Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

JAMMEH’S NUGHTLY CONFESSIONS IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA

March 24, 2017

 

Former Dictator Jammeh clearing his new farm land in Equatorial Guinea!

By Gambiano

JAMMEH: First I beseech yester’s Tuti Faal and chide today’s Zeinab. And to Halima I commend a path to Halifa’s heart, if fate needs only wishes to hatch its results. Sallah is what they both share–a happenstance for my bloom or gloom. This, all in dreams of a return home. But a drop these are in Gambia’s ocean of my crimes. If wrong could be monetized to drachmas, the accounts of mine shall but swell to accretion and infect the land to her peril.

OBIANG: What names these are that tend to paint the heart’s variety on thy face this hour– the despondency, the fret, and the melancholy? Halima thou tend to pronounce, yet with colorful remorse, and Halifa with confident fright. Who can that Halima be?

Zeinab enters through back door without Jammeh noticing

JAMMEH: At eighteen, I ravished her damsel existence as was my wont with many a woman. Such was her vulnerability that even deactivated conscience canst, but dole out Dollars to her lap. Thereafter, a fair maiden was jettisoned for Zeinab’s rightful wrongs. For veritable Halifa–aye, the phonetics in the name and the humility the bearer carries will make a better Gambia. Perchance he shall prevail on the coalition to let me fester not in banishment.

ZEINAB: Her name on thy lips again this abode shall crumble to dust!

JAMMEH: For the vixens, let that assume precedence over the clock’s next tick! My host counts no offense, but words matter not in hell, neither deeds wholesome nor glorious language.

ZEINAB: (To Obiang) He measures your hospitality to hell’s welcome–this ungrateful guest of unaccounted origin.

JAMMEH: Excuse her damned deductions. But my exit from Gambia was a retribution from hell. Like a century old spell, I’m purged to the fore–for birds to cherish sylvan territories and reach for boughs low and high; for flowers to quietly admit their love to the morning sun; for sweet maidens to rest pretty faces on chests of deserving grooms; for bows of free speech to finally find arrows of free expression; for heads of households to be restful on late night pillows with peaceful assurances from heads of security agents; for connoisseurs to savor local delicacies to visceral delight. My host, I pray, misappropriates not the fair judgment of my catharsis.

OBIANG: Wielding power I tutor my son who now receives pressure from France and other faces pale; losing it thou may coach me on. Only that I too keep a stock of human skulls filled with virgin blood, deadly fangs of a black mamba, boiled sacrum and viscera of an infant. If power is patentable, I shall be the first to pay its cashiers. But that without, we court the dark blessings of preternatural forces.

JAMMEH: Beware of fake custodians of fate. They shift punctuations of the mathematics of God to soil the hands of men like us. O scribes of transcripts kept in hell, allow me snatch mine to wipe it clean. And beware, O man, of a woman sworn to extravaganza.

ZEINAB: And a man that hides even corpses of his victims.

JAMMEH: Be more mindful of a consort privy to such graves, but laments them not as long as her purses bloat.

ZEINAB: Did I order Ello Jallow dead?

JAMMEH: Did you abandon me for it?

ZEINAB: Haruna Jammeh, Masireh Jammeh, Deyda Hydara, Daba Marena, Jassacha Kujabi, Alpha Bah, Basiru Barrow, Chief Manneh, Kanyiba Kanyi, Solo Nkrumah, Solo Sandeng–do I proceed? To be Jammeh, verily, is to secede from reason and be gory, dark, and occult.

JAMMEH: And to be Zeinab is to devour all such description yields. Didst thy conscience return from an 18 year vacation? Wasn’t it thy avocation to irrigate from Gambia’s finances? Had thou been conservative with such trips foreign, Ello Jallow might still be breathing.

ZEINAB: My crimes are barren where thine flourish with quintuples or more. Ello had to perish under surreptitious maneuvers?

JAMMEH: His love thou secretly nurtured to let me rave to the grave. And from thee, this hour, a stabbing sermon of spontaneity?

ZEINAB: It was thee that opted to consort with an 18-year old Halima–cursed be my tongue for pronouncing it.

JAMMEH: And I brought thee when there was another. Listen, O leech-like spouse that binds to money! Tonight I wear cleaner lens to fathom that evil begets only another. The evil of a house for thee in Potomac is sprung of one that choked Gambia’s coffers. It was such that sacrilegiously beckoned Ello and thee to Maryland at the hemorrhage of my venom.

Obiang bids goodnight and exits

ZEINAB: The same evil brought an 18-year old to thy sartorial pleasure. If Halima lost to my jealousy, Ello, earlier lost to thine too brutally. I see Barrow exacting retribution, but too economical with it as to let thee live.

JAMMEH: If my crimes preside over my burial, they shall return to prosecute thee for being paramountly party.

Enter messenger

MESSENGER: Yankuba Badgie, Malick Jatta, David Colley, and many more in Barrow’s shackles. What counsels thee for our trouble-makers on the ground?

JAMMEH: APRC lived not on oxygen, but human blood and Gambia’s epithelium. It shall leave behind naught but cursed memory. And I, its fountain live to witness bleaker days. Not again do I ask for human skulls to burry spells, nor cowries to cast and sow hourly seeds of mischief. Announce me not, O Teodoro, to demons of thy longevity. Of what pleasure is that castle next to thee in Potomac? With it shall be rendered to ignominy all that bears this troubled name.

ZEINAB: (Soliloquy) Be monolithic, money-mettled, O Suma! Unleash the same malignant spells of yours on the Obiangs as to siphon from their earnings with abandon. Wealth earned ill shall be spent ill. With money, Jammeh was a slave–without it less than one. If chanceth upon it, I shall make of the Obiang playboy a useful spendthrift.

JAMMEH: By the heavens, thou aren’t worth a philanderer’s soiled linen. Thou art sure to leave me sooner than the world freezes my assets. Forgive me, O Gambia!

 

Ends

 

Nietzsche: “God is Dead”

God: “Nietzsche is dead”

 

Jammeh: “Mandinkas will never rule Gambia again”

Mandinkas: “Jammeh will never rule Gambia again”

CORRUPTION: WARNING TO THE NEW GAMBIA GOVERNMENT

March 24, 2017

Author: Musa Manneh

By Musa Manneh, New Jersey

Thomas Jefferson — ‘When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty”. Ludwig von Mises – “There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.” Definition of Corruption:“Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs.” “Corruption: dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers): the act of corrupting someone or something.” “The Corruption Perceptions Index: ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean)”

Corruption is one of the most dangerous social ills of any society. This is because corruption, like a deadly virus, attacks the important sectors that make for the society’s progressive functioning. This is particularly true for developing countries, such as The Gambia. Funds that are initially earmarked for industries, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructures are either out rightly embezzled, misappropriated, or otherwise severely depleted through kickbacks and over invoicing by agents of government. The Gambia is the 145 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International, which means that The Gambia is considered as a corrupt state.

Corruption is, in its simplest term, the abuse of power, most often for personal gain, or for the benefit of a group to which one owes allegiance. It can be motivated by greed, by the desire to retain or increase one’s power. Corruption has become the one main social evils of the 21st century. Corruption is rampant in every aspect of our social lives. The main cause of corruption or the practice of corruption is through “bribery”. In other words, bribery is the lethal weapon that individuals and firms use to practice corruption.

The state is the first institution that repressed its own citizens through corruption. The high ranking officials take advantage of their positions in the government to enrich themselves. This is one of the main characteristics of corruption in developing countries such as The Gambia. The lower-earning employees may also take advantage of their power and insist on bribes. This could be due to the fact that most of these lower-level officials are not well paid by their governments. Thus, bribery and corruption become a way to “earn” more money. Bribery is practiced by every sector of the economy. Today, we can notice this evil practice of corruption in the terminals of seaports and airports where the employees accept brides from businessmen and travelers. The businessmen bride the officers in order to evade taxes, customs duties or regulations. Corruption is also common along the frontiers and borders.

Corruption is also rampant in the judicial system. Powerful government officials and rich businessmen influence the judiciary by giving huge sum of money to judges and lawyers to drop their cases, and even set them free when they commit horrendous crimes. The businessmen also make payments to government officials to obtain major contracts. These may include payments of bribes to obtain import and export licenses, foreign exchange permits, and investment and production licenses. The biggest loser from corruption is society, as a whole. Corruption distorts economic incentives, discourages entrepreneurship, and slows economic growth.

Nepotism, tribalism and favoritism are also evil practices that facilitate or pave the way for corruption in the modern-day society. “The price of nepotism causes a complete failure of a country, or an organization to develop.” The government officials especially the presidents and ministers employ their close relatives and confidents in various sectors of economy in order to serve their interests through corruption. In Africa, a president may “hijack” the whole government and institutions of the country by giving important positions to his clan members and friends. They get all the major contracts of the economy. In most developing countries, the governments have become private ownership of ruling family and its entourage. Massive corruption is done, without any law to stop the families from emptying banks of their foreign currencies and gold reserves.

Another cause of corruption is brides that buy political influence or votes. It is important to distinguish between political and bureaucratic corruption. While the latter involves efforts by civil servants to enrich themselves through illegal means, the former is used by political coalitions to capture the apparatus of the state or maintain a monopoly on power. Political corruption usually includes activities such as vote rigging, registration of unqualified, dead, or non-existent voters, purchase and sale of votes, and the falsification of election results. The politicians and their political parties influence the electoral system by giving money and incentives to the voters in order to determine the outcome of the elections. It is a common practice that destroys the rules of democracy, good governance, accountability and transparency in the world.
Furthermore, corruption is not only about stealing funds from government coffers, and bribery. It is also about appointing unqualified and unskilled people in key positions. These people usually don’t have the zeal, sincerity and professionalism to perform the job.

“Corruption is worse than murder. It kills more than warfare, it takes land and moneys to build a hospital and buys a private jet, and condemning thousands of people over multiply generations to die of curable diseases.” Corruption is crippling the development of African countries. In the African government office, it is common to find a department full of village friends. Many of these employees don’t have the qualifications to do the job other than being clan members. A leader should not be the richest man in the country, where he can use his leadership to get even more wealth. For example, African leaders have caused the continent to lose more than $1.4 trillion from 1980 to 2010.

In conclusion, I will advise The New Government of The Gambia to pay great attention to corruption. The Gambia is already ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The government has to create strong institutions that will combat corruption. Politicians need to know that the interest of their constituents and the country come first and foremost. One should not enter politics for personal gain. Nepotism, tribalism, and favoritism have to be completely eliminated from our society. Corruption corrodes the fabric of society. It undermines people’s trust in political and economic systems, institutions and leaders. It can cost people their freedom, health, money and sometimes their lives. In sum, corruption has no place in any society, especially The Gambia which has inherited “empty coffers” from a dictatorship.

Dead to Corruption
Dead to Bribery
Dead to Injustice
No to Dishonest Politicians

Stop Corruption before It is late!

I am incorruptible. I rather die poor than be corrupted. Dishonesty has no place in my heart.

Be A Honest Gambian
Long live The Gambia

From, Musa Manneh
New Jersey, USA

GOOD MORNING MR PRESIDENT – FUND FOR THE FAMILIES OF OUR FALLEN HEROES

March 20, 2017

Author: Tha Scribbler Bah

By Tha Scribbler Bah

22 years of dictatorship has made our Motherland, the Gambia, a hell to live in. In terms of security of the people, the freedom of the people, the healthcare provision of the people, and the financial condition of the citizens became despicable. Life became very expensive due to so many anomalies in our governance. Investment was at a minimum due to the predictable unpredictably of the dictator. As such, providing for one’s family became an uphill task.

Notwithstanding all these, a few people – at the risk of their lives – stood up to the dictator. They defied the fear that paralyzed most of us and went out there to demand for change, to demand for reforms which will allow a better and fairer electoral system in order for us to have a change of government which will respect the Rule of Law and respect Human Rights. This, they envisaged, would open the space for investment and funding so that the lot of the common man will improve.

True to his nature, the dictator did not look kindly on such people. As a result, he ordered a clampdown on them. This resulted in some of them paying the ultimate price for our freedom. Mr Solo Sandeng, Lang Marong, Mr Kurumah all lost their lives to this struggle.
Remember, just like you and I, these people were also struggling to feed their families. Having gone out there, under the sun, as it were, while we were in the shade, they forfeited their ability to provide for their families. Some of them have left large families without a breadwinner. I know that one left nine children, with some very young indeed, and another left fifteen children alongwith wives.

Mr President… Are we going to leave these people to suffer want and deprivation after their breadwinners have used their sweat and blood to water our nascent democracy and freesom? What will that tell about us? What kind of future do we envisage for our country if we do that?

Mr President… I know some may say it is too soon, but some basic necessities do not take a break. For instance, the fact that they eat, dress, rent a house, go to school and so many other things on a daily basis. It will not arguer well to just go on as nothing has happened.

So, I’m suggesting the setting up of a special fund for the families of our fallen heroes. In this way, their wives and children can be taken care of, particularly, but not limited to, the education of their children. This way, our future generation would not fear to venture into national service knowing that even were they to die, their posterity will be taken care of…

And also, Mr President, can they be given a posthumous award for gallantry and national service…?
Have a Good Day Mr President…

Tha Scribbler Bah
A Sovereign Citizen!

The UDP DIASPORA TRIO’S APPOINTMENTS

March 20, 2017

Author: Jainaba Bah, Sweden

By Jainaba Bah Sweden

Congratulations as we celebrate your appointments to serve Country and People:

Koto Ebraima Manneh and Brother Ebrima Sillah: Politics is a public enterprise but the most important workloads are carried out behind the scenes within closed doors. Whilst people may follow and read your shared thoughts and ideas on social media, the greatest contributions you made in The UDP and the Gambian struggle are yet to be documented for public consumption. Your dedication, enthusiasm and readiness in carrying out our collective duties have left a positive mark on us all who worked with you. Writing letters, formulating documents, trying to perfect a Party Manifesto, attending meetings, making du’ahs and always being the best of Ambassadors for The UDP and The Gambia at large.

Koto Ebraima Manneh with the soft-spoken encouraging kind words. Not for once have I ever heard you being reproachful or sarcastic. You encouraged us as you inspired us and made us believe in our abilities to make a difference; however small.

Pushing us in the forefront to excel whilst you retreat in the rear doing the hard work and creating history in silence.

Brother Ebrima Sillah: Despite the time difference, you will attend Conference Call meetings. Defining Talking Points, Sharing your visionary thoughts and ideas across the Atlantic. Arguing with respect and always ready, sans hesitation to take up

responsibilities assigned by The Party.

Your motto: Selfless Sacrifice.

Ambassador-at Large: Mr. Alkali Conteh

Congratulations Koto Alkali Conteh (Nna Kebba) for being assigned one of the most honorable posts in serving country and people. I got to know you in the summer of 2013, after the successful Raleigh Conference and The Stockholm Diaspora Dialogue. Being a natural  leader and someone who encourages collective efforts, you reached out to the Gambian Diaspora Organizations in the US, across Europe and Africa in building CORDEG. Working with you in CORDEG, you became my source of hope and inspiration, resurrecting a latent almost extinguished fire/desire within me to continue to struggle for a shared cause; the emancipation of our Nation; The Gambia.

From CORDEG you invited me with open arms to The UDP, in the process, offering me a platform where I can share my voice, vision and passion to work selflessly for Country and People. During the course of our work, you have been so trustworthy, accommodating, generous, honest, kind, so caring; in a nutshell, such a Beautiful

Human-Being. I can say without any hesitation that we have become family in the truest sense of the word. I have learnt so much from you and from my Party comrades within this period that I always Thank ALLAH SWT for making our paths cross. Thank You Nna Kebba!

I joined politics in my final year at High School (1983) as a student activist. I was 20 years of age; young, innocent and fearless. That was a good combination when you relate it to the role of students in National Struggles. Later, I started working with MOJA-G (Movement for Justice in Africa-Gambia). All that I learnt and experienced in MOJA-G became my gauging compass when I opted to join the UDP. Without coercion or family ties, I decided with a very clear conscience that The United Democratic Party (UDP) is the Party I wanted to join and be a member of, The Party of my choice. This decision was taken whilst making du’ahs to ALLAH SWT to Bless the venture and help me stay steadfast and true. ALLAH SWT’s reassurance came in April 2015 at the Standoff in Fass Njaga Choi. Our Party Leader; Lawyer Ousainou Darboe’s unflinching defiance to Oppression and his Valiant stance ready to face the enemy was a unique moment in time and space! He looked at crack-down straight in the eye and not a nerve twitched. For me that day was The Defining Moment and Place! I was convinced that my choice was the Right One! When the dust settles, Fass Njaga Choi should be revisited.

The second historic event came in April of last year (2016). April has become a significant month in the Gambian/UDP Resistance Calendar.

After Solo Sandeng’s most unfortunate and gruesome demise, again our Party Leader, Mr. Darboe with foresight and a huge sense of willingness to sacrifice life and limb, made one of/if not the most calculated and visionary moves ever in our history as a Party and a Nation. Looking at that video and listening to his words all I could see was a Man ready to put his life on the line; enough is enough! When he uttered the words describing the way Solo Sandeng was brutalized in custody and his resulting death, many at that gathering broke down in tears. I was in Sweden, about 5.887 k.m away and I too broke down in tears as his words resonated with my soul. Thank you Sir for speaking to our beings when you address us! Yet with all that pain and anger, our Leader, Mr. Darboe was able to channel all our staggering emotions to A Most Significantly Unprecedented Call; A Peaceful Demonstration, which He lead with the Party Executive!!!!

Lawyer Darboe: The trauma and agony You endured during your arrest and consequent imprisonment were our strengths. Your Resistance our Mantra! Your statement letter addressing the judge and the court, which you were not allowed to read was a unique work in its own class within The Gambian Struggle for Justice Narrative! What is that motivates men and women to stand up for their rights, Freedoms, Equality; The Cause of The People?  Thank You for the Sacrifice, All Of You, Our Invincible Leaders!

Today, I would like to thank all my Party colleagues for giving your time, energies and resources to the National Liberation Struggle from Dictatorship. Thanking you   for being there for our Party when we were in the trenches! You refused to watch by  the sidelines. You stood your ground, unrelenting in your defiance to tyranny. I salute you and thank you All!

To Nna Kebba (Koto Alkali Conteh): Thank You for steering the UDP Ship through the high rough seas we encountered when our Leaders were in jail. Thank you for building on a continued strong communication line between the UDP Diaspora Wing and the Home Front that helped the flow of constructive exchanges of ideas and visions resulting in a shared vindication and victory for Country. Thank you for energizing us in mobilizing the needed resources whenever our Party calls out to us to assist both economically and mentally! Thank you for being our Staff to lean on, the Shoulder to cry on and the Leader to trust, knowing through thick and thin He is there for us and The Party looking out for us! Thank You for your Dedication and Loyalty to Country; being a Source of Knowledge, Encouragement and Inspiration for All Of Us! Much Love and Respect to You Koto Alkali Conteh!

To Our Leader. Mr. Darboe: I would like to seize the occasion and once again convey my deepest condolences on our shared losses in the deaths of  the two Solos (Sandeng and Kurumah) and the recent passing away of esteemed Leader, Comrade Lang Marong. Sending my solidarity greetings to our Sisters: The two Fatoumattas (Camara and Jawara), Sisters Nogoi and Fanta. To all those who were arrested and incarcerated in the aftermath; Mrs Kaddy Samateh Fatty and her then four months old baby Aisha, with the father, Mr. Modou Fatty and everybody on that list.

Sir, we give Thanks and Praises To ALLAH Tabaaraka wa ta’aala for your safe return to us, All Of You!

Insha ALLAH, the future looks bright as we tap into our inner resolve to carry our Country to Higher Heights! Whether in government or as ordinary working people/foot soldiers. Today more than ever before, I am Honoured, Humbled and very Happy to call myself a UDP member!

Congratulations Koto Ebraima Manneh, Brother Ebrima Sillah, Koto Alkali Conteh, Koto Amadou Sanneh and Lawyer Ousainou Darboe. My du’ah is: May ALLAH SWT make the task easy for You and reward the energies and efforts you shall be putting in the work you have been assigned for The Good Of Our Motherland, The Gambia!!!! Aaaameeeen Ya Rabbi!

Long Live Progressive Politics!!!

WE WANT A UNITED COALITION TO CONTEST IN THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS!

March 1, 2017

Coalition members on their way to nominate Adama Barrow in the run up to the December 2016 Presidential elections

By Yanks Dabo

If it comes to party politics in The Gambia, I’m sure many of my acquaintances on FB would attest to the fact that I am UDP to the core. However, as we approach the National Assembly elections, scheduled for April 2017, I want us all, the opposition supporters of The Gambia, to find common ground in unity and advocate and prevail on the coalition party leaders to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections, in the same united front as they approached the Presidential elections of 1 December 2016, which drove out the Dictator Yahya Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea.

I just returned from The Gambia, yesterda

y 28 February 2017, the unity of our people under the Coalition Presidency of President Adama Barrow, is paramount and crucial to the promotion and sustaining of unity among our people, peace and progression of the country, during this trying times of our county.

There is a serious threat of divisions in The Gambia along the Mandinka – Jola tribal lines, an unfortunate legacy of Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years of divide and rule dictatorship. The least Gambia needs, at present, is to further broaden those fault lines into Mandinka-Jola-Fula and Wolof tribal lines, which is the risk, if the coalition should further disintegrate or gives the impression of such.

For this reason, in the interest of national unity, I think we must all abdicate our political party interests for the greater good of our country’s national interest and unity just for the next five years. At that point the memory of Yahya Jammeh’s legacy would have been a distance past!

The diaspora Gambians have played an important role in bringing and achieving the coalition that defeated Jammeh on December 1st, 2016, we can achieve the same in the upcoming parliamentary elections of April 2017.

To achieve this, we ourselves must remain united behind the coalition and make the same clear to our various party leaders that we want our victorious coalition of December 1st, 2016 to be victorious again in the upcoming April 2017, parliamentary elections.

 

BE PATIENT: GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIKE RUNNING A CORNER SHOP (‘BITIKI NARR’)!

February 28, 2017

Celebrations of the new Gambia

By Sheriff Kora

The year 2016 and the historic events leading to the elections and the political impasse that followed in The Gambia will go down deep in our political history for several reasons. The greatest achievement of the year was undoutedly the electoral defeat of Jammeh and cutting short what would have been his fifth-term of unrestrained tyranny. Besides uplifting hopes for countless citizens fighting against dictatorship in Africa, these events have also led to the biggest leadership and constitutional crisis in our national history. Although the protracted crisis was finally resolved without any force or violence, the events and the crisis that unfolded have tested the constitution of the country to the core, and severely challenged the principle of separation of powers between the three organs of government (executive, judiciary, and executive). For the first time, over 50, 000 Gambian fled en masse seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

The dust has settled, and democracy and the sovereign will of the people ultimately won the order of the day. On the 19th of January Gambians proudly watched the inauguration of Adama Barrow as the president of the Third Republic. The pomp and fare that marked the Independence Day celebration last week, was a clear indication that a new dawn has arose in The Gambia.  However, it is worthy to state that a simple electoral victory and change of political leadership in Banjul will not mean that new prosperity we seek would be achieved overnight. Doris Le

ssing said it best in her book African Laughter – “look at the past if you want to see the future.” Given the financial mismanagement, social and political tyranny that has cemented the APRC government in The Gambia over the past 22 years, followed by the December political crisis that has sent the national economy into a tailspin, president Barrow and the coalition government have an uphill battle to climb.

Objective criticism and a vibrant opposition are essential ingredients of a democracy. Fittingly, it is a great sign of victory that new spaces for political dialogue are now created where all genuine citizens with an agenda, a set of commitments, and beliefs can debate about how they would like the future Gambia to be. The Barrow government has been in office barely a month, and we’ve already heard all sorts of accusations, criticism of inefficiency, tribalism, and nepotism levied against them. Diaspora rabble-rousers in the past regime have now shifted focus and re-energized their efforts towards the new government. It is the sacred right of every Gambian to express his or her opinion on matters of concern to them, but it is also important to realize that rights come with responsibility. It helps to be reminded that there is a fine line between reality and rhetoric in political discourse.  Running a government is different from running a corner shop. Government is messy and complicated business.

Like many objective critics, I too strong support setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate the atrocities committed by the past regime, and to bring justice to the victims. I do belief there is an urgent need for institutional reform, proper installation of the rule of law, and a purge in the security forces. There is a litany of policy and legal reforms our country has to go through in order to get back on track. I am not a member of the coalition government, neither am I a Barrow apologist. My loyalty is solely to my country, and to the ideals on which it stands – freedom, fairness, and equality for all. However, as a student of government, there are two things that make me empathetic to Barrow and his coalition government:

 

  1. One of the worst things about taking power is that to keep your dreams they have to narrow themselves to the necessities of keeping power (Doris Lessing – African Laughter). From the outside, people at the heart of government look very powerful, but on the inside they are lonely, helpless and weak from the numerous expectations of the citizens and the difficulty of fulfilling all these expectations. It gets more complicated for our new government based on the fact that they inherited a government saddled with high indebtedness, corruption, and low human capital.
  2. Moreover, the wise leader wouldn’t want to do every transformation agenda at once. The risk would be high. Hence the need for prioritizing and sequencing in the delivery of service. Barrow is the president of a coalition government, and once a coalition government is formed, agreements need to be properly managed, relationships built around competing interest. This requires some level of expertise because most of the sustainable economic development problems this new government faces are not simple fixes but complex ones. Government’s approach has to be in lockstep with the most urgent events and issues at hand,

We just freed our country from a government that has embarrassed and insulted us with unrestrained personal spending, corruption, empty promises, international isolation and blatant lies. Consequently, one can understand the impatience and frustration of many Gambians seeking immediate justice and reforms. However, we should not let our emotions betray our conscience. The task of reforming Gambia’s socio-economic and political institutions seems so vast that it is tempting to throw one’s hands up and give up on the assertion that it cannot be done. As such, president Barrow and his executive have to adopt sustainable methods of reform and engage stakeholders to ensure the policy advice they receive is sound and of high quality.

The coalition leaders proved their patience and astute leadership qualities in ensuring that the presidential election crisis was addressed and the change agenda wasn’t derailed. I believe with patience, God’s beneficence, and the continuous support of all Gambians, our political leaders will bring the necessary institutional reforms, reconciliation, justice, environment and inclusive economic development policies that are important to the prosperity and general well being of all Gambians.

THREE DIED AT CELEBRATION. WAS IT A SECURITY MEASURED BLUNDER?

February 19, 2017

The musical jamboree of Gambia @52 two in one celebration dotted by match pass of the security forces, school children and civil societies submerged Gambians into a euphoric trance of reassuring peace, tranquillity, contentment and hopefulness.  Conversely, beneath all that glittering fanfare lays three deaths and dozens wounded as a result of gross security negligence and police inaptitude at the stadium. Dependable reports emanating from Banjul confirmed the three deaths and dozens wounded gracing Gambia @52 nationhood celebration.

An eye-witness who had a gold invitation card observed, “On arrival at the stadium, I saw a huge crowd of people and few paras at the gate. Some diplomats were even struggling with civilians to enter the stadium. At first I thought is this some kind of a security sabotage? My card was useless as I have to squeeze my way in.”

Another witness also lamented, “People were jumping from the pavilion as it was packed full and no access route to go for refreshment in the loo or outside. The presence of the paras were painfully dispersed. Some other youths were likewise seated at the top of the areal on the left-hand side of the covered pavilion. That was a serious security risk and a potential accident waiting to happen”.

As a former security officer who partook in several parades, crowd control and management, I was socked with the news of such security lapse. A contingent plan must have been drawn by the Commissioner of Operations to curb any contingency of huge crowd turn out. Standby and backup platoons must have been readied to support units deployed to control and manage the crowd at the stadium. President Barrow has pulled unprecedented crowds in the past and will continue to do so in many more occasions. So for the Commissioner of Operation to fail to provide adequate security personnel to manage and control the crowd at Gambia @52 two in one celebration is a gross neglect of duty and ineptitude.

The Hon Minister of Interior must investigate this gross security lapse and ineptitude of the police. President Barrow and his rainbow cabinet will not succeed if their efforts are continually thwarted by the security services. The SIS has also failed in letting a pocket of demonstrators slip into the stadium and manifest in the presence of all the delegates and diplomats at stadium. It is their constitutional rights to dissent but there should be a time and place for it. One of those demonstrators could have cause harm to the person of the president or any of the state guests. The space of change is slow and painful.

Another diaspora Gambian who travelled to witness the celebration revealed, “The only notable change is the executive and the cabinet. Other than that, everything remains unchanged”. Many believed that most of the security chiefs and heads of units are still loyal to Jammeh. “The success of the celebration is purely due the civilians love and loyalty to Barrow. They did not want anything to rob them of the joy of celebrating”, added another.

“Barrow has lofty dreams and great intention for the Gambia but his efforts will be continually thwarted by bad elements within the security services”, lamented one youth.

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK