NADD (National Alliance for Democracy & Development)

Much ink has been spilt in an effort to explain why the Gambia is in the dire straits and why the opposition alliance need to start a serious sensitization tour. Allow me, as a quasi outsider, to offer a provocative thesis. I haven’t lived in the Gambia for any meaningful time for quite a while now, having spent most of that time in the US. But you will have to detach yourself off the family and friends you left behind or stop reading the tabloids that are passing for newspapers not to notice the nightmare she (Gambia) is going through.

I’m not surprised at the palpable sense of futility. The Gambian people are steadily being reduced to a state of cringing dependence on an ever-more voracious and aggrandizing Government and a political establishment of almost unconquerable scale that supports and sustains it.

The response of our once pluralistic society has been a quasi deference to this long march to serfdom. Take the silence on the most obvious and pressing case — the growing proportion of our national income that is stolen by Yaya and his cronies. Yeah he sets up a commission to investigate every thief but Ali Baba himself. Damn he is getting good at the spin game. Lock up a few poor souls without any due process and tell folks they are responsible for your problems.

It wasn’t possible to stop this train from leaving the station, how about stopping a wreck? But what is the opposition up to? NADD say the answer is — wait for it — we’ve got to set up a memorandum first. Great idea what next? Oh but we can’t go on sensitizing the general public about our ideals until we figure out a secretariat, divisional bureaus and negotiate more on the flag bearer. All this while the election is coming up in a year and the APRC is rolling around the country in there bamboozle tours. You can’t blame an electorate if the only message they get is the APRC’s. Now don’t get me wrong I am for anybody but Yaya… but this will not be achieve in a drawn out negotiation while the biggest obstacle to un-seating an entrenched dictatorship…convincing the electorate to change course… hasn’t been given any serious effort. In a country where the average villager believe that presidents are ordained by God, it is going to take a lot more than just a drive through (the usual Campaign format in the Gambia) to convince them otherwise. Every conversation one has in that country seems to start from the premise that everything that ails us is a divine act… government policies and their effect is usually an aside thought. A concerted effort need to start now if NADD is to made any headway into dispelling some of these cultural myths and conquering APRC’s strangle hold on Gambians. You don’t need a secretariat, bureaus or dear leader (flag bearer) to start sensitizing the electorate.

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Now this

Togo is drifting towards anarchy while the rest of the leadership on that continent sleeps. The African Union and ECOWAS dropped the ball when they tolerate a fraudulent process to take place instead of insisting on the adherence to the constitution's stipulations on the demise of the president. The Eyadema hereditary is plunging that nation into chaos, adding another tragedy that the continent doesn't need.

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Surprise?

Is any serious observer of Togolese politics in the past few months surprise at the outcome of this farce? The inheritance didn't get derailed by so-called elections. Which gets me to thinking... Is elections in developing countries without any adherence to the rule of law tantamount to democracy? Should opposition figures in these countries focus their attention on rebuilding civic institutions first before contesting elections in environments ripe for mischief, thereby legitimizing fraudulent electoral victories by totalitarian nit-wits? The later seems to make more sense to me. But again I will have to leave that to political scholars and student of the trade to figure out.

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What’s Happening?

Remember that slogan, “Say nice things about your homeland”? Burn that slogan. It’s time to start saying the truth about Gambia, screaming the truth about "Kambia", because facing up to the truth is the only chance we have to save the nation once dubbed the smiling coast of west Africa, provided it’s not too late. It’s taken me awhile to face up to it myself, and to get up the nerve to shout out loud (even though some of my countrymen have been shouting that truth for quite some time now), but it’s getting to the point where I’m having a really hard time dealing with all this, and I know I’m not alone. Lately the mantle of shouting has become a norm for me as readers of this space probably figured out by now.

What’s been welling up inside bubbled over when a buddy of mine called me up to check in and see how things were going? He’s always been good like that, a lot better than me. Some one who’s writing I could never have enough of. Full of wit, wisdom and originality. He is not one to tout his own horn but readers of yore will attest to the fact that when maubeh had the time from his busy schedule to write he is tough to beat. We talk politics most of the time, but this time, barely a second after he asked how I was, I launched into a rant about all the things going on in the Gambia that were really starting to piss me off — and it turned out he had many of the same feelings... of course with a more level headed analytic examination of the situation. From the departure of Observer's erstwhile managing editor, the one up-manship taking place on the web amongst the proprietors of the independent newspaper to the deterioration of creative writing as envisage in the mediocre essay written by Observer's rising star...Omar Bah. But as usual the bitter venom is reserved for the man running our nation towards our worst fears... Yaya Alphonse. No am not obsess with the fool, I just don't like him and I hate what he is doing to my country.

The way things are going, you have to be a masochist to stubbornly say things will be all right. Something has to give and fast. Vigilante training camps are reported by villagers in the Kombos. Who are they training to intimidate or kill? What is Yaya Alphonse doing about this... that is as usual if his criminal hand is not behind it. He is taking a proactive stance before the next presidential election. He is not going to let go without maiming and killing his country men. I know, I know...maybe I am been overly pessimistic. And believe me I hope like all peace loving human beings that come 2006 I am wrong in my prediction as I was when I call a landslide for Johnny I voted for it before I vote against it Kerry. Remember him? You have no idea how much I hate predicting the atrocities that Yaya Alphonse can unleash, but I hate what I see happening to the Gambia even more.

I’m running out of space, and I think we’re all running out of patience. But we don't have any choice save for doing everything humanely possible to rescue our nation from the clutches of a murderous, kleptocractic dictator.

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Pardon the interruption.

The Daily Observer Links in my postings are not functioning. Like everything else the Observer produce since it's present owners took over, their web presence is abysmal.

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Gullible?

“So a new era dawned and we witnessed a complete new order that came to tackle societal and leadership vices in society. They had a slogan - probity, accountability and transparency”….
That was exactly what they had… a slogan. Leadership? Nah. Obviously our society has seen more heart wrenching human rights abuses ( murder, theft, arson) during their rein than the three decades of independence that preceded it.

“A many must have taken it as a mere gimmick that blew out of the mouths of another few who must have wanted to comfort themselves by wanting to own. But what happened, those that have thought so must have lived in an ocean of tomfoolery until the day of accountability and probity came to show us what it actually meant”…
come on” Gawlo”. We had a Jaliba in sheriff and before his scent even dissipated you are taking over the reins of journalistic sycophancy. Accountability without Yaya Alphonse telling us how he became the richest man in a decade doesn’t trouble you in the least.

“Let’s thank the zeal in its establishment and of course the call for its continuity in order to continue getting rid of the disgrace of corruption. But whatever one does without expressing gratitude to the grinning commission chairman who worked so fast and accurately to the impression of all in truthfulness and honesty, and then one has more to do. Now we have to join our hands to ensure that such bunch of vicious mice do not filter our public good anymore. Keep it up!”

Jeez... you are either gullible or the worst of that human tendency… selfishness is encroaching on your psyche. The biggest “DIRIMO” (Gambian rat) is still pilfering the public good. What planet do you live on?

If you want to see the second coming of Sheriff Bojang (Daily Observers outgoing un-principled managing editor), read Omar Bah’s impression of the APRC ascendancy to power and the subsequent Paul commission report a decade later. It has all the hallmarks of Sheriff's shenigans. Act tough on the little guy who got caught stealing while singing the praises of the God father who orders the murders and has all the wealth...Daily Observer.

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Victims

Republicans have seemingly adopted the tactics that Democrats have used with black voters for years: Not only is opposition to a political point wrong, it must be a sign of blatant bigotry. The flip side of this demonization of the enemy, of course, is the brainwashing of one's supporters. In short, Christian conservatives are now officially societal "victims" with all the moral weight that carries. In much the same way that Charlie Rangel said infamously several years ago that the "new" Republican bigotry comes forth in the language of "tax cuts," Bill Frist and Co. are now suggesting that opposition to GOP judges is evidence that Democrats hate judges.

What is rather interesting is that, just a couple of years ago, this charge was limited to the Democrats handling of one judge, Bill Pryor of Alabama. Republicans charged that Democrats were anti-Catholic because they opposed Pryor, a pro-life conservative judge. Yes, this is some sort of rough-justice for Democrats who claimed that Republicans blocked Bill Clinton's judges because they were -- pick one -- Black, Hispanic, female, etc.

But, it was wrong then and it is wrong now. It is invidious to society. For one thing, I thought Republicans didn't believe in creating new classes of victims.And now, the charge has evidently expanded to the entire class of judges -- not just Pryor. In addition, as W. James Antle III noted in the Feb. 28 edition of The American Conservative (not online), Republicans have happily adopted the race card to accuse Democrats of blocking judges because they are Hispanic (Miguel Estrada) or black (Janice Rogers Brown).

It's so wonderful that we now have two parties more than happy to turn whole classes of the electorate into "victims." In both cases, of course, the status of "victim" is in inverse proportion to their actual influence within the given party. Democrats point to blacks -- their most steadfast voter -- as permanent victims…. though they act helpless in doing anything about that. Now, Republicans have a very significant religious conservative bloc that must be catered to as victims.

In both cases, arguably, it is the greater society that becomes the true victim.

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Theocracy

Bill Frist is going to participate in a big anti-filibuster telecast, sponsored by the Family Research Council, in which Democratic opposition to President Bush's most conservative judicial appointments will be cast as a Democratic war against believing Christians.

A flier advertising the event refers to "the filibuster against people of faith" and says: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."

I don't know which is more amusing...the wingnut jihad against a federal judiciary that is already predominantly Republican or the fact that the intellectual and often literal descendents of the upholders of Jim Crow now seek to enlist the dark legacy of segregation as some sort of arrow in their rhetorical quiver.

How much do we have to endure so that this guy (Frist) can run for president?
Read Americablogs posting on this here

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Bubba to the rescue?
Former President Bill Clinton announced today that his Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative will deliver antiretroviral treatment (ART) to 10,000 children in more than ten nations by the end of 2005...

Any effort at this point is helpful in alleviating the suffering of innocent children, whose only crime is been the offspring of AIDS victims. However been proactive in combating the root causes of the pandemic... teaching the virtues of prevention is in the long run much more beneficial than the reactive distribution of medications with plenty of side effects which might not necessarily be notice now but could haunt these people for the rest of the life they are meant to be prolonging.

Read the article here

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Save the Gambia Democracy Project.

Pledge drives are annoying. Everyone wants you to give, give, and give, as though you haven’t given enough. Between tsunami victims, AIDS babies and Amazon deforestation, compassion can be bankrupting. And now Save the Gambia Democracy Project (STDP) wants your money, too. Why should you give a single penny to support an organization that wants to liberate a nation from tyranny?

You get the drift right? Because apart from being the decent, and ethical thing to do – nothing’s free. Freedom isn’t free. So the least blabbermouths like yours truly can do to augment the efforts of the people on the ground is to contribute a token of our wage to liberate our people. Heck nothing is free and you get what you pay for. If we failed to contribute towards the noble endeavor that is the restoration of human dignity, we shouldn’t be dumbfounded if Yaya Jammeh intimidates his way to another fraudulent electoral victory. We shouldn’t complain when he institute policies that plunges our people into medieval poverty; imprison them without any due process rights; order the murder of innocence and pardon the executors of his order under the guise of reconciliation. Hell he might just decide to move the capital city to Kanilai. But why should you, who value your twenty-dollar bill more care? It is not your problem… you can afford to pay for your family’s subsistence right? Wrong. Yaya is navigating the ship of state towards a wretch. Once it hits that iceberg, everybody’s family will be part of the statistics.

See what I mean? That wasn’t fun at all, was it? I’m not exaggerating… I may have understated what the repercussions will be. We’re less likely to have to worry about these developments if we put our little resources together to fight Yaya before he pull an ivory coast on us. If you care about your country and want to preserve it for generations to come, you will write a check or donate online at SunuGambia.com.

If you don’t, I can’t swear that Gambia as you know it will come to an abrupt end, but I can’t promise it won’t.

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Witch-hunt

President Jammeh said: “We may not be setting up commissions of enquiry into corruption often, but one thing I would tell you without giving any details is that something called PAACU has been established. I would not tell you who the members are because if you know them, you will not allow your corruption or what so ever to be exposed. But this unit exists. They would not arrest nor confront because if they start confronting people you will know who they are. They will take note of what the person does, the time and the place. The unit is not a threat and not for only secretaries of state, but the general public be it a policeman or whoever. I don’t think anyone of you at your age will like to go down in history as a corrupt officer.”...Daily Observer.

There goes our Yaya again…power tripping. This posting is by no means to excuse the reprehensible and dishonest public officials in Gambia who make no attempt to discharge their duties with integrity and equanimity. However it is the hypocrisy of Yaya Alphonse that is so bewildering. He amasses millions of dollars in a decade; never disclose how he pulled that off. Now he is setting up a permanent unit to terrorize Gambians for perceived corruption. The fact that rules that regulate socio-political relations in a country have a significant impact on the ability of civil servants to seek and secure (either legally or illegally) outside income never dawn on him. There are many reasons for the persistence of corruption in the Gambia, ranging from debilitating poverty to the authoritarian, kleptocractic, and the megalomaniac nature of Yaya himself.

The reality is that corruption exists in the Gambia and Africa for that matter because the conditions are right for it to exist…lack of good governance and the rule of law. Until those conditions significantly change, it is likely to continue more or less unabated. Yaya will only use his gang of corruption busters to round up his perceived political nemesis… here comes the witch-hunt.

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