Monday, December 26, 2016

Editorial: We prefer civility and goodwill to acrimony and vengeance

Sidi Sanneh 
At this critical point in our politics, persons wishing to join the progressive forces of positive political change must be encouraged.  In particular, former APRC officials, supporters and ordinary citizens ready and willing to add their voices to those of us asking Jammeh to step down must be embraced.  We must bring as many of them into the fold as we possibly can prior to the 18th January deadline.  Jammeh's refusal will inevitably lead to the loss of life, as well as destruction of property which we must try to avoid.

Our immediate goal as a country, therefore, should be to do everything humanly possible to avert military intervention that can only set us back even further than necessary.

The 22-year record the Jammeh regime will be bequeathing the next generation of Gambians is a challenge of herculean proportion that will require a conducive business and political environment to successfully address these difficult challenges.  Peaceful and orderly transfer of power must, therefore, be the main preoccupation of not only the incoming administration but of every Gambian.  And Jammeh is the main obstacle to achieving this goal.

We can only measure up to the challenges confronting us in these consequential moments if our parochial and/or partisan instincts are in check to prevent them from clouding our judgment. Jammeh's 22-year presidency has so negatively and profoundly transformed Gambian society that nearly every aspect of the social fabric holding our communities together is fractured and can disentangle, threatening the social cohesion Jammeh inherited when he seized power in 1994.

If we fail, it will be catastrophic for a country that once prides itself of having pulled itself by the bootstrap from the status of an "improbable nation" to one that held great hope and promise among the community of nations.  We must restore our lost national pride by first coming to terms with the magnitude of the problem we will be inheriting from the 22-year dictatorship of Yaya Jammeh.

In moving forward, we must do so in civility and goodwill and not in acrimony and vengeance.  We fought Yaya Jammeh to return the rule of law and the reestablishment of our civil liberties guaranteed under law.  These guaranteed rights etched in our Constitution apply to every Gambian and non-Gambian alike, without exemption,

While appealing to our compassionate senses of fair play, we want to make clear that we are not advocating immunity from the law for anyone because no one is above the law and that applies to Amadou Samba and any other Gambian businessman or businesswoman who've had business dealings with Yaya Jammeh.  In an environment where the rule of law prevails, every Gambian is entitled to his or her day in a regular court of law and Mr. Samba is no exception.

Jammeh's mother fails to convince son to step down

Yaya Jammeh 
Mrs. Asombi Bojang, mother of Yaya Jammeh, has failed to convince her suicidal son to step down from the presidency to make way for the newly elected President of the Republic, Adama Barrow.

She reportedly told her son to stop dishing out huge sums of money to marabouts and fortune tellers who are only interested in fleecing him. According to the same source, Jammeh was told that his time was up and should accept the will of the Gambian people who have selected Adama Barrow as their new leader.

Jammeh's mother was accompanied to State House by a delegation comprising of family members and close relatives of the Gambian dictator who suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of a real estate developer and a relative newcomer to presidential politics.

After initially conceding defeat to a chorus of praise from around the world, Jammeh had a change of heart a few days later by astoundingly claiming that the elections were rigged by an Independent Electoral Commission whose members were handpicked and appointed by Mr. Jammeh.

International reaction was swift in condemning what was seen not only as a blatant power grab but a flagrant violation of the sanctity of the vote.  Jammeh's decision prompted ECOWAS to convene a summit meeting to resolve to all actions necessary to install Mr. Adama Barrow on the 19th January 2017 as the legitimate President of the Republic.

ECOWAS forces have started to mobilize under the command of  Senegal and will have the full authority and backing of the international community to dislodge Jammeh from State House and install Adama Barrow as Gambia's third president.

The man who decreed to be referred to as His Excellency Professor Doctor Alhagie Yaya A.J.J.Jammeh Babilimansa is suddenly coming to terms that come 18th January he will no longer be recognized as the legitimate president of a country he ruled with an iron fist for 22 years.  The experience is devastating and for someone as proud and commanding as Jammeh, the defeat has left him humiliated and hopelessly powerless.  He has refused all appeals from ECOWAS Heads of State as well as leaders and international organizations around the world to step down.

A source close to the Jammeh family has indicated that relatives of the outgoing president will continue their efforts to convince him to step down peacefully to allow for a smooth transition of power to the incoming Gambian President.      

Friday, December 23, 2016

Conversations with Amadou Samba:"I was never a business partner of Jammeh, I managed him."

Amadou Samba, Gambian businessman 

To many, Amadou Samba is Yaya Jammeh's right hand man and business partner, period.  A few have even referred to him as "Jammeh's bag-man" and viewed by many as the sole individual who can lead the transition government to Jammeh's hidden wealth, inside and outside The Gambia.

Since we at sidisanneh.blogspot.com have written extensively on matters relating to Jammeh alleged illicit wealth and/or business dealings, Amadou Samba's name has always featured, either as a central player or on the periphery, but always present.

So, it was, therefore, surprising when, in reacting to me referring to him as "Jammeh's business partner", he corrected me tersely and swiftly by denying that he was never a business partner of Jammeh.  His response was, and I quote "I managed him [referring to Yaya Jammeh], I was never a business partner of Jammeh."

He also said something that will take many by surprise and that is, as far as he is aware, all of Jammeh's wealth is in the Gambia and not abroad.  Of course, public records in the United States show that the $ 3.5 million Brentcross Road Potomac mansion although sold to the Trustees of the MYJ Family Trust is owned by Yaya Jammeh.  

Mr. Samba said he fully understands the perception held by many because of his close association with Jammeh which weighed heavily on him.  Now, that load has been lifted off of his shoulders, he's ready to make amends so that he can move on with his life.

The cryptic nature of the response led me to ask for clarification in a subsequent telephone conversation because as he, himself, has admitted that the public perception is that he is intricately linked with the Jammeh business empire.  Was he managing Jammeh, the person or his businesses to which he replied that he was managing Jammeh, the person, because he was unpredictable and erratic as he was impulsive.

On the Panama Papers, which was the subject of a couple of blog posts, Mr. Samba admitted that all the companies listed were registered in his holding company's name and stressed the fact that they were companies and not bank accounts.  In our coverage of the issue also we cautioned readers that "operating off-shore accounts and/or companies in and of themselves may not be illegal" unless the origin or origins of the funds are derived from illegal activities such as arms trafficking, drugs or other forms of international criminal activities.

He cited tax shelter as the reason of operating these companies offshore.  According to him, operating these companies from Panama made business sense but became "less interesting" once Britain started to clamp down on offshore evasion "is using a non-UK. jurisdiction with the objective of evading UK tax,.  He decided to close them and they have not been operational since the new laws came into effect and enforcement intensified.*

We have been working on the Panama Papers for several months now with little progress.  Offshore financial transactions are difficult to trace and the legal huddles insurmountable even for forensic accountants and international lawyers activities much less a lone blogger with a couple of volunteers who help in research.

What investigative reporters working for internationally reputable news agencies and companies have said is that the $ 900,000,000 listed under the three registered companies may represent the total proceeds that passed through those companies, and do not necessarily mean money stashed in some bank fault somewhere.

During our third telephone interview, the $ 900,000,000 figure was disputed by Amadou Samba which, according to him, is substantially different from the total turnover of all his companies.  He said he doesn't know where the figure came from.  Needless to say that the services of competent forensic accountants and lawyers are needed to thoroughly investigate these accounts with a view to confirming or otherwise Mr. Amadou Samba's claims.

On the re-establishment of the rule of law:  Mr. Amadou Samba has made clear in his letter to Jammeh where his heart is - in The Gambia with his wife, children and grandchildren.  "Gambia is my home and I will never live anywhere else", he said to me.  He said he will return home once the rule of law is established under the new political order.  He believes strongly that under President-elect Adama Barrow, the rule of law will be re-established at which time he will subject himself to any and all legal scrutiny.

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*We are also in possession of some additional background information about AMASA Holding Company through which Mr. Samba's property development business in the UK was handled until it ceased operation around 2013 when the new offshore tax laws were amended lifting capital gains tax exemption for non-UK residents.

In our next installment, we will delve into the Airport, Arch-22 and Farafenni APRC Hospital and the Amadou Samba building (on Pipeline Rd) that collapsed that resulted in loss of lives.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Amadou Samba speaks: advises Jammeh to cooperate with President-elect Barrow for smooth and orderly transfer of power

Amadou Samba 
As Yaya Jammeh political fortunes dwindle, his future uncertain and untenable with every passing hour, Gambians of all shades and hue are also coming to terms with the inevitable - the fall from power and grace of one of Africa's most colorful dictators.

One such Gambian is Amadou Samba, a Gambian businessman who has been among the first to declare support to the then 29-year old obscure army lieutenant who successfully mounted a coup d'etat on the 22nd July 1994 that deposed the government of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara.

Mr. Samba has been at Jammeh's side throughout the 22-years that Jammeh had ruled The Gambia with an iron fist that has brought pain and suffering to many citizens inside and outside the country.   However, what appeared to have been unquestioning loyalty, fueled, in part, by business interests, began to give way to practical realities when Jammeh failed to secure a 5th term as Gambia's president.

What followed after the results were declared by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in favor of Adama Barrow was an avalanche of denunciations of Jammeh's 22-year dictatorship and euphoric celebrations of joy by both supporters of the political alliance including some supporters of the ruling Yaya Jammeh's APRC party.

In an authenticated letter in our possession from Amadou Samba to the outgoing president Jammeh, dated Friday 16th day of December 2016 and entitled "Peace and Stability in The Gambia", the businessman and confidante of Jammeh praised Jammeh for his December 2nd declaration on national television that was beamed across the world in which he conceded defeat to Adama Barrow and promised cooperation that will guarantee a smooth and orderly transfer of power to the President-elect Barrow.  He said in the letter " This noble gesture of yours was applauded around the world.  It generated many positive references from newspapers and statesmen around the world including President Barack Obama and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

However, "since your statement of December 9th, [reneging on his December 2nd concession] many organizations including the UN Security Council, the USA, the EU, the African Union, The Muslim and Christian Religious Leaders and others have all asked that you respect the choice of the Gambian people made on the December 1st 2016 elections.  Given this strong global reaction, it is important  to reflect on the fact that the Gambian people have made their choice and the world community is strongly supporting this choice."

Amadou Samba reminded Jammeh that throughout his 35 years business experience, has achieved "many successes and endured many setbacks".  He has also been "a supporter of the APRC from its earliest days" who has "freely contributed to many projects undertaken by the APRC Administration my own pocket."

The Gambian businessman implored Jammeh "to cooperate with President-elect Adama Barrow  for a smooth transition" and affirm his conviction that "the wisest course of action today is to undertake a process of respecting the commitment Your Excellency made on national television on December 2nd 2016 of cooperating with President-elect Adama Barrow for a smooth transition."

Mr. Samba concluded his letter by further imploring Jammeh "to cooperate with your (his) fellow ECOWAS Presidents and Members to ensure that peace and stability shall forever reign in our motherland."

Our sources in Banjul are reporting that when Jammeh called Amadou Samba, whose precise location as we go to press is unknown, similar sentiments expressed in his letter were verbally communicated to Jammeh who proceeded to slam the phone of Amadou Samba's ears.  We are assuming that it as a result of this incident - probably, among many others -  that led the Gambian businessman to record his views in the letter that is being liberally quoted here.    

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pan African Lawyers Union calls African Bar Association a fraudulent organization that engages in unlawful acts


The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), the Arusha, Tanzania-based has addressed a letter to the President of the Gambia Bar Association disassociating itself from statements and actions taken by the African Bar Association (ABA) following yesterday strange meeting between ABA and the outgoing Gambian dictator who is defying the decision of the Economic Community of West African States's (ECOWAS) Abuja Summit Resolution demanding that Jammeh vacate the presidency to make way for President-elect Adama Barrow.  

Mr. Barrow won the December 1st presidential elections with a 43% of the votes to Jammeh's 40%, who conceded the following day only to reverse his decision by claiming voter fraud.  The elections conducted under the supervision of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) were universally acclaimed as free, fair and credible and which has been endorsed by all of Gambia's principal bi-lateral and multi-lateral partners, in addition to the European Union, the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Russia.   ECOWAS and the African Union have also endorsed the outcome of the elections.

Despite the universal endorsement of the electoral process, the so-called African Bar Association which we consider here as sidisanneh.blogspot.com as nothing more than a 419 scam operation that appears to be in cahoots with the mercenary judges (principally recruited from Nigeria) who have infested the Gambian judiciary and have succeeded in weaponzing the judiciary into a portent instrument of repression.  The actions of the ABA is considered as part of Jammeh's attempt to subvert the will of the Gambian people by getting the Gambia Supreme Court to nullify the results of the elections.

The Supreme Court is headed by a Chief Justice Fagbenle who was appointed by Jammeh and who is not embarrassed and finds nothing unethical or unprofessional to put on the ruling party's colors and campaign in broad daylight for Jammeh during the presidential elections he is about to nullify.  CJ Fagbenle has been declared unfit and unqualified to be a Chief Justice.  From our end, he's not even qualified to be a court clerk and he should leave the Gambia together with the rest of his compatriots who have contributed, in no small measure, to the current political and judicial malaise that our country faces.

The Gambia's Supreme Court Chief Justice runs an evangelical church on Sundays and a nursery school the rest of the week in addition to other business enterprises.  Only in Yaya Jammeh's Gambia.

In disassociating its self  from the actions and statements of the African Bar Association,  the Pan African Lawyers Association which, according to its website, is the "umbrella association of African lawyers and law societies, and that brings together the continents five regional and fifty-four national lawyers associations."   In denouncing the actions and statements of the African Bar Association, PALU stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the president and members of the Gambia Bar Association.

The PALU letter further states "[w]e also support the positions taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations with regard to The Gambia. We look forward to full implementation of  the decisions of the ECOWAS Summit held in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria this past Saturday 17th December 2016." [emphasis ours] 

The letter further states the African Bar Association position flies in the face of, and contradicts the unanimous position of ECOWAS, AU and UN, ans indeed of PALU.  It flies in the face, and contradicts international law.  It is, simply put, unlawful."

PALU's letter went further to call the African Bar Association a fraudulent organization which we have characterized in our previous blog post as 419 scam operation.  It is sad that out judiciary is filled with such undesirable elements that Jammeh have used, and continue to use, to prey on innocent Gambians - a symbiotic relationship that has prolonged the hardship of my people by a few unscrupulous and criminal elements who have no place in our society.  The sooner we put them on the first available flight to Abuja, the better.  As far as we are concerned, Jammeh can join them.

Jammeh to ECOWAS: "I will not step down"

Yaya Jammeh, the outgoing but  isolated dictator
The Gambian dictator who suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of a first-time presidential candidate and businessman/real estate agent has announced that he will defy the Abuja ECOWAS Summit resolution giving him an ultimatum to either step down peacefully to ensure a smooth transition of power to President-elect Adama Barrow or else face military action to forcibly remove him from power.

ECOWAS leaders have taken every measure and have issued verbal assurances that all other means of persuasion will be employed to avert the use of force against the outgoing Gambian leader.

Macky Sall of Senegal has taken several steps to assure Jammeh of his safety provided he abides by the decision of the ECOWAS which has the backing of the United Nations, European Union, African Union, the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Russia and practically the rest of the world have backed the ECOWAS resolution.

Although the ECOWAS resolution was less explicit in the use of force as Macky Sall expressed in his Paris statement of a few days ago, he was quick to add that "words do have meaning", a vague reference to paragraph (h) of the resolution which referred to "all necessary action" to be taken by the ECOWAS authority "to enforce the results of the elections" of December 1st.

The Head of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, on the other hand, was less circumspect in his statement issued a week prior to the Abuja Summit of last Saturday about the use of military force to enforce any decision the regional body was about to take.  He cited the fact that ECOWAS troops were in Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Burkina Faso after similar political crises were experienced in those countries.

The forum Jammeh chose to issue his defiant statement that he will not step down was a curious and it was ironic. Members of an obscure professional lawyer's association that goes by the name African Bar Association that has all the hallmarks of a scam 419 operations.

The President and Vice President in charge of Budget and Finance are both Nigerians,  A third Nigerian Mr. Azuma, a resident in The Gambia was legal adviser to the Assets Management and Recovery Corporation who had a run-in and was detained in 2015 at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Members of the so-called African Bar Association are a threat to the stability of the country.  Their motives are intricately linked to the mercenary judges who are currently in charge of Gambia's judiciary.  These judges and prosecutors from Nigeria and Cameroon have collaborated with Jammeh to successfully weaponize the Gambian judiciary.  Now, the ABA in Banjul to interfere in Gambia's electoral process in favor of the candidate who lost the elections.

President-elect Barrow and his team should not receive these characters who are nothing but a bunch of criminals in the payroll of Yaya Jammeh who can find time to accord official audience and a national platform to a group of 419ers but would refuse landing rights to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's plane.            

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Jammeh's hardcore loyalists are switching sides

Balla Jahumpa
Balla Jahumpa, a state minister in the outgoing regime who represented Yaya Jammeh at the ECOWAS Summit in Abuja where the riot act was read to the Gambian dictator and the last of his holdouts in paragraph (h) of the regional organization's Final Communique, returned home to an avalanche of warnings from family members to end his sycophantic support of Jammeh.

According to sources, Mr. Jahumpa has finally seen the writing on the wall and is contemplating, on advise of family members, to abandon support, express remorse and contrition before he publicly announces his allegiance to the incoming administration of President-elect Adama Barrow which could come in as early as tomorrow.

State minister Jahumpa who also served as the de facto campaign manager of the former dictator during the December 1st presidential elections that he lost, resulting in the current stalemate, is not the only one thinking about abandoning support for a lost cause.   It is reported that Jammeh's Interior and Local Government ministers are also planning similar actions of abandoning Jammeh.

Support for Jammeh is not crumbling within his civilian members of his regime but also among the military.  Members of the "Jungulars", the regime's equivalence of Papa Doc's  Toton Macoute who carry out executions of Jammeh's political enemies, are reportedly ready to abandon Jammeh.

The remaining "Jungulars" still in the country are holding out together with key members of the military are holding out for their "share of the loot" from the Gambian dictator who is reportedly having a huge amount of physical cash in his possession, according to a source close to the military brass.

As huge and discernible cracks widen around the circle of hardcore loyalists who have ring-fenced Jammeh, these loyalists may consider cutting a deal with the incoming administration which, in our view, should be rejected outright.

Even a deal from Yaya Jammeh should not be entertained at this point, except that his physical integrity will be guaranteed while he is in the custody of the incoming administration. The hour for dealing making is over - a message that should be relayed to Jammeh and his small group of supporters.  

     

Saturday, December 17, 2016

BREAKING: Jammeh meeting with Jola traditional leaders at State House following ECOWAS ultimatum

Jammeh at a traditional 
In a very rare meeting held outside of Jammeh's political base of the Fonis, the embattled dictator is meeting with Jola elders and traditional leaders at State House.

Sources tell us that when Jammeh seized power illegally in 1994, he help form what can only be called a Jola Council that meets periodically at Jammeh's convenience.  He meetings are held in secret and thus never attended by even his top aids.

It is unclear as we go to press whether the meeting was summoned in anticipation of the decision of the ECOWAS Heads of State Summit held in Abuja today where it was decided unanimously that he either steps down voluntarily or a military intervention force to be led by Senegal will be sent into The Gambia to enforce the decision of the Summit which reflects the will of the international community.

What is clear, however, is that Jammeh appears to finally come to recognize the firm resolve of ECOWAS and the international community to ensure that the will of the Gambian people expressed at the December 1st presidential elections is respected.  In this regard, the Summit decided that all the Heads of State of the 16-Member regional body will attend the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow.

Some members of the Jammeh family are known to have been urging him to "give Adama Barrow a chance" according a source close to the family, presumably in reference to honoring the outcome of the presidential elections.   The same said source has also revealed that some members of the Jammeh family who support the 7-party Coalition have been particularly pressing Jammeh to step down because he lost the elections that were considered by Gambians and universally judged to be free, fair and credible.
Zainab Summa Jammeh 
  The outcome of the consultations with the Jola community is unknown but the decision of ECOWAS Abuja decision will be weighing heavily on the idiosyncratic and erratic leader of The Gambia, to add to the pressure on Jammeh to vacate State House by the 18th January if not sooner.

In another related development, Gambia's outgoing First Lady, Zainab Summa Jammeh is meanwhile packing all her valuables from their Potomac $ 3.5 million mansion before boarding Jammeh's presidential jet - currently parked at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.

She is expected to fly to Banjul tomorrow Sunday before proceeding to Conakry which will be her permanent home.  Apart from owning an extensive business empire in Morocco and Conakry, most of her family members call Guinea home.  Her father was originally from Guinea and her mother was a Moroccan national.  

BREAKING: ECOWAS issues ultimatum to Jammeh, step down or be forcibly removed



ECOWAS held a Summit in Abuja that was chaired by President Buhari of Nigeria to seek a swift resolution to the political impasse in The Gambia caused by the refusal of the Gambian dictator's refusal to step down following the electoral defeat he suffered at the hands of President-elect Adama Barrow.

Yaya Jammeh, who initially conceded defeat and assured a smooth transfer of power only to renege on the promise a few days later, claiming that the vote was rigged plunged the country into a political turmoil that led to an ECOWAS fact finding mission that visited the capital city of Banjul to discuss the matter with all parties concerned.

The Abuja Summit was a follow-up to the fact finding mission which was the subject of a blog post which you can find here.

The Abuja Summit decided that President-elect Adama Barrow will be Inaugurated on Thursday, 19th January 2017,  All of the ECOWAS Heads of State have also agreed to attend the Swearing-In of the new Gambian President, His Excellency Adama Barrow.

The Summit hopes that Yaya Jammeh will voluntarily step down to ensure a smooth transition on the 19th January to usher in a new administration under the presidency of Adama Barrow.  If Jammeh fails to give way, the ECOWAS Summit has authorized a military intervention force to be led by Senegal.

An implementation committee to supervise the process has been  set up by the ECOWAS Summit to be chaired by the Nigerian President and co-chaired by the outgoing president of Ghana.  

 

Friday, December 16, 2016

The online press must also transition

Sidi Sanneh 
Like many things in life, the online press was born out of necessity.  In the case of the Gambian diaspora online press, it was built from the ashes of one of Africa's most brutal regimes - an authoritarianism that created a wave of humanity in search of peace and freedom from persecution outside of The Gambia.

This fact explains why almost every online media facility (radio and website) is owned and operated by first generation Gambian immigrants, refugees or political exiles.

All, or most, of the online press have one objective in common, and that is to remove the dictatorship of Yaya Jammeh by providing a platform to political dissidents and activists to advance their individual and collective agenda.

That objective is about to be fulfilled with the defeat at the polls of one of Africa's most notorious dictators - a fete worthy of a place in the history books as one of the rear occasions when a full-blown sitting dictator was unseated democratically and peacefully, through the ballot box.

The slow disappearance of Jammeh from the lives of Gambians will necessarily force the proprietors of these online media outlets to adopt a new business and programming model that will focus more on a mixture of hard and factual (and not faux) news and entertainment with some educational programming geared towards building and maintaining democratic institutions.

It can no longer be a sustainable or a tolerable proposition to focus exclusively on bashing the new Coalition government of Adama Barrow that will be trying to dig the country out of the hole dug by Jammeh for its nearly 2 million inhabitants.  The appetite for incessant criticism of the new government trying to find its footing will not find a willing and viable online audience to sustain such radio programming.

Gambians will, therefore, be looking for programming that will provide the intellectual content and impetus to help find solutions to a myriad of problems created, in the public policy space, by the 22-year dictatorship of Yaya Jammeh.

Of course, the new business model will not preclude investigative reporting designed to keep any government, including the Barrow government honest and as corruption-free as realistically feasible but will encourage the generation of ideas that will provide solutions.

To be relevant, the online press must also transition just like the government of Adama Barrow is transitioning into a new and promising era.  The online media must therefore, retool, refit and, if necessary, relocate to the new era in Gambian politics.  Business as usual will no longer be enough to pay the bills.    

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Organization of Islamic Conference congratulates President-elect Adama Barrow


The 57-Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) generally considered to be largest organization of its kind outside the United Nations that aims to be the collective voice of the 1.6 billion Muslims has "expressed its profound satisfaction at the success of the presidential elections in...The Gambia.

The organization characterized the elections as meeting the "internationally recognized standards for fair elections in an atmosphere of democracy and transparency, popular participation and peaceful manner.

The OIC Secretary General offered his congratulations to President-elect Adama Barrow and the Gambian people.  The organization expressed its "attachment to peaceful transfer of power within the framework of the constitutional institutions" of Member States.

It must be noted that the OIC General Secretariat participated in the observation of the presidential elections held on December 1st.    

Ibn Chambers to Jammeh : "The end is here"

Mohammed Ibn Chambers
"For Mr. Jammeh, the end is here and under no circumstances can he continue to be president" The Special Representative of the U.N , Secretary General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel is quoted by Reuters.

By January 18th, "his mandate is up and he will be required to hand over to Mr. Barrow" says Mr. Chambers.  The former Head of ECOWAS warned that Mr. Jammeh faces "strong sanctions,"

Speaking to a French radio station a couple of days ago,  Marcel de Souza, the current head of the regional body went a step further by warning that military intervention in The Gambia "is possible." He said the international community preferred option in resolving the stalemate is diplomacy but "draconian' measures will also be on the table.

The noose is tightening around Jammeh's neck as more and more national and international voices are coalescing around president-elect Adama Barrow who is viewed as to have won the presidential elections in what was considered to have been conducted under free, fair and credible circumstances. President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation is the latest to join the avalanche of public support for the newly elected president of The Gambia.

We continue to counsel Yaya Jammeh to come to his sense by conceding defeat and paving the way for a smooth transition  to a new administration under the leadership of Adama Barrow.  We hope Jammeh comes to his senses to avoid inflicting further harm to The Gambia and its citizens.

 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Russia congratulates President-elect Barrow of The Gambia

Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation 
Sources who follow developments in Russia have informed us that the Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin has sent a congratulatory letter to President-elect Adama Barrow on his defeat of the outgoing leader Jammeh at the December 1st presidential elections.

Mr. Putin expressed his country's desire to further develop the friendship and cooperation that traditionally exist between Russia and The Gambia, and wished President-elect good health and success in all his endeavors as Head of State.

The elections were won handily by Adama Barrow by 43% to 40% for Jammeh.
However, after graciously but unexpectedly conceded defeat and promised the incoming president a smooth transition of power, Jammeh reneged on his promise after few days, claiming that the outcome was rigged and demanded fresh elections to be held at an unspecified date.

The ensuing uncertainly and the political tension that was generated as a result resonated beyond Gambia's border. The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously denouncing Jammeh's actions and recognizing the government of President-elect Adama Barrow.  Russia's support of the resolution implied recognition of the incoming Barrow administration.

With the entire European Union membership in support and recognition of President-elect as the choice of the Gambian People, in addition to the United States, ECOWAS and AU, the isolation of Yaya Jammeh and his handful of renegades soldiers is complete.

It is hoped that the ECOWAS fact finding mission's December 17th visit will convince Jammeh to step down immediately so that the transition to a new government can take place without further delay.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gambia: ECOWAS fact finding mission made modest progress, Jammeh bars Ibn Chambers from meeting

Jammeh in white,L.  Sirleaf ,Buhari, R, Mahama and Koroma
Initial reports reaching us following the conclusion of the ECOWAS presidential fact finding mission led by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Chairman of ECOWAS are not encouraging.  

The rest of the delegation that met with Jammeh included Presidents Buhari of Nigeria, Koroma of Sierra Leone and outgoing President Mahama of Ghana who lost his bid for second term.

The meeting with Jammeh, according to sources, did not go as well as initially hoped.   After receiving his guests in his office, he left them seated for a long time before he joined them in an abbreviated meeting, suggesting that Jammeh has no intention of stepping down to allow the legitimate leader of the Gambia, H.E. Adama Barrow, to assume the presidency.  

By all indications, Jammeh do not intend to respect the will of the Gambian voters who reject his bid for a 5th term as president.  Jammeh also displayed a hostile disposition towards his guests by insisting on meeting heads of states only which effectively barred Mohammed Ibn Chambers, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and had to leave Jammeh's office.  

Following his meeting, the members of the delegation drove to the Coco Ocean Hotel where they met with the president-elect and members of the transition team.  As a fact finding mission, the delegation met with all parties with a view to drawing up a set of recommendations designed to resolve the political stalemate.  

A source observed however that all is not lost because “what is more promising is that the delegation encouraged the Coalition to continue with their preparation for the handing over.” The delegation also “urged the supporters of the Coalition to maintain decorum during the process.”
The delegation view the process that they have started as a way forward towards the smooth transfer of power tp President-elect H.E. Adama Barrow.

The next consultative meeting is scheduled for December 17th 2016 when all issues are to be finalized.

The ECOWAS delegation also met with the embattled Chairman and members of the Independent Electoral Commission.  President  Buhari of Nigeria left earlier than the rest of his colleagues to return to Abuja.          

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Gambia is not Zimbabwe: No power sharing here

Jammeh in Sultan outfit 
The last thing that The Gambia needs is a power sharing arrangement that has failed in Zimbabwe. H.E. Adama Barrow, the President-elect of the Republic of The Gambia won the December 1st presidential elections fair and square and which were internationally proclaimed to be free, fair and credible.

Not only that, but Yaya Jammeh conceded defeat before national and international television audiences by calling the president-elect and committing to, and abiding by the will of the people.  He proceeded in the same phone conversation to assure the President-elect of a smooth transfer of power.

President-elect Barrow will be heading a coalition government of seven opposition parties which, by definition, is a power-sharing arrangement and thus no room for someone like Yaya Jammeh, a proven usurper of power.  

The Gambian people have spoken, voices that were heard loud and clear by Jammeh when he boasted about the "rig-prove system of voting" that his government has embraced and the results of which he assured Gambians he will abide by.

To renege on his word with a view to reversing the verdict of the Gambian voters is not only irresponsible but an act of adventurism that must not be entertained neither by the Coalition nor by the august delegation comprising of four regional Heads of State of Liberia as Chairperson of ECOWAS, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea.  To entertain any proposal that will keep Yaya Jammeh in any capacity in the new political dispensation, including a power sharing arrangement, is to create a dangerous precedence in a continent plagued by dictators like Yaya Jammeh.

The Gambia Bar Association (GBA) has finally stepped into the political arena to lend its voice to what is fast becoming a constitutional coup d'etat that has been in the making for a number of years.  Jammeh anticipated such a scenario when he amended the laws that realigned the electoral calendar by decoupling the presidential from the national assembly elections, creating a 4-month window which he will exploit in the event he miraculously lose his bid for re-election.

The claim by the ruling APRC party to file a complaint with the Supreme Court against the published results by the IEC has been rejected by the GBA and for good reason.  The Supreme Court has not sat since May 2015, the GBA pointed out, for lack of a panel of judges.  The two Gambian judges were fired by Jammeh for reasons known only to him, leaving a lone Nigerian Chief Justice.

To reconstitute a fully complimented Supreme Court would require Jammeh to appoint 4 judges to the Court with less than 60 days left in his term as president.  To impanel judges now for the purposes of considering his party's election petition would not only "be against the principle of natural justice" but would be "fundamentally tainted".  The legal profession has spoken and the voices of its members must be part of the equation.

We have been calling for Jammeh to step down at the end of his current term and not to put up his candidacy for a 5th term as president.  He has occupied the position for 22 years - a position he seized unconstitutionally in 1994  Here he is again, two decades later, trying to unconstitutionally retain power that he lost in a free, fair and credible elections, the results of which have been certified by the Independent Electoral Commission and universally acclaimed.  Jammeh must step down and he must do so now.  

Sunday, December 11, 2016

BREAKING: Presidents Johnson Sirleaf, Conde, Koroma to meet with Jammeh in Banjul

Yaya Jammeh 
Sources in Banjul have confirmed that the Chairman of the Economic Commission of West African State (ECOWAS), Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and presidents Koroma of Sierra Leone and Conde of Guinea are planned to be meeting with the outgoing president of The Gambia, Yaya Jammeh to be held in Banjul on Tuesday.  

Readers will recall that we reported that President Conde visited Jammeh early this year to advise him not to run for re-election. You can find the blog post here. 

The three ECOWAS presidents will be joined by a fourth colleague probably President Buhari of Nigeria.  His participation has not yet been confirmed by our sources.

The delegation will also include representatives of the international community, President-elect Barrow, members of the Coalition as well as civil society organizations.   Also unclear whether the the delegation will be meeting Jammeh and the Coalition's government-in-waiting separately or jointly with Jammeh.  Why Jammeh finally accepted talks with AU, ECOWAS and the international community is equally unclear.

This is a developing story ....  


V.P. Njie-Saidy and Paramount Chief Demba Sagnia to lead demonstrations in support of Jammeh

Paramount Chief, Demba Sagnia
An all too familiar public display of sycophancy is about to be replayed in the streets of Banjul and around the country, according to our sources.  Led by the so-called Paramount Chief, Demba Sagnia, the former cook of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara until he was deposed by the 29-year old army lieutenant named Yaya Jammeh and the sitting Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy, demonstrations are scheduled in the days and weeks ahead to championing Jammeh's call to annul the presidential elections.

Chief Demba Sagnia will be leading his fellow chiefs in trying to whip up public support for a highly unpopular dictator who has just subverted the will of the Gambian voters with the help and tacit support of some ministers and party loyalists.

Included in the list of officials who will be participating in public demonstrations includes but not limited to Yankuba Colley, Mayor of KMC, Sheriff Bojang, Minister of Information, Ousman Rambo Jatta, MD of the Daily Observer newspaper, Fatou Lamin Faye, Minister of Education, Fatou Mass Jobe who is the Executive Director of a Foundation formed by the First Lady, Zainab Suma Jammeh who has been evacuated and currently at the safe distance from the mayhem that her husband is planning to create in The Gambia.

Similar demonstrations were organized by Jammeh when the European Union demanded that his regime mend its ways by improving the country's deplorable human rights record and when he "pardoned" prisoners who where forced to parade in humiliating format at the city square to demonstrate appreciation for being freed.  The planned and Jammeh-organized demonstrations this week, as in previous ones, will follow the same pattern and chants of how great Jammeh's dictatorship has been to ordinary Gambians.

Disappearances and not arrests are the most likely method Jammeh will employ

Jammeh on television nullifying election results
Disappearances and not arrests of the supporters of the President-elect and those who were publicly displaying endorsement of the outcome of the presidential elections have become Jammeh's real target.

According to sources, Jammeh will not arrest his opponents for fear of mass demonstrations that can bring down a regime that is already on the ropes but will lure victims to desolate areas where they will make them disappear.

Disappearances of opponents, including prominent ones are to be expected. Receiving telephone calls from persons posing as friends, acquaintances or as persons of authority asking potential victims to meet at rendez-vous points must be avoided.

Yankuba Badgie, the Director General of the notorious National Intelligence Agency has spent days immediately preceding the announcement of the election results compiling a video library of APRC members, supporters and former sympathizers of Jammeh who have been identified as targets, many of them in the Greater Banjul Area.  Prominent supporters in the Kombos are also prime targets.

Jammeh made reference to those who were "green" (his party's colors) who suddenly turned "yellow" (UDP colors) and at another occasion promised to "deal with the Banjul residence" for voting for Adama Barrow.  Those who fit this category of voters and were out in the streets jubilating in the days following Barrow's win are highly susceptible to Jammeh's adventurism.

And unless he is captured or forced into exile, he will continue to pose the imminent threat to the state that seems to be lost in the political jockeying for power that seems to be going on in Banjul. Ignore the imminent danger Jammeh poses at your own peril.    

Friday, December 9, 2016

Meet the civilians who instigated and helped carry out the constitutional coup d'etat in The Gambia

Balla Jahumpa, Minister
The Gambia made history last week by being one of the first, if not the first country in the African continent or anywhere else in the world for that matter to dislodge an entrenched dictatorship from power through the ballot box.

The smallest country on the African continent made history again a week later by reversing the results of an election that was certified by an Independent Electoral Commission and conceded to by the sitting dictator president and universally hailed by America, the European Union, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and numerous countries alike.

Pierre Minteh with US Ambassador
An equally astonishing peculiarity of the events of the Gambian presidential elections was not only the unexpected manner in which President-elect, Adama Barrow, swept the polls but the ensuing reactions of Yaya Jammeh and his civilian civil servants, led by Balla Jahumpa, Minister of Works who wtote the speech that Jammeh delivered reversing his decision to accept the verdict of the Gambian people, Pierre Minteh the Welfare Officer at the Gambia Embassy in Washington DC and Rtd. Col. Samsudeen Sarr who is now Deputy Mission Head at the United Nations Mission of the Gambia.  

These civilians shown here in this blog post took part in the planning and execution of the coup in collaboration with Jammeh and his military.  They did it for selfish reasons to protect the privileges they otherwise would not have earned in an open labor market.  They are all cronies and hangers-on of a murderous regime that has been able to sustain itself only through assassinations, extra-judicial executions, torture, disappearances and the use of rape an instrument of suppression.  

Seedy Njie
These two US-based civil servants joined militants of the ruling party in taking part in the political campaign to re-elect their boss in contravention of all rules governing the conduct of this class of public servants.

Samsudeen Sarr,  posing in front of UN
The constitutional coup d'etat was announced today by the Gambian dictator that the results of the elections which President-elect Barrow was instigated and implimented what later became known as Plan B by civilians that included ministers, mayors and parliamentarians some of whom are presented here.

Seedy Njie and Babou Gaye Sonko are parliamentarians of the ruling party- the former a nominated member representing the youth wing of the party and a chief propagandist and the latter an elected member who is a youth mobilizer and a leading propagandist of the party.

Alieu Jammeh, Sports minister
Alieu Jammeh is Jammeh's minster of Youth and Sports who is from a family of traditional chiefs who became a major promoter of a political party through sports.  As minister responsible, he made sure that all of the major sporting associations in the Gambia, ranging from the Gambia Football Federation to the National Olympics Committee are stuffed with party militants.  The knowledge and interest in sports takes a back seat to party loyalty which has contributed to the backwardness of Gambian sports.

Yankuba Colley is the mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council, the biggest local government authority in the country with one of the largest concentration of voters.  He was the former youth mobilizer for the party and one of the fiercest defenders of not only the dictatorship but the style of governance that puts higher premium on torture as a means of controlling and subduing an otherwise unwilling population.


Yankuba Badgie, NIA
Yankuba Badjie is Director General of the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA), a fugitive from the law in the U.S. State of Ohio is responsible for the maiming and killing by torture of opponents of the regime.  It was under his watch that Solo Sandeng, the United Democratic Party youth leader died in custody via torture.

In addition to these civilians, there are, of course, the assassination squad known as the "Jungulas" who confronted Yaya Jammeh when he conceded defeat and force him to have a change of heart. These class of killers felt betrayed and about to be thrown at the mercy of a new civilian government after carrying our Jammeh's orders to kill opponents of the regime.  Jammeh assured them that his decision will be revert.  Conceding defeat was a ploy to get the international community off his back and assured them "not to worry."

The international community's reaction to the decision to annul the results of the elections was swift and unequivocal.  Senegal has asked the Security Council to convene, the U.S State Department has condemned Jammeh's action and so are most of the civilized world.  

KMC Mayor, Colley
Travel bans and other sanctions will follow immediately before military action is taken to install the legitimate government of Adama Barrow as President of the Republic of the Gambia.  The mishandling of the election of the president-elect by those close to him must be re-examined to ensure that lapses of the kind witnessed in the past week are not repeated.  And that includes the unsavory characters and shady businessmen who have contributed, in large measure, to the current predicament of the country and must be arrested together with Yaya Jammeh and all those responsible for the constitutional coup d'etat that has unnecessarily put Gambian lives at risk.

The fact that Mohamed Bazzi, an alleged arms trafficker who is currently a subject of United States Treasury investigations and a financier of Hezbollah was able to gain access to President-elect a few days ago has raised concern among drug and small arms control agencies in the United States and Europe.  A bank, Prime Bank, he owned in The Gambia was liquidated after a US Treasury investigation discovered that it was used to finance Hezbollah, an organization classified as a terrorist organization by the government of the United States.      

BREAKING: Jammeh desperately trying to hang on to power despite losing to Barrow

Jammeh with guards during 2011 presidential elections
A source close to Jammeh who has just lost his bid for a 5th term as president to Adama Barrow informed us that he has convened a meeting at State House with his Security Chiefs in advance of his much anticipated television announcement scheduled for today at 9:PM GMT.

According to the same source, Jammeh is trying to convince the security chiefs that the election results were rigged by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) against him and in favor of his opponent, Adama Barrow. 

As we go to press, the meeting with the Security Chiefs is still going on with heated exchanges between Jammeh and some members of the military brass, some of whom are standing fast with the Gambian voters and refusing to go along with their Commander-In-Chief to subvert the Constitution.  Some of them have clearly expressed their determination to protect and defend the will of the Gambian people who have expressed their preference at last week's presidential elections.  

We reported last week that Jammeh was contemplating a staged coup, among other scenarios, designed to keep him in power.  Among them was to create a situation that will allow him to step in to "save the day and averting chaos and lawlessness" according to an earlier source.  Given a divided military, such a plan was difficult, if not impossible.  Thus, this blatant and naked power grab by simply refusing to hand-over power peacefully.

Some signs that Jammeh was planning a palace coup were evident since the shocking news that the dictator has been removed from office through the ballot box - a rare feat in African electoral history. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and Chairwoman of ECOWAS trip to Banjul was a casualty of Jammeh's machination when it  was abruptly cancelled and deferred indefinitely by the Gambian dictator. 

Since the election results were announced last week and it became evident that Jammeh had lost, some prominent members of the ruling party, the APRC, have been agitating the base of the party and local chiefs and dignitaries to show solidarity by demanding that Jammeh stays.  It was unclear, even from the ardent supporters the rationale for such an action for a candidate that has clearly lost the elections despite the advantages of incumbency. 

Our advise to Jammeh is simple : he should pack his bags and vacate the State House - which is the People's House - to avert pointless bloodshed.  The Gambian people have spoken and their will must be respected.  To subvert it is treasonable.  We hope he gets the point.
                                                                  
                                                                               #######

This is a developing story 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Some lessons from Gambia's presidential elections

Sidi Sanneh 
The Gambia, a sliver of a country that was never given a chance to survive as a country at independence in 1965 because of its size, geography and lack of natural resource endowment that earned it the title of the improbable nation, has, once again, defied political convention by removing an entrenched dictatorship through the ballot box.

President Yaya Jammeh whose ruled the smallest country on the African continent inherited a reasonably well-managed economy whose per capita GDP was the third highest in the 16-Member regional body known as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in July 1994.

Once the dictatorship took control of the country, the economy became one of the victims of a regime that never allowed the market mechanisms to operate freely, resulting in market, as well as budget dislocations resulting in slow economic growth and development.  An economy that was once at near the top of the ECOWAS table was relegated to the bottom.  The incidence of poverty, particularly rural poverty steady rose over time, agricultural production and receipts from tourism declined.  Unemployment, especially youth unemployment rose to alarming rates, contributing, in part, to the mass exodus of young Gambians to Europe, making Gambia a major exporter of human capital.  In the first ten months this year alone, 10,000 Gambians have made their way into Europe.

The failure of the Gambian leader to make good on his promise to the youth and women - two important demographics - is among the reasons for Jammeh's unexpected defeat.  The confiscation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of expression and association of, coupled with the harsh human rights environment that saw thousands of Gambians and non-Gambians alike tortured, killed, maimed, exiled, extra-judicially executed and falsely imprisoned led to a massive shift in support for the ruling party that led to the the victory of a real estate developer with on government or any public service experience named Adama Barrow.  He led a seven-party coalition and an independent candidate for the presidency which contributed immensely to the defeat of the incumbent dictator.

The multi-party coalition comprising of all of the functioning parties is a fete made possible by public demands of voters who see it as the only way of providing a credible challenge to a despot who has the advantage of incumbency with state assets and the public treasury at his disposal.

Despite the built-in advantages of incumbency, Jammeh was surprised by the vast resources that was put at the disposal of the coalition candidate by Gambians in the Diaspora that included online fund raisers, online radio and television publicity campaign using a multiplicity of social media platforms that dispersed campaign information to all corners of the country.

All forms of social media platforms were employed by Gambians living abroad (mainly in the United State, Canada, Europe and Africa)  to penetrate the Gambian hinterland that was starved of information about a regime that meticulously and routinely concealed information from the population.  Social media played a critical role in penetrating the wall that shielded the population from the human rights abuses, rampant corruption and the ineptitude of a tyrannical regime that finally succumbed to the will of the Gambian people through the ballot box.  In other words, when the veil dropped, the nakedness of the emperor was exposed.            

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jammeh is poised to implement a staged coup d'etat against the newly elected Gambian President

Jammeh in coup posture
The Gambian dictator who suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of a real estate agent named Adama Barrow, is reportedly at this moment planning to put into action Plan B that involves a staged coup d'etat that, he hope. will restore him to power.

Since he accepted the results of the elections of last Thursday which saw him losing with 40% of the vote to Mr. Barrow.s 43% and before he conceded the following day, Yaya Jammeh has been under tremendous pressure from the military brass and party militants to reverse the verdict of the Gambian people.

The top military brass that are in on the plan to subvert the will of the people are General Saul Badgie and Brigadier Generals Umpa Mendy stationed as State House (where they are currently meeting) Borra Colley and Musa Savage who are stationed at Kanilai.  All felt betrayed by Jammeh when he conceded defeat and they have been demanding that Jammeh reverse the decision of the Gambian voters - a move fraught with danger and uncertainty because how the Gambian voters and ordinary citizens will react to will amount to a slap in the face.

How the European Union and the Obama administration will react to the first electoral loss of a brutal dictatorial regime through the ballot box without a drop of blood being shed is equally uncertain. Ousman Badgie the country's Chief of Defense Staff and Yankuba Sonko the Inspector General of Police appear to be isolated and excluded from the planning of the plot of a staged coup attempt.

The civilian supporters and party militants of the former ruling party have joined the illegal plot to subvert the will of the Gambian people.  Included in this group of subversives are Pierre Minteh  welfare officer the Washington DC Gambian Embassy, Seedy Njie, Babou Gaye Sonko and Papa Litty Nyang all members of the National Assembly,  Samsudeen Sarr of the Gambian Mission at the United Nation, Foday Chorr of the UK and numerous others.

As the party militants plan to demonstrate in support of restoring Jammeh to power, Plan B was being put into effect is the evacuation of Jammeh's family.  According to sources, anyone of the Kanilai household with a valid visa is scheduled to join former First Lady Zainab Suma Jammeh,  her son Muhammed Jammeh and her sister.  They are scheduled to depart for the United States, Sunday evening but not before the official plane which should have been at the disposal of the President-elect laden with their personal effects of bank notes, jewelry and other valuables.  The Central Bank and the government-controlled Trust Bank are expected to be looted by the Jammeh family on their escape to the United States.

The departure of Zainab Jammeh and her entourage Sunday evening under the cover of darkness and a Jammeh-imposed curfew, will signal the beginning of the implementation of Plan B in an attempt to reverse the verdict of the December 1st presidential elections which was won fair and square by Hon. Adama Barrow.   The exact date when the plot will actually start to unfold is unknown at this stage but we will continue to cover it as a developing story.

   

Friday, December 2, 2016

It is not business as usual: Jammeh must go

Voters lining up to vote Jammeh out of office
It makes us wonder why Yaya Jammeh who has harassed, jailed, tortured, maimed, assassinated and make journalists to disappear without trace is allowed the luxury of staying in The Gambia one more day without him spending the night in the 5-Star Hotel he made famous during his disastrous 22-year dictatorship.

We have always stood for reconciliation without which the wounds of the nation will never heal.  For this reason we have advocated for a True and Reconciliation Commission to be constituted for the country, its citizens to confront their tormentors of 22 years to speak the truth about their victims and to admit guilty by taking full responsibility for their actions.

Families of Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, two Gambian-Americans who disappeared while visiting their country deserve to know what happened to their loved ones.  Only the truth shall bring closure to these and numerous others families whose loved ones were tortured, murdered and raped by Yaya Jammeh soldiers and security personnel - some of whom are still in the service of the Gambia Government.

Gambians have suffered at the hands of Yaya Jammeh to allow him continue to stay and meddle in the affairs of state.   This man has been a security threat to the country and to the region while president and will pose similar threat, especially to a young and transitional government with weak institutions - thanks to Yaya - outside of government.  In fact, he will menace the state by meddling in its affairs thus posing serious threat to public safety.  Jammeh must proceed on exile. Senegal is an option.  Morocco is another option.  But he must leave The Gambia for his own good and for the good of the country.

Almost a third of the entire Gambian population stood in line for hours to cast their vote that rejected everything Jammeh represents.  To allow him to stay will not only expose the state to the dangers posed by this man but it means stepping on the message of repudiation of dictatorships everywhere.   Gambians have demonstrated that African dictators, even those as brutal as Yaya Jammeh can be deposed democratically.  We run the risk of diluting or stepping on a message that is barely 24 hours old.  It will be the gravest error of the transition government if Jammeh is allowed to stay in the Gambia one more day.  He must leave voluntarily or be deported to a country of his choice.

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Adama Barrow expected to trounce Jammeh in Brikama, army is expected to move into the town


Brikama 
Expecting a huge margin of victory for Adama Barrow of the opposition Coalition in Brikama, the military command has decided to deploy armed military personnel in and around the town.  A huge military presence can also be seen in the IEC office complex.

Barrow's margin of victory is expected to be huge given the fact that he filled three ballot boxes in a town that has a combined vote total of over 60,000 registered voters of Brikama North and Brikama South Constituencies.  It is believed that there will be some trouble if Adama Barrow is declared the winner.

Meanwhile, preparations are already on the way in Banjul to celebrate the victory of Barrow over Jammeh.  By contrast, the Ministers and other high government officials invited to what was expected to be a celebratory event slowly turned into somber mood as it start to become evident that the dictator has been rejected by the very country he was determined to rule for a billion years.

Up-Date :  We will continue to stay on Yaya Jammeh's case for as long as it takes. My promise to my children and grandchildren and to my readers as well  

Jammeh on verge of losing the elections bid for a 5th term as president

Chairman of IEC, Alieu Mamar Njie 
Yaya Jammeh is on the verge of losing his bid for a 5th term as president of The Republic of The Gambia based on accounts of our sources. And Jammeh knows he's losing.  

Polls have closed in the Gambia some eight hours ago and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has only manage to release results in only 9 of 53 constituencies. At this rate, it will take 3 more days to get all the constituencies counted and announced to the public.

It must be noted that the remaining constituencies in the urban and peri-urban areas of the country are the biggest with roughly about 40% of the entire voting population.

We have reported earlier this evening that the Chairman of the IEC is under tremendous pressure from the Gambian dictator with constant phone calls to him which he takes in his private office.

What is being said to him is unclear.  What is clear is that Jammeh feels humiliated that the results released thus far are embarrassingly low for a dictator who has outspent the opposition by 50:1 if not more.   Those close to the State House have disclosed that he feels personally "insulted" by the people of the capital city of Banjul by resoundingly voting for Adama Barrow and has promised, according to the same source, "to deal with Banjulians".  But first, he must deal with the electoral onslaught that Gambians are witnessing.

Jammeh must have seen the writing on the wall because he quietly evacuated his Moroccan wife and children on a commercial flight to France via Brussels which suggests that the decision was abrupt after gauging the Mrs. Zainab Jammeh never travels commercial.  Charter flight is her preference, There is also usual movement of state-owned assets that suggests that Jammeh is prepared to make a major move.  We will continue to monitor developments.

Of the nine constituencies that has been announced, the opposition Coalition candidate won 4 of the 9 or 46% of the vote for 35% for Jammeh and Mamma Kandeh with 19%.  

The trend line favors Adama Barrow and many observers of Gambian politics will agree that Jammeh has lost his 5th attempt at being president.  He must prepare to hand over power peacefully to Adama Barrow.

Up-Dates :  We will continue to follow developments and report as and when new information of significance emerges.
   

Jammeh is losing to Barrow, IEC returning officers fear for their lives, sources close to IEC say

Jammeh with guards in 2011 presidential elections 
A source close to the Independent Electoral Commission has just informed us that there is an atmosphere of uneasiness at the IEC offices because of the unfavorable numbers (to Jammeh) that have started to coming in from the field after the polls closed an hour and a half ago.

As the votes start rolling in, the pattern is clear that Adama Barrow is leading Jammeh by a wide margin.  The pattern has been evident from the start of voting this morning that the seven-party Coalition led by Adama Barrow is leading Jammeh.

The dilemma facing the Electoral Commission is if they announce the real results that will undoubtedly favor the Coalition, a section of the army led by Chief of Defense Staff, General Ousman Badgie men attack members of the IEC and supporters of the Coalition of opposition parties.  Alternatively, any announcement contrary to what the results show will pose an equally daunting challenge of having to defend a result that is against the will of the Gambian people.    

More information is being received from sources intimate with Independent Electoral Commission that many of the Commission's Returning Officers fear for their lives because of the figures are clearly in favor of Adama Barrow. and against Yaya Jammeh who is being resoundingly rejected by the Gambian people.

UP-DATES -  We will continue to bring you the latest development as and when they happen.

Massive voter turnout despite nationwide lock-down

Gambian voters lining up t cast ballot in presidential elections
The Gambia is a country on edge.  Its mercurial dictator who has ruled this sliver of a country in the belly of Senegal with an iron fist for 22 years is facing his biggest challenge yet at the polls not because majority of voters.

Voters are turn out in their numbers to vote for the candidate of their choice.  According to a source, an eyewitness confirm that "in Sukuta" the ballot box (drum) of Adama Barrow, the Coalition candidate was full to the brim and a new box had to be brought in.  A similar scenario is playing out in Baddibu according to reports from MamaLinguere Facebook page.

Jammeh may be facing his toughest test yet but Alieu Mamar Njie, the Chairman of the so-called Independent Electoral Commission is facing an equally daunting task of having to stay above the fray by defying the commands and directives of the Gambian dictator to rig the election results which by many sources, including internal assessments of the conditions in the field, have all but officially declared the Coalition candidate, Adama Barrow, the winner.

A source close to the IEC is reporting that the dilemma facing members of the IEC is that the day that the nominations were held, Yaya Jammeh, gave close to $ 500,000 to members of the Commission.  It is unclear to whom the money was delivered, its purpose or purposes and the beneficiaries.  The fact that Jammeh has been privately financing the operations of the IEC is not a secret.  He has admitted so publicly and as recently as last month in front of television cameras during his filing his nomination papers.

The voluminous voting trend in the Great Banjul Area which the most urbanized part of the country with a third of the voters suggests that Adama Barrow will win handsomely.  The question now is whether the IEC will go the right thing and declare the true vote count.  The world continues to watch as the polls are about to close without any significant incident.  But again, this is just the beginning of what will prove to be a long night.

UP-DATES :  We intend to bring you untainted up-dates throughout the night.  It will be a challenge given the lock-down and black-out Jammeh has plunge the country into.  But as we kept reminding him, the world is watching.        

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A constitutional coup d'etat underway in The Gambia

Sidi Sanneh 
Yaya Jammeh, The Gambian dictator, facing the most serious challenge to his 22-year iron-fisted rule from a Coalition of 7 opposition parties and an independent presidential candidate, has decided to carry out his threat to cut off electricity supply and shut down the internet, a day ahead of the presidential elections.

Plunging the entire country into total darkness by cutting off electricity supply nationwide and isolating the Gambian citizenry from the rest of the world is further evidence that Jammeh has rigged the elections.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission's (I.E.C.) own figures, the total number of registered voters 886,578 exceeds eligible voting population 18 year and over listed at 853,429 or a difference of 33,149.  It is a discrepancy that has not been addressed by the I.E.C.

The actions by the regime of Yaya Jammeh go beyond being acts of desperation by a candidate who is clearly nervous and certain to lose to Hon. Adama Barrow who is backed by seven opposition parties and an Independent presidential candidate.

We consider Jammeh's decision to cut off electricity supply across the country and shutting down the internet which allows him to manipulate the votes and subvert the Constitution in the process.  In short, there is a coup d'etat in process led by Yaya Jammeh and assisted by the Chief of Defense Staff General Ousman Badgie,  We therefore draw the attention of the world community.