Are we stingy?

President Bush finally roused himself yesterday from his vacation in Crawford, Tex., to telephone his sympathy to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and to speak publicly about the devastation of Sunday's tsunamis in Asia. He also hurried to put as much distance as possible between himself and America's initial measly aid offer of $15 million, and he took issue with an earlier statement by the United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who had called the overall aid efforts by rich Western nations "stingy." "The person who made that statement was very misguided and ill informed," the president said.

Well it looks like Egeland has done for the aid efforts a great deal of service. The United States have increased it's aid package ten fold to $350 million. After initial spinning the bushes have realise that they've got to ante- up. Their public relations campaign was not working. Some people are even calling for the cancellation of his innaguaral parties. They contend that he should instead donate the $40-50 million slated for the parties to the relief efforts in Asia. I doubt he will agree to do that. But either way Egeland should be proud of his comments.

This will be my last posting for the year 2004. In that case I will like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Happy and Prosperous new year and many more to come.

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Change of Heart?... Maybe..

Tombong Saidy... the erstwhile director of Gambia Television has an interesting prose in the daily observer. It makes me wonder if he is finally coming to his senses. However sycophancy is an addiction. We can't expect people like him to quit cold turkey. Psychotherapist will tell you that the road to recovery is the acknowledgement of a problem. In that case this is a start for tombong.

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Social security... is it a crisis?

" Much as the Iraq war was preceded by speeches designed to show Hussein in the most threatening light, the Bush economic summit seemed designed to dominate a slow news week with the idea that failing to deal with Social Security now will hurt the national economy. "...The Boston Globe's take on the Bush teams new iniatiative... vis-a-vis to dismantle social security as we know it under the guise of fixing it by using the same deceitful tactics they use prior to the Iraq invasion.

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Act .. organise... for sanity to prevail.

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph." -His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I

The Gambia press union decided to take to the street to protest the murder of their Colleague ... story is courtesy of UN Integrated Regional Information Networks...

Thousands of people thronged the streets of Banjul on Wednesday in a peaceful protest against the murder of one of the Gambia's leading journalists by unidentified gunmen.
About 300 journalists - virtually the entire press corps of this small West African country - marched through the streets to protest at the killing of Deyda Hydara, a newspaper editor and veteran campaigner for press freedom, who was shot dead last week.
Thousands of people lined the route of the march shouting slogans of support, but they refrained from joining the march after the police made clear that non-journalists would be prevented from taking part in the demonstration.
Hydara, the editor of the Gambia's hard-hitting four-times-a-week newspaper, The Point, was shot three times in the head on the night of 16 December when the car in which he was travelling came under fire. He died instantly. Two female colleagues who were travelling with him in the same vehicle were wounded.
Gambian police said Saturday they were following all leads in the murder but were still waiting for "a breakthrough".
"We called today's march in protest against the murder of our colleague Deyda Hydara and we are very happy that it passed off peacefully," Demba Jawo, who heads the Gambia Press Union, told IRIN.
There was a large deployment of police and heavily-armed soldiers in Banjul as the protesters marched by wearing T-shirts bearing the portrait of the slain editor and waving posters with his photo.
One placard said "Freedom of the press is a basic right," while another read "Who killed Deyda?"
The marchers handed in letters to the headquarters of the police and Interior Ministry. Asked about their contents, Jawo said: "Weare demanding that the security forces take action to stop these kinds of brutal attacks against journalists which have been going on for a long time and have finally culminated in the murder of one of our members."
The government has condemned Hydara's murder and has pledged to find those responsible.
However, human rights groups and international press freedom watchdogs have repeatedly accused President Yahya Jammeh of intimidating the media and clamping down on press freedom. And privately, many journalists suspect that thugs with connections to his government may have been responsible for the killing.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists noted in an open letter to Jammeh that Hydara's death and the recent enactment of draconian new press laws "come against the background of violent attacks against independent journalists and media outlets in the Gambia."
Last April, unidentified gunmen burned down the printing press of another outspoken newspaper, The Independent, for the second time in six months. No-one has so far been arrested for that arson attack, nor for an earlier attempt to burn the newspaper's presses in October 2003.
Hydara, 58, wrote strongly worded editorials in The Point critical of the new press laws, which were passed by parliament last week.
One makes all press offences, including libel, punishable by imprisonment of up to six months for a first offence and three years for repeat offenders.
The other law makes operating licences for private newspapers and radio stations five times as expensive as before. Owners now have to sign a bond worth 500,000 dalasis (US$ 17,000), and use their homes as collateral.
Leonard Vincent, head of the Africa service of the France-based media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF), said Hydara was the "impetus" behind an open letter sent by RSF to President Jammeh, urging him not to sign the two bills into law.
He was murdered a day after the RSF letter was despatched to the Gambian leader, a former army lieutenant who came to power in a 1994 coup.
Besides editing The Point, Hydara was the Gambia correspondent of the French news agency AFP and RSF's local man in Banjul.

I hope the opposition leaders take a cue from the civil display of the press. Civil dis-obedience should be part of their plans. Jammeh is not the kind that will relinguish power to the people. The coalition should therefore make contingency plans to call their supporters to take to the streets in the event that Jammeh refuse to accept defeat come 2006. The notion of "masalah" has to stop or the tyranny that is Yaya's reign will continue to feast on the carcass of our economy.

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Can't take it no more...

"But the tongues are wagging and the fingers are pointing. And if you do not know what the tongues are saying and where the fingers are pointing at, I will say it here. People are saying agents of the state killed Deyda. Ask them why and they will tell you because he writes critical things about the government in his newspaper."... Sheriff Bojang writting in the daily observer.

Sheriff happens to be a talented writer but un-principled journalist. That is my "bureh-ak- butut" (two cents) on him. However his piece on the murder of Deyda leaves the reader with the impression that he is finally coming to the fact that the thugs ruling that nation has no respect for the lives and properties of Gambians... The last sentence of the last paragraph in the piece sums his agony.. thus "What happened on Thursday night is too much. It must be stopped! " What he fails to mention is that so much of these tragic events has been happening since November of 1994. Remember Basiru Barrow, Gibril Sey, Ousman Koro Ceesay,Momodou Manneh (nyancho) and et all. They got their lives snuffed out by the same murderous state machinery.



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Cry Blood

"My army and [members of] my armed forces are professionals and the whole world knows that. The nature of the offence shows that if it were done by my armed forces, there is no soldier in my army who will shoot at a human being twice and miss and you expect that individual to live.”...... Those were the words of Yaya Jammeh during the 2004 legal year celebrations when asked about the assasination attempt on Lawyer Ousman Sillah.


Then this shocking news culled from the BBC...

Leading Gambian editor shot dead


One of The Gambia's leading journalists was shot dead as he drove home from work shortly after midnight.

Deyda Hydara, 58, editor of The Point newspaper and correspondent for the AFP news agency was shot three times in the head, his colleague said.

He was sharply critical of a tough new press law which was passed this week.

The private media has complained that the government is trying to muzzle it. In April, the printing press of another paper were burnt down.

The Independent accused state security agents of being behind the attack - a charge denied by the authorities.

The police say they have opened an investigation into the killing, in which two women travelling in Mr Hydara's car were also injured.

"He has been very critical of the government and very vocal in opposition to these repressive laws but that does not mean that he, of all people, should have been the target of an assassin's bullet," said the head of the Gambian Press Union, Demba Ali Diao.

The law was passed on Tuesday. It provides for jail terms for those found guilty of libel or sedition and the seizure of the homes of the editors of libellous newspapers.

The government said the law was needed to make journalists more responsible.




This is the kind of atrocities I was worried about in a posting I made in august titled sword vs the pen. See archives.


If a leader can threaten journalist with phrases like six feet deep and one of them end up shot in cold blood, it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the perpetrators will never be brought to justice...


Ya Soffie in an emotional posting on the Gpost sums up this tragedy thus.....

Not a single murder have ever been investigated, none!  Yaya came out 
plainly and told us that those in the opposition will not live to 
witness the next elections.  We are continuing the count.  The only language 
he understands is the one he speaks and it is about time we wise up to 
that and show him that we too can speak his language.  His people did 
not miss this time.  But folks, we know what Jammeh is like, what are we 
like?  What does this say about us?  Is it our complacency that's 
allowing the killing of fine people like Deyda and the attempts on others?

That is Gambia for you folks....





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Policing Speech

The hallmarks of any free society is the rights of its citizenry to free expression. Freedom of speech as enshrined in most constitutions (Gambia no exception) is to guarantee the right of dissenters to express their outrage without fear of been arrested, tortured, imprisoned or denied a livelihood.

Free speech exists precisely to protect the most offensive and controversial speech from government suppression. The best way to counter obnoxious speech is with more speech. Persuasion, not coercion, is the solution.

Reading this observer story makes me wonder if the police in Gambia have no better thing to do but harrass, detain, and prosecute Gambians for calling Yaya foolish... Abhorent crimes like the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay remains unsolve after a decade. But asking "faa police" to solve those issues will hinder their most important job.... that is policing the free speech rights of Gambians. Least you forget Mansa Yaya is not to be spoken ill off. Chei...

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Thought Provoking

''Right now there are 22 active conflicts across the globe in which Muslims are involved. Most Muslims have not even heard of most of them because those conflicts do not provide excuses for fomenting hatred against the United States. Next time you hear someone say the US was in trouble in the Muslim world because of Israel, remember that things may not be that simple." - Amir Taheri, in his latest column, "What If It's Not Israel They Loathe?"

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Democrats and the Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a concept that comes out of Chaos Theory. The term is attributed to a meteorologist, Edward Lorenz, who was studying the major impacts/changes of weather based upon very tiny perturbations in the initial conditions. The term Butterfly Effect comes from a paper he wrote in the early 1970's titled "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?"


Since Dubya's re-election I have been thinking about the Butterfly effect and Linda Tripp. In my view she is one of the butterflies in a very convoluted and tenuously weak chain that has resulted in the world we live in today.

Looking backward, Bush was re-elected,from the exit polling information, based upon people voting on "moral issues". Despite the fact that he has been a complete disaster as a CEO, Commander in Chief, and Leader of the Free World, we put him back in office because, to many people, right or wrong, he represents a more moral choice than what the Democrats offered... Flip flop Johnny I voted for it before I vote against it Kerry. Why is that?


Well, we know why that is. Everybody's favorite Democrat, Bill Clinton, was caught with his pants down in the Whitehouse having "sexual relations with THAT WOMAN", Monica Lewinsky. Why do we know that? Because Monica told her good friend Linda Tripp about her affair, Linda Tripp told the RNC, and the rest is history.

So the question goes, what if there was no Linda Tripp? Or what if Linda Tripp was not a Republican spy, but a true friend to Monica. The odds are that we would never have known about Monica Lewinsky, Clinton would never have faced Articles of Impeachment, and Gore would have won in a Landslide in 2000.


There are other "butterflies" in the chain leading to Bush's re-election (e.g. the person who invented the aptly-named Butterfly Ballot in Florida), but Linda Tripp is the most obvious one.

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Sopi (Change)

The 2006 elections in the Gambia are closer than we in the opposition tend to think.Talks underway amongst our leaders on the ground to form a coalition is very encouraging. In the same spirit, we shouldn't focus all attention on the tyranny that is Yaya Jammeh but the enablers he has around him in the national assembly should be held accountable as well.

Lower badibu happens to have one of those bench warmers in the person of Suku Singhateh. Suku doesn't have any clue what legislation is all about and yours truly is looking into the modalities necessary to oppose suku come 2006. I will keep my readers abreast of all developments in that front. I will be doing a research on the legal hurdles before I make any final decision. Stay tune and watch this space.

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Junk Yard

Barcelona Metropolitan transport is dumping 74 used Pegaso buses on the Gambian tax payer. Yes dumping is the right word. These are vehicles that won't pass emission tests in the western world and will not be allowed to run. With the kind of roads we have in the Gambia, these buses will not last. The environmental degradation that will follow as they go to fallow will be insurmountable.You will assume that our knuckle heads will realise that, but that is asking too much of yaya and his cronies.... the mental midgets parading as leaders.

Click here to see what Pegaso buses look like and the road conditions they are assembled to ply.

Now imagine that vehicle running on the Brikama-basse highway. How many trips do you think it will make? There was a time in the Gambia when MAN bus ruled. Critics can say whatever they want about doctor Jawara...but the fact remains that Gambia during his rein is heaven compared to our resident dictator's.

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Call it a spade

“We have put our country into a big mess because of greed, selfishness and corruption. How can one individual have 5 private vehicles, 11 compounds, 20 compounds, and expensive jewelry? That is injustice. You should question yourself with honesty how you got all these wealth. Let nobody fool you. God will never accept wealth that is obtained through corruption, nepotism...But, when you get it in honesty, he will. You may escape the commission on this earth, but nobody can escape God’s commission on the Day of Judgment. When we repent for our bad deeds, God will forgive. But when you continue doing bad deeds, He will never accept it.”



Those were the words of Imam Baba Leigh. I take issue with his generalization of the population... cum "we". Until the time that people in his position call Yaya Jammeh what he is... a thief and murderer nothing will change in that country. I mean why not call a spade a spade? Yaya... ten years ago makes a little over fifty dollars a months. How is he able to amass millions of dollars in ten years? If that is not corruption, thievery and robbery then what is? The pandemic is his fault.


Click here to read the rest of his Eid sermon on this issue.







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Bantaba

The Gambian online community is getting a little bit bigger.The new kid on the block is Gambia Talk. It is still under construction; but if you are an early bird and want to subscribe, drop them a line at mail@gambia-talk.com

God speed guys...

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Crime on the rise

Gambian society under Yahya Jammeh is like an empty shell, a living farce, or a phantom episode borrowed from Animal Farm where some are more equal than others and sycophancy was all that mattered to stay within the clique and feast on the carcass of office capital. We cannot excuse a regime, whose so-called revolution reminds us of the cataclysmic failures in other African countries, where revolutions have done nothing but promote repression, sign death warrants for journalists, create recipes for starvation and economic outrage and set the scene for a future without any sense of direction and a fertile ground for the seeds of potential crisis, which paralyses the structures and capacities of states to cope with and address them. The so-called July 22nd revolution has been anything but…

What good is Yaya’s government if it can't provide security for the inhabitants of a narrow strip of land, with a population less than the size of medium municipalities? Cattle rustling and other abhorrent criminal behaviors are on the rise in a place once referred to as the smiling coast of West Africa. In the midst of all these madness the schmuck we have masquerading as president has squandered the little economic viability we had prior to his usurpation of power. To add insult to injury, our people are not secure either while he (yaya) dances to the “Bukarabu” in his kingdom of Kanilai. The police in the meantime are coming up with fancy stories on any given day to cover up what has become evident…that the security situation in the Gambia is dire. A government that can’t provide security for the lives and property of the governed doesn’t deserve to rule over the governed.

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Four more years


Results of yesterdays elections did not match pre elections expectations that some of us have. Dubya won hands down. It is one of those things. One thing I know for sure is that I will never trust exit polling again. God speed Dubya....

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Crawford bound

It's finally arrived--the day that defines the next four years. With any luck, we'll be giving George Bush his walking papers today--and with him, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rove, and the whole rotten crew.

I'll spare you the lecture on the importance of voting. If you're visiting this site, there's probably no need.

We've all been focused on this day for so long. Now, the waiting is almost over. Bush got to GO.


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Kerry Landslide?

The polls are too close at the time of this writting, but the momentum is on Kerry's side. Analysis by Professor Wang at Princenton is a good indicator. I think I will stick to my prediction a few days ago that Kerry will win in a landslide. Come wednesday I may have to eat crow if events turn the other way around and Dubya... God forbid wins.


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Émigré

Abdoulie Jallow has written a masterpiece on the emotional conflicts that immigrants endure in foreign lands. Without further adieu click on this link to read the wordsmith’s piece.

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Lies and lying Liars who tell them.

Witnesses at the do nothing Paul commission of enquiry never seize to amaze me. If you have to lie why in the name of God do you have to do it so badly. Yankuba and Manlafy are caught with their pants down... and what do they come up with? Click on the observer link here to read for yourself... be forwarned that the audacity of this guys is bewildering.... Yuck.

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Just so you know

I'm juggling a lot of plates these days and feeling kind of overwhelmed from time to time, thus the lapse in my postings...

Reading through the daily observer this morning, i came across Tony daba aka Yahya Jammeh counseling Gambian students to stay away from politics. Say what? he is ineffect telling them not to pay attention to the sinking ship he is at the helm of. what really gets to me is yahya's paternalistic approach to the whole thing. Here is a guy who order the slaughter of fourteen Gambian students in broad day light four years ago telling the same people to stay out of politics. Colloquially, I keep saying to myself... my body die for the Gambia.

On another front it seems as if the African union has finally awakened from it's slumber. They are sending in 4500 troop to stop the genocide in Darfur. Rwanda is to be commended for taking things into their own hands by sending in 600 troops while the african union procastinates. This does not in any way change my mind about the inefficiency of the african union. They are 70000 lives lost and 1.2 million displaced black sudanese late. I hope their spirits haunt african leaders to their graves.

The elections in the United States are a few weeks away and the polls are still shaky for any intelligent guesses. But if I am the betting kind, I will bet that Bush will lose in a landslide.

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Darfur Revisited

As the world community and Africans in particular continue failing to prevent genocide taking place in Sudan, the words “never again” uttered numerous times after the Rwandan tragedy amount to nothing more than deluded hyperbole. By recent counts, 50,000 people have died in the fighting in Sudan, and 1.2 million have been displaced from their homes. The Janjaweed, an Arab militia, is attempting to eliminate all black Sudanese. The Sudanese government is not only failing to protect its citizens, but many feel the government supports the Janjaweed.

Meanwhile the rest of the of the international community is back in summit mode. The African union ... which drew the ire of my previous post on darfur is trying to appease the sudanese government to reign in the terrorist. Good golly. When are these people going to learn that they need a carrot and stick approach to these conflicts that decimate our populations? The sudanese government has no interest in stopping the genocide. Their territorial intergrity is not important when human beings are losing their lives and livelihood. The leaders in that continent need to get troops into sudan to stop the carnage. Omar Bashir will not budge to diplomatic niceties.

I am not going to blame the west for sitting idly by while our people die. Our leaders have to get their priorities straight. African have to step up and solve Africa's problems. Why wait for the United Nations? It has no standing army. The member states contribute to any U.N contingent. Their is a shortage of everything in Africa except for military personel. What we need is the political will to send them in. Time is of the essence and every passing day adds to the human toll. African leaders need to act now to stop the genocide or else what good is the African union?



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Gun Rights

The recent spike in armed and arson attacks on innocent Gambians is worthy of fair and balanced debating.Omar Jallow, the erstwhile agriculture minister under doctor jawara is proposing lifting the ban on the public from acquiring fire arms. He expounded that the public has a right to self defense when the government has shown no gumption in protecting the rights and liberty of it's citizenry... especially those that disagree with it's policies.

Emotionally, I am tempted to agree with O.J. The public should have a right to self defense in the face of wantom atrocities. But experience taught me to back off that pedestal. I live in a country where owning guns is a constitutional right. I 've seen the daily carnage it inflict on urban America. Could the same things happen in the Gambia if we have prevalence of guns? Sure enough. I have witness soccer matches in Gambia turn into boulder throwing contests. Imagine a few of these angry fans with a magnum in there possession? The human toll could be more horrific than the instances of thuggery that we are now witnessing. I believe that a change in the political establishment is our salivation. Most observers of events in the Gambia blame the government for most of the crimes that O.J alluded to.

Gambians coming together to take our country back come 2006 is a better alternative in my humble opinion. Legalising the purchase of fire arms has deadly consequences which is not worth the risk. We know who the thugs are. Let's unite and throw them and their tyranny into the dustbin of history.




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Sword vs the Pen

The pen someone once opine is mightier than the sword. Ideas will always beat brawn in the long run. Intimidation, torture and murder will never stop the flow of ideas. Information is born to be free... inadvertenly making freedom of the press a key component to the development of a society. How do the political climate in the Gambia stood up to this scenario today? like everything else since yaya took over... dreary.

But recent events has escalated the whole notion of harrassing journalist to murderous acts. Arson attacks and death threats from pseudo vigilantee groups against journalist is on the rise. Mansa Yaya according to this thugs is always right. He is not to be spoken ill off. Like the fictional character in animal farm (napoleone). The members of the fourth estate has stood up to this thuggery for years and most of them have paid dearly for their rights to report. Their bravery in the face of brutally is patriotic in the greatest sense of the word. However they should watch their backs. These thugs are deadly. They have no respect for human life. The murder of Koro, the cowardly shooting of lawyer sillah, the arson attacks on radio one , the independent, on ebrima sillah's house and other atrocities should serve as notice to all involved.

How is it that a peaceful nation like the Gambia a few years ago mired in so much depair today? The answer is simple... the unsavory characters parading as leaders who have no idea what it is like running a household more or less a country prior to 1994. They have no idea that human history is influence more by the written word than warfare. Social development doesn't come through intimidation and suppression of ideas contrary to one's own. But trying getting that through the thick skull of Yaya and his cohorts. Their reply will come through a firebomb in the dead of night or you could end up six feet under like the hundreds of Gambians who pay the ultimate price since he came to power.

With all the gloomy news coming out of the Gambia today, the reaction, determination and steadfastness of independent journalists is encouraging. It brings solace to those of us in the diaspora that all is not lost. making me a believer in the old civil rights song "we shall over come".


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Corrupt Benefactor

The daily observer reports that Yaya jammeh has recently donated a 30 seater Toyota coaster Van to the Gambia under 17 football team. Hmmmm. Makes me wonder what we are suppose to glean from that story. Should we be thankful that he (yaya) decided to get some money from Allah's bank to get the Van? or should we raise hell over the insanity that has grip that nation post July 22nd, 1994.

Yaya Jammeh, a poor, semi-literate soldier who took power in a 1994 coup with grandiose promises of accountability and Transparency is now one of the riches men in Africa. Which begs the question: how does a man earning about $1500 a month affords to buy himself a private jet? Build his ancestral hamlet into a modern town with uninterrupted supply of water and electricity. Something unheard of in most of continental Africa save for the republic of south Africa. To call Yaya corrupt is an understatement. In the meantime we ( Gambians ) are supposed to be grateful when he decide to give back some of the money he stole from the treasury in the form of a van handout. How about Yaya having some conscience and returning all the money he stole from us in crude oil 1& 2, the Taiwan loans etc.

The last time I checked we have a sports ministry in that nation. What are their budget priorities? Ooops ... I got ahead of myself there. They don't have any. These are some of the pertinent issues we expect the daily newpaper to dwell on. But evidently that is asking too much of the observer. Gravevine has it that they are under Yaya's payroll. The brain child of Dr. Best where dedicated Gambian journalist used to ply their trade has been turned into a pitiful propaganda organ of the dictatorship terrorising our nation.



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Darfur and the African Union

The African Union was created a few years ago with great fanfare. Architects of the new organization, which is more or else an image of the old Organisation of African Unity proposed that Africans need to take an active role in conflict resolutions on the continent instead of waiting for western aid. Theorectically, the idea is a sound one. But recent events in Darfur...Sudan brought out some of the same tendenciesof the old union that the new organization is supposed to solve...

While thousands of black Sudanese are at the mercy of dying at the hands of their own government, African leaders are sleeping at the switch. A peace monitoring group is all they can come up with. How about putting the interest of these poor souls ahead of diplomatic niceties? What ever happen to getting troops into Sudan to put a stop to the murderous "Janjaweed" (arab militia). Will the African Union go down in history like it's predecessor for been a pension breeding ground for selfish African intelletuals?

I am not cynical about the sincerety of the proponents and their vision of greater African cooperation. But actions speak louder than words. They can sign all the treaties they want but unless they are ready to back these treaties up with action, they are better off not wasting the tax payers money paying dues to keep a toothless tiger caged. Enough of with the rhetoric while Africans die en masse.

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Daily Observant

What do you know? The daily observer is at it again. This time publishing an editorial ridiculing the efforts of the coalition to end the tyranny that is Yaya Jammeh's rule. The official mouth piece of the APRC regime passing for an independent news organisation went out of it's way to suggest that the coalition of opposition parties that won power from the grips of Abdou Diouf and Daniel Arap Moi are in tatters. Implying in the process that these situations make opposition coalitions untenable and therefore unneccesary in Africa. Say what? Any sophomoric editor will realize that this is comparing apples to oranges. what has the dissolution of Senegalese and Kenyan coalitions got to do with our situation? And who told this clown that the coalition has to stay together after dislodging the despots?

The essence of an opposition coalition is to act in unison. Put ideologies aside to end as in the case of Gambia a tyranny that has been going on for ten years too long. The financial aspect is another thing. With African dictators such as Yaya Jammeh controlling the state machinery and using tax payers money to finance their campaigns, opponents will be better off putting their meager resources together. It is a classic case of David versus Goliath. Once Goliath is slained and democracy is restore, all parties can then try to win the vote of the electorate in a fair and transparent environment.This is what happened in Senegal and Kenya. And there is nothing wrong with that, since MISSION has been accomplished.

Democracy is messy sometimes. But the alternative is forbidding and cruel. Gambian opposition leaders are matured and realistic enough to realize this fact.The observer's editors will be wise to see the good in their endeavor. Because the end in the final analysis justifies the means.

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Water woes

Reports coming out of Banjul indicated that there is serious water shortage hitting the greater Banjul area. NAWEC (the utility company ) hasn't been able to provide services for the past three days due to lack of fuel for there water pumping station.

The situation is so dire that people are going without bath/shower. Cooking daily meals.. the norm in our country has come under serious assault. How can you cook rice ..the staple diet.. without water? This coming on the heels of the July 22nd celebrations during which the government spent almost $2.5 million according to some estimates. The sad irony is that NAWEC which can't afford fuel to generate water pumping stations has contributed two million dalasis ( $70,000) to the celebration.

This brings me to crust of the issue.. the nerve of the mental midgets in charge of the Gambia today. How do any intelligent person justify spending millions of dollars celebrating the illegal usurption of a democratically elected government when you can't provide basic human needs such as water and electricity to the public. Gambians have been going without adequate supply of electricity for lord knows how long. But water? Come on now something's got to give. If yaya jammeh can boast of providing uninterrupted supply of water and electricity to his little hamlet of Kanilai while the rest of the country lives in darkness and now thirst, it is time for civil disobedience to take our country back from the clutches of these morons before it is too late. The opposition coalition that has recently won two by elections is a note worthy start. But the coalition should not focus all their attention on elections. Instead grass roots organisation should be their primary focus. Get the citizens organize, riled them up to take their country back come the next election in 2006. Yaya and his gang of thieves are the problem. We've got to get rid of them peacefully and rebuild our nation for posterity. We owe it to generations coming..






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The charade continues

I swore i wasn't going to talk about the mafioso that is ruining a place once described as the smiling coast of west africa... Gambia. The nerve of this people is mind boggling. A commission set up to look into their ill gotten wealth has turned into a parade of charltans mocking the sensibilities of Gambians. Can you believe these morons are declaring microwave ovens as assets? What is wrong with them? Reading through the proceedings as reported by the daily observer makes one wonder what in God's name is going on? They are owning up to nothing. everything belongs to their spouses or unnamed relatives living in the west. What a travesty. Anybody familiar with these characters knew that they can hardly afford a week's change of drawers/underpants prior to 1994. Their spouses are even worse off.

The Paul commission is treating them with kids gloves. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what genuinely belong to these schmucks. Tabulate their income over the period of time that they serve, subtract their expenses and anything left over needs to be explained with proper documentation or forfeiture should be the immediate action. Lord knows these leakes have been suckling on the life blood of that poor nation for ten years too long. But the sad reality is that the paul commission will not be the solution to the pandemic corruption that is prevalent and triggered by the biggest thief of all... Yaya Jammeh.Nothing will come out of the circus. Gambians are no fools. They are hostages. They knew who stole what, but can't do nothing about it least the morons open fire on them and kill them wantonly like they did on that fateful day in april when fourteen innocent Gambian students were gunned down because they dare to speak truth to power. This , my friends is the sad reality.

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