Wednesday, 10 April 2019

How Legal And Constitutional Was The Arrest Of John C.B Mendy?

I have to acknowledge the significance on the official launch of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) by President Barrow, on Monday, 15th October 2018, to unearth the alleged summary executions, disappearances, torture, rape and other crimes that purportedly happened during the Jammeh’s 22 years brutal rule.

However, readers could recall that on 19 and 20 March 2019 Mr John .C.B. Mendy appeared before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) and testified about many events including the 11 November 1994 incident. It was highlighted that ‘‘The Gambia Police Force was informed by the MoJ to arrest and detain Mr John C.B. Mendy who was attempting to leave the country on 2 April 2019, for Casamance in the southern region of Senegal through the Giboro/Sileti border crossing’’.

Moreover, a Press Release issued by the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday 2 April 2019. Reads; ‘Based on a totality of the evidence adduced before the TRRC so far, and in light of other available evidence in the possession of the TRRC, it was evident that Mr J.C.B. Mendy was “outrageously dishonest” in his testimony about his role in several incidents of violence’. Besides, Section 13(a) of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Act, 2017 has it that the objective of the commission is to create an impartial historical record of violation and abuses of human right from July 1994 to January 2017.

On a similar note; the release added ’‘Consequently, the Attorney General, in order to encourage truth-telling before the TRRC and strongly discourage any attempts to deliberately conceal the truth in the face of mounting evidence, recommended the immediate dismissal of Mr J.C.B. Mendy and requested the cooperation of his employers at The Gambia International Airlines (GIA) in this regard’’.

The question is how did the Ministry of Justice reach the conclusion that JCB Mendy was not speaking the truth when the said TRRC is still ongoing also was he the only one who lied under oath to warrant the recommendation of his dismissal?.

Furthermore, was any travel ban issued on any of the TRRC witnesses as opposed to Section 25 (2) of the 1997 Constitution? Which reads; Every person lawfully within The Gambia shall have right to move freely throughout The Gambia, to choose his or her own place of residence within The Gambia, and to leave The Gambia.

Surprisingly, Section 24 (3a) reads; every person who is charged with a criminal offence- shall be presumed innocent until he or she is proved or has pleaded guilty.

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/ Political Activist

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Thumbs Up To The Barrow Led Administration For Ratifying the AfCFTA.

Readers could recall that in January 2012 the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area by an indicative date of 2017 as per AU Agenda 2063.

On 21 March 2018 Africa’s leaders make immense history in Rwanda when they signed an agreement that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). At an extraordinary meeting of the Heads of State of the African Union convened by President Paul Kagame who used to be the Chairperson of the AU at that time.

Of recent news reaching us has it that The Gambia under the visionary leadership of President Adama Barrow through the National Assembly ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, meaning the bill now has the minimum number of ratifications needed to come into effect.

Albert Muchanga the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry upon hearing the news twitted; “Good news! The Parliament of The Gambia has APPROVED ratification of #AfCFTA Agreement making us meet the minimum threshold. “The AfCFTA market is being born and is one step ready for launch of its operational phase in July this year.

The African Continental Free Trade Area will also strengthen Africa’s position in global trade: “AfCFTA will make Africa one of the largest economies in the world and enhance its capacity to interact on equal terms with other international economic blocs.”. Said. H.E. Moussa Faki, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

It is believed that the AfCFTA will bring together all 55 member states of the African Union covering a market of more than 1.2 billion people, including a growing middle class, and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$3.4 trillion. Besides, in terms of numbers of participating countries, the AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

Furthermore, the monumental objectives of the said AfCFTA are to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs Union for a better Africa we want.

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger /Political Activist

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

''Adviser Henry Gomez Should Desist From Misleading The General Public''.

Henry Gomez
As usual; today on my route to work around 700 hours as I tuned in to Star FM ‘‘Wakeup Gambia show’’ moderated by Pa Nderry Touray. Which happens to be one of my loving early morning shows as it enlightens me on current affairs and the activities in our motherland.

Readers could recall that Henry Gomez’s Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP) is one of those existing ghost political parties without representation in the National Assembly neither at the Council across the length and breadth of The Gambia with its slogan of ‘‘Moh Beah Ballou’’.

During the show Henry Gomez an adviser to the President and former Minister of Youth and Sports lamented on the achievements of the Barrow led administration and the stands of his political Party GPDP. He went further to highlight that President Barrow will serve his presidency term till 2021. He informed all that there is no shortcut to the presidency and any person willing to be president should wait till 2021 to join the wrestling ring.

When Journalist Pa Nderry asked Henry Gomez about his view as per the revocation of Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s nomination as a member of parliament. He was quick to validate that the revocation of her nomination is legal. However, Henry Gomez quoted a non-existence section of The Gambian 1997 constitution (321) to substantiate his claim.

Besides, when I heard of the utterance of the none existing section (321). So many things came to mind as I was dumbfounded, mystified and befuddled. The question is how can a person who has no idea about the supreme book of the land be an adviser to the Commander-in-Chief.

Ya Kumba Jaiteh
Furthermore, if Henry Gomez whose wish is to occupy the presidential seat is not familiar with the laws of the land then that tells how doomed we are as a sovereign nation. We expect Henry to give correct information to the general public especially with regards to matters that have to do with the constitution.

Meanwhile, President Barrow has nominated Foday Gassama to become the new nominated member of the National Assembly, replacing Ya Kumba Jaiteh who was yanked from the National Assembly. A press release issued by the Office of the President has it that President Barrow relied on section 88(1) (b) of the Constitution of The Gambia to effect the nomination of Gassama.

Blogger/Political Activist

Monday, 4 March 2019

Why Is The SIS DG Sow Exonerated, Is He Above The TRRC Act, 2017?

Following the official launch of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) by President Barrow, on Monday, 15th October 2018, to unearth the alleged summary executions, disappearances, torture, rape and other crimes that purportedly happened during the Jammeh’s era, a lot of compelling revelations that are heavily linked to Jammeh and especially his fellow Junta colleagues were brought to light. They were either disclosed by persons who voluntarily headed to the TRRC or at places visited by the commission, such as the headquarters of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), the onetime infamous intelligence institution which was blamed for human rights’ violations.

Upon the commission visit to the SIS, it was very certain to every QTV viewer that members of the commission could not hide their dismay at the way and manner in which the management their managed to allegedly tamper with the evidence of torture by renovating the places that hosted these incidents.

The last time I checked, Section 13(a) of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Act, 2017 has it that the objective of the commission is to create an impartial historical record of violation and abuses of human right from July 1994 to January 2017.

Besides, Section 36 (1) of TRRC, Act 2017, reads. A person who – (a) threatens or interferes with an informant or witness or (b) willfully obstructs or otherwise interferes with work of the Commission in the discharge of its function. Commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million dalasis or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both a fine and imprisonment.

However, the TRRC was so quick to act on the case of ‘‘An ex-soldier and one of the ring leaders of the 1994 coup d’├ętat Yankuba Touray, who was arrested over the weekend and still in police custody for an attempt to tamper with justice. Meanwhile, police are searching for the former speaker of the National Assembly, Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay (FJC), who is currently out of jurisdiction for the same offence’’.

Readers could recall that; on a similar note as reported by the Foroyaa Newspaper on its February 19, 2019, publication. That, ‘‘Counsel Faal on behalf of the Commission, requested that the NIA should Endeavour not to tamper with the pieces of evidence found within, and emphasized that all structures within the NIA that are not rehabilitated, should be left as they are; that the Commission should be provided with answers to the evidence and their whereabouts, of those that have been already rehabilitated’’.

“Any structures that have been restructured by the SIS (NIA), you should be in a position to tell us what had actually happened. You have to tell the Commission how they were and what happened to them,” the Lead Counsel Faal told DG Sowe. (Foroyaa, 2019).

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.

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/Political Activist

Thursday, 28 February 2019

No Matter How High The Walls Are Built Illegal Migration Cannot Be Stopped.

The last time I checked Illegal migration is a burning and hot topic in Africa. It is believed that lack of job opportunities and prospects is the main reason forcing a number of young people in search of greener pastures in the European Union (EU) countries via the Mediterranean, which many passed through hell before reaching their final destination.

Border and Coastguard Agency Frontex estimated that 150,000 people entered the EU through irregular crossings in 2018. That represents the lowest total since 2013 and is 92% below the peak recorded during the migration crisis in 2015. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) puts the number of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe last year at close to 142,000, most of whom made the hazardous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. (Laura, 2019).

Besides, Africa is blessed with natural resources that can be utilized to benefit the whole continent. However, poverty in Africa is the lack of provision to satisfy the basic human needs of certain people in Africa. African nations typically fall toward the bottom of any list measuring small size economic activity, such as income per capita or GDP per capita, despite a wealth of natural resources.

Furthermore, the question of leadership in Africa was first faced in the 1990s, during the start of the democratization of African States. The quality of leaders has become a major concern in the founding of the democratic process and its success. Besides, those leaders who supposed to oversee the affairs of the State turned to be murderers and looters of our minimal resources. This resulted in her young people running away from the continent.

However, the young people of Africa taught that one day her continent will produce leaders who have all that it takes to transform the continent and lead them to the promised land. Unfortunately, most Africa leaders lack the foresight to lead us to the promise land as per AU Agenda 2063.

The question is; how do our leaders sleep considering the monumental catastrophic faced by our young people via the Mediterranean to live a better life in the EU countries. That, the African leaders themselves failed to provide for its citizens. After decades of colonization, the young people of Africa taught that one day Africa will be the last place of hope on earth.

In conclusion, I submit to us that no matter how high the walls are built illegal migration cannot be stopped. Unless we desist from election looters who have no vision into public offices the continent will continue to lose her young people to the Mediterranean. I pray to Allah may the departed souls of the young people who died while trying to reach Europe rest in eternal peace. Amen!

Blogger/ Political Activist

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Gambia’s Independence Celebration Is Meaningless

The Gambia gained its so-called independence on 18 February 1965, as a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth, with Elizabeth II as Queen of The Gambia, represented by the Governor-General. On 24 April 1970, it became a republic within the Commonwealth, following a second referendum.

The last time I checked Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over the territory.

However, The Gambia as a country cannot claim to be an Independence State when self-sufficiency, self-reliance, self-support, self-sustenance, self-standing, self-government and access to healthcare remain a mystery. After 53 years from the struggle of the so-called Independence. Yet still, The Gambia as a nation cannot feed her citizens and access to communication is a challenge in the 21 Century.

Meanwhile, Independence Day should not be a day of clapping, dancing, singing and to hold abundant ceremonial extravaganzas, which are of course footed by poor taxpayers. Instead, it should be a day of ‘‘National Thinking Day’’ to reflect on our achievements and problems as a nation, think about how to get out of these problems with our own strength and reward those who make an amazing contribution to the cause.

Furthermore, it should also be a day which calls upon the nationalism of Gambians. One thing, we do not do as a country is to reward those who in diverse ways contribute their very best, even at the expense of their life, to help move The Gambia in front. Independence Day puts too much emphasis on the colonizers who left decades and whose legacy we have not yet succeeded to improve upon.

I submit to us that; The Gambia may no longer be ruled by Britain. However, a number of its economic policies are dictated by donors such as China and the European Union to a tiny extent, international corporations who have imposed neo-liberal policies which are totally against Pan-Africanism. Some of the policies that have been adopted have increased economic growth, but that growth has not trickled down to the common man.

In conclusion, I will advise President Adama Barrow, the Commander-in-Chief to use the money budgeted for Independence celebration to buy equipment, ambulances for our sinking and failed health care for a better Gambia we want.

Blogger/Political Activist

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

‘‘The Gambia Bar Association Should Desist From Hypocrisy’’

Rachael Mendy
The last time I checked its mission is to represent its members and contribute to the strengthening of participatory legal development, the rule of law and human rights standards in the Gambia. With a vision to seek an enlightened and transparent legal environment in The Gambia in which the rule of law is upheld, access to justice is assured and the protection and integrity of the legal profession is guaranteed.

Of recent, the president of the Gambia Bar Association Rachael Mendy speaking at the official opening of the 2019 legal year noted that PBYND was set up to promote the agenda of President Barrow. Therefore, “It is for this reason that we are opposed to the action taken recently to resuscitate the establishment of a youth movement based on a personal agenda. Such action can only result in the perpetuation of disunity among the youth who should now be encouraged to work in harmony incredible social activities.”

The said statement from the GBA President was not only unfortunate but disappointing since there are salient issues that the GBA should work on. The question is where was the Bar Association during the 22 years Jammeh’s brutal rule and when the NIA was turned into a torture chamber, when Solo Sandeng was killed and on April 10th and 11th, 2000 when 14 Gambian students were massacred when they held a demonstration against the regime of president Jammeh for alleged murder of Ebrima Barry and the rape of a Brikamaba school girl. Considering its mandate for a better country we want as per defending and upholding freedom, justice and the rule of law in The Gambia.

Furthermore, Article 2 (a) of the Constitution of The Gambia Bar Association reads; to maintain the standards, integrity, honour and independence of the Bar, to promote, preserve and improve the services and functions of the Bar, and to represent and act for the Bar generally as well as in matters affecting the administration of justice.

I might not agree with the mode of operations of the PBYND. However, its formation is constitutional and legally binding as it is a charitable organization said to be registered under the Companies Act 2013. Besides, Section 25 of Subsection 1 (e) of the 1997 Constitution granted all citizens the freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations and unions, including political parties and trade unions.

‘‘Rachael Mboge Mendy cannot use her position to pay political and she has no right and basis for her ill-judicial comment against the PBYNP. That statement doesn't fit in the mouth of someone promoting judicial independence and reconciliation, especially after knowing that PBYNP was a legally registered body’’. Said, Jeng.

Rachael should tell the sovereign citizens how she reached at the conclusion about the illegality and the unethical formation of the PBYND. The judicial sector should be the last resort of any democratic dispensation in the 21 Century. As well its decisions should not be politically motivated, either to promote the agenda of an individual/entity.

Blogger/Political Activist

RE: RESPONSE TO SAIDINA ALIEU JARJOU

Dear Comrade Kexx Sanneh,

Reference is invited from your response published on your Facebook timeline on January 31, 2019, as per the above subject matter. Pertaining to the open letter I wrote to Halifa Sallah earlier yesterday. Please be informed that your letter is well received and its content is well noted.

Besides, since you decided to respond on his behalf I would like to take this opportunity to correct your ill-informed and misleading letter for a better society we want. The submission on your letter really tells a lot about the integrity of your godfather Halifa. Please note that I never backtracked my judge that Halifa being too petty. Halifa is on record that he chose not to appear before the TRRC Commission because he has no pain in his heart to heal. Duty compelled him to do everything he had done to combat injustice.

Unpredictably, on 13 January 2019 Halifa wrote a letter to the TRRC through Ref: PF/13/1/2019(1). Requesting for Confrontation with Ex-captain Mamat Cham to Rebut Fabrication of Evidence he Halifa claimed.

To my consternation the TRRC responded that ‘‘The Provision Rules of Procedure of the Commission (Section 70), however, allows for persons who have been adversely mentioned or implicated in human rights violations during its proceedings to be given reasonable opportunity to respond to allegations made against them by way of written statements or by personal appearance before the Commission’’.

Halifa should be schooled that the TRRC is not only about people who are hurt or grieving. The core of TRRC’s mandate is to investigate and establish an impartial historical record of nature, cause and extent of violation and abuses of human rights committed during the period July 1994 to January 2017 and to consider the granting of reparation to victims and connected matters.

With allusion to the slogan ‘NEVER AGAIN’. The aforesaid statement shows Halifa’s lack of understanding on his part on the mandate of the commission and the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Act, 2017. If he had done his homework well, it would have prevented him from this monumental and mammoth academic shame.

Moreover, I submit to you that Halifa is denying the sovereign citizens the opportunity to hear what he has or knows about the ongoing TRRC. While I understand that testifying is purely voluntary, we can expect that much from him as a Politician.

Furthermore, he decided to decline to testify, meaning, he gave up the opportunity to lucid himself of any inaccuracies raised by Cham and OJ in their testimonies. He should just live with that perfectionist syndrome of his. It is definitely petty to be writing responses challenging people’s testimony when you decline to testify and give your side of the story.

Yours in the service for a better Gambia we want!

Blogger/Political Activist

Friday, 1 February 2019

An Open Letter to Honourable Halifa Sallah, PDOIS Secretary-General

Honourable Sallah, I must admit that you are one of the very few politicians that are helping to reshape Gambia’s political arena by enlightening the masses through your many write-ups which include but not limited to; ‘‘the young people should be told the truth’’ platform. Besides, when the going was indeed very tough during the political impasse, you wore the hat of a de-facto Head of State, at a time someone like you was needed the most. While our Commander-In-Chief ran for cover in Senegal, you stood to the taste of time issuing guidelines to the sovereign citizens, centre to which was a plea for respect to the rule of law for a better Gambia we want.

These heroics earned you a lot of admirers including my humble self; however, some of us were taken aback by your recent dossiers about the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). The last time I checked Section 13(a) of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Act, 2017 has it that the objective of the commission is to create an impartial historical record of violation and abuses of human right from July 1994 to January 2017.

Honourable Sallah, I don’t mean to be disrespectful in my open letter but I submit to you that, I am not only disappointed but flabbergasted and bowl over on your recent reaction to the witnesses of the TRRC. Surprisingly, you made mentioned that through Foroyaa January 17, 2019 publication that; ‘‘I still chose not to appear before the Commission because I have no pain in my heart to heal. Duty compelled me to do everything I had done to combat injustice’’.

Honourable Sallah, I am not sure that if the Commission's rules of procedure will permit "confrontation" especially between a witness and someone who has chosen not to appear before the commission. I think it is better you appear before the said commission to testify and put the records straight which is your constitutional right, especially that you were offended by both Cham and Omar A. Jallow’s testimony. Some might say that you have a duty to correct the records. Meanwhile, if you cannot appear before the commission, it is better to kindly submit a written piece to the Research and Investigations Unit of the TRRC.

Arnold H. Glasow noted that a good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit. Please be informed that no matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better in attaining your dream of the presidency.

Honourable Sallah, I will not be surprised to receive your response in the form of a PhD thesis with a citation from the various sections of the 1997 constitution, in which you are good at. Besides, you seem to be a good Lecturer it is in that note I take this opportunity to beg you, to kindly desist from politics and focus on academia especially at the University of The Gambia where your services might be needed.

Yours in the service of open letter writing.

Blogger/Political Activist

Thursday, 31 January 2019

An Open Letter To Minister of Health & Social Welfare Dr Isatou Touray (Part.2)

Honourable Minister, I write to you once more again with much sorrow and sadness as a disturbed concern citizen and not a viewer about the increasing rate at which many innocent patients are losing their lives in some health facilities countrywide. Besides, you are aware that Health plays a major role in one's life. It is very crucial for a person to survive on this planet earth. Improper health leads to the death of the person, it also leads to some of the major diseases making the person unfit to execute his task.

Honourable Minister, the purpose of my open letter is not only to congratulate you but it is also to ask you to spend few minutes of your time and think about our patient lying down in hospitals without proper medication. Some citizens in the rural area have to walk long hours to reach the government hospital. When a severe case, most of the villagers use donkeys as a mean of transportation in which many suffer before reaching the hospital, just because it is located far away without access to Ambulances.

The Barrow led administration promised to provide better healthcare to the citizens from Kartong to Koina. It is believed that the clinics and the hospitals supposed to be the safe refuge for the sick. It is the place where we expect that anyone who is about to visit the next world can be assisted to come back to life. Meanwhile, I totally agree that The Gambia health sector has some dedicated professionals who work with passion and try their ultimate best to serve their patients with meagre resources.

Honourable Minister, the last time I checked the health sector under your leadership is in a catastrophic state of concern. Sources close to the corridors of your office has it that, ‘‘the community of Salikene lack Ambulance, Kuntaur District Hospital is also without a Medical Doctor, inadequate cleansing materials for health facilities, the poor infrastructure of health institutions and staff accommodation facilities, inadequate drug and equipment in health facilities’’.

I submit to you that The Gambia health sector under your leadership is sinking in the broad daylight like the mighty Titanic as a result of inadequate medical facilities and the human resources across the country. Furthermore, the sovereign citizens at the rural areas especially those at Bolibanna find it difficult to access the medical facilities.

Honourable Minister, how can the sovereign citizens have trust in the Barrow led administration if the health sector is moving towards an unknown destination? Health is very vital, besides maintaining good health should be your primary focus for a better Gambia we want as per The Gambia National Development Plan. (2018-2021).

Voting is our right, but it is also our responsibility because if we don't take the next step and elect leaders who are committed to building a better future for our kids, other rights our rights to clean air, clean water, health, and prosperity are placed directly in harm's way. (Tom Steyer).

Blogger/Political Activist

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Will The Gambia Be Able To Deliver A Successful And Memorable OIC Summit? (Part.132)

Readers could recall that the Gambia Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretariat at the Petroleum house was established as a Charitable Organization under the Companies Act, 2013. This is under the purview of the Office of the President, with the aim to provide coordination role for in preparations for hosting of the upcoming 2019 summit.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization which was established in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on 25 September 1969, consisting of 57 member states, who decided to pool their resources together, combine their efforts and speak with one voice to safeguard the interest and ensure the progress and well-being of their peoples and those of other Muslims in the World. The OIC organizes the Islamic summit, which is the largest meeting, attended by the Rulers and the Heads of State and Government of its member states.

According to its charter, the OIC aims to preserve Islamic social and economic values; promote solidarity amongst member states; increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political areas; to back the struggle of all Muslim people with a view to preserving their dignity, independence and national rights; uphold international peace and security; and advance education, particularly in the fields of science and technology. Furthermore, it is financed by contributions and donations of its members and headquarters in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Strategic Intent of the OIC as published on its website has it that; to provide first class accommodation facilities, Improving accessibility with new strategic and renovated roads across the country. With Priority Projects to establish a Plenary Hall with a capacity of 1,031 persons on 2 floors with other facilities and to Construct a new 5 star 400 bedrooms hotel with 60 Royals and Presidential suites.

The Point newspaper on its August 13, 2018 publication has it that Minister of Works and Transportation of The Gambia Mr Bai Lamin Jobe, who led the technical discussions, between a delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of The Gambia. Noted, the Government attaches great importance to the organisation of the 2019 OIC Summit. Also listed out other pending OIC projects, in the form of road constructions, airport expansion, the upgrading of the airport’s VIP Lounge, among others. All these projects, including the construction of high-standard hotels, are all included in the government’s development blueprint, the NDP 2018-2021.

With reference to a press release from the Office of the President issued on Wednesday 28th November 2018 where the Secretary-General of the OIC-Gambia Secretariat Mr Lamin Sanneh pointed that ‘‘if you are talking about the projects, very soon. We are at the prequalification stage for the roads, water, electricity, even the expansion of Bertil Harding Highway.’’

Surprisingly enough, the indications to determine the success of the said prestigious summit which is just at the corner as lamented by Mr Sanneh is minimal. The OIC Secretariat and its stakeholders should do everything possible for a memorable summit.

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/Political Activist

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The Untold Story About The Newly Inaugurated Trans - Gambia Bridge. (Part. 131)

The last time I checked it was in 1976; that former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara proposed to kick-off the building of a bridge between YelliTenda - Bamba Tenda and named it the Trans-Gambia Bridge with a length of 1.9 kilometres.

On 11 November 2014, the said project was officially signed, a contract awarded to two companies: JV Corsan Corvian of Spain and Arezki S. A. of Senegal, which was expected to last 36 months, according to the contract agreement.

Readers could recall that on Friday 20 February 2015 the then Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy under Jammeh’s administration and Senegalese Prime Minister Momodou Dionne laid the foundation stone for the commencement of the construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge at the YelliTenda - Bamba Tenda.

The project is being financed by the African Development Fund (ADF) with a grant to the Gambia of Unit of Account UA 63.55 million equivalent to D4 billion, aimed at reinforcing the economic cooperation and integration between the Gambia and Senegal and ECOWAS community as a whole. (the Point, 2015).

Besides, the ECOWAS Protocol on the Free Movement of People and Goods ensures free mobility of the community citizens i.e. citizens of member states. The Protocol on free movement conferred on Community citizens the right to enter and reside in the territory of any member state, provided they possessed a valid travel document and international health certificate.

Surprisingly, a press release issued on 17 January 2019 by the Ministry of Transport, Works, & Infrastructure has it that the Trans-Gambia bridge will be open to light traffic effective, January 2019 and not Minibus, Bus, not exceeding 35 Passengers. The release also added, ‘‘The above Vehicle categories allowed and prescribed time to use the bridge will be maintained until July 2019, when all ancillary works on the bridge and access roads are completed’’.

The question is why should be an incomplete bridge be inaugurated considering the risk involved when an accident occurs. On a similar note a $10 million Chinese-built Bridge in western Kenya, personally commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta, has collapsed. At least 27 workers were injured when the bridge broke on Monday 26 June 2017. The collapse occurred less than two weeks after President Kenyatta visited the site as part of a campaign tour before general elections in August 2017.

In Turkey on December 2017, the bridge which cost 100 million Turkish Liras and has been under construction since 2013, collapsed just as the final sections were being built. Nearly 200 construction workers on the site witnessed one-eighth of the bridge collapse at its final phases.

Could the immature inauguration of the bridge have to do with Senegal’s Presidential elections which will be held on 24 February 2019? Ahead of the election, two opposition leaders Khalifa Sall and Karim Wade were barred from participating because of convictions for misuse of public funds. The country's Constitutional Court has preliminarily authorised five candidates, including incumbent president Macky Sall who was present at the inauguration of the said Bridge.

Blogger/Political Activist

Monday, 14 January 2019

Does The Janneh Commission Have The Legal Mandate To Sell off Jammeh’s Assets?

Readers could recall that during the 22 years Jammeh’s brutal rule, corruption and nepotism were the order of the day. Jammeh who now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea under the leadership of Teodoro Obiang after been defeated during the December 2016 polls to the Coalition led by Adama Barrow. Jammeh initially accepted defeat but days later he took a U-turn back which warrant an ECOWAS deployment to oust him but was later averted due to the high presence of the regional forces.

On Thursday, July 13, 2017 President Adama Barrow, the Commander In Chief presided over the swearing-in of four members of the established Janneh Commission of Inquiry with a mandate, to act on the financial activities of public bodies, enterprises and offices as regards to their dealings with former President, Yahya Jammeh who ruled from 1994 to 2016.

The establishment of the said Janneh Commission of Inquiry was in line with Section 200 (1) of the 1997 Constitution of Republic of The Gambia. This 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.

Surprisingly, a public notice on the Point Newspaper on its 10 January 2018 publications reads; the general public is hereby informed that the Commission of Inquiry into the Financial Dealings, Assets, etc of ex-President Yaya A.J.J. Jammeh. Family Members and Close Associates will commence the auction of trucks and other vehicles.

Good governance with good intentions is the hallmark of our government. Implementation with integrity is our core passion. (Narendra Modi).

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/Political Activist

Friday, 11 January 2019

Most MoH&SW Staff Cried Upon Hearing The Redeployment Of Its Health Promotion Director

Modou Njai
In July 2012 MoH&SW created the Directorate of Health Promotion and Education with the following components namely: Non-Communicable Diseases Unit including Tobacco and road traffic injury prevention and control; School Health Unit, Nutrition Unit; Health Communication Unit including Community-based Information Education and Communication (IEC)/Behavior Change Communication (BCC); Water Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Unit including hygiene promotion and education and Population Health.

Readers could recall that news was published on the Freedom newspaper on December 19, 2018, captioned ‘‘an insider at the Ministry of Health claimed that there is blatant nepotism at the ministry, headed by Dr Isatou Touray’’.

On January 7, 2019, Modou Njai wrote on his Facebook timeline that; ‘‘I wish to Inform you that I am no longer the Director of Health Promotion and Education at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare following my recent redeployment to the Regional Health Team in Farafenni. It was indeed a sorrowful moment today at the handing over ceremony of a Directorate I established with the support of dedicated and committed staff paid farewell to me. I say a big thanks to the entire staff of the Directorate of Health Promotion and Education for support from June 2012 to now. It was indeed an honour working with all of you in promoting health and development’’.

The said post was received with mix feelings among the staff and many sovereign citizens who know the hardworking Director Njai in his role and effort for a better healthcare system in the Republic of The Gambia. 

Furthermore, sources close to the corridors of MoH&SW revealed that under his dynamic and visionary leadership. Developed a National Health Promotion and Education Policy (2013-2020); Developed and finalized a National Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (2013-2018); Established linkages with the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) to fight tobacco consumption in The Gambia; Conducted the review of sectoral policies to include NCDs and developed a situational analysis report on Social Determinants of Health with stakeholders; Developed, pre-tested and produced communication support materials on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in collaboration with HepDO during the implementation of hygiene promotion and education component of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project; A total of 7306 Village Development Committee (VDCs) members from 912 communities across the country had an in-depth training on Ebola preparedness and response, and were engaged in the orientation of their community members.

Dr Omar Sey
‘‘If there is anyone's life that you have impacted or changed it's mine. Director Modou Njai I am grateful to you for all the support you have given me for the past four years. You and the former Minister of Health honourable Omar Sey saved me from all the harassment I faced in the field as a junior female Public Health Officer. You guys are heroes and great men that the Ministry of Health will ever have. You accepted me in the Directorate, motivated, groomed and exposed me to many if not all public Health functions. I am proud to have known and worked with you. I hope and pray that the blessings of Allah will visit u soon. Said’’, Jallow

Fatou a Staff at the MoH&SW too wrote. Good luck Njai. I am confident that where ever you are your present will be felt by everybody. You have created leaders who will hopefully sustain the directorate. We are blessed to have you in our region and we wish you all the best.

Blogger/Political Activist

Thursday, 10 January 2019

‘‘The Barrow Administration Should Protect The Rights of The Christian Communities’’


Readers could recall that Foroyaa, June 7, 2018 publication has it that. ‘‘According to reports, a young villager who belongs to the Christian faith, died and was to be buried in the Christian cemetery; that some people refuse family members of the deceased to bury their loved one at the cemetery because the land where the Christian cemetery is located is said to belong to one Seedy Barrow of Gunjur village; that Seedy deliberately decided to seize the whole land area which included the graveyard’’.

It was narrated by members of the Christian community in Teneneh that, they were burying their deaths in the said plot of land for almost 50 years. Besides, any outsider claiming ownership of the 50 years Land will violate the 1997 Land Acts of the Republic of The Gambia which stated that no single Gambian should claim ownership of land which he never built or used as Agriculture purposes for the past 12 years.

A letter signed on December 29, 2018, by Momodou Bojang, head Chief of Kombo Nort District addressed to Pastor Robert Mendy requesting for him to appear before the District Tribunal. Which reads; By virtue of the powers vested on the Kombo North District Authority/Tribunal, you are hereby commanded in the name of the Republic of The Gambia, to appear before the Kombo North District Authority/Tribunal for a dispute resolution over a piece of land within the jurisdiction of the Kombo North District Authority/Tribunal in which your name has been mentioned as a vested claimant.

‘‘The issue has to do with the graveyard which is in use by the Christian community in Younna for over 40 years. In which our ancestors were buried up to date it is the cemetery we bury our corpse. Surprisingly, we were asked to reduce its size. Besides reducing the cemetery size as proposed can have an impact in the future considering the population growth’’. Said, Pastor Robert.

Of recent Fala bigot the unusual, this is an old Manjago community in Kombo south kilometer from Sanyang Village. It is believed that they were given their settlement by the people of Sanyang many years ago. Due to swine production, they have to settle far from the Muslim communities for a better society. The said Manjago Christian communities are facing hostility by the land grabbers from the area. The community members are asked to vacate their over 50 year’s village because some people claim the lands were given to them by their grandparents and now they are reclaiming it. (Omar, 2019)

It is very sad to see the minority being suppressed and subjected to all kind of inhumane and immorality pain in The Gambia that belongs to all religions, tribe, race and gender. The above mentioned have been aggravated by politics. It is sad to say that but most politicians either publicly or privately try to encourage tribal sentiments for their own self-centered interests.

The buck stops with the government. They make the laws and introduce regulations that should ensure this kind of thing does not happen. If there is proper legislation introduced which covers every possible eventuality, it will ensure that no loophole exists to be exploited by anybody. (The Point, 2012).

Blogger/Political Activist