Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

“WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH ALSO GETS GOING!” SAYS SADDAM

October 20, 2014
Reads :379
LAMIN SADDAM SANYANG

LAMIN SADDAM SANYANG

To give up is acknowledging self-defeat. Furthermore, a maxim has it that a person who tries and fails is far more progressive than the one who would not try for fear of failure. Therefore, folks, I call on you to remain steadfast and never give up the struggle/resistance against the dictatorship and tyranny we are combating.  There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel besides; we are already on a winning side. The days of President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh are numbered; let no one fool you about it. He knows that we all know that he knows his days are just for a matter of time. Precisely, why he is now doing and saying things without giving them a second thought. He has lost it, period.

He keeps embarrassing himself and Gambians anytime he opens his crocodile mouth and gaffe about his ability to cure all ailments on national television and other public gatherings. To add insult to injury. He asked Dr Zakir Naik whether it is Islamic to marry a disvirgin. If he had sense, the scholar’s response punctuates him as an idiotic leader and Muslim who does not know much about Islam. Equally embarrassing is his constant bashing the British for not doing this or that for 400 years in the Gambia. Two fundamental things stand out prominently in his lashing out at the British: his lack of knowledge about global history and complete hatred for the British. Mr President, in case you do not know, the British had their own parliament house in England and their parliamentarians were all living in England at the time of colonialism. Consequently, for whom were they going to build a parliament house? Certainly not for the people they colonised, that makes no sense Mr. President. Perhaps your argument would have been valid if you said instead of  building a parliament house for a country you are colonising, give them their independent and they will develop themselves. Similarly, if you have not lost your senses Mr. President, you will not meddle your blood soiled hands in religious matters by forcing people to worship or pray whenever you want.

President Jammeh is losing his popularity very rapidly. Let me give you some classical examples why I am saying that his days are numbered:

(1)  During his 20th celebration of 22nd July anniversary 2014, the stadium was almost empty. More that the half of the people who normally attend it were not there. Gambians loses their hope on him that is why they decided to spent their time on something else important rather than go to the stadium to look at his ugly face.

(2)  Everywhere in the world he went, Gambian are running after him and shaming him and his delegation, insulting him and his delegation.

(3)  His victims who are normally terrified to the extent that they would not dare talk to their family, relatives and friend about their experiences with Mr. President are now daring the devil washing all his dirty linens in public through the online Medias in the diaspora.

(4)  The people he once trusted with his life as his right hand people are also feeding the online media houses with very detailed information about the Dictator’s dirty and shady deals.

(5)  The Jungulars who take direct orders from nobody else but Mr. President for all their brutal killings, torturing, robberies and etc are also talking and revealing his chilling atrocities.

(6)  Mr President is now aware he has no secret anymore, because anything he plans or discusses in the morning reaches us here in the afternoon. These are the things that is driving him crazy and of cause the crazy stuffs he is using.

Brothers and sisters all the hair-splitting threats he is dishing out should not move you anywhere. He is scared and desperate which explains why he is acting like that. I will finally conclude with a mandinka maxim, “ning baa dewunta aka kindirolekeh”.

By Lamin Saddam Sanyang,

The Netherland.

Pa Modou Ann for Osseo (MN) School Board

October 20, 2014
Reads :586

Pa Modou Ann

Pa Modou Ann

By Yero Jallow, Minnesota (U.S).

 

I write to endorse Pa Modou Ann for the Osseo School District Board of Minnesota (U.S), the local election of which is slated for November 4th 2014. As an acquaintance and neighbor to Ann, I am endorsing him for the Osseo School Board. I am asking all of you to give him your vote and be rest assured he can make the big difference in seeing a brighter future for our children. A power within our hands is to exercise our democratic rights in seeing representation at all levels, to which the Osseo School Board is a part of. That power is vested in our voting power, and it is a right empowered by the U.S constitution. In exercising that right, we must make wise choices, to ensure our representation will truly represent us, our future, and generations yet to be born.

 

As we brace for the local elections soon, it is worth noting the value in having a contestant like Ann for the School Board member. Just couple of weeks, I had to the opportunity to join those helping with the local campaign namely Cherno Bah, Linda Freeman, Pa Modou Ann, Joy Marsh-Stevens who is also running for the Mayoral candidature in Brooklyn Park (MN), and host of others, for a door-to-door knocking campaign, to give my support and blessing to the campaign for Joy and Ann. So far and based on updates I am receiving the campaign seems to be running very smoothly.

 

Ann started his career as a soldier in the Gambia (West Africa), making it through the many local and international trainings to the rank of a Colonel. After he moved to the U.S over a decade and half ago, he decided to pursue political science education, administration and Leadership, both at undergraduate and graduate level, earning him a Master’s Degree in Global Public Policy, Public and Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Minnesota (USA) in St. Paul.

 

In this age of American history, we have seen Obama’s political triumph, making it to be the first black President in U.S history. It gives the U.S the much needed diversity and closes the racial and faith barriers, for the U.S was constructed on laws that wanted to respect humanity dignity based on rights and equal opportunity for all, and not any such barriers of religion, geographical origin, race, and the long list of vices.

 

As a parent, it gives me comfort, to have Ann at the decision board for what affects our children on a daily basis. Ann is equally a parent with all three Children attending the Osseo Schools.  Besides, Ann is on a mission to help practically with sincerity, to utilize his education and professional experience to help the community to better our children who are the future leaders. Such future leaders need to see inspirational figures, and one such person is Pa Modou Ann.

 

That to the best of my knowledge, I am vouching for Ann being a great character whose input at the Osseo School board will be plausible. Ann is also a law-abiding citizen who will defend any threat to national security both locally and internationally. His quest for human rights, justice, and equality wouldn’t allow him rest, until he employs his services to rescue nations in political peril, either in the hands of ruthless African dictators, or criminal rulers in many quarters of Government. As a former military veteran and a current political strategist, Pa Modou will ensure that our children’s safety, welfare, and continuity of qualitative education will be prioritized and greatly enhanced. To me, a school board member must have these qualities. Base on this knowledge of Ann, I therefore humbly endorse him for the Osseo School Board, and I ask all of you to give him your support and votes.

 

The Struggle for enlightenment, liberation, justice, equality, representation, and world peace continues!!

 

Sincerely Yours,

Yero Jallow

 

Note: The Author of the piece, Yero Jallow, resides in the U.S State of Minnesota. Yero is an activist who doubles as Gainako’s Co-editor. Yero takes hobby in poetry and science. He is also a contributor to most of Gambia’s online media. He can be reached on editor@gainako.com.

How/Why Yaya Jammeh is so Dangerous and More Troubling for Gambia

October 20, 2014
Reads :295

SARJO BAYANG

SARJO BAYANG

Extent to which Yaya Jammeh remains threat to Gambia and how damaging that is

By Sarjo Bayang

He is the lead actor and we keep record of his tracks as history unfolds. Welcome to Gambia where poor junior army ranker seized power by force of guns, nothing in his pocket. In the course of 20 years, he is first Dollar Millionaire African president. How did he do it?

First he seized power by coup in July 1994 and promised returning to barracks after two years transitional military rule. Later he resigned from the army to contest elections. By the most unfair and seriously fraudulent electoral malpractice he was declared winner of presidential elections in successive years. Then he insisted clinging on power as life president by abolishing presidential term limit from the constitution. The idea of getting crowned as king came up and rejected by Gambians before it was set for elections.

Still bent on becoming king, Jammeh wants more. He invited Dr Zakir Naik, Islamic preacher of Indian stock to mark 20 years military rule. Naik in public lecture broke news that Gambia is soon to be an Islamic state. This information many believe emanates from his host President Yaya Jammeh. Now Gambians don’t know how Jammeh as king plans ruling an Islamic Republic of Gambia. What is certain remains the fact that Jammeh already destroyed all sectors of Gambia by first dismantling political structures and systematic due process. A revisit of the damage sectors follows.

Political Damages

Yaya Jammeh jumping the long queue by staging a coup instead of forming political party in July 1994 is the most crooked passage to power imposed on Gambians especially when that turned into dictatorship nobody wants.

What makes matters worse is the fact that all structures of governance and systematic dispensation are being destroyed as Jammeh insists he will never relinquish power without bloodshed. Although the coup that accidentally landed him on highest seat of the nation’s political power was at first said to be free from violence. To that extent, the coup makers proudly called it bloodless coup.

Gambian people never wanting to accept military rule demanded quickest return to democracy. The initial agreement was for the coup makers returning to barracks after two year transition period when democratic elections would be held.

Unwilling to keep his promise of returning to barracks Yaya Jammeh along his junta colleagues cunningly settled for a change in game plan. It is worth reminding them and Gambians that as a nation that prides itself of genuine truthful people, this was betrayal of most serious nature that a group of military personnel will break all rules of decency as it later emerged as jammeh tricked his way to fulfil the wild ambition of president for life.

Jammeh and his military cohorts brought down the entire political structure and systematic dispensation only to replace it with unlawfulness. From July 1994 when the junta invaded political space of Gambia the country has never known peace.

After destroying democracy Jammeh forced down the throat of unwilling Gambians what now remains seen as most brutal dictatorship. Law and order no longer prevail. Those who claim loyalty to Jammeh are free to commit any crime without fear of punishment. On occasions as what happened when more than dozen young students were gunned down by Gambian army at command of Yaya Jammeh, perpetrators of that crime later received promotion in their ranks by Jammeh who doubles as president and Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces.

To entrench himself in power Jammeh made sure all genuine political challengers are marginalised by various tactical schemes which eventually worked. In the course of 20 years Jammeh tried to become king but slowed down after realising this did not go well for most people. He changed the entire political representation so that those voted by their constituents no longer become ministers but simply serve as Members of Parliament MP. That gives Jammeh sweeping powers to decide who become minister and other key government positions.

Not long ago, the idea of transforming himself into king after clearly failing in the job of presidency popped up again. That idea is still kicking. Current political dispensation in Gambia is one where everything is done by dictates of one man who does not respect lawfulness.

From 10 October 2014 Jammeh began 10 days celebrations marking what he calls July 1994 revolution. He invited heads of states and high profile personalities around the world. Low attendance by Gambian population during events marking Jammeh’s dream revolution is enough indication of total disapproval.

One of Jammeh’s invited guests happened to be Dr Zakir Naik, Islamic preacher from India. During what was organised as open public lectures, Dr Naik broke news to Gambians that Gambia is about to be renamed Islamic Republic to great shock and surprise of many.

No matter how many Muslims there are in Gambia, transformation to an Islamic state is a political decision that has to take into consideration other religious denominations. Declaring Gambia as Islamic state is not to be left in the loose hands a failed leader with extremist tendencies.

Protocol is seriously defied when it has to take a visiting preacher telling Gambians the country is to become Islamic state.

Over 20 years of Yaya Jammeh in control of Gambia already has serious political ramifications with devastating consequences on all other matters in public life. Below are some of the affected areas.

Economic disorder

Soon after seizing power economic interest for personal wealth building became first priority for Jammeh. All public resources are under sole control of Jammeh who does not hide his burning desire to get rich at all cost.

In 20 years Jammeh is now richer than Gambian state. He controls all public resources and directly involved in all types of business, small, medium, and large scale.

 Jammeh does not pay tax and that compels other competing businesses to close down or relocate. In the perception of Jammeh anyone who becomes president is free to take maximum advantage by control over the economy and public resources. With that Gambian economy collapsed as Jammeh’s grabbing of personal wealth transcends all political boundaries.

Financial crisis and misappropriation

Money laundering, currency counterfeit and other forms of illicit financial malpractice can be damaging to a healthy cash flow and cripple the economy over period of time. Drug cartels and arms dealers get attracted to a country where they know the president is corrupt and will go for anything. Gambia is typical example of how corruption at level of the presidency bears damaging financial impact. Huge volumes of drugs have been discovered in Gambia bound for Europe worth millions in street value. Until now there is no clear account of who owned the consignment. According to president Yaya Jammeh he was personally bribed 3 million Dollars by drug dealers in exchange for his permission to let them use Gambia as transit point.

That is not all. President Jammeh holds large stocks of raw Dollar notes and gives it out in ways resembling someone commanding a private minting plant, into massive money laundering or harvesting from drug dealing sources.

Post of Gambian presidency does not attract such a salary that the immediate holder is able to play around with so much money in brand new Dollar notes as though a magician tapping from banks.

There is no doubt that president Yaya Jammeh is into illicit money dealings but nobody dares talk about it.

To ensure that he is living clean let president Jammeh produce a clear Balance Sheet of the high office with proper details of where money is coming from, how much, and what is being spent on.  Unless Gambians can ascertain the sources and use of funds that President Jammeh plays with the country’s financial conditions will remain at very high risk of catastrophic outcomes.

Dollar Millionaire African President

Only in Jammeh’s Gambia the president holds large stock of raw cash Dollar notes and not accounted for. It was shocking for poor Gambians when information emerged that President Yaya Jammeh bought a property in America for 3.5 million Dollars. Even before and after that big purchase Jammeh has the reputation of dishing out large chunks Dollars as gift on countless occasions.

Dr Zakir Naik from India joined other invitees to mark 20th anniversary celebrations of what Jammeh referred to as a revolution. Apart from the cost of 10 days celebrations Dr Naik alone was given 1.5 million Dollars for attending Jammeh’s lavish celebrations.

It is not the first time Jammeh displayed his Dollar might in the open. Few years ago more than dozen players and supporters of Gambia’s football team were showered with 1 million Dalasi each. Money was brough in large suitcase and distributed like certification ceremony.

Jammeh is not telling Gambians the sources of his money supply but only seen with bundles of raw cash dished out like a generous wealthy man, not president of a poor nation supposed to be on payroll. Not many people in Gambia know how much the salary of presidency as that is not shown on the nation’s budget. Most certainly though, what Jammeh it is nothing is good enough to sustain Jammeh’s lavish spending spree.

What Jammeh gives out is only a fraction of his wife’s shopping budget. She is big time spender matching world class celebrity status.

At her disposal is special jet that shuttles between Gambia, Washington DC, New York, Paris and other unknown destinations. Zainab the wife of Gambian president Yaya Jammeh is of Moroccan mother and Guinean father, a cross bredd of Susu and tribal Arab. She was said to be a model until one of Jammeh’s army cohorts caught with her, extending an invitation to visit Gambia. On setting his eyes on the lanky lady, president Jammeh eventually proposed. Soon Jammeh was to divorce his Gambian wife and next in the State House came Zainab called First Lady.

It is all perfect for Jammeh to enjoy the power of choice over who to marry. There are no qualms about that. What most Gambians are worried about is the lavish spending spree of Jammeh and his wife combine. How that impacts on the Gambian economy and financial system is what concerns everyone.

Jammeh talked about transparency and accountability when he dislodged democratically elected government of Gambia. In 20 years of Jammeh’s misrule, he refuses to be accountable to Gambian electorates and tax payers. Everyone knows he is rich and that he holds large stock of Dollar notes dished out at random. Nobody knows how much money Jammeh possesses.

At first Jammeh told Gambians that he acquired his wealth from what he called “Allah’s World Bank”. Later it became clear that he discovered sources of tapping illicit money that is beyond records of Gambia’s national treasury.

For a sitting president to be so busy amassing private wealth and so lavishly spending huge chunks of raw cash without gainful occasion is nothing good for Gambia.

Wherever Jammeh gets all the money from, he is by all account filthy rich Dollar Millionaire misruling the poorest country in the West coast of Africa.

Jammeh is so busy amaasing personal weath that he does not preform duties of the presidency. He total liability and great resource risk to Gambia’s already collapsed economy amidst severe financial meltdown.

 Legal Disorder

Jammeh controls all other sectors including the legal system. There is no independence of Gambian judiciary. Yaya Jammeh is not subjected to legal scrutiny as he abuses Gambian laws by his whims and caprices. He does not pay tax or get challenged for all the illicit money making ventures.

Worse still it is Jammeh to decide who goes to jail as show of his unlimited powers. Anyone who commits crime and gets the backing of Jammeh is assured of protection.

Look at number of civil servants taken to court for what they brand them as economic crimes. What Jammeh is doing combines all forms of crime including serious economic crime. He sits there and dictating the judiciary to decide cases according to his desires.

Who is more criminal on Gambian soil than Yaya Jammeh? Someone who broke Gambian laws, dissolved the elected national assembly, and flushed the constitution as toilet-paper that person has no voice talking about decency and crime. Entire existence of Yaya Jammeh at such levels of abuse is enough crime by all consideration. Because he destroyed the legal system by help of people working in the judiciary at top level Gambians are at great mercy of very dangerous enablers.

For people in the legal fraternity of Gambia to accept serving under laws by dictates of a coup maker president that explains how serious the entire judiciary is dented.

Of course not everyone who once worked for Gambian judiciary can be branded as complying with whims and caprices of Yaya Jammeh as illegal occupier of the country’s presidency. There are good examples like Lawyer Assan Martin who stood firm grounds and earned great respect. Others prefer to mortgage their wigs just to be.

Good laws everywhere are put in place to protect life and property. Bad laws as obtains in Gambia under Yaya Jammeh’s illegal occupancy of the presidency serve the reverse purpose of harming people.

When he took up arms to dislodge an elected government what Yaya Jammeh and his military cohorts did was treason. Since that day they never prefer justice. That is how much damage illegal occupation of an important public office like the presidency has serious implications. Even if Jammeh is to stay for another 20 years, one thing he will never prefer is to permit due process of law. Everyone in the judiciary, past and present know this for a fact. Some of them enjoyed it and others still feeding on it. Gambians are seriously betrayed by the nation’s legal fraternity.

Social breakdown

Good examples of how the social fabric of Gambia has been torn apart by Yaya Jammeh can be drawn from same family a member is dismissed, arrested, detained without trial only to have a brother or sister in same family given job and state privileges.

Jammeh does this to divide and rule from family level, friendships, and the wider society. In extreme situations once a person falls apart with Jammeh everyone in society avoids dealing with you. Nobody wants getting close to you for fear that they get arrested. This has tendency to break marriages, other close family ties and friendships. In other situations, a husband is dismissed from his job and the wife promoted to higher position in another capacity. When that happens the impact is immediately felt leading to separations or marital breaks sooner or later.

Gambian social ethos preserves certain moral values. Respect to elders is one of those highly cherished social values. These values are rapidly fading away in some circles. Jammeh gives the impression that long serving elderly workers in public service are not resourceful compared to new entrants. Some jobs are not offered on basis of merit but simply done to put down hard working public servants with longevity.

It is not just at the job front that the ugly head of social decadence prevails. Hardship and economic deprivation account for more serious decline in social values. Gambia has turned into popular destination for sex tourism, flaming up social decadence further. Politics is one area where social relations continue to suffer. Gambian society is divided along political party lines. People in public sector employment are careful not to exhibit their dislike of the Jammeh regime. Others prey on those they have disputes or simply hold grudges against each other.

Some fellows in the streets with no skills or any employable profession will go about posing as secret service agents. In public transports people hardly talk to each other for fear that among them will be informers. Even good people in society could not protect their skin from being suspected as possible spy or informer. Suspicion and chronic guilt continue eating up the social fabric. Trust and confidence die out as one person is set against the other.

That is the type of Gambia Yaya Jammeh created in 20 years misrule by typical police state form and character. He could only do so by first destroying what good there was and in replacement to fill the void with whatever prevails now. All that is as result of Jammeh overstaying his unwelcome occupation of a presidency nobody invited him on.

Overstay in power

Approval rating for Yaya Jammeh to stay as president of Gambia is in the negative especially after 20 woeful years of misrule. Covering his illegal occupancy with so much wrongs count among calculated reason why Yaya Jammeh prefers to stay as life president.

All the promises of development have been failed. Loans borrowed in the name of Gambian tax payers are used up for projects without needs assessment. Bulk of public funds meant for national development end up being diverted to grow Jammeh private wealth.

By time of staging 1994 July coup what Yaya Jammeh gave as the biggest reason for dislodging an elected government was that the ruling party and president Jawara overstayed. Already 20 years since July 1994 coup, blind supporters of Jammeh are saying that because Jawara and his People’s Progressive Party PPP stayed in power for 30 years it is Jammeh’s turn and therefore he too has to stay as long as he wishes. That is the biggest contradiction for a man who declared that he only came to rectify past wrongs and according to him no other president will be allowed to stay more than two terms in office.

Interestingly Jammeh with the help of shrewd legal hands in Gambia’s judiciary butchered the constitution and completely omitted the clause on term limits of a sitting president. Adding insult to injury Jammeh told BBC that he will rule for 1 billion years.

After failing to deliver what the role of presidency demands, Jammeh has nothing to tell Gambians but turning the seat upside down and planning to be crowned king of Gambia. With latest talks about transforming Gambia into Islamic Republic Jammeh’s overstaying in power will continue costing everyone for very long time.

Stepping down so that most honest, caring, and capable persons are given chance is one thing Jammeh must do without waiting to be challenged further. Additional delays will only produce what Jammeh does not want.

Hate, Anger and Fear

While he insists staying in power Jammeh must brace up for more critical challenges. By force of tyranny Jammeh will think he already induced enough fear in Gambians that nobody dare to pick on his many faults. He may be right that a climate of fear is created sufficient to deter some people from challenging him but not all the people all the time.

Amidst the atmosphere of fear there is growing hatred for Jammeh coupled with anger brewing day by day. One would think there is more anger and hate for Jammeh than fear. Even those seen to be closer to Jammeh hate him and he knows that. It is very hard to see Jammeh happy with all the money and material possession in his name.

As he strives to keep the seat of Gambian presidency it gets hotter. Though Jammeh rules with iron fist dictatorship but he no longer enjoys without serious challenges. There is no easy ride for remainder of Jammeh’s days of forced rule whether he leaves in peace now or lastly be left in pieces any time. The damage is already done by Jammeh’s troubling and dangerously dictatorial rule.

 

THE GAMBIA -MISPLACED PRIORITIES

October 20, 2014
Reads :202
Author: Nfally Touray

Author: Nfally Touray

DOES HE BOTHER?

DOES HE BOTHER?

While all serious governments around the world are controlling their national spending and eliminating waste where possible, Gambia government is on ten days celebration wasting national resources that is not adding any value to livelihood of our people. How can we as a country be so proud of 20 years of one man rule with no ending in sight? We are rather calling for change than celebrating 20 years of misrule with so many missed opportunities.

Millions wasted on celebrating this unlawful event of a coup that dislodged Gambia’s democratically elected government could have better use somewhere in the economy for the benefit of the people. It would have been better value for money if funds were spent on providing improved healthcare for the people thereby bringing healthcare closer to people rather than families having to spend hours on the roads to health centres. When the population is not healthy, you don’t have a productive work force and students not learning properly to produce an educated workforce. With the Ebola outbreak in our sub region and spreading like wildfire, what is our government doing to protect Gambian people in the face of this advancing threat?

The funds could also be spent on the provision of better and affordable education for Gambian people including better library facilities in helping university students who are struggling to get the right materials for purpose of their studies. Other uses of public funds include building skills training centres for technical people the economy requires. The availability of technically competent and highly skilled workforce is a good attraction for foreign investment among other things. This will create so many employment opportunities for our young people. People will have a chance to participate in the economic activities of the country and families can easily move from the lower class to the middle and upper class.

Investment in agricultural education programs can help build the skills and capabilities of small scale farmers. Improved agricultural productivity can bring about transformational changes in the lives of our farmers. Our farmers are only growing to consume but with the right investments, small scale farmers can grow to become medium and large scale farmers with increased commercial gains.

As citizens, it is our responsibility to assert our rights in demanding that our government acts responsibly and not waste public resources. Without active citizens you can’t expect to have responsible governments. Civil society needs to speak out in order to influence the government and influencing is not the same as seeking to take power but rather the judicious use of power to do the right things for the people. Wasting millions of taxpayer money in celebrating an illegal coup that has not made our lives any better is not the solutions to our many problems.

 Nfally Touray, UK

“What Do We Do or What Should We Do – To Make A Functioning Democratic Republic?” QUERIES BURAMA DIBBA

October 20, 2014
Reads :159
BURAMA JAMMEH

BURAMA JAMMEH

JAMMEH, THE  UNRELENTING TYRANT

JAMMEH, THE UNRELENTING TYRANT

Some said the ballot box. They suggest a perfect coalition of the opposition could defeat Yahya. This is a good hope except that both Jawara and Yahya has secured at least 50 + 1% in every election.  For this approach to work we have to first remove Yahya’s grip on everything electioneering. Hence at this point coalition or no coalition is not our essential bottleneck. But the bigger problem is not just Yahya going or staying – many assumed if we remove Yahya is democracy but far from it. It may probably better for some than the current but also maybe worst for some than the current – that’s simply changing of the guard. How about we simply fight for a free, fair and equal opportunity Gambia for all at all time 

Others said lets use the courts and this is good– however this assumes there is some functionality in the system. More importantly though even if we win all the cases taking to court the broader injustice and undemocratic governmental apparatus remains in tact. Under functioning systems courts could ensure adherence to laws but not so much ensuring we’re a democracy. Both Russia and China has courts but they’re no democracy by any means.

Others said violence/coup – the outcome of such change is always something else except democracy. Look into history of forceful take overs including Gambia. But also the advocates of this approach are all or mostly living far away from Banjul. My question is – who will pick up arms or take to the streets?

The diaspora’s on the other hand continued to battle for recognition. CORDEG announced some mission statement and in the following weeks GCC came up with one. Ever since much talk about unity but not what is been done or planned to be done. The postures over we’re the umbrella body; apex organization or coordinating agency overshadowed the task at hand.

I believed all of these efforts, thoughts, arguments, debates, etc. has a vital place in our struggle. However until they follow some nature chronology, logic or practical methodology they mean nothing as stand alones, in some upside down mix or in some jumbled up mixture. The point is – of course we will need elections at some point but if we start with it – we will simply run into a cul-de-sac.

Here’s what I think is our best option to make Gambia ‘A Functioning Institutional Democracy’.

  • We need people who represent us – I called these people ‘The National Face’
  • We need to tell people what we exist/represent – the problem. This is what I called – ‘A Democracy Vision’. This is probably the most important task we have at this point. Making Yahya ‘The Problem’ is neither unifier nor asking all to rally behind one opposition candidate is a unifier. Beyond that we have to have the right problem to be able to get the free world to our aid.
  • Leverage 1 – mobilize and Organize Gambians (the whole – not just those considered opposition). Remember this is an agenda to create a democratic republic – not selecting/electing a president.
  • Leverage 2 – influence the International Community and raise funds and impose consequences for the violations our basic republican rights
  • Engagement – pursue Banjul on all aspects of our ‘Democracy Vision’ for overhauls and reforms. Involve foreign nations through their missions in Banjul on our positions (compounding leverage 2). Harness the participation of local political organization and their grassroots support base (compounding leverage 1) not to go to election but on the institution of democracy (level playing field).
  • Use of Leverage 1 & 2 as bargaining power – local gatherings and expression of solidarity with demands of change on the table. Influencing international community to hand down sanctions, travel bans, international courts, limiting/cutting budgetary supports, etc.
  • Repeat these processes over and over as needed/necessary

This I believed is our best political option. I welcome you sharing what you think is/are our best options. Continuing to vent our frustration over what Yahya or did not is not an answer. Hoping that some body exist who will do it on our behave is a fantasy. We will get support if we look for it but we have to do this ourselves. The importance of doing it ourselves is sustainability.

How to constitute ‘A National Face’ and elaborate/formulate ‘A Democracy Vision’ are very detailed subjects that we would need time and wisdom debate. As hard as it maybe look, most of these will come natural as long as focus on the fundamental purpose. Sectional interests are always distractions and will tempt to crop in if absoluteness is not exercises at every stage.

Building up ‘Political Leverage’ is an iterative process, time demanding, very politicking and costly – even the closest allies may have different interests that will have to be accounted for in order to succeed. Goodness its not impossible and very possibly once we get hold of the strategic ends it could move at an appreciable pace.

Engaging Yahya’s administration politically maybe a bite in the chin for some but is the most practical option. In addition establishing a negotiating agenda will not be quick or easy because he (Yahya) current posses all the jokers – hence he has no incentive to give up anything. We will continue to develop leverage that will at some point tilt that equation and we hope at some point Yahya will be asking our mercy (because at that point in time we will hold all or most of the jokers).

As with any proposal projecting into future, this has some built in assumption. That means not every is likely to happen as stated. Fortunately this proposal has very practical assumption that in the event of a need for adjustment there will be several other options to jump on.

Please folks come out with your best ideas so we can begin a national discussion to move forward.

SHAMED COLONEL UMPA MENDY BACK AT STATE HOUSE

October 19, 2014
Reads :823
THE HUMILIATED COL MENDY

THE HUMILIATED COL MENDY

President Jammeh’s longest serving Principal Protection Officer, Col Umpa Mendy, who received his matching orders after been humiliated with a callous demotion from colonel to private has swallowed what was left of his tattered pride to serve Dictator Jammeh to the chagrin of his colleagues, irrefutable source reaching Kibaaro News has intimated. Col Mendy has bitter encounters with his unpredictable boss several times in the past but their recent clash followed aftermath of the historic DC demonstrations by Gambian nonconformists in America resulting in his disgraceful exit from both the army and State House.

Some reports held that Col Umpa Mendy was met by an emissary of Jammeh shortly after he was demoted and dismissed soliciting him to resume duties for the Gambian Dictator which he flatly turned down without a second thought saying, “Over my dead body will I accept a job from Oga again”. Many of his colleagues and junior officers hailed his stand with gallantry and pride. However, that pride was curbed short by his unfathomable sudden U-turn from his position of never to work for dictator Jammeh. Our State House informant posited that Col Umpa was persuaded by the devil’s advocate, Imam fatty who pursued the destitute Col in Senegal.

Reader will recall that Imam fatty tried the same with Ba Kawsu Fofana but failed to convince the upright cleric to make peace with the person who wanted and ordered him killed. It is still unclear as to what fatty must have told Umpa to make him accept Jammeh’s offer of employment again but it is certain that he has his col rank back on his shoulders. “The man is a disgrace just like Samsudeen Sarr. Both men are not fit to be associated with the GNA”, a furious young officer of the State guard charged.  “I just don’t get it”, another angry officer added, “he was demoted three times…three times he got demoted over very silly little things. Firstly, he was late to escort Oga; the second was when he stopped a woman approaching Oga in one of the Meet the People Tour and his recent one after return from US with Oga. I only hope he will not be cleared next time round”.

Col Umpa Mendy is perceived as an officer who lacks personal protection expertise by President Jammeh who accuses him of security lapses. The DC experience was a humiliating one for both men which is believed by many as the reason for his kissing farewell to his job as PPO. “Perhaps, he will learn from his experience and do things better this time”, opined our source.

ABDOULIE SAIDYKHAN, SON OF EX-WULI EAST MP, ARRESTED AND DETAINED BY STATE SECURITY

October 18, 2014
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MR A SAIDYKHAN AT THE MERCY OF THE NIA

MR A SAIDYKHAN AT THE MERCY OF THE NIA

WHAT HAPPENED O FREEDOM AND JUSTICE?

WHAT HAPPENED O FREEDOM AND JUSTICE?

The former parliamentarian for Wulli East Hon. Duta Kamaso’s, who was unlawfully arrested, detained and severely torture while in detention for allegedly being part of a doctored coup attempt, son-Abdoulie Saidykhan is currently unlawfully arrested and detained at the nefarious NIA torture chambers in Banjul. Mr Saidykhan, a GAMTEL staffer is described by his colleagues and neighbours as a God-fearing and law abiding gentleman is currently at the mercy of State thugs at the NIA. Abdoulie’s only crime, according to dependable source reaching Kibaaro News, is his failure to show up and mark his approval of colours of dictatorship and tyranny guised in President Jammeh’s 20th celebration of his usurping a democratic rule.

“It is not only preposterous but shameful to accuse Abdoulie of being anti-establishment. The man cannot even kill a fly due to his contagious shyness and respect for authority”, a furious colleague told Kibaaro news.

“President Jammeh is nothing but a bitter and contemptuous immature leader who gratifies himself in settling scores with his perceived enemies. Mr Saidykhan arrest is an extension of the vendetta Jammeh holds against Abdoulie’s mum. The man is innocent, my friend. Mr Saidykhan like his mother is a victim of political muzzling and neutralisation”, another worried colleague added.

Abdoulie is known for being the quietest of the four children of the veteran politician, Duta Kamaso. He is always polite and mindful of not overstepping his limits. He is one the most knowledgeable and dedicated staff in his department revealed a Senior Official in GAMTEL who chose not to be quoted by name. Many believe the young and innocent Saidykhan will go through hell and back in the hands of his interrogators at the NIA just as did his mother. An insider of the NIA confided to Kibaaro News that “even some of our Directors finds his arrest unlawful and vehemently oppose it but are fearful of the repercussion if he his release without satisfying Oga”.

“Please don’t be surprised if they come up with another bogus charge against him. Everyone is compelled to sing praises of Babili Mansa. Anyone who is strictly off the political hoo haas in the office is stereo-type as anti-establishment. Abdoulie happens to be someone who refuses to mix politics with work”, laments another. Many other GAMTEL staff is also reported as been arrested and detained for failing to attend the coup 20th celebration. Abdoulie’s mother unlawful arrest and torture without trial was due to government’s failure to twist her arms to slavishly follow the regime and campaign for it. She and her son- the family bread winner have become Jammeh’s political punch bags.  Abdoulie urgently needs help to regain his freedom as many fear he might end up in one of the dungeon of Jammeh’s killers- the Jugulars.  As we go to press neither Abdoulie nor his arrested colleagues have been charged or accused of any crime, a typical of the Jammeh regime.