I dream of Africa that would one day have one currency one President and one government which will preside over this continent. Because in any way we are one, this borders of Africa were imposed on us by the colonizers, we need leaders who are going to lead us to that drain where there would be one Africa.
If anything, Magistrate Jabang a bright prospect in the country's legal fraternity, is one of the most competent, credible and impartial home-grown legal minds in the country. Born in Pirang, Kombo East, Jabang graduated from Nusrat Senior Secondary School in 2009 as the overall best student. Under the leadership of His Splendour Karamo Bojang, he was recognized by all Teachers as a sharp minded person.
Jabang passed his WASSCE exams with flying colours and proceeded to the prestigious University of The Gambia where he later graduated with an LLB (hons). He was also ranked as the most outstanding student of the Gambia Law School batch of 2014/2015 academic year unlike many young Gambians in the legal system.
In February 2014, Magistrate Jabang was appointed as the youngest magistrate in the legal system at the age of 23 as a First Class Magistrate, shortly after bagging a Law Degree at the UTG. His appointment as Principal Magistrate at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court was seen by many as a major victory for youth empowerment. ‘‘The office of the Chief Justice was also captivated with his academic success and his personal development’’ A colleague, said.
Jabang, presided over high profile cases during his era at the Kanifing Magistrate Court. Sometimes ago, he excellently acquitted former Ombudsman Mr. Alhagie Sowe. Of recent he has acquitted the GDC MP Hon. Sowe and Co. ‘‘the prosecution put the accused in the box and then went to sleep. It was the prosecution that should have pursued the case diligently, instead of putting the liberty of the accused at risk,” the young magistrate then told the court.
During our days at Nusrat, Jabang used to be an independent and a no nonsense Student Leader. As a result he refused to be used as a machinery Magistrate to jail innocent Gambians out of fear of being arrested again and detained for his judicial work. As then The Gambian Judiciary lacks independence and dances to the tune of the former President Yaya Jammeh.
This manifested in the trial of opposition leader Lawyer Ousainou N.K Darboe now Vice President and Co. Who were wrongly charged, prosecuted and sentenced to 3 years, for peacefully demonstrating for the release of their party youth leader Sir. Solo Sandeng who was beaten to death, for protesting for electoral reforms.
In, 2016 Magistrate Jabang was arrested and detained at the Serious Crime Unit of The Gambia Police Force in Banjul following his ruling on a no case to answer where he acquitted and discharged one Mr. Yusupha Saidy, a businessman. After his arrest and detention, Jabang was later dismissed from the Judiciary for doing the right thing as per his oath of secrecy.
Readers could recalled that during the 22 years brutal rule of President Yaya Jammeh, Magistrates were prone to arrest and detention when they failed to heed to executive directives to jail innocent people. Especially when they deliver verdicts and it doesn’t go down well with him they are arrested, detained, charged and dismissed.
Furthermore, Jabang, life is a ladder in which you need to climb before arriving the destination of success as such you will face challenges, hardship and difficulties. Let no obstacle disrupt you on your route to success as some will serve as de-motivational factor on your journey to success. Say to yourself that you are unstoppable and nothing can stop you from achieving your dream.
The last time I checked, the Barrow led administration is a transitional government which main preoccupation is to make sure good institutions; that will address the rules and norms that will shape the public sector for a better Gambia, are created. It is on record that citizens were given bogus promises, including but not limited to, the reduction of rice from the current price to an affordable D500, increase of salaries, procession of jobs for young people, better health care among many others. Surprisingly enough, implementing these ambitious promises appears too farfetched.
The Gambia’s Public institutions such as the Police, Military and the Judiciary, that all served as stooges under Jammeh’s 22 years brutal rule, by oppressing their own people, should be rigorously reformed by the Barrow led administration, in order to rid the ‘bad cows’ off the system and bring about democracy and good governance, as we transit to democracy. Institutional reform as component of transitional justice is vigorous, it aims at acknowledging victims as citizens and holders of rights and to build trust between all citizens and their public institutions.
Institutional reform again, is not only a process of reviewing and restructuring state institutions so they respect human rights, it also preserve the rule of law and ensure, politicians especially, are accountable to their constituents. By incorporating a transitional justice element in our democratic transition, reform efforts can both provide accountability for individual perpetrators and disable the structures that allowed usurpation of power. (Phochan, 2015).
Furthermore, the University of The Gambia and the Gambia College, are in urgent need of learning materials. The lecture rooms in which lecturers and the students use, are not very conducive, they find it difficult to cope with the situation. 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 the university where it all began.
It is evident that; events of theft are on the rise in the new Gambia. Thieves get chances of stealing in the darkness and on a broad daylight, in one word, indiscriminately, because of the power shortage by NAWEC well as the fragile security situation. So brought about that kind of fear among people in The Gambia. I remember the president promised us of tightened security. Barely a month on, all I hear is one kind of killing, robbery and rape or the other.
The Gambia Health Sector is in serious crisis as a result of inadequate medical facilities and human resources. The mere fact that; the health care system is based on donor funds, has made people dying unnecessarily, whenever donor funds are unavailable when they are needed the most.
Of recent, President Barrow announced in his meet the People tour, that his administration will build a bridge across the mouth of the River Gambia between Banjul and Barra. Bridges, have no doubt proven themselves to be very useful to mankind.
However, there are many disadvantages to bridges, especially on our environment. Besides, the pollution of our waters by chemical waste from vehicles can contaminate the water via precipitation. The construction of bridges alone, can drastically change the environment and impose serious health issues.
Furthermore, it is unrealistic and a misplaced priority to come up with the idea of constructing a bridge in the face of mounting challenges that continue to stall our growth and national development. The President is fully aware of these and knows that, they actually require swift attention than bridge he is talking about.
I was wowed when I learnt that; President Barrow and delegation
has set out on a countrywide meet the people tour. Even though the nationwide tour
is sanctioned by Section 222(15) of the constitution of the Republic of The
Gambia, It is unjustifiable and uncalled for to embark on such an expensive
trip, considering the recent state of economy as well as the mounting
challenges facing our beloved country.
Furthermore, the heavens have opened long ago, giving farmers the
green light to start work. As a result, the tour should have hold before the
raining season, so he can be furnished with challenges facing the poor Farmers
and address them by now.
In The Gambia, however, the challenges go beyond low rainfall,
pests and disease. Farmers at all scales of the production value chain, need
access to the inputs required to produce a successful crop high yielding seeds
using effective fertilizers and sufficient water through irrigation system.
The last time I checked the provision of a safe water supply and
good sanitation are major contributory factors to positive healthcare.
Unfortunately, The Barrow administration is unable to provide clean water for
all rural and urban areas. We cannot achieve a free zone disease country until
and unless we take in charge of our health care system and pump in the required
resources to meet international standards.
Taking a cue from the great Pan Africanist- Tomas Sankara, one
could realize that; Living way ahead of his time, within 12 months of his
leadership, Sankara vigorously pursued a reforestation program that saw over 10
million trees planted around the country in order to push back the encroachment
of the Sahara Desert. In less than 4 years, Burkina Faso became self-sufficient
in foods production through the redistribution of lands from the hands of
corrupt Chiefs and landowners to local farmers, and through massive irrigation
and fertilizer distribution programs. Sankara rejected the idea of foreign aid,
stating that “he who feeds you, controls you.”
Lest you forget Mr. President, citizens do no longer safe, the
rate at which crime is increasing under your watch is disturbing. In the face
of this, Sir, many have been wondering whether or not, your government has the
capabilities to come down hard on organised crime and its perpetrators?
The Gambia has a big youthful population, majority of whom are
poor, uneducated and are jobless. Most of these youth have resorted to drug
abuse and peddling. This did not only triggered several mental illnesses among
the teeming masses of young people, it only poses as a monumental problem which
threatens the cream of our society. Sir no sooner did you solve, the better it
is for all and sundry.
Going further, the female youth too, resort to prostitution as a
quick way of earning money for a leaving. To realize the dividend of leadership
in the 21st Century, 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 an overwhelming amount of human potential. Yet, too many of them are
confined in poverty, with few opportunities to learn or to earn a decent
standard of living.
This is just few of the
many problems that may come to mine, nonetheless, there are many others that
continue debilitating our progress.This is why I believe, the
resources used on the tour, could have been useful in solving this and many
teething issues affecting our national development.
An African Union (AU) 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.
Long term investment in the health of adolescent and youth, including in their sexual and reproductive health, can help accelerate economic growth when combined with the appropriate investment in education and economic planning. (Policy Brief, 2017)
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.
President Barrow should understand that ‘’anything for the youth without the youth is not for the youth’’. The Gambia youth have all it takes to preside over the affairs of the State beyond imagination, in this era of 21st Century it is a tragedy for a pensioner to run the affairs of the Youth.
"The New Gambia calls for us to follow the right processes in the service of the nation. Thus, given all the huge challenges we face, the country cannot move at a snail pace. Rather, we must move together with vigour and seriousness," President Barrow said.
How can the above message be a reality when the Youth are not involved in decision making process neither given the opportunity to so case their talent for a better Gambia we all want to see.
The last time I checked Botswana’s President appoints Kenewendo at the age of 30 as Investment, Trade and Industry Minister. Her appointment is being celebrated on social media by many Africans both those home and abroad, who say her appointment despite her age is a rare feat that needs to be replicated across the continent which The Gambia is not an exception. She was one of two youth delegates to represent Botswana at the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, where she presented a statement of African youth to the UN Secretary General.
Furthermore, Article 11 (C) of the African Youth Charter stated that ‘Ensure equal access to young man and young women to participate in decision-making and in fulfilling civic duties ’’. Therefore The Gambia will not developed until and unless the Youth are given the opportunity to take part in the development process of the State.
The Institute of Information Management (IIM) is a professional membership driven Institute, developed to serve the growing community of data, information, records, documents and archives management professionals who are tasked with managing the dynamic information life cycle within the enterprise.
Dr. Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay is a former speaker of Gambia National Assembly and first female deputy speaker of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament. She is a wife, mother, trained journalist and a seasoned leader with track record of decades of public service both on national and international levels. She has also served in many committees including Women & Children Rights, Foreign Affairs, and Defence & Peace committees.
In her Goodwill Message on Saturday, 7th July, 2018 at the highly distinguished induction/ investiture ceremony of Institute of Information Management, she said:
“We meet here today on the cusp of an exciting moment in Nigeria, a democratic country rich in energy, petroleum, tourism, culture, communication, forestry, transport, custom, trade, Sports, etc. Our common objective is to try as much as possible ensure that Institute of Information Management have a greater information and records management in Banjul and the whole of Gambia to further strengthen the cooperation and integration between the two countries.”
She highlighted that the Government of The Gambia under the leadership of President Adama Barrow welcomes investments, companies or representatives, seeking to invest with a core message of openness and transparency in all their dealings. She noted that the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) provides a one-stop-shop for investors and are responsible for attracting foreign direct investment.
In her closing remarks, she encouraged the inductees and distinguished guests to work hard to ensure that boosting economic activities and operations through access to quality information is not a task for Institute of Information Management alone but a joint effort of the people of Nigeria.
While signing the consent as an honorary fellow of the IIM, she agreed to be faithful and bear allegiance to the Institute. She also swore to preserve the fundamental objectives and directives as stipulated in the Constitution of the Institution.
Honourable, I believe you are aware that the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia which guarantees “right of freedom of speech and expression” and “right of academic freedom”, which are clearly stated on section 25 (1) (A) and 25(1) (B) respectively.
Furthermore, the principles of participatory democracy necessitate that citizens should hold their political leaders accountable with regard to their performance in national office. It is from that viewpoint that I am writing this open letter to you, outlining my reasons for melancholy and unhappiness, which I believe are shared by most people in your constituency Busumbala.
Honourable, you may not know about me. I am a resident of Kombo Kerewan village, Busumbala Constituency and I have a keen interest in the affairs of our great nation The Gambia. However, please be informed that our patience is running out because we are yet to see any tangible development in our constituency under your leadership as you promised us during the campaign period.
Moreover, we the people of Busumbala Constituency are now wondering whether you have all what it takes to be in parliament. Besides, we are critically monitoring your activities and are gradually getting disappointed in you as our representative in Parliament.
It must be put on record that, ones desire to be a parliamentarian alone does not make him a parliamentarian. It takes the willingness of the overview of the constituents to vote for one that results in him/her becoming a parliamentarian. This willingness and mandate is expressed in their votes for the development of the area and the general welfare for good.
It is in that note I want to remind you that, you being in the house of parliament has been made possible because the people of Busumbala Constituency want a representation in the highest decision making House of The Gambia for their voices to be heard and their problems to be fixed. However, we have noted with deep concern that you have failed in your duties as our representative.
You should know that we voted for you to collaborate with other stakeholders to solve the numerous of problems troubling our constituency ranging from environmental pollution in Mandinari caused by the Chinese Factories and the dilapidated roads across the constituency which cause the movement of goods and services problematic. We want to inform you that if this approach should continue, you will miss several opportunities to get in contact with the people of Busumbala.
It gives me great pleasure to extend my warmest congratulations to you on your promotion as the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia I trust that you will continue to work for the improvement of our great nation.
As you take office The Gambian people especially the youth are looking to you for a new approach to our nation's economic development. They are no longer interested in repeating the mistakes of Jammeh’s Administration as revealed by the ongoing Janneh Commission. They are deeply interested in what you are going to do in order to make The Gambia great.
We know that as Vice President, you must walk a tightrope of loyalty. We know that your boss, President Adama Barrow, has promised to bring back jobs to the Gambian Youth. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that the said jobs are not yet seen. We believe that the time has come for you and your team in particular, to take urgent and pivotal steps to respond to the recent unemployment rate faced by the youth.
Furthermore, the sovereign Citizens don't feel safe at all. I remember the president promised us of tightened security. Barely a month on, all I hear is one kind of killing or the other. Not a single day passes without news of somebody being murdered, killed or raped. It is a common thing now to have armed robbers break into your home and robbed you. Our homes are supposed to be our safe heavens but we are more scared sleeping in them. The lives of our loved ones always placed at the mercies of these uncivilized and merciless robbers and rapists.
Mr. Vice President, you see I get more scared because these robbers now are bold enough to attack during the day. I remember fondly the robbery of the Brikama Jah Oil station some months ago. They are just not afraid of anybody. If we keep being murdered, we will remember you as a Vice President who didn't prevent the killings of our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and relatives.
I submit to you that electricity is very vital in our daily lives, the patients who are getting their treatment in various hospitals also face many difficulties as per NAWEC’s inability to supply uninterrupted electricity and water supply to the populace. The patients operations are not happening on time as the electricity is moving on and off.
Prevention and eradication of corruption is an absolute requirement for better public life. This disease called corruption takes an interesting turn in such a way that everyone becomes corrupt in some other sort if situation permits.