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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.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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..

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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