to point out messy global politics that we have to go through in order to fix our domestic politics. Overall America is a force-of-good yet some/many of their foreign policy actions do not necessarily square well with the above 4 points. These actions of America and other global powers have serious consequences on our efforts to reclaim our republic from tyranny. For instance how concerning should we be that Yahya got an invite from Obama administration to US/Africa Summit? Our struggle must make every effort to understand the politics of the players, their national interests and the conflicts of interests among the bigger players with a view to building the necessary political leverage against tyranny in Banjul.

Understanding the dynamics of foreign policy politicking of US should enhance our positioning against tyranny in Banjul. Equally we will need to understand the interconnectivity of US to other big players.  A better utilization of such knowledge should enable us organize effectively, mobilize the right resources and demand our legitimate claims. We do not have an army to forcefully kick tyrants out of Banjul. Even if we do the use of force to institute democracy doesn’t usually work. Democracy works with capacitated people and not with a dictating army. We can’t remove Yahya through the ballot as is currently set in that country. But even if it does there are no mechanisms in place to deter the successors not to be another tyrant. Civil disobedient has no promising outlet as do military intervention. In fact the outcome could be so chaotic we could live to regret for decades to come. It could also be good but we just don’t know.

Democracy is people! Democracy is a lifestyle and not simply some fanciful governmental organo-gram. Democracy is about capacitated people living sovereign. Therefore any approach that doesn’t place the people in charge (at the center) will not guarantee an outcome that’s democratic. It will only produce another group of dictators which some people like (because they’re clos or beneficiaries) and others hate because their interests are not held. People can’t be in charge until they acquire certain capacities. This is a difficult combination of problems. Any solution will take time and expensive. Unfortunately we have no short cut to bringing-up our capacities of our people. Fortunately it can be done we some degree of fast track expedition. Until we settle on this…………….no democracy for Gambia.  It will always be someone’s democracy (like Jawara maybe to you) versus others tyranny (like Yahya maybe to you).

A holistic approach is what we need to debate. To that effect develop the necessary organizational/institutional structures and mobilize the right resources.

Those who perceived every event as a trigger do not either understands our problem and/or they are living in a fantasy world. The killing of Deyda Hydara didn’t trigger anything! The killing of 14 demonstrating students didn’t trigger anything! The demonstrations at Gambia Mission in Washington DC failed to trigger anything! Forcefully denying Muslims the last Koriteh prayers of their chosen date (Tuesday) also didn’t trigger anything! The recent well-publicized demonstrations at Yahya’s visit to Washington DC also failed………….There are no triggers! Goodness we do not need these supposed triggers. Our deliberate actions are what we need and we have all of it!

Let begin that debate!

To The Gambia Ever True!

Burama FL Jammeh

Founder/General Secretary

The People’s Movement for Democratic Gambia

810 844 6040


August 13, 2014
Reads :6420




Firstly, I must hasten to register my profound congratulation to all those brothers and sisters for a job well done at the demonstration which recently concluded in Washington DC. You did a commendable job. I’m really proud of you and cherish your gallantry with a salute. Folks, you have explicitly manifested to the whole world during the protest in DC that Gambians are now ready to join together under a single platform to get rid of common problem which is no other than our idiot monster is calling himself a president.

As I was keenly following the demonstration broadcast live on most of the Gambian diaspora radios, I recognized voices of different people from different groups and organisations. Suffice it to say, all of these different groups and organisations were there for a single purpose: delegitimizing Dictator Jammeh. They worked hand in glove to ensure  our idiot monster shivers in his pants inside his cosy hotel room. 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 take the DC demonstration as our guiding bearing and 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 organisations 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.

President Jammeh and his bandits are continually killing our people back at home, raping our sisters on daily basis with impunity whiles we are here in the diaspora opening our big mouths, shouting and fighting each other. What is even more shameful is putting our personal problems and differences ahead of our national problems. SHAME ON US! Criticism and self-criticism guarantee  healthy progress of the struggle. Resorting to character assassination will not help us realize our common goal.  Moreover, we often tend not to appreciate the fact  that Allah (SWT) has already chosen President Jammeh’s successor long before he assumed the presidency.  Believe me or not brothers and sisters that is decreed and nobody can amend or stop that from happening. Therefore, we must refrain from pulling and pushing one  another down.

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-centredness, corruption, power hunger and flamboyance. The collective leadership of all the groups and organisations 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.

I often reiterate on my weekly radio programmes that all Gambians especially those in the diaspora to forget about our personal differences and unite against getting rid of President Jammeh. We are tired of the barbaric, cruel and brutal style of President Jammeh’s regime. We need to free our brothers and sisters from the yoke of President Jammeh’s slavery. We must act fast before it is too late and remember opportunity knocks but once. On a daily basis, we are talking on the online radios and writing articles upon articles on the online newspapers on how to weaken President Jammeh but fail to live what we preach. If we really mean what we say and write then what is stopping us from rallying behind one body and rescue our country from the brink of obliteration.  It’s sad for us to keep on saying united we stand, divided we fall and yet we fail to demonstrate power resides in unity. Instead, we are further dividing ourselves daily. Unless we prove that we are ready to put our differences behind us and match forward in a single file, we will only be fooling ourselves. In conclusion, it is apt to assert our success and failure lies with our ability or inability to unite.

Lamin Saddam Sanyang, the Netherlands.


Halifa Sallah Rubbishes Jammeh’s Directives on Eid Prayers

August 5, 2014
Reads :1878
Jammeh's executive order is outright discrimination- Halifa Sallah

Jammeh’s executive order is outright discrimination- Halifa Sallah

In a letter dated 3rd August 2014, Halifa Sallah rubbished directives issued on Eidul Fitr prayers by the president of the Gambia. Mr. Sallah also challenged claims by the delusional leader that he owns the country. Below is the letter in full addressed to the president of the republic.




3rd August 2014


 Taking into consideration that The Gambia belongs to all Gambians, it is deemed wise, right and relevant to address this letter to you on the recent intervention of the state in connection with the controversy surrounding the commemoration of Eid El Fitr on different days. This has even led to some arrests, detention and release on bail.

Where the legitimate exercise of executive authority begins and ends should be known to all those who wield executive power. To exceed the bounds of the guards and fences established by law for the legitimate exercise of executive authority is to plunge into the abyss of impunity and miscarriage of justice.

It is incontrovertible that the exercise of executive power and the issuing of executive directives are limited by law. Section 63 of the constitution establishes the Constitutional limits for the exercise of executive power by making it mandatory that “….a person elected president shall before assuming office take the prescribed oath” to uphold and defend the constitution.

Mr. President the constitution has said, with all the authority at its command, that “the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this chapter shall be respected and upheld by the organs of the Executive and its agencies, the legislature and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in the Gambia and shall be enforceable by the courts…”

It is categorically stated in Section 25 Subsection 1(b) and (c) that “Every person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief and “freedom to practice any religion and manifest such practice.”

The executive and its agents should respect and protect such rights. This is in line with long established religious teachings that there is no compulsion in religion.

The question now arises: Why should any person be arrested for manifesting religious belief in practice? This is why sects exist in religion. They are based on different interpretation of religious injunctions.

Furthermore, it is incomprehensible why contradictory directives were given to Muslims living in different parts of the country to pray or not to pray on Tuesday 29 July 2014 based on executive directive.

Section 33 Subsection (1) states that “all persons should be equal before the law.”

Subsection 2 adds that, “Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.”

Subsection 4 explains what discrimination means as follows: “In this section, the expression “discrimination” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privilege or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.”

Mr President, to allow some Muslims in one part of the country to pray while others in another part are hindered from praying by executive order is outright discrimination.

It is evident that the country does not belong to you. Section 1 Subsection (2) of the Constitution explains who owns the country. It states with certainty that, “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 to whose welfare and prosperity the powers of government are to be exercised in accordance with the constitution.”

The state has a duty not to subject the people to degrading punishment for just manifesting their beliefs in practice. Sectarian conflicts exist in places where public space is accorded to some and denied to others to manifest their beliefs in practice.

The Supreme Islamic Council is a nongovernmental organisation. It should seek legal advice to know the boundaries set for the exercise of its mandate. Findings reveal that it is not established by statute to make subsidiary legislation. It has to shape religious practice through persuasive influence and not through executive directives.

It should promote scholarly debates and convince believers through the profundity of the arguments of the scholars.

The role of the state is to promote inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue to prevent and solve disputes in an amicable manner. It is not to dictate which practice is right or wrong. That is playing the role of god on earth.

This storm in the tea cup should be laid to rest. Praying on different days has been a practice since time immemorial. It has never developed into a source of conflict which threatens national security, on the contrary, it has become a source of jokes as to whose prayers would receive god’s blessing. Religious tolerance should prevail. This is what Gambia and Senegal are known for. Both states and people should maintain the legacy. This is the verdict of justice and commonsense and it is irrevocable.

Halifa Sallah

Secretary General

CC The Chief Justice of The Republic of The Gambia

Attorney General and Minister of Justice

President, Supreme Islamic Council


August 4, 2014
Reads :4830




As humans, we often reach certain heights in our lives when it seems everyone adores us beyond comprehension.  Some will burst into uncontrollable tears at the mere sight of us while others fight fiercely in our defence irrespective whether we are right or wrong. For them, we are the embodiment of their dreams. Whatever we say or do shape their lives and how they perceive everything else. For instance, the way we dress, talk, walk and relate with others mark indelible imprints in their hearts and minds. If we let drown in the glossy ecstasy of that cosmetic fame and power, we often tend to act God and lose our human values. Instead of reciprocating the love and care showered on us by our admirers and followers, we treat them as lesser beings. We humiliate, insult, snob and trample them yet they come back to us forgivingly with open arms. Well, God sometimes test us to measure our faith and humility with wealth, power, beauty, fame and children. Those who failed abysmally, God sends them crashing down from the peak of their grace to an amazing bottomless disgrace.

On the other hand, those who despite all their fame, power, wealth, beauty and children remain humble, loving, caring and God-fearing constantly use their rare gifts to pursue the pleasure of Allah. They become acutely mindful of the rights of others especially those in dire need of help. Their desires are nothing but fulfilling the commands of their creator. Such people will not hurt others consciously. Can we honestly see President Jammeh as part of these humble and God-fearing people? President Jammeh ungraciously conducts himself over Gambians as his artefacts collection and people not worthy of his respect. Here I am reminded by what my late grandma narrated about insanity; she divulged that there are three kinds of insanity: a wealthy who suddenly becomes a church mouse, one who comes from the gutters and wakes up as a king and the natural insane. Perhaps the first two fittingly punctuate President Jammeh. The question I really love to ask him is “Mr President, do you realize that you are beating the uncharted drums of civil unrest?”

President Jammeh be prompted civil unrest is usually condensed by a mishmash of factors before it precipitates into mayhem. No one will query that Gambians are generally a very tolerating, loving and easy-going people. However, whatever has a beginning so it must taste an end. For twenty years you have subjected Gambians to systematic forms of menacing muzzling and oppression. Furthermore, all the children of the parents you have killed, unlawfully detained, banished and humiliated are growing up. Do you for once pause to think that one day this group of Gambians will not avenge the wrongs meted on their parent? It is an undisputed fact of life that what goes around surely comes around. Although, you surround yourself with “a formidable security network”, there will emerge a lapse that will lead to your imminent catastrophic fall. In fact, some of those pretending to protect you loathe your guts but are just waiting for that split second to strike.

Let us for a moment, President Jammeh, take a look at Liberia and Sierra Leone to draw some lessons on the factors which culminated to their bloody civil wars and contrast it with the current situation in the Gambia under your watch. It is pertinent to state, though, that I will not divulge into detail historical comparative of the two countries I draw references from but identify the causes of their civil wars and underscore their Gambian relevance and demonstrate how we are trekking the path they journeyed to ruin. Empirical study of both civil unrests concluded they resulted due to corruption, collapse and destruction of national institutions, marginalised youth, political muzzling, vendetta, tribalism, the formation of external resistant movements and external assistance.

Corruption is a viral cancer which aggressively destroys the vital organs of national institutions and eventually derails it to tear-jacking obliteration. It creates lifelong insecurity and destruction for both state and the individual. Like Liberia and Sierra Leone, Gambia under President Jammeh is embedded in a cancerous corruption web which spreads from the presidency down to the cleaner on the government pay roll. Lamentably, most Gambians particularly those with itchy fingers at the high echelon of the civil service, perceived stealing from the national coffers as being a “ndinkeng ndo”. Consequently, all the negative anecdotes associated with it have been watered down to give it a new look of glory. For example, on the 22nd of July 1994, President Jammeh had less than a dalasi in his name. Sadly today, he is richer that the Gambian government. Alarming, isn’t it? Loans and grants obtained in the name of the Gambia and payable by Gambian taxpayers are diverted into the pockets of the President and a handful of others. As a result, cost of living sky rockets daily.  Basic essentials such as clean water, electricity, rice, sugar and bread become inaccessible for majority of Gambians. Suffice it to re-echo that such living hardship hardens the heart and soils the mind. A society ridden with terminal corruption loses its ethical and moral values. Its people become insensitive to the rights of others and transcend into humans with predatory animals instincts and feelings.

Another factor closely following corruption is the collapse and destruction of national institutions. Every country’s functionality is anchored on its legislative, judicial and executive institutions. In the Gambia, under the seamanship of Jammeh is an exclusive one man governance. He just has to decree his wish and it becomes a law. Owing to his embodiment of the three arms of government, he has successfully eroded their constitutional functions and authority. The legislative house which is tasked with enacting and protecting the laws of the Gambia has become a law producing factory for endorsing his decrees into laws. Similarly, the judiciary is so much prostituted by him that it dishes out selective justice as directed by him. Gambians have lost confidence and trust in the judiciary so much so that most Gambians now prefer to settle their cases out of court. The executive isn’t any better either. Today in the Gambia for one to get quick and immediate service from any civil servant or security officer be it junior or senior one just have to pretend to be associated with Oga or the order is from him. Isn’t that not beating the uncharted drums of civil unrest?

Marginalised youths can equally bring about civil unrest in any society. It is an open secret that Gambian youths are distressingly marginalised by the APRC regime. Gambia is now experiencing alarming school dropout rate which is chasing a mounting youth unemployment saga. Most of them are not only dissatisfied with the type of education they receive at school but cannot find it as a catalyst for employment or personal development. Subsequently, they opt to risk their lives by daring the turbulent and devouring seas for greener pastures in Europe and other viable African countries. What is that suggesting Mr President?

The most devastating of all are the political annihilation and press muzzling. I remember shortly before the 1994 takeover, Halifa Sallah either asked or said something to Jawara who took offence and demanded Halifa to apologize. Halifa, believing in what he said stood his ground and refused to offer an apology and that was it. He was neither arrested nor persecuted for failing to apologize to the President. Are you that tolerant Mr Jammeh? You know more than anyone else were democratic process fails to effect a political change, force will eventually usher it in. When a people are suppressed and oppressed for a while, they will become rebellious and fight to regain their alienated rights by any means necessary. Gambians have lost the taste and feel of freedom 20 years ago.  We live in relentless fear, poverty and harassment. Thus, you are compelling Gambians to take up arms and rise against your brutal regime. Elections became a sham characterized by disquieting voter registration rigging, monopoly of state instruments and resources your incumbent government and political thuggery.

Most importantly, when the web that holds and unifies society is dismembered, vendetta becomes its defining force.  Where jungle law reigns, its inhabitants become callous and barbaric; love, care, sympathy and justice flies away in shame. However, this becomes even more dangerous when its leader believes and has a chip of vendetta on his shoulder. That is precisely what President Jammeh tasked himself to do. He nurtured a concept that he is a society’s misfit. He, therefore, concluded it is Gambians who are responsible for his unpleasant childhood memories. Accordingly, he will make sure Gambians pay for every moment of his horrible years.

Finally, Gambians in the diaspora decided that enough is enough. They came together to form groups and organizations that will champion the restoration of democracy and rule of law in the Gambia. Efforts are directed at soliciting both funds and political pressure to effect political change in the Gambia. Honestly, no option is ruled out.

Mr President, I will conclude with a cautionary metaphor summed by Jaliba Kuyateh, “jusoo la kandi watoo aa nyaboo mu kukolen mbaati”.

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK