Thursday, 27 December 2018
I write to remind you of your appointment by President Adama Barrow, the Commander In Chief as Minister during his Cabinet reshuffled effective Friday, June 29th 2018 to spearhead the affairs of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
It is true that it’s only been a few months since you have taken over your new duties for a better health sector we want. As a stakeholder in the health sector, I can only appreciate how full your plate is. Unfortunately, I am writing this open letter to you to expose to you certain realities that sovereign citizens of The Gambia are confronted with which you might not be aware of.
Honourable Minister, I am heartened by the appointment of a superstar with your understanding as a health minister. By now, you will have settled in, been brought up to speed by ministry officials and learned how Cabinet sets priorities and policies. Furthermore, I am totally disappointed that the recent budget did not stress health as a major concern. I hope that the health of Gambians remains a priority for the Barrow led Administration.
The last time I checked the Health Sector under your watch is facing massive challenges beyond imagination. Over the past few months, we have heard that services are not effective as expected and citizens are struggling to get the essential health and care support that they need due to the inadequate medicines and facilities at the Hospitals across. This resulted for people especially the rich to go to private clinics for medication.
Honourable Minister, I don’t mean to be disrespectful in my this open letter but I submit to you that, we the poor citizens take our families to the public hospital without facilities and proper care while those of you at the climax whom we voted for, to protect and improve our health care facilities take your families to the private clinics. Health should be a priority of the Barrow led Administration as a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.
Please note that in the 21st Century inaccessibility to health care is a violation of human right. We cannot achieve a free zone disease country until and unless we take in charge of our health sector and pump into the required resources needed. We cannot continue to rely on Aid and Grant to improve our health sector.
Honourable Minister, you could recall that 129 Gambian doctors have gone on a sit-down strike some months ago following comments made by your predecessor Safie Lowe-Ceesay who accused them of corruption a comment that did not go well with the said doctors.
I will advise you to work closely with your staff to avoid another strike in order to stay long in that ministerial hot seat. Especially, to formulate plans, strategies and policies for a better Health Sector we want as per the National Development Plan championed by President Barrow.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Monday, 24 December 2018
The last time I checked the most talked Supplementary Appropriation Bill (SAB) tabled by Mamburay Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs in December is a violation and unconstitutional as described in section 154 (1) and (2) of the 1997 Constitution of The Republic of The Gambia.
The question is where did Speaker Denton have the power to vote on the said SAB that was controversially passed by the National Assembly on December 14? The Speaker who is a trained legal person should abstain from bringing harm. Voting in the National Assembly; Section 106 reads;
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, any matter proposed for decision in the National assembly shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting.
(2) The person presiding in the National Assembly shall have neither an original nor a casting vote and if on any question before the National Assembly the votes are equally divided, the motion shall be deemed to have been rejected
Readers could recall that Halifa Sallah and Co. did not participate in the voting process of the said SAB. Besides, the issue is the SAB tabled by the Minister of Finance itself is illegal and unconstitutional. Therefore, it will be a crime to participate in a process that is totally unconstitutional and against the public finance Act and the Constitution as stated in Section 6 (A) and (B), which reads;
"Any person who by himself or herself or in concert with others, by any violent or other unlawful means, suspends or overthrown or abrogates this Constitution or any part of it, or attempts to do any such act; or
(B) Aids and abets in any manner any person referred to in paragraph
(A) Commits the offence of treason and shall, on conviction, be liable to the prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly for that offence.
If National Assembly Members can hijack the Constitution, then that tells a lot is urgently needed for a better Gambia we want. Until and unless we realize the significance of good governance our Nation will perish.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Friday, 21 December 2018
Readers could recall that The Gambia National Assembly Members approved the 2019 Budget estimates presented by Hon Mamburay Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, to the tune of D25 Billion. Days later he presented a Supplementary Appropriation Bill at the tone of D1,128, 337, 519.77 with just over two weeks to the end of the financial year.
Which resulted in Activists, mainly Youth to occupy the National Assembly on Thursday, 13 December against the Supplementary Bill, to show their total dissatisfaction and rejection of the said, Supplementary Bill? Besides, the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs tabled the bill as legislators sparred over it at the legislative chamber with a hot debate which resulted in adjournment.
The last time I checked the Barrow led administration announced 50% salary increment for government civil servants and 100% pension increment but records have shown that as regards 47% of Gambia’s revenue comes from grants and aid.
The untold truth is, tabling the said SAB in December is a violation and subject to constitutional coup and hijack of section 154 (1) which reads, An act of National Assembly may make provision for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund and for authorising the President to make advances from that fund if he or she is satisfied that there has arisen an unforeseen and urgent need for expenditure for which no other provision exists:
Provided that the President shall not authorize any expenditure from the Contingencies Fund in excess of one per cent of the estimates approved by the National Assembly for the current year before he or she has caused a supplementary estimate in respect of such excess expenditure to be presented to the National Assembly.
Section 154 (2) reads; where any advance is made from the Contingencies Fund, a supplementary estimate shall be presented, and a Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be introduced for the purpose of replacing the amount so advanced within ninety days of the advance being made.
The Barrow led Administration through its Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs should tell the sovereign electorate why it needs additional D1.2 Billion Dalasis in less than 2 weeks before the end of the financial year. What kind of unforeseen and urgent need is the Government faced with to justify raising D1.2 Billion?
‘‘Of recent unconfirmed reports reaching us has it that the NAMs approved half of the proposed tabled Supplementary Appropriation Bill and a motion tabled by the Minister of Justice for an increment of Commissioners of the Janneh commission for D500,000 each, which is another waste of taxpayer’s money’’
Monday, 10 December 2018
Readers could recall that in July 2006, the Summit of Heads of State and Government adopted the African Youth Charter at their Summit in Banjul, The Gambia. They underscored the importance of youth participation and involvement in the development of Africa.
Besides, The Gambia as the host and a signatory to the African Youth Charter should lead by example through empowering her youth by occupying the leadership space. As it will pave the way for the development of national programmes and strategic plans for a better Gambia we all want to see.
On Monday, 9th July President Adama Barrow presided over the swearing ceremony of new Vice-President Ousainou Darboe along with eight ministers at State House in Banjul. Surprisingly enough, there was no Youth among the list including the Youth Minister who is above the Youth age bracket.
Of recent, we have seen how the young people of this country been ignored as none of the political parties nominate a youth as its flag bearer. The Constitution which is also the supreme book of the land discriminated the youth as it is categorically stated on Section 62(1) B of the 1997 Constitution.
Besides, the Ministry of Youth and Sports which aim is to ensure that investment in youth and sports take place across sectors and in all policies and programmes is headed by a person who is not a youth. Lamin Darbo, Executive Director of the National Youth Council once said ‘‘anything for the youth without the youth is not for the youth’’. The Gambia youth has all it takes to preside over the affairs of the State beyond imagination in the 21st Century; it is a tragedy for a pensioner to run the affairs of the Youth.
The African Union Assembly decision in January 2016 established the theme for 2017 as ‘’Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments In Youth”. AU heads of states and governments recognize a country level demographic dividend as a central to continent’s economic transformation in the context of AU Agenda 2063.
The last time I checked, Gambia’s regeneration cannot be realized if adequate investment is not made in the youth who constitute about 60 per cent of the total population. The African Union Constitutive Act and the African Union Commission strategic plan 2004-2007 give due priority to youth development and empowerment as the youth are the solution to Africa problem.
Furthermore, Article 11 (C) of the African Youth Charter stated that ‘‘Ensure equal access to the young man and young women to participate in decision-making and in fulfilling civic duties ’’. Therefore The Gambia will not develop until and unless the Youth are given the opportunity to take part in the development process of the State.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
The last time I checked the Gambia gained independence in 1965 it has been 53 years since the British left The Gambia and they enlightened themselves from colonial rule; some leftovers of colonialism still remain in The Gambia Judicial sector in the 21st Century. I can’t understand the continuing tradition of The Gambia judges and lawyers wearing white wigs made of horsehair.
The courtroom wigs were officially adopted in Britain in the late seventeenth century as a reflection of the popularity of the wigs as a fashion statement in the larger culture. It all began with King Louis XIV in France who likely lost his hair to syphilis at age 18 and established the first wigmaker’s guild in Europe in 1655. (David, 2017).
Despite the fact, these wigs are conspicuous symbols of British colonial misrule yet still the wigs remain popular in The Gambia judicial sector. Besides, I am fully conscious of the significance of the wig and the gown to the legal profession in The Gambia, but I believe that if we are able to do away with the colonial wearing of the wig and the gown in our courts, we will be taking away a greater part of the intimidation and fear that often characterise our courtrooms.
After half a century into the end of colonialism, The Gambia Judges and Lawyers still cling to this old tradition of wearing the horsehair wigs. While the originators of the said tradition have abandoned it a long time ago. Surprisingly enough, the only outcome these wigs have in courts proceedings in actual sense is the heat it generates. These wigs are not favourable to The Gambia weather considering how hot The Gambia is. Gambians often find themselves in too much heat that they do not need the help of a wig to plant heat on their skins.
Truth be told, this practice is brutish, backward, reactionary and of no significance today, and thus, should be jettisoned. It merely glorifies the masters’ way of intimidating their subjects, inciting eminent fear among the people by divisions and classifications. (Safo, 2018).
The unanswered question is why the Chief Justice can’t bring their dress code into the 21st century, where they do not follow colonial norms. Is The Gambia Justice sector missing colonialism that it wants to remember this wigs and gowns brought to use by the colonial masters?
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Friday, 23 November 2018
Reference is invited from the Standard Newspaper on its November 19, 2018, publication as per the above subject matter. ‘’The Minister of Tourism and Culture Hamat Bah has revealed that the government is in closing stages to introduce a new regulation which will stipulate that at least 80 per cent of all music to be played on radio stations be Gambian’’.
Hamat Bah should note that Radio stations playing different music is a matter of choice. It's not the business of the government to determine what type of music should be played in radio airwaves after acquiring their operational license. Dictating the radios will be subjected to modern day dictatorship in the 21st Century.
It is true that the Gambia music industry need helps but with such a policy as proposed by the Tourism Minister can have a negative impact as it violates Section 25 Subsection (1) A of the said 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia. Besides, Hamat should focus on salient issues affecting our tourism industry for a better Gambia we all want to see as Tourism is a major contributor to The Gambia’s GDP. The unanswered question is what has played music had to do with the development of the music industry?
Let the Minister through the stakeholders open the doors, and create the dialogue between the different sectors that feed and sustain the music industry. As Minister of Tourism and Culture, he should support festivals and events that will build a strong economy and vibrant communities, attract tourists and contribute to revenue creation especially the said Musician. And continue to measure the contributions of these events and festivals and ensure that all decisions relating to them are supported by sound economic analysis and policies.
The last time I checked Hamat Bah has been on the headlines of the media both those home and abroad as per his controversial remarks. ‘‘The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat NK Bah, has called on the Gambia’s backway migrants to return home and marry as many wives as they could in order to ease the burden of rising single women on Gambian society’’. (Thepoint, 2017).
“We are not a sex destination. If you want a sex destination, you go to Thailand. The Gambia is not a sex destination. We are not, and please every Gambian must sing that song. We cannot afford to see this country to be brought to that level. We must protect and preserve this country,” Hamat Bah told Kerr Fatou.
The Minister should be informed that he is no more an ordinary person and his words can have an impact on the society and the country at large if mathematically calculated and wrongly executed. Since we are in the tourism season, it will be better for the minister and his administration to formulate strategies, plans that will increase and boost the number of tourist’s arrival annually.
By: Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Wednesday, 7 November 2018
|Commander Michael A Larbi|
‘‘November 5, 2018 publication on the Freedom Newspaper has it that a suspected timber trafficker was on Thursday shot by foreign troops deployed in Sibanor. He became unconscious due to the gunshot wounds he sustained during the incident. He was later hospitalized. A Gambian law enforcement source said the truck driver, was not engaged in timber smuggling as alleged. He said the driver had secured his timber legally and had a permit to proof it’'.
“Please note that ECOMIG has no troops deployed at Sibanor – Bwiam general area. The Senegalese Contingent there is deployed as part of the Bilateral Relations Agreement between The Gambia and Senegal. These troops are not part of ECOMIG, therefore, they operate under a separate mandate based on the agreement between the two countries and NOT under the ECOWAS/ECOMIG mandate. This is for your information; an official statement will be in the post tomorrow,” Larbi added.
The question of the day is, how can The Gambia Government have such a military deal which is not part of the ECOMIG contingent without the awareness of the sovereign citizens?
Shooting an unarmed civilian is a crime and a threat to national security. There were many options in hand that the said soldier could have used to avoid the use of the live bullet. On a similar note Foni bigot the unusual as a bitter confrontation between the peaceful protesters and Senegalese soldiers at the entrance of the village letting to bloodshed. Residents of the rural settlement and the Foni environs demanded the immediate evacuation of both the Gambian and Senegalese soldiers in Kanilai. The protesters were shot on their route to Kanfenda leading to some citizens sustaining injuries and fatal, Mr Haruna Jatta who was later laid to rest on the 6th of June 2017.
It was narrated that the ‘‘ECOMIG’’ soldiers from Senegal were informed to shoot the protesters as they are rebels from Cassamance? If that was true then it is complete ridiculousness to allow any nation, regardless of the external generosity to fight their enemy within your land, and knowing very well and with the supreme belief that the aftermath can be life-threatening.
Democracy means a government by the people and for the people governed by the parameters of the Constitution. What happened to both Haruna and the Truck Driver is sad and unfortunate; there is no justification for the killing and shooting of the innocent citizens.
Therefore, let the Barrow led administration build up an investigation into the matter and come down to the base of this crime against the innocent sovereign citizens of the Republic of The Gambia to minimize defects. As this is the second time such terrible crimes been caused by foreign troops stationed at the Fonis.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Tuesday, 6 November 2018
Readers could recall that 3 people have been confirmed dead and several others injured in a clash between residents of Faraba Banta who were expressing their constitutional rights as guaranteed by Section 25 (1) A, B and D respectively of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia and the members of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU).
Sources highlighted that the incident happened after Police opened fire on a crowd of unarmed protesters who were concerned about sand mining activities by Julakay Engineering and Construction Company in their community. It was described that the mining company was granted licenses to operate closer to their rice fields which they perceived to be counterproductive not only to crop production but also exposed them to environmental dangers. Besides, in a Democratic State, the Police is to protect, serve and to deliver criminals into the hands of the law who threaten the livelihood, property and peace of other sovereign citizens as in Section 178 (2)
It is on record that Section 200 (1) of the 1997 Constitution empowers the President to constitute a Commission of Inquiry and appoint one or more Commissioners to make inquiry for the public good. The National Assembly may also request the President to establish a Commission of Inquiry if need be.
Furthermore, Section 202 (1) empowers a Commission of Inquiry to:
“(a) Make a full and impartial investigation into the matter in respect of which the Commission is established; and
(b) Furnish in writing a report on the results of the inquiry, including a statement of the reasons leading to the conclusions of the Commission.”
Additionally, Section 203 highlighted that “On receipt of the report of a Commission of Inquiry –
(a) The President shall within six months publish the report and his or her comments on the report, together with a statement of any action taken, or the reason for not taking action.
‘‘The last time I checked a commission was set to investigate Faraba killings and ultimate one month duration was given to the said commission to tender its report. Unfortunately, the outcome of the report still remains the question of the day’’. Commissions report findings, give advice and make recommendations. While their findings are not legally binding, they can be highly influential in the decision-making process for a better nation we all want to see and live in.
Since Commissions of inquiry are independent of the government. They must act strictly within their terms of reference and ensure their processes are within the law. If the government establishes a commission of inquiry one expects that it would act in accordance with its recommendations, publish the findings so that those involved would be able to have a conclusion.
Thursday, 1 November 2018
It was coined by Kwame Nkrumah in the context of African countries undergoing decolonization in the 1960s. Neo-colonialism is also discussed in the works of Western thinkers such as Jean-Paul Sartre (Colonialism and Neo-colonialism, 1964) and Noam Chomsky (The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism, 1979).
The last time I checked Africans were taken as slaves to the new world and forced to work on the plantations without pay. On the African continent, the Europeans seized land from the Africans to establish plantations for the growing of cash crops and forced the people to work on these plantations for a meagre. The African culture was diluted, traditions were taken away and their ways of life were destroyed.
It is so sad to see how the colonizers were welcomed at the Banjul International Airport in a country which they ignored and looted all her resources especially gold, diamonds and agricultural primary products. The British forced the Gambian people to learn their English language, taught them how to eat European food and dress like Europeans abandoning their own traditional way of eating habits and dressing.
‘’So our plane wasn't allowed to land today and we had to circle in the air around the airport for 30 minutes because a Prince was there!! How could so many lives be risked for one person? When I looked around all I could see was restlessness on the faces of passengers. The most annoying part was he wasn't even using the runway. They could let us land and stay aboard the aircraft’’. Said, Sanna Manjang.
The aforesaid immorality action is the highest insult to our sovereignty and Independence. If Edward Francis Small were to arise and see such slavery still happening in The Gambia in the 21st Century he will regret all the effort he did to liberate The Gambia from the British misrule. Let's not be fooled, they have realized the growing influence of China in The Gambia and now they are out there to fix the damage they caused with their own negligence.
A country that has a longstanding relationship with the Gambia and doesn't have a full-fledged embassy in the Gambia and to add insult to injury, Visa applications for our dear compatriots are sent to other countries for processing. Nyang Njie, added.
Why do we need to take TOEFL or any other English language test as nations who have been colonized by the British to prove our ability to speak English language, knowing very well that we have been speaking the language right from primary to university? Why do we need transit visas as nationals of the commonwealth? After decades of British misrule, nothing substantial being in education, healthcare and infrastructure can be seen in The Gambia done by the British. The truth is that their coming has to do with the natural resources that start emerging from our fertile land.
The unanswered question is why the coming of a colonizer should be a headline or even matter of planning by the State. To the extent of using the students to stand for long hours under the hot sun leaving lessons and risking their lives in the traffic. Which black leader is celebrated when they visit Europe?
Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Leadership skills in the 21st Century are an essential component in positioning executives to make thoughtful decisions about their countries’ goal and objectives, and properly allocate resources to achieve those directives for a better society. Unfortunately, 10 years after Independence Africa has not only produced corrupt leaders but clueless and visionless leaders who don’t wish anything good for their citizens.
The last time I checked Africa has witnessed its fair share of traumatic experiences due to the thieves we elect into public offices to oversee the affairs of the State. It is on record that in Africa one of the most common symptoms of survival is lack of empathy and compassion. In terms of natural resources, Africa is the world's richest continent. It has 50% of the world's gold, most of the world's diamonds and chromium, 90% of the cobalt, 40% of the world's potential hydroelectric power, 65% of the manganese, millions of acres of untilled farmland, as well as other natural resources. Despite its natural wealth, Africa is home to the world's most impoverished and abused people.
Furthermore, Africa has been politically backward and immature throughout the ages, with lots of violence, injustices and above all corrupt practices. Her children on the other hand, while thinking about better days to come their way, have been proven wrong by people they voted into public offices.
Nowadays, any responsible person could be easily offended by the increasing mayhem in the continent. This is particularly true for Africans as the continent is highly suffering from various atrocious misdeeds and mischiefs. The major cause of all existing wrongdoings in our beloved and resource-rich continent is primarily poor leadership.
Fanon, in his wisdom, already saw the crisis of lack of leadership in post-colonial Africa. He saw a leadership that was so eager to fill the shoes of its former colonial masters. Without failure we must critically assess those who vie for leadership positions in our societies, least we select comedians, as opposed to strong visionaries for a better Africa we all want to see.
Indeed, many people in Africa do not have trust in their leaders. This is because most often than not leaders tend to abuse power for various reasons. It is often said by many that African leaders put first their personal interests than anything else. It is obvious that their self-interest may not be the interest of the public at large. Corruption, nepotism, egoism and abuse of power are the major characteristics of African leaders. (Gebremeden, 2016)
Mugwiji said being an African, to continue blaming Western powers for under developing Africa decades after most countries have gained independence, is simply failure to take responsibility. This is not to discount the continued negative effects of imperialism and neo-colonialism, but a sheer understanding that for us to turn things around we must take responsibility for our own actions.
Monday, 22 October 2018
|Dr Sidat Yaffa|
Reference is invited from the publication on the Standard Newspaper as per the above subject matter dated Friday 19th October 2018 ‘'A new political party is being formed and due for registration at the Independent Electoral Commission soon''. ‘'The party to be named Citizens for National Development, CND is headed by a UTG lecturer, Associate Professor Dr Sidat Yaffa and Dr Madi Touray''.
The said Professor should focus more on transforming the University of The Gambia to meet international standards first before eying for the presidency. However, if we want to have a better nation where students learn to develop themselves and strive hard to learn the values of life, we must focus our energy and resources on the university where it all began. As such will build trust within the citizenry to rally behind him in achieving his dream of the presidency.
Furthermore, how prepared and serious is Prof. Yaffa to run a State considering the calamities at the University of The Gambia which he and the colleagues need to address as soon as possible for a better educational system we all want to see?
Is Prof. Yaffa not aware that there is a need for basic furniture for lectures to take place at the UTG, the environment needs to be conducive to learning and as it stands the boards are so old? Their needs to be developed with regard to learning, the times have changed and in the 21st century, there is a necessity for the use of technology in the classroom. The University still lacks basic projectile or video presentations of important lectures. In a nutshell, there is zero use of the latest technological innovations to help students at the University of The Gambia in their learning.
The current infrastructure at both programs needs expansion in order to accommodate the increasing number of students particularly when other programs such as the medical and public health classes are held simultaneously. The said challenge should be the agenda of the Professor on how to address it for good.
Leadership in the 21st Century is an essential component in positioning executives to make thoughtful decisions about their institution's mission and goals, and properly allocate resources to achieve those directives. That's what the UTG need now in which Prof. Yaffa is a stakeholder. Sheryl Sandberg said Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.
To be continued…
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
I write to express my concern over the issue of corruption in government. Since after independence there has been total and open corruption by both Governments officials who have been placed to manage the affairs of the State.
We have seen the privilege given to some individuals to manage the affairs of this country being misused, some have enriched themselves and their allies and in turn, the very people who have elected them to serve have been neglected and the country is saddled with huge debts which our children and grandchildren will have to repay. Every day newspapers tell us tragic stories of many incidents of corruption. In offices, no file moves until the dealing officials get the bribe.
The society that ignores religion fall a prey to corruption. If the man who is committing corruption has the fear of God, he will never make a fuss of in this act. As we have broken our links with religion, we have no sense of right or wrong. We have forgotten the golden rules set by our elders as per the teaching of the Holy Scriptures.
The best way to tackle this crisis is to create a social consciousness amongst the people on this very vital issue. The corrupt elements should be thoroughly exposed and given an exemplary punishment. Those who bring the cases of corruption to the notice of the authorities should be publicly humoured and richly rewarded.
The corrupt rulers have forgotten the practices of Hazrat Omar (RA). Hazrat Omar (RA) kept awake during the nights and had a round of the city to see the real situation of his society. He held himself responsible if even a dog died of hunger. Do our rulers or politicians show this type of the character?
To control corruption, we have to make our people true Muslims and Christians. Only our religion can guarantee the purity of body and soul. It teaches us the lesson of simplicity and satisfaction. It will make us God-fearing people. If everyone becomes gentle and considerate, there will be no corruption at all for a better society we all want to see.
Monday, 15 October 2018
In 1907, Galandou Diouf was the first African Originaire elected as Legislator Councilor in Rufisque. In 1914 Blaise Diagne, also an Originaire became the first African to win a seat at the French National Assembly. Diagne subsequently became the most important politician in the four communes. He worked to gain full voting right for the Originaires in 1916. At Diagne's death in 1934, Galandou Diouf succeeded him in the French Assembly. Lamine Gueye, the last Originaire politician in Senegal, replaced him during World War II.
In 1946 Gueye gained voting rights for all African subjects in Senegal, equalizing their status with that of the Originaires. With the Independence of Senegal in 1960, the special rights awarded to the inhabitants of the Four Communes were permanently abolished. (Encyclopedia of African History).
The policy of assimilation was promoted vigorously in the Four Communes of Senegal. The African inhabitants of the Four Communes, called the Originaires, had the status of French citizens and thus were unlike other African inhabitants, who were subjects of the French empire and controlled by the Code de l’Indigénat or the Colonial penal code.
On Christmas day 25th December 1982, there was a mass demonstration by MFDC led by one Alieu Ceesay Badjie, a retired military sergeant from Thionk Ecile, and Salif Sadio of Kartiath calling for the independence of Casamance whose population is religiously and ethnically distinct from the rest of Senegal.
At the time of the demonstration Diamacoune was not in attendance and when the leader of the movement Alieu Ceesay Badjie was shot and killed by the Senegalese security forces, the rest of the revolutionaries ran into the bush and regrouped in the border along Guinea Bissau and Salif Sadio became the Commander in Chief of MFDC.
Diamacoune Senghore did not take part in the said demonstration but he later managed to established contact with the revolutionaries in the bush whose aim was to liberate Casamance for independence. The composition of the armed separatist movement has the hallmarks of an ethnic conflict given fact that the separatists are mainly from the Jola ethnic in a region which is comprised of multiple ethnic groups. This can be attributable to the fact that the Jolas are the dominant group in Casamance and yet the most marginalized, but it also points to the fact that there was no broad consensus in the so-called claim for independence among the various ethnic group and even within the Jola ethnic group there was no broad support and therefore the armed separatists resort to terrorizing communities that do not support them. The deliberate attack on non-Jolas especially Wollof of the North also contributed to the dwindling support among the population of Casamance.
The movement also got support from the Guinea Military top brass some of whom were engaged in illicit drug trafficking. The MFDC support the former Guinean Chief of Staff, General Ansumana Mane during the power struggle which ousted President Nino Vierra and brought Anusmana Manneh to power.
The assassination of General Ansumana Mane by Kumba Yalla marked a turning point in support and sustenance of the MFDC because Kumba Yalla drove the movement out of their base in Guinea Bissau. This weakened the movement and divided the MFDC into small faction scattered in mainly the borders of The Gambia and some still at the Bissau border.
Wednesday, 3 October 2018
Historically the Casamance region has a diverse colonial heritage due to the Portuguese, French and the English control for over 200 years. The region was a Portuguese colony until 1866 when control of the territory was ceded on the British in exchange of the territory.
Portugal originally colonized the region including Guinea Bissau in the 17th century and subsequently gave the Casamance to France during the Congress of Berlin negotiation in 1886. The British then assumed control of the region shortly but finally ceded the region to the French. The Casamance region has since then become a French colony until Senegal attained independence on 4th of April 1960.
The Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) was formed on May 7th, 1947 by four revolutionaries; Ebrima Diallo and Edward Diallo of Kolda, Emil Badian of Bingiona and Edward Diatta of Oussouye. The main objective of the MFDC then was recognized as a party in the Senegalese independence movement.
Readers could recall that; during the French colonial rule in Senegal only four regions were allowed to nominate/elect representatives to the French parliament and this regions were Saint Luis, Gore, Dakar and Rufisque. The deputies were; Galandou Diouf, Blaisse Diane and Lamin Gaye whom all came from these four stated regions.
|Leopold Sedar Senghor|
‘’Leopold Sedar Senghor a prominent Senegalese scholar who was brought up by the Catholic Church was said to have supported the founding of MFDC on the understanding that the MFDC will back him up in his bid to become the leader of Senegal. It was quite obvious that Senghor will not get the backing of deputies from the four regions simply because he hails from Sine Saloum a region outside of the four regions mentioned above’’. My source, Said.
When Senghore was finally elected into the French Parliament and eventually led Senegal to Independence in April 1960. He introduced one-party rule thereby banning all other parties. MFDC became dormant and some of its founders died in mysterious circumstances.
In 1974 when the multiparty rule was reintroduced in Senegal Lamine Kura Senghore a National Assembly deputy from Cassamance made a call in parliament for the revival of MFDC party. He also called for the Senegalese government to produce the remains of Allen Sitoiye Jatta, a female Activist of Casamance who was arrested by the French and sent to exile in Mali for resisting French influence in the Casamance region. Lamin’s call did not go down well with President Senghore and as a result, Lamin fell out with the PS party. It was later reported that Lamin spent the rest of his life in jail (Source not confirmed).
Monday, 1 October 2018
Reference is invited from the article published on the Freedom Newspaper dated September 27, 2018, as per the above subject matter. The aforesaid immortality article of accusation is a hateful fabrication of huge lies and dislike at the highest level on top of Mountain Everest, mathematically calculated wrongly with the intention of ruining and undermining the status of David Kujabi, are we in the area of character assassination?
The aforesaid evil, wicked article, was a malicious mixture of offensive mammoth lies, hatred, deep-rooted academic and intellectual jealousy, designed and projected to portray David in a bad light, and to nastily wipe out the dignity and impeccable honour he is known for as a Police officer. In fact, the author has the audacity to add hatred on our noble, splendid Police Institution.
Dalasi Keme should note that David is exercising his constitutional rights “right of freedom of speech and expression” and “right of academic freedom”, which are expressly guaranteed by Section 25 (1)(A) and Section 25(1)(B) respectively, of The Gambia’s 1997 Constitution.
The author name Dalasi Keme, hypocritically hiding behind the keyboard has the guts to spew garbage on an honourable and finest Police officer of our time. I will advise the author of such an evil article to utilize the opportunity well as such will not take him/her any were.
‘’I am watching and monitoring and I intend to continue to contribute henceforth because some of us cannot remain silent watchers. Apologies, but I can’t be bothered to use my real name, a protection social media also provides’’ Said, Dalasi Keme.
Surprisingly, enough Dalasi Keme has the backbone, and the moral fibre to accuse David as a disgruntled officer. This saw how academically raw, crude and evil he/she is since he/she is hiding behind a fake name.
I refer Dalasi Keme to the 1997 constitution to familiarize himself/ herself on Section 24(3) A of the 1997 constitution (Presumption of innocence). Furthermore, David is serving this country of ours with sincerity, honesty, integrity, passion and courage.
I think it is high time we help the government with how government's function. Our collective responsibilities should be how to bring back the lost glory of the country for the past wasted 53 years of so-called independence. Fact, no one but us can make our country a better place for us and generation unborn. Let’s try to put The Gambia first before anything else. (Badjie, 2017).
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Friday, 28 September 2018
|Teachers at the press confrence|
I write in solidarity with the teachers for change as per their request for a better education sector. Our teachers were the educators who give us knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something for a better society we all want to live in. Still advances us a viewpoint of looking at life and helps us build opinions and have points of view on things in life and the surrounding.
The last time I checked education is widely regarded as essential to economic growth, national development and overall prosperity. In The Gambia, education is valued very highly and theoretically given a high priority. Strangely enough, however, the teachers responsible for educating Gambia's children are not valued that highly as expected compared to other jobs. Considering the rapid increase in goods and services, you would think that teachers would be among the highest paid professionals. Yet teachers are compensated unreasonably to their advanced education levels and are disrespected by many people.
If the salary for teachers were higher, then more people would want to join the profession. With more competition for teaching, the best people would be the ones who are ultimately to be hired. With better teachers at schools, more students would hopefully connect with what they are learning and want to go on to a higher education. With more education, graduates from the University of The Gambia would be better prepared to go out as far beyond Bollibanna.
I remember when my teacher once asked me what I want to be in the future. I replied Teacher, he shouted at me "not to pray for that". And informed me that teachers are the least paid in which they struggle with their salaries to make a leaving as they normally rely on bank overdraft. After a lot of thought, it's obvious to me that my education would be much better if my teachers felt valued. It seems as though many teachers are asked to do more every year for the same salary or sometimes with a pay cut.
Many teachers have not been noiseless about their reasons for abandoning the profession, low morale and low pay. Yet the state’s response has not been enough to end the ongoing crisis of teachers in schools. The job of recruiting and retaining qualified teachers especially in the rural areas becomes more difficult without wiggle room for bonuses and high pay.
Motivated teachers can lead to increased productivity and allow a school to achieve higher levels of output. It is high time for the Barrow led administration to consider the demands of the teachers. Since the majority of teachers quit the teaching field unwilling because of the harsh and stressful conditions.