Thursday, 31 May 2018

Re: Vice President Calls For A Rousing Welcome For President Barrow And Delegation

Reference is invited from the press release issued from the office of the Vice President dated 24th May, 2018. Calling on all Gambian’s and well-wishers to come out in good numbers to welcome back his Excellency, President Adama Barrow, at the Banjul International Airport and along the streets.

This as a result of the President being successfully mobilized pledges totalling to 1.45 Billion Euros from divers Donor Countries and International Partners.  The question is why citizens should thank their leaders on issues that they supposed to do and execute as servants of the citizens.

Meanwhile the Gambia is in a state of coma which need urgent diagnoses. It is sad to read on papers that the Barrow led administration received aids from Donors but yet still The Gambia is poor like a rat in the Church. Surprisingly enough 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 of 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.

It is one year now the Barrow led administration is yet to demonstrate any leadership or clear direction.  This is believed to be an oversight by the presiding President and his advisers, due to lack of familiarity and understanding of the existing 1997 constitution.  To my knowledge the ministerial position for Defence also remains unfilled and has therefore been attached to the office of the President?  Is it to be assumed therefore that Barrow occupies the roles of President; Commander in Chief and Defence minister at the same time? To date there is lack of clarity over this situation.

Both the University of The Gambia and the College does not have learning materials, most of those books in the main libraries are outdated decades ago. However, if we want to have better educational system where students learn to develop themselves and strive hard to learn the values of life, we must focus our energy and resources on where it all begins.

Meanwhile the citizens are not safe anymore as the rapid increasing rate of theft, robbery and rape. The rate at which crime is increasing is quite alarming. Theft, murder and rape seem to have become the order of the day. It is quite baffling that in spite of the security measures taken up by the government. There appears to be no respite. What is more shocking is the fact that these crimes are being committed in broad daylights, particularly robbery.

 Furthermore the Ministry of Youth & Sports (MOYS) which is responsible for meeting policy issues as well as co-operating with donor agencies for the youth development programs. Yet still our sports is facing major challenges beyond imagination. Of recent I felt disappointed, flag basted, bowl over beyond all human imagination upon reading the news that our own Gambia female national team were left stranded at a foreign airport sleeping.

The Gambia has a big youthful population, majority of whom are poor, uneducated and are unemployed. Most of these youth have resorted to drug abuse causing high prevalence rate of mental illnesses. The female youth resort to prostitution as a quick way of earning money for a leaving. To realize the dividend, the Barrow led administration must invest in the empowerment, education and employment of her young people. There are thousands of young people in The Gambia today, representing a staggering amount of human potential. Yet too many of them are trapped in poverty, with few opportunities to learn or to earn a decent standard living.

A Luta Continua!
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/Political Activist

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

“The Truth Shall Be Told Sir. Dawda Jawara Was Never the Mastermind of Gambia’s Independence But Edward Francis Small”

The word independence means a situation where a nation is "not dependent", or not having to depend on any other nation for her affairs. It also means being strong and able to survive alone as a sovereign nation. Meanwhile for a nation to be independent means being able to take care of their own needs and to assume responsibility for her decisions while considering the citizens and the environment in general.

In January 1891 a legend named Edward Francis Small was born in Bathurst (Banjul) to an Aku Family a lineage of the repatriated slaves from Britain. Small attended the Methodist High School in Freetown, Sierra Leone after completion he gained employment in 1910 at the Post Office. He later quit the employment at Post Office for teaching in 1915 before he became a clergyman with the Methodist Mission.

Small was a brave man at a time when majority were puppets to the British rule. In 1917 Small was posted to Ballanghar Village on a trial period however, he was soon moved to Sukuta following what's called the "Ballanghar Incident". He had given an instruction for the campanile's bell to be rung to mark the yearly "Watch Night Service", the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year's Eve. The ringing however, annoyed James Walker a British Merchant living in Ballanghar too.  Which resulted to a heated quarrel and ended up a fight. Later Small was being fired from the church for standing against the injustice and neocolonialism.

Furthermore Small realized that organization and motivation were the most useful traits for a nation to liberate from colonization. It took Small and co. for a period of ten years of discussions, fights and strikes before bearing fruit on the way forward but in 1930, the first representative institution was established called the Bathurst Urban District Council and Board of Health. The knowledge and experienced he got motivated him in to the struggle to liberate The Gambians from the maladministration of the British rule. It is on record that Sir. Edward Francis Small was the mastermind, architect and one of the innovative leaders on the struggle to Independence of The Gambia from colonial Britain misrule.

The last time I checked Hannah Forster, a prominent businesswoman in Banjul, was among the first women who used her earned money to fund Sir. Rev. JC Faye to form the Gambia Democratic Party in 1951, which was the first Gambian political party in history. Besides, Modou Musa Njie, one of the wealthiest businessmen tycoon of his time then, had his pocket behind PS Njie’s United Party, which was also formed in 1952 a year after the formation of the Gambia Democratic Party.

 Meanwhile, at a time a powerful and influential traditional ruler and merchant Mr. Sanjally Bojang of Brikama gave financial support to Sir Dawda Jawara to form the People’s Progressive Party in 1958. Five years later after the existence of political parties in The Gambia such as the GDP and UP. Moreover Mr. Sanjally Bojang was an agent for the groundnut companies too that used to export groundnut to Europe for further processing. Sanjally used to purchase most of the groundnuts produced in the provinces as per his relationship and trust with the rural farmers.

In the 1960 elections was held and the two main contenders were the United Party and the PPP with the result that the PPP won 8 seats while the UP also won 8 seats. This was due to the lack of provision of a Chief Minister to oversee the various new departments of Government which resulted to the then Governor Edward Windley as the powers bestowed on him decided to appoint P.S. Njie in 1961 when the majority of chiefs showed their support for him.

This as a result led to the resignation of Jawara as the Minister of Education and triggered a political head. The colonial government decided to assemble the Bathurst and London constitutional conferences of 1961. The outcome of the talks was the 1962 constitution that heralded the way for internal self-rule.

It was after the 1962 election DK Jawara went into a coalition government with PS Njie of the United Party to form the Gambia's first independent government. Independence Day came in 1965 when The Gambia was admitted to the Commonwealth as an independent constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II being the nominal Head of State. This Followed on a referendum held on the 24th April, 1970, The Gambia became a republic with Jawara's title changing from Prime Minister to President.

A Luta Continua!
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Political Activist

Monday, 7 May 2018

“Mr. Alieu Momar Njie, Chairman IEC Should Be Told The Truth To Avoid Another Impasse”

Alieu Momar Njie 

Please be informed that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was established in accordance with section 42 of the 1997 constitution of the Republic of The Gambia. It operate within the confines of the Electoral Laws in the Constitution (as amended), Electoral Act, (as amended) an the Local Government Act 2002 (as amended).

Furthermore more your appointed as the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission is in accordance with Section 42 of the Constitution. An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of election procedures. Holding periodic free and fair elections, essentials of a democratic system and a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The Election Commission is regarded as the guardian of elections in the Republic of The Gambia.

Be reminded that the December, 2016 election. The day after the votes were casted your high office announced to the nation that Barrow and the coalition had won. Jammeh initially conceded defeat, but a week later he shortly reversed his position and refused to hand over power, thrusting the country into a period of uncertainty ‘the impasse’. As a result of your Institution announcing two different results.  

The tragedy was the day after the election when clashes broke out on the main road between UDP and APRC supporters in Sibanor. Stones were thrown and multiple houses were damaged before the police arrived. During the impasse political tension seeped into everyday life in communities across the country. Many reported that political arguments turned into scuffles in the markets. Allegedly some even stopped attending the traditional ceremonies of their political rivals. The impasse ended and the tension eased when Jammeh fled in late January to Equatorial Guinea, but the cornerstone of communal tension had been laid.

The last time I checked on Friday you announced that the United Democratic Party (UDP) got 62 seats, the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) 23, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) 18 seats, PDOIS 7 seats, Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) 1 seat, National Reconciliation Party (NRP) 5 seats, while NCP and GPDP did not win any seat and three seats won by independent candidates.

Surprisingly enough days later you took another U turn to release another results, which showed that the opposition APRC won 16 instead of 18 seats, and so did the GDC, which pulled a total of 25 seats and not 23 as previously announced by your same institution.

Of latest I learnt that the office of the independent candidate Mr. Mohamadou Musa Njie, was approached by your high office to drop the official colour (Grey) which was approved by your same institution (IEC) for the mayoral election of the Kanifing Municipality, 2018?. Such errors should not be encouraged as it can lead to electoral violence.

The real trick to good governance is to place the needs of the masses above everything else, to lead not just with words but with action. Actions define priorities. It’s the only way the IEC can successfully bring us the long sought dividend of democracy.

In conclusion I write to join my voice with men of goodwill who have spoken to you in private and public on the election and other issues associated with it. I am courageous to say that this is in the interest of the Gambians.

A Luta Continua!
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Political Activist

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Open Letter To Henry “Moh Beah Ballou” Gomez, Minister Of Youth & Sports. (Part.1)

Please be informed that history will not be kind to me if I refuse to point out or draw your attention at this crisis as per the catastrophe faced by our sports and it related matters under your leadership. It is in that note I write to your high office to express my total dissatisfaction, profound concern and melancholy over the present state of Gambia’s Football, and the future of the sport in our country.

Surprisingly enough the Ministry of Youth & Sports (MOYS) is responsible for meeting policy issues as well as co-operating with donor agencies for the youth development programs. Yet still our sports is facing major challenges under your watch.

The biggest tragedy to national development is when a minister don’t have a clear vision neither how to go over it. The road isn’t easy, but without proper, well-thought efforts being put into its development, we will continue to falter instead of proceeding forward for a better Gambia. What The Gambia football needs is a vision, backed by your ministry, helmed by a strong coach, with development programs initiated throughout the country from Kartong to Koina. Only then will we be seeing the rise of the nation as a footballing power in years to come.

The last time I checked this year’s NaYCONF event was poorly managed as a result of inadequate accommodation and food for the participants. Honorable minister, I doubt if you were scrutinize as per your leadership skills and educational background before given this position to lead such a prestigious ministry considering the role played by youth in national development. The youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow therefore they need to be supported to realize and achieve their dreams as it is the only way we can make our country great.

Of recent I felt disappointed, flag basted, bowl over beyond all human imagination upon reading the news that our own Gambia female national team were left stranded at a foreign airport sleeping. As if we don’t have a minister responsible for such. One of the most productive sectors in any nation development is sports. Sports bring about the physical and mental development of human beings. This informs the reason why developed nations pay a lot of attention to sport development which has contributed to having  a productive work force that have performed social, economic and political miracles.

Be reminded that leaders help themselves and others to do the right things and at the right time, right place in an effective and efficient manner. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to "win" as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.

If we are to match our foreign counterparts, a lot of change is needed in the way sport is perceived in The Gambia under your leadership, serious monetary investment with a long term goal in mind is necessary, along with the appointment of a proper coaches with their own staff, instead of saddling everything on an individual.

Furthermore What Gambia’s football needs is an injection of investment at all levels, from a strong grassroots program. There is also the substandard nature of our league. From the bad pitches to poor officiating and also poor remuneration of our players, your ministry cannot raise the standard of our leagues, but can create enabling environment. Consequently sir, as minister of youth and sports, you can mobilize the private sector to not only own football teams but develop the facilities and pay players substantially in order to make the league attractive and competitive.

Hon minister, considering your inadequate knowledge in leadership and sports administration I think you might need a consortium of sports administrators and practitioners to assist you to formulate sports policies and programes that will assist you in the onerous responsibilities bestowed on you if you want to stay long in that hot chair.

To be continued………

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/Political Activist