Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Lesson From Desmond Tutu

A lesson from Desmon Tutu: "Anyone who claim to be neutral in the midst of oppression is helping the oppressor". To juxtapose that statement in our case, anyone docile or silent in our oppressive environment may actually be helping the oppressor. Professor Idriss also made similar remarks, he said, committed Muslims must fight/ or stop oppression until it is no more. The failure to do so makes the pains of the oppressed a collective sin.

Monday, 17 October 2011

A Man Real Idol: Yahya Jammeh

By Suntou Touray
Gambian senior civil servants, parastetal heads, Directors of all shapes and portfolios, to rank and files, everybody is scared stiff of Yahya Jammeh, the (Idol). This fear encompasses both Muslims, Christian, Secular or even non-religious binding members. He has replace God to many, because he is feared much more than God, the Creator.
This fear of Yahya Jammeh is so intense and so wide reaching, one will doubt whether any senior high level Gambian can today claim to be a genuine Muslim or Christian who is not doing the cardinal sin of associating partners with God.

Among the many meanings of Idol is that, any object or thing that is venerated and feared on equal level as God or even more. These can be a person, a tree, a rock, a river, sea, beast, bees etc. However, with the secularization of the word Idol, it real meaning is lost, hence we hear (football God or Idol, Pop Idol, Music Idol, etc).
If we further look deeper into what are the characteristics of Idol, we will be surprise to encounter the fact that, Dictators in Africa have been idolized in the real sense, ie feared much more than a personal God.
If we take the Gambia as an example, one will notice that, anybody, just anybody working within the system of the tyrany will not either answer his calls, or will seclude him/herself to members of the public for fear of been misquoted or reported for mixing in the wrong crowd.
The Gambian President's quest to be feared or Idolized took roots years ago. He openly pronounced that, 'he can tell what people are thinking, without them saying anything'. He also created the Man-God network of the ambition to be everywhere and know everything, with the help of the Informers or Man-Angels (NIA Officers).
His apitite to be seen as Spiritual Master took him to rediculous level of declaring to the whole world that, he can cure even incurable deseases. He regularly invite open Magicians who indulge and practice Satanism to his village in displaying their powers. And relaible reports had it that, he will pay this magicians (Batutas) to grant him their powers.
Any fear which leads to one abstaining from wider society due to fear of a human being, whoever that human being is, you have taken him/her as a real Idol. You may say, I don't bow down to him or call his name in prayers, but among the characteristics of God is that, we fear him like he should be feared. Unreasonable fear of a political leader falls in Idolatry.
Idolizing human beings also goes as far as taking Saints as infallible or beyond making mistakes. The clear demonstration of our Idolizing religious leaders or Saints is by hanging their Photos in our front doors, assuming that, they will ward off evil. In shock situations, their names are called upon...we may think this is simple demonstration of love and admiration, but the thin line is cross when we fail to learn what did and lazily try to rely on them for our salvation. No human can guarantee the faith of another in the Presence of God. Your deeds or actions earn you progress in this live, therefore, similar scenario will earn you success in the hereafter, since you don't even know the full account of a saint you are venerating.
It is time our ambitous self-fulfiling, elites look deep down their souls and stop committing idolatry. Fearing a naked pauper is a a complete affirmation of our collective failures to stop oppression.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


By Suntou Touray

Borrowed from his father

down the line to the infinite chain

of human pro-creation

to this day, the sword is transfered from father to son/daughter

Sometimes, squabbles ensue in sibling rivalry

and polygame erases the sweet tight circle over the sword

A wiseman once said "why fight over your father's sword"?

That was then, we now pride ourselves in owning a big bad sword

resulting in tining family ties and breaking blood bonds

Ours soundly became mine

Yes- A sword slit its own case

So it does to the owner

It is no good boasting about your father's sword

However, be gentle and mindful with your personal Sword

'Ifala Lah fanwu, iba laa famwu

Ifanwu laa famwu lee fisayata, bari kana sun, ilaa famwu yee ifaah'

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

They Say We're Parasites

By Suntou Touray
Of course because we drove, flown and canoed To the heavens on earth, if there is such a place
Yet, we who made the journey wallow in our achievements To the United States , “here I come’Down in Deutschland, the streets greets us with frownsIn London , the cocktails of humanity litter every corner of the East EndWhilst Sweden swallow our offspring in de-AfricanisationWith all the congested invisible souls from far away nationsOur people are proud for us to be Invisibles in the WestThe tag ‘parasites’ lingers behind us
What about the crimes against our ancestors, the thieving of our gold and silver
The stealing of mortal men??? They say we are parasitesAfricans are parasites in the West They go unnoticed to work places created by the WesternersThey enjoy the supermarkets, the cheap food, beer, and meat, chicken
They even depend on the social servicesThey get houses, income support, and many other benefit packagesAfricans ignore African problemsAfricans look up to Western achievements for comfort But Africans are parasites even in spirituality
They pay to Evangelist pastors to Prophesies for them
They belabor Marabous to seek successes for themWhat is that, we’re not parasite of???We announce our victimizations but forget our responsibilities
Will the West ever mirrors our future AfricaWhere our hopes and aspirations will dependAnd passive inactivity will turn into a machine of Ever ready activist for the common causeFor now ‘let’s make do with our parasital tendencies’ whilst we ponder

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

In The Current Affairs of the Gambia: There is no Fence sitting

By Prince Oberian Cooker

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the Knowledge we have lost in information? T.S. Eliot (Chorus of "The Rock')

I have said it before and I will say it again and forever, that in the current affairs of The Gambia; there is NO FENCE to sit on. You either condone the Orwellian State or condemn its inhumanity. It has become commonplace on these forums to bolster the agenda of the status quo, than to demonise it. For those who see Yahya Jammeh as the world greatest leader could be easily excused since Jammeh has all the qualities that Morons and Idiots look for in their heroes. For some of these people, their policies sit invariably far above their consciences.
There are those among us who profess to oppose Yahya Jammeh, but are doing more effective things to get him re-elected than the entire APRC. What I find funny with these people, is the fact that they never come out and tell us who they would really prefer to rule the country. It is about time we stopped closing our eyes in the dark and face reality of the politics of our country. Some of these people are always against anything possible to get rid of the APRC regime.
One well-known contributor recently stated this: “As you are aware, even the developed economies are facing serious fiscal slippages. You know that even in the mighty USA states are struggling. Similarly, U.K, France, and others are facing the same problems.The Gambia is not any different because we are part of the global economy. However, I believe professor Jammeh can weather this storm just like he did when he first came, and throughout his tenure. Here is the evidence below.
I compared 15 years of Jawara and 15 years of Jammeh.”. One thing that this twisted brain bugger forgot to mention was that the Gambia is an “Almoody” nation in comparison to the counties he mentioned. The Gambia neither produces nor manufactures, thus anything we have is given to us by the very countries he is trying to put the Gambia on par with. Another thing that we are less pragmatic about is the unification of the opposition parties.
We failed to emulate the formulae of successful coalitions and also failed in our unwarranted castigation of the people duly elected by thousands of people to be their leaders. One thing has to be borne in mind by all Gambians is that any united opposition WITHOUT the leadership of the UDP is bound to failed and mercilessly too. The UDP, since its inception, has done better in all Elections than all the other parties put together. It’s about time we faced this fact.
I am aware that there are those who would want to advocate that PDOIS should be in the forefront of any decision making body in the opposition. PDOIS, the oldest of the functional parties in the opposition is yet to garner more than 6% of the popular Gambian votes. It is high time that we put an end to the “ostrich” politics that is hampering our progress. I urge all well-meaning Gambia to exhort all leaders to work together to get rid of the abomination we are now in. Prince

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The crimes committed by King Leopold of Belgium in Congo

Crimes in Congo, how natural blessing became a curse.


The strange story of a Gambian who tries to teach a Tibetan monk how to be silent. but the monk was puzzled when he saw the Gambian man chatting away of music, fashion, social gatherings, attaya, and women. The Monk enquired, "what kind of Silent tranquility do you practise?" the Gambian said, you misunderstood me, "I am not like the Delai Lama, I am all for mundane chats am afraid, no public live interest, especially when powers are involve. The Delai Lama fights for the rights of others, I look after my self-interest. I am silent whenever rights are concern." Thank you very much. The Monk went away even more puzzled.
The Monk being worried that, his live long training in celibacy, self-control, discipline and meditation just to attain purity in flesh and spirit is doubted by a Gambian. He couldn't fathom the strange thoughts and go away with his mind restless. He call out to the man, "hey, is there any incidences in your country where the rights of people are unfairly trampled upon?" The Gambian man looked in two direction and said "don't no", "Can't say". Right the Monk said. Give me your number, "I will get back to after sometime, because you have cause me to question my principles." They parted company. What will the Monk do, we shall see.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Two scholars and a Tyrant

Two scholars were once invited by a tyrant. They knew the tyrant like embarrassing and punishing his critics needlessly. So when they were told to answer to the Caliph (President), the two scholars became very worried.
They discuss a plan of action to avoid any punishment. One of the scholars proposed to the other a plan. He said, they should agree with everything the dictator told them, "let us say, we agree your excellency, you are right etc etc".
However, when they arrived at the Caliph's office, the scholar who proposes a complete submission to whatever the Calipher said, changed his mind.
As soon as they exchange greetings, he launched at the Caliph with more attacks on his tyranny and lack of tolerance to the people, his attacks where so fierce, the Caliph was dumb founded. After the scholar finished talking, the Caliph never said anything, he told them to leave.
On their way home, the other scholar asked his colleague, why has he change his mind and attacked the dictator?
The response was that, when he thought of the majesty of God, his powers and excellence, the tyrant looked like a pussycat. He said, "why should I be afraid of someone whose will die and be punish for his crimes?
Let us not be afraid of our tyrants. They are humans like us. They go to the toilet, they sleep, eat and fall ill. We should think of the majesty and Dominion of God.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Arab Spring, can Africans emulate the mass action
"...And every obstinate, arrogant dictator was brought to a complete loss and destruction." Quran 14:15
Hi Fatou, it is politically educative if this link is put on Maafanta's video window. The Arab Spring answered a lot of question in dealing with tyrants and their enablers. This four part documentary demonstrate that, any actions against dictatorship is for those on the ground to come to that conclusion.
And one significant matter surfaced is the fact that, mass protest should be devoid of partisanship. A total unified action is the only way Africans can also stand against dictatorship and oppression. For far too long, people have been critical of the Arabs, but they have shown the way.
The other complex issues in starting masses protest against dictatorship is that, people will die. The decomentary also shows that, coming to terms with the death of innocent people is something that shouldn't be taken lightly.
Therefore, political activist on the outside have to put that into their equations. Dictators are cowards by nature, and they will hardly ever avoid inflicting death as a measure of last resort.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Gambia's Problem Is collective

With my limited Wollof, I appreciate this saying: "Jaan chi suff taanka chi suff lummu jaga-jaga dinnanu daajey". If the Gambia sinks, it will not affect any one section. If anyone thinks, the continous tyrany will affect only some, day dream.
As the opposition leaders are engaged in private dialogue, some Gambians couldn't have the level of restraint and maturity to let them be. Whatever opinion we have of them, doesn't matter in this few days...These are men who have sacrifice it all, yet we away from the fire have no one to stamp on but those trying to find solutions. Sometimes, one wonder why the involvement in Gambian affairs. I urge every Gambian Mandingo to ignore those attempting to create a talking point by making insulting remarks against us.
If a jornalist lack descipline and awareness of wider issues, they further lacks the sophistication and level of thought necessary to have proper grasp of fundamental issues. To travel and to be aware is different. Good luck to all detractors of genuine citizens of our country. if you have an opinion, you need to measure the timing and relevancy of such remarks...You don't set a house of fire and attempt to rescue those inside...

Friday, 2 September 2011

Gambian Progressive Pan-Africanist Madi Jobarteh of TANGO comment on Nkrummah

I know Madi Joberty loves Nkrummah: Laye asks "If Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had not declared Ghana a one-party state and vested ALL political power in his person and his political party, would he have been overthrown?" Laye Jallow of Gambia L.

I know Comrade Madi will not disappoint.

Madi Jobarteh Responded Below

As an ardent believer in the rights of people and good governance, we notice shortcomings in the tenure of Nkrumah and other patriots such as Sekou Toure. The PDA enacted in 1964 and the declaration of one party state have been major...r issues we continue to encounter on the subject of Nkrumah.

I have always argued that we always need to understand the times and circumstances of Nkrumah, and the genuine urge and urgency with which they were confronted. while this cannot excuse tyranny, let me say that Nkrumah had no intentions for dictatorship for personal aggrandisement, nor was he a man of vain leadership. I think the challenge of the time was partly, in fact to a large extent, due to the limited or lack of institutions, necessary experiences and skills and knowledge on state and social management and governance. For example, i think his response to dissent, even though such dissent was fueled by selfish bourgeois elites bent on maintaining feudal and colonialist systems and structures, would have been different if the state of Ghana had enough and strong institutions, resources and experiences and skills.

Compare Nkrumah to one of his contemporaries JFK, and consider that during JFK's time America faced major civil unrests, but the US government did not declare a one-party state or give incredible power to JFK. this is because by then US had already developed strong institutions and culture to manage such crisis. the state was already established on strong foundations and therefore could deal with such uprisings.

Compared to Ghana or most of Africa at the time, such institutions and popular culture of governance and rights were either very weak or absent, and coupled with the intricacies of the world, Nkrumah had exercised paranoia and extreme responses in cases were it was not necessary.

Having said that, we are very convinced beyond any shred of doubt that Nkrumah was a visionary leader who understood the demands and challenges of the time, yet weak in terms of institutions, experience, capacity to organise an already disorganized society and under threat from more powerful forces. No doubt those forces, internal and external, could easily deprive the people of Ghana and Africa of such leadership which could have transformed the face of Africa by now.

The present African leaders cannot give same excuse. Even for Nkrumah this is not an excuse, am just giving an analysis in order for us to understand that part of our history, but i disagree with him there. We need to develop and 50 years later ...we cannot claim the same excuse therefore.

If you check even in the US George Washington was opposed to multipartyism and when it was clear that differences were emerging leading to the creation of democratic and republican parties, he raised serious concerns about that in his farewell address.

What we have to learn from the past and even from today is the fact that we have to build strong institutions, democratize our culture and nurture a culture of rights and have this reflect in our institutions, systems, processes and structures.

We require a leader that understands this and begin that process. It is clear that even in Europe and America, bad and myopic leadership causes serious damages to freedoms. For example after 9/11, George Bush came up with the patriot act. Even in UK today, Cameron is talking about controlling facebook, twitter and the like. But they have not seen their own misguided leadership which is causing social strife. The struggle continues...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Man

By Suntou Touray (first published june 2008)
It’s not about the colour, the man

Love for everything

But the man

The Mercedes, the suit, The shoes

the tele, The dress and the computer

It’s not about the colour, the man

The hair dyed with the colour

No problem

The leather sofa

The different cars

Party and respectable occasions

The colour is seen

So it is NOT about the colour, but the man

Yes, the black man

He is the problem, not his colour

But why?

May be we haven’t done enough stamp our footprints

May be we are bad competitors

May be we are less ruthless

May be we are less determined

May be we are too perceive and soft Yet our statue, so strong

Evidently we are not united

Factually we are divided

It’s not about the colour, the man

We will not be loved unless we love ourselves

Man is dignity and dignity is respect

Do we want dignity and statue?

Do we want grace and honour?

Let us look into ourselves

The solution is there

No more blames

This world is hostile, stand firm you win

Are we standing?

Are you standing?

You see what matters is our collective success and respect

Let’s do it, we can

Amidst total failures, individual successes is miniscule...Stand for Black progress, not slogans

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Crime of the Belly (Why Some Gambian religious Scholar are close to the dictator)

In fact, what is happen with faith leaders in the Gambia is a crime of the 'belly'. When Ibliss, upon whom is the curse of God, saw Adam laying in the state of clay. He was angry and jealous of him. Ibliss with his apt for canniness, poked Adam at his... Belly saying "this is where I will get him". So you see, if religious leaders want the comfort of the world more than others, they will twist the scriptures to suit the tyrants. We still have good ones who will never compromise but they lack voice.
Scholars of the past never sit at the doors of rulers however good they may be. Because, the concept of power corrupt was perfected in different darsahs (religious gatherings) in the Islamic states of the past, to such an extent, Ibn Taymeeyah was jailed for refusing to serve a Caliph, Imam Malick refuse to serve as a Cheif Judge, he was severely beaten, and many many more others. However, what our current Imam fatty's and Momodu Lamin are doing is using an analogy by deduction.
They weigh the pros and cons of being distant from a tyrant who do religious speak with open ignorance. They premise that, with their closeness to him, they can influence his assault on Islam in the Gambia, because if they don't, he will create even worst sell outs. I disagree with them, because the dictator Jammeh is using them instead for his callous political image refinements. Such is live, but since we have sanyang kundas as Imams, what do you expect? LoL

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Logical Meaning Of The Wollof Proverb Lee Ngai Jayee Mola Jayee

What you sell and also sell you" This Wollof proverb require greater scrutiny. I wonder if any good speaker of Wollof can help with the original Wollof word. I am having nostalgic George in mind.
If what one sells also inadvertently advertises and in return sell you, there is a deeper, more sophisticated explanation.
Can we say, The Defunct MOJA Central Committee were selling themselves with their Marxist ideas to the people on the back of empowering the youths of Banjul and surroundings?
The politicians engaged in civic education purportedly tells us that, they are educating us. Are they in fact by default selling themselves, because since they are the agents of the 'civic education' the buyers of the knowledge, the youths mainly will admire and eventually follow the sellers of the knowledge or sovereign orientation?
I am only seeing things from the angle of, 'Lii nghai jae, mola jae'.
Musicians sell themselves with their music, so is promoters...,
Journalists sell themselves with excellent materials, investigative news items, breaking news etc...
Religious people with good sermon etc.
Therefore, I believe, politicians attempting to do the job of the free press, ie informing and analysing events, schools ie educating, civil society etc, it is only wise to accept that, they are actually selling themselves through the ideas or on the back of civic enlightenment.
I may be wrong, but "what you sell also sells you" is something deep.

Laye (Responding to Bambalaye Jallow) He aske whethe it is wrong for a civic educator to want position?
Thanks for enquiring. Actually there is nothing wrong with that.
My dilemma was when I hear some of our Gambian politician accusing others of being 'power hungry' whilst they are not.
Since what you sell inherently reflect on you, the buyers of the idea will acknowledge the seller, in our case the politician, whose ultimate aim is to assume political prominence or in order words, power.
Why should such a person see others as power hungry but exclude himself?
The answer lies in the manner and ways he sells his product, his 'civic education'. By virtue of his utilisation of modelled strategy, he distance himself from any notion of being interested in political position, because he come across as someone solely interested in educating the populace.
You are well aware that, such statement of accusing certain Gambians politicians of being power hungry is repeated even here, whilst the propagators of 'civic education' are let off.

The similitude to me is that, during President Jawara's era, there were many brothers who saw themselves as the natural replacement after the eventual dethroning of Jawara.
The likes of BB Darboe, Sekou Sabally, certain senior military Commanders, and the elites of the time. However, what those folks failed to recognised is that, even their drivers or eran boys wouldn't mind being saluted to. Human folly.
Yahya Jammeh, from no where wanted to be President, hence he was hungry for power, but he never demonstrated any sign that, he is interested. Why, the simple logic could be, those who line up to replace Jawara were the ones making it obvious.

Therefore, When Sedia Jatta some months ago alluded that, some Gambian politicians are 'power hungry', he failed to acknowledged, he is competing with others for position of power. He was misleading Gambians when he exclude himself from those hungry for power. Since there is no problem in wanting to be the President of the Gambia.
Gambians should look into the philosophical logic of the Wollof Proverb 'Liingae jae, mola Jae' so that, at least, the realisation will be, whether one pretend he is or uninterested in power, but if what that person does involves lobbying for votes, contesting elections against rivals, going around towns and villages campaigning, such a person or persons don't have the moral authority to accuse any one of being power hungry.
For instance, can we say Halifa wanting to be the third President of Gambia is wrong or borders of being power hungry? To me no, because I know Halifa is a politician just like all others, he may set his stall differently, but still, he is selling something.
Thanks Laye. Just my thoughts of the powerful proverb.

Omar Joof Clarifying the Meaning of the Proverb.
It is a proverb, so we should look for its meaning beyond the literary. In this regard, I cannot find a better explanation than "what you tell the people, reveals to them who you are". Mostly when what we tell the people does not reflect what we do, we are taken to be a hypocrite. The activity of selling is appropriately used here because for example a person who sells fish is called a fishmonger; thus a person who advocates socialism is called a socialist.

At a deeper level or philosophical as you called it, the wollof word for selling (JAYEE) has a connotation of force: that is things one forces onto others. Both the tone and import of the proverb in this regard tend to be cautionary, in reminding the actors/actresses of wrongs to others, that really what they do to others, shall eventually be done onto them. For example if one treats others with arrogance and impudence, he or she shall eventually be treated similarly. At the same time it is an encouragement to those who extend mercy, philanthropy and justice to others that they shall be similarly treated in return. In this context, it has similar connotations with the english expression of "doing onto others; as you would like them to do onto you."
Omar Joof.

The Ever Rebel Mathew Jallow Fires at PDOIS Strong Man Pa Samba and His Ancestry

I saw Pa Samba's comment on the L, but it does not bother me. They will try to discredit anyone who disagrees with what PDOIS stands for. But I know for a fact they all regurgitate some of what they read on Foroyaa; they and PDOIS's use of word and phrases like; "principle, program, policy", "stakeholders", "masses," "architects," "destiny" etc, all of which are so old that I just want to puke when I see them used repeatedly over and over again in a single article or report.

And when PDOIS says they resolve "to go on a nationwide tour", I am baffled; really? where? Apart from Sere Kunda East and Wuli they have nowhere else where people will listen to them for one sick minute.

Also each time I see phrases like "the Central Committee......" in their writings, I shudder with terror. This is because it was the way all the Socialist regimes of the 1970s were structured, and their regimes used the exact same lingo, eg; the Central Committee of Supreme Soviet Socialist Republic; the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist party etc. etc. These words and phrases always remind me of the hardship, the extremely unbearable conditions the socialist countries lived under when I was growing up. Millions died or better still, were executed and when the Soviet people travelled abroad, they always did so in groups, and they were always accompanied by Russian agents who were there to make sure their people did not talk to the people of the countries they visited, or that they don't abscond and seek refugee status in the countries they visited, which very many did anyway. Just look at any youtube videos of North Korean or Cuba to give you an idea what socialism does to a country and its people. I saw the Soviets all over Europe back then, and they all dressed alike, and shabbily might I add. It was just such a pathetic to behold. That is partly why I have made it one of my life's missions to fight to make sure we don't have a Socialist regime established in our Gambia; at least not in my life time.

The other thing is, people who call Ousainou Darboe tribalist don't know him. I know him personally, we are the same age group even though he is a little around 11 and 12 years. He is a decent person, and all I want for him to do is to be more assertive in his political life. If Darboe realy wanted to, he could turn The Gambia upside down and inside out and make it totally ungovernable for Yahya Jammeh. That is how much power he has if he if he really cared to that route. Jammeh will have no option then but run back across the Casamance border where he comes from or find himself caged in our country just like Hosni Mubarak.

BTW Suntou, my great grand father left Wuli and migrated to Niamina as a young man and left family members in Wuli. So we have relatives in Wuli, just we dont know them anymore. But I don't know how long they lived in Wuli after the fall of the Masina empire in Mali where my ancestors come from. If you go to Niamina and ask for "Wulingabe" they will bring you to Sare Gainako. During the Musa Mollo reign my grandfather Gainako Jallow brough his cousin from Wuli and installed him Chief of Jarra East in Barokunda. He and his son, last chief Sekou Wuli Barrow, were Fulas before they became Mandinkanized and I beieve they were jalso Jallow before they became Barrows. And interest bit of long so long history.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Bambalaye Jallow's Reaction To PDOIS Press statement

LJD, Suntu and others:
If I may; I have a different problem with the message entailed in this communique from the PDOIS Central Committee in that it seems to be an act of a proverbial throwing back the hot potato at us - the voters. If PDOIS acknowledges "the increase in the number of people who seek clarification on the way forward for building a United Front for the 24 November Presidential Polls in the Gambia" isn't that a compelling enough reason to do what it must to create the conducive environment for fruitful talks to that effect? Wouldn't that be a good enough reason to "focus on the task of building a United Front rather than pontificate on the effects of a failure" as they put it?
I am baffled to say the least by the attempt at throwing back the responsibility of creating a united front to citizen voters whose only control over the actions of the party leaders is through their votes. Why on earth would anyone expect them to come out in thousands in support of a united front that is not there in the first place? Are we not putting the cart before the horse?
In other words PDOIS is saying that until they see the numbers out at the rallies they - PDOIS alone - organize, they will not make further effort into a united front. Can someone tell me I am reading this wrong, please!
"Furthermore as of 3rd September 2011, PDOIS will hold major rallies for a period of two weeks to determine the level of public support for a United Front. These meetings must be supported massively by those who support the establishment of a United Front to be deemed successful and convincing. They must be bigger than the artificial crowd the APRC is drawing during the official tour of the President to prove that the opposition should be taken seriously and that we are serious about establishing a United Front. This is the challenge PDOIS is putting out to the voters. People should put their efforts where their hearts are if we are to convince each other that we could move together to be the architects of a new Gambia. We have only ourselves to blame if we fail to join others and build a respectable crowd that could show that we are serious about building a United Front for the election."
Two things: first, I do not like the commanding tone of this paragraph – I do not like the use of the word “MUST” - in that it seeks to hold voters at ransom - turn up in thousands or else we will not go any further with this.
Why would PDOIS throw out a “challenge” to voters to prove to them they are serious about a united front? Am baffled. It is elementary politics to understand that you don’t get votes by demanding from voters without giving them the hope and or clue as to what they will get in return. Gambian voters are not a different breed to be stewarded around for a party’s internal decision making.
If PDOIS wants to decide whether to join a united front or not, they need not drag the voters into that decision especially when they have already acknowledged "the increase in the number of people who seek clarification on the way forward for building a United Front….”Second is that the question to ask of PDOIS is whether without a united front they will be able to fill up the independence stadium as they seem to demand herein? Do they expect people to turn up to their rallies without solid evidence - as in lining up ALL opposition leaders - that there is going to be a united front.

It is safe to assure PDOIS that if they announce that they will be organizing a rally with ALL opposition leaders lined up - PDOIS, UDP, NRP, etc. or just PDOIS and UDP - thousands will flock to the scene and I don't have a doubt about that happening. They did it at the launch of NADD in 2006. The hope was there and people showed up in thousands! It is wrong to hold us at ransom for your own internal party decisions.
Furthermore, it has been made clear to PDOIS through STGDP that the financial support will be forthcoming when folks see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. This was the case in 2006 and it is no different now.
The simple of it is that if you want the people behind you; give them the reason to do so. You cannot ask people to show up for you to convince yourself that it is worth trying to unite. PDOIS and all the other opposition parties need to understand that a united front will do better in getting the numbers lined up not the other way round. How many times and in how many ways do we have to say this?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Haruna Darboe Option For Gambia's opposition Unity

[If any Gambian has an option which is better than this Agenda, he/she should put it on the table for consideration.] BY
Baks Yamba, this is one of the dead giveaways that indicated to me you're not from Baddibu Salikenye. I think you unduly cause the great people of Baddibu Salikenye much anxiety and chagrin for these and those frauds you perpetrate on them. This and the fact that you spelt Salikenye Salikene tells me you're more likely from somewhere in Kolda. Be that as it may, I want to remind you that in 2006, a brilliant opposition party, the UDP, presented the only and best option to bring all Gambians together and remove Yahya from our conscience. That option, which still lies on the PDOIS mahogany desk, is as follows:
Option 101
Best Option: NRP, PDOIS, ppp, NDAM, all fall-in behind the UDP, the most diverse and largest opposition political party of Gambia, if our goal is to remove Yahya from our collective conscience.
Now Baks, this option remains the only viable and sensible option today. Only now, we can add GMC to the gravitas of this agglomeration. Please do not tell me we've tried this option before as your AGENDA 1965 attempts to purvey in order to captivate the wild imaginations of a persecuted people. And remmember, in this best option, PDOIS, NRP, ppp, and or GMC do not have to dissolve in thin air. They will remain the unique parties they have always been. They will only fall-in behind the UDP candidate in order to REMOVE the criminal Yahya from mis-governing Gambia, to stop the insults, injuries, abductions, kidnappings, assassinations, murders, and mortgaging the future of Gambia's children and grandchildren.

This will usher in the ambient culture of a level playing field for all parties, ruling or opposition, accountability for the public treasury, the much cherished freedoms of expression and association for religion and industry, independent judiciary comprised of Gambian citizens and only in force majeure circumstances, invite foreign justices who share our democratic values and principles. The rule of fear will end overnight.
The political parties will conduct vibrant campaigns for the National Assembly, and in 5 years, all parties will contest the presidency on equal footing.
There is not even any need for NRP, PDOIS, ppp, or GMC to demand government positions or other political office as a reward for supporting the UDP candidate in the 2011 presidential election. This is because such condition is not even significant enough to scupper the grand goal of removing Yahya the notorious criminal. I declare that the UDP is comprised of conscientious and professional adults and I wouldn't be surprised if the government that comes after the historic removal of Yahya is made up of majority NRP, PDOIS, ppp, and GMC.

The moment is too high for the opposition and for all Gambia to be sidetracked by inutile horse-trading. Especially when you consider the alternatives of a dis-united opposition. I know your mind is playing tricks on you because you're focused on that minister position right now. ANd I know you've been waiting for close to 3 decades to be chauffeured with a state flag waving. But bear with me for a minute while I present another scenario to you.
Scenario 1: NRP, PDOIS, ppp, and GMC throw their mights behind the UDP candidate for President and the coalition succeeds in removing Yahya but NRP, PDOIS, ppp, and GMC were not given any ministerial position in the new government.
Scenario 2: NRP, PDOIS, ppp, and GMC throw their mights behind the UDP candidate for President and the coalition succeeds in removing Yahya. And the ensuing government is comprised of NRP, APRC, UDP, PDOIS, ppp, and GMC members in equal proportion (1/6 each).
Scenario 3: Ousainou, Halifa, Hamat, OJ, Yahya, and Mai all contest the 2011 elections under their separate party banners. And Yahya wins. The ensuing government will DEFINITELY not have any UDP, NRP, PDOIS, ppp, or GMC members in it. Those communities which did not vote for Yahya will continue to be persecuted. Insults, Injuries, Abductions, Kidnappings, Assassinations, wanton arrests, rapes, theft, will continue to claim newer victims.

The Judiciary will continue to be made up of the mercenary judges who give aid and comfort to Yahya and other criminals. UDP, NRP, PDOIS, ppp, or GMC, will not be able to campaign freely and equitably in the National Assembly elections. Accidental deaths will occur. Foroyaa will be shut down. Nyakoi schools will be shut down. Those who remain in Mile 2 whose cases have not been heard yet will certainly face expedited railroadings and highly probable death. GRTS will continue to be the reserve of Yahya. You will more likely see defections galore from all the opposition parties to the APRC. I think I can stop here.
Baks Yamba, let me also share the story of Senegal with you. I know you're already familiar with Senegal, but bear with me another moment.
In Senegal, before the current demonstrations demanding Wade withdraw from contesting the next Presidential elections having served two consecutive terms, many of the opposition parties came together to form Benno Sigil Senegaal. Benno Sigil Senegaal (BSS) means "With God's help, we hail Senegaal". Not all of the opposition parties are actually partners of BSS, but a significant enough number came together, and the party of Hon. Macky Saal and another party, I forget the name right off the bat, pledge allegiance to BSS but that allegiance did not prevent them from forming an alliance among the two of them on the side.
This is similar to our scenario 1 above, only NRP and ppp, or NRP and PDOIS, or NRP and GMC form a side alliance to prosecute the NAM elections . The value of such a strategy ould also help blunt any potential waywardness or potential extremities of the UDP once the coalition succeeds in removing Yahya and the UDP decides to hoard all the positions of governance.
Now these parties in Senegal have not been pre-occupied with what positions they will get if their BSS coalition should succeed in removing Wade. This is because the mere agreement and allegiance they paid to BSS emboldened all Senegaal to now demand Wade's withdrawal from contesting the presidency for a third term. And that campaign will succeed.
If that campaign succeeds, there will now NOT be a need for BSS and each opposition or their side-alliances could offer their own candidates because all of them want to become President of Senegaal. If they hadn't formed BSS, the citizens will not be empowered enough to come out in their great numbers to demand that Wade not contest for another term.
I know you're murmuring to yourself "what if Wade refuses to withdraw from contesting...Yadi yadi yadah". Well if Wade refuses to withdraw, his clown IEC will be dispossessed of the honour to organize the elections, and Wade cannot survive a vrai Independent Electoral Commission in Senegaal. So Wade's best option is to avoid being exiled from Senegaal for the rest of his life.

We can now move on to Algebra 101. Later. Haruna.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Jalex Interview

The Interview Proper: Suntou and Jalex

Suntou: Why are you called Jalex?

Jalex: The name is a nickname given to me by a close friend. I am always into music, hence the phrase, Jaliya (singer), which later became Jalex. It is an emphasis to my love of singing.

Suntou: What about the second name you are known by, Akuntu?
Jalex: This is more a club circus name. When a cool music is playing, revelers will usually shout, ‘cut it’ which in Mandinka means, Akuntu.

Suntou: Do you have any special message in your music
Jalex: Yes, because music is a soothing remedy. It heals the heart and calm people down. It also excites and creates an atmosphere of joy, elevation. As musicians, we have to warn, and also entertain. We shouldn’t be agents of the devil.

Suntou: We share one thing in common, which is our surnames. We are not traditional musicians, what makes you choose the music route?
Jalex: Music for me is because of ambition and the gift I have. Therefore, family heritage is not an important element. Jaliya should be open to all those who can perform.

Suntou: No to Caste barrier, will you agree?
Jalex: Very much, it restricts the growth and potentials of people unnecessarily.

Suntou: Is there anybody in your family who was a musician?
Jalex: Yes my grandfather is Jali Fodah Touray. He was the pioneer of the Daa Jalo tradition (male singer accompanied by drummers). Jali Fodah travel all across the Gambia and Senegal. He left a legacy that is very much imitated today.

Suntou: Jali Fodah was a renowned figure in the Mandingo music circle. My grandmother use to always talk about him. What can you tell us about him?
Jalex: Jali Fodah was an only child. In those days, fathers will send their children away to learn under grand Marabous. Jali Fodah was no different. However, his master was a learned Fula teacher. It is narrated that, he gives him a charm for learning. However, he warn his father to make so, Jali Fodah remains in pursuit of education, if not he will become a singer.

Suntou: Did he abandon learning at any point?
Jalex: Yes he did. Sadly, his father passed away and his master also passed away. Jali Fodah then became the breadwinner in his family being an only child. The condition laid down by his teacher was broken.

Suntou: Jali Fodah therefore became a musician, is it that simple?
Jalex: Oh no, in fact, he remain in their village for a long time doing the normal things that men do. However, there was a drummer in the village, Buran Darboe who happens to die. His drums remained at his house with no one able to use them. They said, Jali Fodah one day took them and started playing them. This is how he slowly started his music career.

Suntou: Fascinating story. Where did Jali Fodah perform his trade?
Jalex: all over Cassamance and The Gambia.

Suntou: Do you know any of Jali Fodah’s songs?
Jalex: Yes I do, but in future I will try to compile them.

Suntou: Which modern day traditional musicians can we say imitate Jali Fodah’s music?
Jalex: The late Jalang Demba, the late Buteh Boy, Sajou Band and Toure Kunda (Samala song), Foday Musa Suso, his farming songs, and many others.

Suntou: Is there any place that Jali Fodah was not allowed to perform considering the old strict local cultures?
Jalex: Yes, he was not allowed to perform in Gunjur.

Suntou: Why
Jalex: Because Gunjur was a strict Islamic settlement. No drum was allowed to sound there. This is why Jali Fodah sang the song (sita turukuntu tibiu bantaba, ateel yankoli ten nna dala jela) Gunjur barako banta, meaning here is that, he prophesies that, a day will come when drum will sound in Gunjur day and night..

Suntou: Now back to Jalex, when did you start your musical career or take us through your career before Music
Jalex: You seems to be into the past. Yeah, I started playing music at an early age, however to make it a full time career, that is 1997. But before taking music full time, I am a train professional carpenter. I have worked for well known Gambians like Col Sam Sillah and many of his friends. Music was always going to take over, because even when I started working in the hotel industry, music is always at the background.

Suntou: What is your fan base like
Jalex: I play music internationally, so it is a mix fan base. But wherever I go, I remain true to my roots.

Suntou: How do you describe your music?
Jalex: Afro-reggae

Suntou: You sing in Mandinka with reggae bits, do your fans like it?
Jalex: Yes they do. Look the important thing to understand is that, if you sing in a foreign language, you will be sort of competence. What you are is what describe you. My home language is what I can communicate better with.

Suntou: What is life as a musician like?
Jalex: well not bad. We speak for the voiceless, the poor, the rich, the young the old. Music doesn’t have barrier, I like it when fans enjoy themselves in a tranquil environment. You travel a lot and learn from everything.

Suntou: What advise do you have for parents whose children follow your music?
Jalex: Children are the leaders of tomorrow. We should set them good examples. In my music, I try to communicate these values. If you listen to songs like Wulula (Parents), the song encourages parents to be fair between their male and female children. Children are very observant of how parent treat them, imbalance treatment can cause stubbornness and rebellion.
Suntou: Is the song Akuntu Telendanw Dinaa anything to do with your name?
Jalex: No, it is reference to sharing. People should stop greed, because lack of caring and sharing brings our society down.

Suntou: Why sing a song about Badiyaa?
Jalex: Good and cordial relations should always be maintain in the family no matter what.

Suntou: In Sambi mbina, you convey a powerful message. In that all of us away from home long to see our parents. Are you echoing our desires here?
Jalex: Yeah, I travel frequently. I always long for home, and all the Gambians I meet, the all remember home. We cannot forget about home.

Suntou: You have won several awards, has this change you in any way?
Jalex: No, not all. I am still the humble young man from Baa Kunw Kan (Bakau).

Suntou: Who normally book to perform for them?
Jalex: I play at social functions like New Year party, Kanilai cultural festival, fund raising event for companies and schools. As for schools, when I play for them, all the money they get at the gate is there’s. The Gambia Television promotes our music enormously. We are thankful to them and all those who work there. The Kanilai festival also brings together many Gambian artists, that is good.

Suntou: Finally, will you continue on the traditional Mandingo songs in reggae bits?
Jalex: Yes that is the plan. I will always stick to what I understand.

Suntou: Thank you Jalex for the time
Jalex: Abarakah, I am happy that, Gambians will find out something about me through the interview.

Jalex, A Young Gambian Music Talent on the Rise

By Suntou Bolonba Touray
Music is something each individual experiences, to a modern African; the blend of nostalgic sounds with postmodern awakening of electric enhancement of main stream rhymes is new. Young Gambian musicians have borrowed from lands far away to construct a sound system that, the youth generation respond to.
Can we call it postmodern musical adventure? Some analyst states that, postmodernism influence in traditional music means, “Listeners can understand music of various eras”. Music is considered as an art, the art work is valued from the talent and skill, reputation of the artist. Similarly, looking at the Gambian musical scene today, a variety of young local youths have all discover themselves, embraced their language and culture, thus singing songs with foreign rhymes but in local languages.
Where do these new breeds of Gambian musicians come from? Why do they choose music as a career? What influence them to play music? Do they have a targeted audience?
Tricia Ross’s study of Black Music in America exposed certain mindset amongst Rappers. She found that, the Ghetto is use an identity; therefore Ghetto language plays a lot in the vibes emanating from the Rap Music. Rappers she says use words aimed at black hip hop fans, however, should whites and middle class blacks enjoy it, well and good.
The focus of the interview here is to look the music of Jalex aka Akuntu. He plays a reggae bit with traditional songs. He is not alone, there many other young singers now singing in Fula, Wollof and Mandingo but using reggae bits.
Jalex understood that, the youths love it. The old traditional Sabar sound alone cannot satisfy the musical apatite of the youth, both urban and rural. Reggae penetrated the Gambia since the days of Bob Marley. However, what is new is the borrowing of the sound to sing in local languages.
Older generation and the elite class fancy the Jaliba Kuyateh music, because it elevates them and announces their successes in life. What about our brothers and sisters? What music do they like among their friends? Does it matter what they listen to?
For me it matters, because the ‘ears is said to the window to our hearts’ what people hear often tend to influence them. The sad thing for the young talented Gambian musicians is that, they tend to operate individually. Hardly anyone has a business manager. Their income and expenditure is handled by themselves. This contributes to their exit from the music business without them even realizing it.
Malang Touray, aka Jalex, was born in the town of Bakau, the Gambia. The Grandson of a famous singer, Jali Fodah, he has been inspired by music since his early childhood - an inspiration that came from his grandfather's great work as a cultural musician. Jalex has evolved his own, very distinctive style of music, which he titles "Afro-reggae"
A young new generation of Gambian musician, Jalex aka Akuntu created a good blend of traditional songs and new sound system. I met Jalex at his London base to talk about his style of music and the influence it impact on Gambian youths.
Since music is as good as the artist, it is highly worthwhile to examine the particular musician entertaining our young generations. Jalex came across as a very intelligent and sober talent. He embodied the old and new integrated traditional man. His approach to Gambianess and why Gambians should celebrate their ‘heritage’ is eye catching.
Jalex belongs to the musical family of the Jali-Fodah’s line. During my research, it became evident that, Jalex did not just jump into music like many urban young men; he knew music has deep rooted history in his family.
Jali Fodah is equivalent to Jaliba Kuyateh of today. He traveled all across the Gambia, Senegal and Cassamance. Jal Fodah’s legacy is what, many modern day drummers copy. In Mandingo terms, Jalex’s grandfather is referred to as (Dah Jalo) Male singer. Dah Jalo does not only sing, but he is accompanied by drummers. He must master language and proverbs. Often he wears a costume (dala) in performance.
Jalex is an active individual who practice many trades before settling down for music. His mastery of carpentry brought him in contact with many famous Gambians. His humility and outgoing character played a part in his early success story. He unlike certain young musicians has a deep passion for the art.
Jalex performs for one of Gambia’s GSM service providers every New Year’s Eve. He also plays at hotels, on stage and in private functions. His talent has made him a type that if he is not available in any big event, it’s termed to be incomplete some fans remark.He is always the last performing artist when or where ever there is a Gambian lineup performance simply because of what most organizers have realized, whenever he performs, that’s the end of the show because most of the fans will go immediately.
Jalex Awards and Recognition:
He has won several awarded over his five year music career.
In March 2007 - Winner - The Smiling Coast Riddim Gambia
June 2007 - Winner - Best New Artist - UK Senegambian Awards 2007 (UK)
January 2008 – Nyamato sound track played twice on BBC 1Xtra by DJ Edu UK
February 2008 - Winner "Best Solo Artist" Gam Spirit National Music Awards (Gambia)
February 2008 - Nominated in Male Artist of the Year and Afro-Manding Song of the Year – GT Awards 2008 (USA, UK, Gambia)July 2009 - Ambassador of Bakoteh Annex Lower Basic SchoolMay 2010- Best Gambian Performing Artist of the Kanilai international Festival
Albums or DiscographySoma Alfaa 2007 and Baadiyaa 2009 hits the shops in London and The Gambia
Sambi ibina up coming Album. Jalex is currently in studios recording in preparation of the Sambi Mbina album, the single is out now.

The Six Greatest Kora Masters

Compiled by Suntou Touray

Lalo Keba top left and Jaliba Kuyateh, right.

Koriyan Musa Suso (inventor of the Kora) father of the Kora tradition
Karunka Tuman, he too was another great Kora master
Jali Madi Wullen, his era not far into the past

Wandifen Jali another renown Kora composer

Lalo Keba Drammeh, died not so long ago. He reinvigorated the songs of Wandifen jali.

Jaliba Kuyateh, current top kora player.

Some may say that, the likes of Tuman Jibateh and others are brilliant. However, the added dimention of being accepted in the land of heritage is lacking in their case. Therefore, Kora the instrument goes with its myth just like the Guiter, jembe and other instruments.

This is not my distinction, but that of reputable Kora masters.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

People still wiping off their black skin to be white??!! and Are you for justice or for America/West by Philo Ikonya

My short note is comes from two issues I have reacted to and which I would like to hear more about..

One is our black skins at home and in Europe (NB: Do black men do this?)

I am walking around with my Jamaican friend. She is a super black .. hair, skin, lovely... Then she begins to cringe in the mall. I look across and I see this African sister in the city. Rich. Married here for ages. But she still has never heard of Song of Lawino.. or is it that no one told her she was beautiful at home? She has no skin.. she killed it with chemicals to make it white.. her hair must always be a wig.. and that lipstick style.. I know we can wear ours nicely.. man, it is on lips wrinkled by wine.. should I yell or whine? Shopping in the most expensive things in the best of malls and no one tells you your skin black and beautiful you must keep? Advanced they tell us this country is, the best to live in the world.. and why has not her husband kept her from yellowing.. and the in laws..!? Let me eat pumpkins!

The other is those who argue that the Hague should go for America...

Those who argue that the ICC should go for Amerika and support the AU in not arresting Gaddafi and Omar Al Bashir... the immediacy of your argument maybe clear politically but not at a human rights level. Go to your records and see what kind of cases the ICC takes up please!! If you keep on thinking it will go after a bombing that was agreed at the UN council you are lost. Besides, we cannot blow up a cloud of dust to lose all there is. Some finesse is required. You cannot allow injustice on your land by anyone or because the rest of the world is unjust. Think of it if we applied it to individuals there would be no courts of justice anywhere because all laws are constantly being broken everywhere. We could all even religiously hinge on Biblical injustice to justify all our injustice in the world. There is a whole lot of it there.. if you read it. The law does not exist because we are able to keep it. It is a reminder of our ideal. It is motivation as well as proof that things can be right. I do not think that we are redefining justice here and it means as they tell us in Latin ius... give each her or his due. You must not get frustrated when you see injustice in America/west.
Your work just becomes broader.. if you believe in justice not in America.. You see injustice with America .. you follow the channels that can reach America with your point. One of them is unfortunately not the ICC. USA is not a member state and has not committed itself to the Rome Statute. Pointing at other evils in order not to resolve another evil. It does not work like that. It never did. We are lucky that some thought of ICC.
I mean, look we could all be saying nothing matters since Israel and Palestine.. nothing matters after Auswitch. Nothing matters during and after a Darfur, a Rwanda.. A Pinochet and the Disappeared.. Choose justice and live in your times!

Jalex aka Akuntu

My interview with Afro-Manden music star Jalex to be finish soon. I recorded the interview in a video version, however, the lightening wasn't too good. In any case, I will load it on youtube as well when I am ready with it.

Youth and Beauty

Dozing beautiful sister, be awake!!! the world is much more than you. Dozing handsome brother, pull your pants up, and remember the world revolve around the Sun, not your behind. Youth's beauty and elegance is deceptive, we have all been there..dozing and thinking, we are the Best. Be humble and careful.
Snubbing and puff chested, the decrying of age will cause your entanglement with danger.

Age Is Just a Number

Age is just a number. If you are in your forties or fifties, eat healthy and be active. You can do what those in their thirties can do. It become more than a number if you don't know, your time should be divided between the material, spiritual and personal.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Former GPU President Message of Appreciation

APPRECIATION Ndey Tapha: As indicated in my opening remarks, service without checks and balances is of no use to you the leader and those you lead, therefore I am proud that the Gambia Press Union over the years has entrenched internal democracy, transparency in its dealings and stock taking as an integral part of the nature and functioning of our great Institution. I’m also proud that in every aspect of Union management, for every pillar of the raison d’etre of our Union, this executive has raised the bar to such an extent that in every part of the world, in every home in The Gambia, the GPU is a common name and one that is synonymous to sacrifice, hard work and belief on our cause.

Of course there have been and there will always be the detractors, but as my policy has been and its one that I tried to push within this executive, no amount of distraction will push us into losing our focus, our resolve to deliver on the mandate that we accepted and sought you to trust us with. Since we came in as GPU leaders in March 2008, our main priority was to be make decisions, as an entity and to consult each other at all times in a very transparent, honest manner and at all times putting the interests of our membership first.

I would be unfair to my team, Sarata Jabbi-Dibba, Modou Nyang, Bai Emil Touray, Lamin Njie, Madi Njie, Pa Modu Faal, Buya Jammeh and Amie Sanneh if I do not single them out for their steadfastness and commitment to duty. It has been hard, long and tumultuous but we have arrived, and we have made a difference, I congratulate you all. The same goes to our dedicated staff, executive director Aloa Ahmed Alota, Fatma Tambedou, Accountant, Nellie Grant, Librarian/Secretary, Isatou Njie, cleaner. Our ICFJ partners Alieu Sagnia and Chilel… who also share our office space with us.Unreserved thanks must be for GPU advisors Sam Sarr, Demba Jawo, Swaebou Conateh, Cherno Jallow, Amie Joof and George Christensen. Their experience, expertise and visionary outlook has at many times, dampened the fiery spirit with which this young executive would normally jump on issues and probably have acted differently.

I appreciate the genuineness demonstrated and support given. Ousman Sillah, Abdoulie John and Fabakary Ceesay are ordinary members who have gone over and beyond the call of duty to represent, to speak for and to defend the interests of this Union. Thank you for the support.Our partners and friends we have made over the years have played an integral part to every success that we have registered and every milestone gained, I thank our local partners in particular the US Embassy, British High Commission, UNDP (UNDEF Project team), ActionAid The Gambia, UNESCO/NATCOM, Unique Solutions, FLARE. Our international and regional partners have ensured that our agenda, our voice is being heard and that will continue to be heard, we therefore thank the IFJ, FAJ, WAJA, SYNPICS, Amnesty International, GAMES (Danida), Article 19, CPJ, International Pen, OSIWA, OSJI, Reuters, RSF.
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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Jammeh's First Footing with Gambian Press..

First press conference of the AFPRC at State House that evening: Mr. Malick Jeng: (Press Officer): Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council and Head of State, members of the Council, members of the press, we are gathered here in the Cabinet Room at State House for a press conference with the Chairman of the Armed forces Provisional Ruling Council, Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh. This is the first press conference of the Chairman and we would now like to invite His Excellency to make a statement which would be followed by questions from the press. Fatoumata Ceesay, Freelance/Daily Observer: was the first to ask the junta ………

Mr. Momodou Musa Secka, Daily Observer: Your Excellency, it is indeed agreeable that you have lofty goals and noble objectives in toppling the previous government, especially where corruption is concerned, which was the headlines of many national and international newspapers. However, military governments in Africa do not have a rack record of fulfilling the lofty ideals for which they seized power, instead what happens the people experience more suffering, more often far worse than before.

This is because the military rule with guns, the people remain helpless victims of military and suppression. I hope this will not happen in this country and taking into consideration the unique record in which you have toppled this government, could you give us the guarantee that this will not happen in this country?

Lt. Jammeh: Well, it is wrong to judge our government by the records of previous military governments, in the sense that this is a military government with a difference. It is composed of patriotic Gambians. We are not here to enrich ourselves.

We are not here to live flamboyant lifestyles, and looking at the composition of the government that should send a signal that we mean an equitable distribution of the national assets; one getting what you have sweated for and we are assuring the public that we are not here to breed on the back of somebody’s neck.

We are here to accept ideas and criticisms and that our government will be open to criticisms and at anytime you are free to see us, criticize us where we are wrong and contribute where you can contribute.

We are not serving ourselves. Remember, every one of us, as Gambians, must serve the interest of the Gambia. Whoever is appointed is not serving the military government but is appointed to serve the interest of the Gambian people.

Deyda Hydara, the Point: the outgoing government recently put in place an impressive and very comprehensive plan of action aimed at alleviating poverty in general and improving the lot of Gambian masses in particular. In the same vein, that same government recently conducted far-reaching negotiations with the Bretton Wood institutions. I would like to know if your administration is going to pursue the same objectives within the stipulated programmes?

Lt. Jammeh: Well, the stipulated programmes you mentioned were instituted by the overthrown government. We are coming in with our own programme that will not only be there to impress the people but that will yield results for the entire people to benefit. We are not here to fool Gambians by giving them bogus programmes that will never be implemented.

Mam Sait Ceesay, Freelance: the former government recently abolished the death penalty. What is your thinking on this issue?

Lt. Jammeh: As I said before, we are not here to kill anybody and the nature in which we took power, I think, can concretize the idea that we are not here for bloodshed. We avoid the death penalty as much as every Gambian. We are not brutes from the army coming to kill anybody. We will make sure that a judiciary system is in place and it is the duty of all Gambians to decide whether or not they want the death penalty in force or not and let nobody fear because we are not going to set any military tribunal. That is why we only suspended the constitution but the judiciary is not suspended. All due process of law will take place without the interference of the constitution.

Halifa Sallah's view Before Yahya Jammeh Became a Civilian Tyrant

Halifa’s views: Halifa Sallah’s open letter to the AFPRC dated the 8th October 1994 sent to NCC. 


Unlike many countries where members of the armed forces engaged in so high a degree of atrocities against civilians that they are purged and tried as criminals after a change of government, as has happened in Latin America, in The Gambia, the members of the armed forces had relatively been acting with discipline. the armed forces of The Gambia have proven to be a patriotic army which would deserve the utmost protection and support by any future government.

Those who have the opportunity to behave like patriotic men in uniform and prefer to live under difficulties to prevent their country from disintegrating into chaos would also deserve honour, respect and care.Opinions have been expressed that the members of the AFPRC cannot possibly return to barracks after handing over to an elected government. The fact of the matter, however, is that there are many options before the members of the AFPRC.

Whether one likes it or not, no one can bar them from forming a party and take part in democratic elections. No one can bar them from joining other political groupings to contest elections if they do desire. If they do not want to contest elections, but have done their best to prevent the country from disintegrating and the lives and liberties of the people from deteriorating, any future government would have the obligation to treat them with respect. For example, instead of a Ministry of Defence, they could be part of a Defence Council which shall be empowered to exercise direction and control over all defence matters. They may also wish to represent the country abroad in foreign missions or simply pursue other careers of their choice abroad with the help of foreign governments in order to prepare themselves to participate in future government since they are still young.

In my view, your Committee can make one thing abundantly clear to the members of the AFPRC, that is, if they preside over the affairs of this country with maturity until the country moves into a democratic constitutional arrangement in peace, they are bound never to be forgotten.

To conclude, I must again say that your Committee is constituted to shoulder an unprecedented responsibility, that is, to engineer a new transitional arrangement which can earn sympathy of the Gambian people, the AFPRC and the international community. We must be imbued with absolute and unshakable conviction that we have to succeed through dialogue or perish in isolation through confrontation.

History, the wise judge, is recording every event. Tomorrow it shall deliver her judgment. Our actions today will determine whether we will be vindicated or castigated tomorrow. Time will announce the verdict. We now have the opportunity to think before we act. Let us think maturely and act wisely, then history shall vindicate us.Please, accept the assurances of my highest consideration in supporting you on this.

Yours faithfully,

Halifa Sallah

Did Foroyaa miscalculate the Intentions of the Military Junta by Attacking Jawara back then

Foroyaa's attacks Jawara:

Unless Jawara knows what we did not know, the evidence at hand was that there were nine members of the Constitutional Review Commission excluding the chairperson who was the only Ghanaian and foreigner. They said there was a drafts person who is a British but what difference does that makes when majority of the members are Gambians?FOROYAA said the decision of the Commission shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present .

The chairman who is a Ghanaian has simply had a casting vote but that does not change anything. There is no indication from any quarter that Justice Quaye acted in a way that puts his reputation into disrepute.

FOROYAA advised that Gambians who are fair- minded should, therefore, dwell on the contents of the draft Constitution rather than attack the persons associated with making the proposals, the bulk of which now constitute the draft Constitution of the Second Republic……………

FOROYAA ASKED whether Mr. Jawara was against all these provisions. And asked its readers what they thought of that because the draft consist a lot democratic.

Suntou's note:

The Junta hide their intention for contesting elections. They were on nation wide tour, attacking traditional politicians whilst selling themselves, making huge promises. Jawara's fear of the potential infringement of the human rights of Gambians and Gambian residence is a self-fulfilled prophesy. The Yahya Jammeh of yesterday is now a full blown Crocodile with wide open mouth. Thus Jawara's fears came true.

Former President Jawara's Fear of what became the 1997 Constitution

Former President Jawara’s Views On The Draft Constitution June 1996, Sir Dawda K. Jawara, the former president of the Gambia also made the following comments in his opening remarks. Jawara opined that “The draft constitution was crafted by the military with the active assistance of Ghanaian lawyers drawing their inspiration from the peculiar history of Ghana and with one aim in mind, i.e. to keep the AFPRC in power at all cost.” Mr. Jawara also asserts among other things that: “The preamble to the Constitution is self serving propaganda. It is superfluous and should be expunged from a serious document like the Constitution.”

Mr. Jawara says the preamble should be out.Furthermore, Jawara asserted that ‘The protection of fundamental rights and freedoms should be total and absolute. These basic rights should not be watered down by the juxtaposing of other rights to confuse the people as practiced in former Communist regimes.”

Monday, 20 June 2011

WHy Arrest ALh Ismaila Manjang

The unreasonable and rediculous arrest of ALH Ismalia Manjang of Gunjure last week is a very low down in Jammeh's madness. How can you arrest a preacher for saying, certain places use for offerings are similar to Idolatry?

He didn't mention Jammeh any where in his speech. And it is true, The shrine at the River side, Sibindento, The retreat of Omar Futi is not an Islamical acceptable place for worship. Omar Futi waged unnecessary wars against even Muslim for his Tijaniyaa sect. How can such a person be elevated to a level he does not deserve?

Omar Futi whose usual retreats are taken a Shrines is the dept of ignorance amongst some Tijaniyaa sects. He waged wars against those refusing to accept his Tijaniyaa sects in Mali, Niger, Guinea, Senegal and parts of the Gambia.

He was killed by a combine Bambara forces and Sarahuleh inhabitants of Masina. Such a warlord does not deserve to be made into a Saint. He is alleged to use the agency of Jinns for his adventures. The so-called miracles attributed to him where nothing but the usual traits of those involving with Jinns. Let people direct their worship and dedication to God. It is a waste of time, resources and effort go to Sanne Menteren, Kenye Kenye Jamen, Sibindinto etc.

Omar Taal was a empire builder who hide behind his sect.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The So-call Independent Abdoulie Jobe Misfired

I think anyone who is honest and principle in dissecting our politics will see the usual rhetoric in Jobe's so-call analysis. A man who inhabits the streets of London for 30years, never went to see how the Gambia is after his departure some time in the 1980s. How can such a Marxist in today's term pretend to care about Caste system more than us, pretend to care about land redistribution more than us?
This is the dept of hypocrisy in someone dying to be heard on the Freedom Radio. The UDP has more structures in place than all other opposition parties, the UDP make monthly visits to constituencies of voters, either by the youth wing or some Executive members. The UDP women wing is the largest in the country and one of the most active. If the UDP has anything to answer to is not patronising the media enough with their activities and engagements.
Yet Mr Jobe who doesn't even know many of the UDP Executive members is pretending to have study the party and its affairs. This is a seriously cheap lie that Mr Jobe who call himself independent should desist from. Sometimes we need to call a spade a spade. The guy is in bed with his PDOIS friends, hence his pretension, because Mr Jobe privately even to me attack PDOIS more than any other, Yet in public he comes out all hyperbolic.
Now on Caste system, I asked Mr Jobe when I appeared with him on freedom to pen down his issues on it and how he want Gambians to do away with it. I am still waiting, yet he went on again to make such a lesser relevant issues as his focal point. Who is Abdoulie Jobe deceiving?What is it about Caste system that, we haven't discuss? Land Reform, does Jobe have any data on who owns what Land in the Gambia?
Land ownership all over the world is the same, if you want to take way people's land, then compensate them fairly for it, This is what Ousainou told him, but the hypocrite can't help himself. If you have another way to take land or property from individuals, then voice it out in a clear written form, so that, sound minded Gambians who knows the facts on the ground can debate it. But to go on radio shouting with half baked pretend care for the society, is merely disingenuous and irrelevant.When Gambians are thinking on ways to discuss and bring faring parties together, what is the Independent Panelist hungry for his voice to be heard do? Jobe, you don't have to answer all the questions of an interviewer.

The interviewer did well by taking you out of your so-call neutral position, you should have been smart enough to avoid any question which will violate your impartiality. But I guess, when you lie enough, you leave abundant holes behind.Personally, after speaking to him on several occasion, I knew he is not neutral neither trustworthy and this is the problem with all so-call broker organisations.
Unless, the pretension is stop, folks stop believeing that, they can deceive people with palatable words, they should stop bothering people about their wish for opposition Unity.Jobe keep making reference to STDGP, is he mandated to speak for them? I know the man want to chat with somebody, but please, before shooting, consult carefully, this is not 1980, MOJA is dead. THe UDP is a party that will welcome competent Gambians of all shapes, it will institute the concept of accountability and responsibility. It will not bully Gambians, however it will set out laws that will prevail over every section of the country.
The UDP don't believe that, politicians should teach Gambians how to understand their society, that is the job of the educational system just like we have in advance societies. WHo in the Gambia don't know sovereignty belongs to the people? Isn't it the educated elites who are working with the tyrant to subjugate the masses? UDP members are mostly farmers and the common people, instead of politicians lecturing them, they should listen to them. This is the hallmark of our parties monthly trips. We don't have to publicise what we do, we leave that to smaller ones. We are engaging the people, however, the environment is dictatorial.
Serious concern Gambians looks at the bigger picture, how to remove a killer. You don't truncate over minor issues which with social evolution, will die a natural death.Caste System will die it natural death. What is require is higher education for all. Jobe, don't be desperate to be heard, it will end up relegating you and the insignificant crowd you may have earn. We know you, so I am not the least perturbed by your comments, with time, people will come to know the real Abdoulie Jobe.
The old boy need to chanel his boredom appropriately. We know he is lonely after his wife left him with his child some years ago. He should stop being destructive, malicious and overbearing on the host of the Freedom Radio. The man is simply the same as the usual PDOIS heads whose indoctrination left them bespoke by academic politics of no substance.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I Pray that, God Protect me from My Friends

Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo commented that, the problem of African leadership is their reliance on sycophants. He said, "sycophancy is a big problem to African leaders. Because they always tell them what they want hear." He further said that, he recognise two major errors in the attitude of African leadership. "An error of omission and error of commission" meaning, sometimes, the Head of states don't have a clue what they are doing, and those around them don't know any better. He said, such error is not serious.

But the errors of commission which is when leaders commit fraud, criminalise the state machinery, act unfairly, deprive the rights of the people, align themselves in close circles or within their tribe, he said, such errors should be punishable.

Obasanjo said, the question of leadership transition is a major problem. African leaders he said, don't know when to quit, "because sycophants encircle you, telling you things that cloud your judgement." He said "every leader should prepare somebody within their party to succeed him. That way, power transfer will be smooth and less problematic."

The remarks were made on sky Chanel 199 ( A moment with Mo) Sunday, the 12 June 2011

Obasanjo being a former leader captured the essence of our African problem. Many of the so-called close aids to the head of states are actually self-serving people. They careless how long the Presidents stays in power. They careless who he jails, and frankly, all they are interested in is to enrich themselves and create bigger profiles for their future business ventures. These pseudo elites are the big destroyers of the African dream.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Jammeh Bites Again, Going After His former Ministers

Amadou S Janneh Arrested
It is crude to see Gambians been arrested on unclear grounds. Mr Janneh is a private businessman, the state should follow the proper procols of granting bail to individuals, allowing them access to a lawyer and explaining the reasons for the arrests.
However, we all know Yahya Jammeh, his intention as always is to cast fear in the hearts of private Gambians, thereby he can continue his divide and rule, wastage and monstrous governance. Regretably, brother Janneh made a mistake by working for him in the past. Yahya never give a post to any Gambian with the aim of moving the Gambia ahead. An intelligent brother like Amadou now appreciates that. We hope his rights are respected and he is free to go about his business.
I am wondering, what is the take of our prominent Gunjure legal expert LJD on the subject of the arrest of Amadou Janneh and Chief Ajey Janneh. With the rumour meal going around that, Ajey is been undermine to take the Cheiftiancy away from him, paving the way for another political coup in conquering Gunjure for the forrth coming elections, LJD's analysis will be relevant to many observers.
The NIA should grow up now and realise that, assisting a despot for the sake of national security is no exemption from being an accomplish to human rights violations. They have over 17 years been the key ingredient in inflicting harm on Gambians, both physically and mentally. They sold their souls to Yahya by committing crimes on his behalf, this means he is better than many of them.Suntou

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Proud Daughter of The late Basiru Barrow Killed By the Jammeh Junta

The late Lt Basiru Barrow's daughter got married not long ago. Her father was not on her side for the weeding. Gambians in their usual 'let us leave it to God' compelled the family of the late Basiru never to question the killers of a hard working Gambian soldier.

Basiru's wives and children have been looked after by family members. The Gambia has become a country where orphans due to state killings is a normal unpreventable state of affairs.

May God Bless the soul of Basiru Barrow, Dot Fall, Copral Nyang, Sey and the rest of the November 11 alleged coup plotters. They deserve a proper treatment rather being shot at point blank range. Gambians speak up!! those suffering in silence are Gambians like you.

Basiru's daughter may not like her photo be seen by Gambians. She will wish to be left in silence, to mourn her father's passing, however, this is our struggle. It is a Gambian nightmare.

The family of Basiru have never been compensated, neither where the death explain in a proper process. May Allah bless the Daughter's marriage and look after her and the rest of the family. Amen. Basiru would be proud of your beauty and dedication, modesty, piety and seriousness. Be proud of your late father.

The Reason Yahya Jammeh Can Never Be Compassionate

Suntou Touray

Jammeh like other dictators before him are never adored neither do they ever enjoy their time in office. Hence all the killings, jailing, sackings and insults are all from the pains in the heart. Jammeh is not happy because he knows, 99% of all those praising him, will be the first to laugh when he dies or falls. Such is the deep pain the man who uses arms to come to power feels. So sometimes, just look at his face, the sadness is intense.

A man who has killed and wasted many lives have no reason to be compassionate, therefore, when some Gambians expect a devil worshipper, killer, restless soul to be nice, they are looking at a wrong scenario.

Take drug dealers for instance, their money is a pain, so you don't expect them to have a good night sleep. Jammeh like Mubarack, Gaddafi, Idi Amin, Abacher and many others will all die in disgrace.

Human life, human dignity cannot be bargain with any structure. This is why, Gambians in their number are abandoning GRTS, everyone now want a satellite disk to avoid been slow poison with the depressing image of a monster.

Rest In Peace brother Koro. The first blood spilled by the Junta led to many more deaths. Therefore those who rain bitterness because we refuse to accept Jammeh should put themselves in the place of Koro and others buried 'six feet'. But if Jammeh's crimes are overlooked for other reasons, those Gambians have lost the moral compass to argue on anything. Nothing is worth more human life or human rights.