Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Gambia Judges And Lawyers Still Wear Symbol Of Slavery On Their Heads!

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

Re: New Law To Make 80% Of Music On Radios Gambian

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
Political Activist 

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Should We Watch The Foreign Troops To Kill Our Citizens?

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
Blogger/Political Activist

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

‘‘Should We Continue To Have Ghost Commission of Enquires’’?

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.

Blogger/Political Activist

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Welcoming The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Is Nothing But Celebrating Neocolonialism

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.

Sanna Manjang
‘’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?

Blogger/Political Activist