Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gambia declares state of emergency ahead of deployment of ECOMOG troops

Protester fighting police in  Burkina Faso 
Gambia's National Assembly has declared a state of emergency ahead of the deployment of ECOWAS military force whose mission is to eject Yaya Jammeh from the presidency after refusing to accept the verdict of the Gambian voters who rejected him at the December 1st presidential elections in favor of Adama Barrow.

The Resolution was considered and approved by the APRC-dominated National Assembly that has been locally dubbed as the "rubber stamp" parliament declaring a state of emergency in The Gambia which will cover a period of ninety days, effective from 17th January - 17th April 2017.

In the same said Resolution, the National Assembly considered and approved extending the life of the National Assembly for a further ninety days, effective from 11th April - 11th July 2017.

The resolutions were motioned by Fabakary Tombong Jatta who is the Majority Leader in the National Assembly.

The National Assembly is expected to reconvene tomorrow to consider extending the term of office of the President to an unspecified period of time which is an unconstitutional move that many legal experts believe is a treasonable office.   All National Assembly members who support such a law will likely face severe legal repercussions that will include jail term among other punishment.    

Monday, January 16, 2017

Johnson Sirleaf reacts to her telephone conversation being clandestinely recorded by Jammeh

Presidents Johnson Sirleaf and Macky Sall 
The Liberian President is not taking lightly the behavior of Yaya Jammeh who recorded his conversation with her which was then played on national television.

The video tape was heavily edited to give a nervous Gambian population the false assurance that ECOWAS will not exercise the military option against Jammeh and his renegade regime that will become illegal in few hours time.

Reacting to Jammeh's latest prank, the Liberia president said in a BBC interview "unfortunately, being the person that he is, he recorded and televised the conversation without advising me of his intent to do so."  It was obvious as we have outlined in our previous blog post, he edited the video to give the impression that ECOWAS was going to consider his request for judges to sit on the Gambia Supreme Court to deliberate on his applications to nullify the election results and the injunction request to bar Adama Barrow from being inaugurated on the 19th January.

A flustered Chairman of ECOWAS didn't leave any doubt that if Jammeh's intention was to portray her in a bad light and to give the false impression that the regional body was wavering on its stance about the various options on the table, the Liberian President was emphatic when she said " let me make it very, very clear.  There is no change is ECOWAS' position.  The constitution of The Gambia must be respected."

She continued to say to the BBC that "my only duty was to take his appeal and pass it on to the mediating team.  At the time he called me, I was thinking that he was going to find a way out of this and he was going to be able to work with the team but clearly, clearly it was just a game.  It was just a ruse on his part."  

Meanwhile, at the National Assembly in Banjul today, a debate is on on a resolution thanking the ECOWAS Member States for their efforts in solving the political impasse peacefully which was the entire purpose of setting up the ECOWAS Chairperson to give the impression of entertaining a request from Jammeh that will only serve to prolong his illegal stay at the State House for more of his mischief making.  

At tomorrow's seating of the National Assembly, a resolution condemning the African Union's Peace and Security Council and the Government of Senegal for interfering in the internal affairs of The Gambia.

Mass arrests of military officers in Banjul

Jammeh with military guards 
The crackdown on the military has commenced with Jammeh targeting non-Jola which is a dangerous trend that is developing in the last 48 hours that threatens the peace and security of Gambian people as the 18th of January draws near.

A team of military police personnel led by Lt. Nuha William Jammeh, officer commanding Military Police, Sunday evening rounded up senior military officers at the Fajara barracks.

The officers, Captain Baboucarr Bah alias "Van Damm" and Captain Demba Baldeh alias "Mbarode" were both arrested on allegation of showing allegiance to President-elect Adama Barrow.

According to the same sources,  later on in the day, more arrests were made and among those arrested were Col. Hena Sambou, Lt. Col Seedy Joof, Lt. Col. Mai Touray, Major Yusupha Jammeh, Warrant Officer Class One Bangally, Warrant Officer Class One Nfansu Fofana, Warrant Officer Class one M.B.Sarr, Sgt. Kemo Manneh and ex Staff Sergeant Dodou Touray.

Security sources have also revealed that five of those arrested are being held at the Headquarters of the notorious National Intelligence Agency in Banjul.

Meanwhile, the Fajara Barracks has been put on alert due to threats of an attack led by  one of the Generals.  It is unclear which of Jammeh's Generals is being referred to in the reprot or the reason for the said planned attack.

This is a developing story ....

Jammeh asks lawmakers to break the law

Now that Jammeh has conned the Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission and President of Liberia before a nationally televised telephone exchange which was recorded without her knowledge,  Jammeh is continuing his childish antics by asking the National Assembly to convene today to extend his 5-year mandate as President to a date uncertain, a clearly illegal act.

Some would even argue that the act of extending the term of office of the President of The Republic is a treasonable offence.

Jammeh believes that since he's got Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on tape, seemingly agreeing to entertain an official request from the Gambian dictator to her ECOWAS colleague, to provide judges that will allow Gambia's Supreme Court to sit and deliberate on his pending applications before the Court.

Jammeh initial petition was to ask the Supreme Court to nullify the results of the elections and when that failed he filed an injunction with the same court to bar Adama Barrow from being inaugurated prior to a court decision.   Now that he has succeeded in getting the Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission to, at least, entertain the idea of a request from Jammeh for judges, Jammeh will use this as justification to stay beyond the 18th January when he is constitutionally required to vacate State House and cease to be president.
Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Majority Leader 
Jammeh is now geared to asking the National Assembly to convene with a view to illegally extending his term of office.  There is no provision in the constitution that provides for the extension of the presidential term by even a day.

To suggest that by filing a petition, the president must sit and wait in office beyond the constitutionally mandated period while the Court decides is wishful thinking on Jammeh's part.

In fact, in 2011, while Ousainou Darboe's petition was pending before the Supreme Court, Jammeh inaugurated himself on the 19th January 2012.  He had no qualms then.  His current petition before the Supreme Court has nothing to do with processes provided in the constitution to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition of power from Jammeh to Barrow.

Speaker Abdoulie Bojang and Majority Leader Fabakary Tombing Jatta are being urged not to be led astray and into a legal no-man's land by a desperate leader who has been defeated in an election that has been universally acclaimed as free, fair and credible.   The entire world is behind Adama Barrow.

Why would you and the rest of the APRC members of the National Assembly be used in such an unconstitutional manner that will most certainly put you in legal jeopardy.  As lawmakers, you must not be enticed by Jammeh to break the law.  The Gambian people have spoken on the 1st of December by electing Adama Barrow.  National Assembly members of both parties and independents must ensure that the will of the people is not subverted which is what Jammeh is asking you to do.          

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How Yaya Jammeh conned Liberia's President Johnson Sirleaf on national television

Johnson Sirleaf, Koroma and Jammeh 
Yaya Jammeh, the Gambian dictator who lost his bid for a 5th 5-year term in the last December presidential elections, had one more stunt to pull last night at the expense of Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and before a national television audience.

Jammeh placed a telephone called to the unsuspecting Liberian President to ask for her assistance in securing the services of Supreme Court judges to consider his petition for the annulment of the results of the elections he clearly lost last December.

Following the loss, he accepted defeat and conceded to his 51-year old rival Adama Barrow, only to reverse his position and refused to vacate the presidency unless the Supreme Court will deliberate on his application to nullify the results and call for fresh elections.

He decided to adopt this strategy with the hope that he will be able to entice enough judges from Nigeria and Sierra Leone to sit in judgement of his case.  When the strategy failed because the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria refused to release his judges for the assignment in The Gambia, Jammeh found himself in a logjam because the earliest Nigeria can release its judges for the Supreme Court assignment in The Gambia would be in May and November, well beyond the 18th January deadline as stipulated clearly and unambiguously in the country's constitution.

Jammeh will be violating the constitution if he stays a minute later than midnight of the deadline. President-elect, Adama Barrow, is scheduled to be inaugurated the 3rd President of The Republic of The Gambia on the 19th January.  Since he cannot get enough judges to sit, Jammeh had to devise an unconstitutional route of filing an injunction with the same Supreme Court that has only one sitting judge to boast of - the notoriously corrupt Chief Justice, Emmanuel Fagbenle, who is not only the one doing the bidding for Jammeh but he is also in the business of running a church and a daycare school for profit.  To his credit, it is reported that the Chief Justice has indicated that he cannot pronounce on the application because he is an interested party, thus dealing a severe blow to his friend's latest ploy.

Finding himself further in a logjam, Jammeh decided to con Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by calling her and having the entire episode recorded on video and played before a national audience by asking her to intervene using her office as President of ECOWAS to impress upon the Nigerian president to provide the judges to sit on his injunction application that would prevent Adama Barrow from being inaugurated until the case is heard and disposed of.  The Liberian president responded that Jammeh should write his request clearly stating what he wants from her and ECOWAS which he immediately promised to do and in doing so referred to her as "my sister."

There is little doubt that Jammeh was not only belittling one of Africa's first woman president but he was trying concurrently to dupe the entire ECOWAS community and the Gambian voters who voted for change by voting Adama Barrow.  Jammeh's behavior did not surprise those who know this character but the extent to which he can go to delay the inevitable i.e. removal from office, by force, if necessary, is extraordinary.  And doing so at the expense of one of Africa's most respected political leader is shameful.  President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf deserves better and Jammeh should be ashamed of himself - if he has any shame, that is.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jammeh readies for war with ECOMOG as he prepares to use Senegalese residents as human shields

Adama Barrow with the AfDB President 
Deciding that the use of force by ECOMOG to dislodge him from the State House is imminent,  the outgoing Gambian president Jammeh is preparing his troops to fight it out with a regional military force that will be led by Senegal as decided by ECOWAS in their last December Abuja Summit, according to reliable sources.

Jammeh is reportedly prepping up a segment of the Jola ethnic group within the army by informing them that Senegal is keen to attack Gambia and that they must be willing to fight and die because, according to the same source, Senegal is determined to uproot a Jola leader for a Mandinka president.  For this reason, Jammeh is telling them that they must be ready to fight and die to prevent a Mandinka from assuming the presidency even though Adama Barrow's parents, like many Gambians, are from two different tribes and was raised by a member of a third tribe.  But to Jammeh, he must distort the narrative to fit his convoluted belief that the Jola is seen by Mandinkas as being an inferior class.

Jammeh has been preaching and promoting tribal division, in one form or another, since he seized power in 1994 with minimal success.  However, in recent years, his tribal propaganda has taken on an added urgency as he sees his grip on power slipping away from him after 22 years of repression, corruption and ineptitude.  His rhetoric against the Mandinka ethic group was so inflammatory that the United Nation's Special Adviser on Genocide had to reprimand Jammeh by classifying it as incitement to violence against an ethic group (the Mandinka) whom he threatened to kill one by one because they are foreigners as well as enemies of the state.

Jammeh is known for his tribalism as well has his anti-Senegalese rhetoric.  As he prepares to fight ECOMOG, he is utilizing two of his favorite subjects - Mandinkas and Senegal -  as whipping boys or boogeymen by inciting the Jola ethnic group in the Gambian military to fight to maintain their dominance which they will forfeit with his removal from power by Senegal.

He is also reportedly instructing a section of the military willing to accompany him along this suicidal path to round up Senegalese nationals to be used as human shields in the event of an imminent assault on the country by ECOMOG.  According to a source, Jammeh is ready to die with as many people as he can possibly take down with him because of the humiliating defeat he suffered at the hands of Adama Barrow - a rejection that he cannot endure given the absolute power he enjoyed over the 22-years he ruled the Gambia.              


Adama Barrow's first foreign trip as President-elect

President-elect Barrow, Hollande and Johnson Sirleaf
President-elect Barrow of The Gambia is in Bamako, Mali to attend the 27th Africa - France Summit.  He flew into the Malian capital last night together with the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, after President Buhari-led ECOWAS mediation team fail to convince the outgoing Gambian dictator to leave the presidency peacefully after losing in a free, fair and credible elections last December.

The internationally-acclaimed election results that produced Adama Barrow was in full display in Bamako when he was welcomed into the community of nations with open and welcoming arms at the Summit by France's President Francois Hollande, seen here with Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

The message that the Gambian people sent to the rest of world by voting for the Coalition candidate will never be allowed to be lost in Jammeh-inspired and directed shenanigans designed to bury the message of rejection of tyranny and dictatorship and the embrace of democracy and the rule of law.

The civility of both the December 1st vote and the respect, dignity and humbleness that is the character of President-elect Barrow marks a new beginning for a country that has been consumed by the 22-year dictatorial rule of a repulsive character like Yaya Jammeh.

The rest of world is breathing a collective sigh of relief that the Gambian people have decided to elect the ballot box instead of the bullet but Jammeh has shown, in the several weeks, that he prefers a violence to settle a Jammeh-manufactured political impasse.
Hollande of France, Barrow of Gambia and IBK of Mali

ECOWAS is thus encouraged to continue to use prudence in exercising the final option that is in its arsenal, consistent with the stance reiterated by the Presidents of Senegal, Nigeria and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Marcel de Souza.  But it is must be used, it should be used to enforce the peace and security of continental Africa's smallest country that has been brought to the brink by one of Africa's brutal and corrupt leaders.

If there is any doubt in the minds of Jammeh and the few army personnel who support his irresponsible actions if trying to undermine the will of the Gambian people, he should be reminded that the West African military chiefs have met in the Nigerian capital Abuja to prepare for a possible military action in the Gambia.