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I don't know if I should cry or laugh at the absurdity of Yahya Jammeh's behavior. Gambians really need to be concerned if nothing else. The man is literally nuts. Not satisfied with the moronic stunt he pulled at the hospital the other day, Yahya Jammeh has vowed to start healing HIV/AIDS patients provided they agree to be treated in public. The freak of a commander in chief is making a mockery of our people's intelligence. The sad thing is that he is going to get some scared straight doctor at the hospital to certified AIDS patients as cured after his stunt.

I got mad at the opposition on the ground for not starting a shit storm over yahya's mental meltdown: but come to think of it why bother. The fool is going to embrass himself in a grand style, why help him from his misery? Time to get your lazy boy and watch Yahya jemus make a fool of himself. The point has the skinny on this madness. Here is a snippet:

In his speech, President Jammeh disclosed that he has now got the full mandate, with strict conditions, to embark on the treatment of HIV/AIDS and Asthma. Commenting on the treatment of HIV/AIDS, President Jammeh pointed out that the patient must first be diagnosed as HIV positive and should agree to be treated in public.

If you have the stomach for reading human scummy behavior, click on this point link for the rest of the story.

The lunacy of Yahya Jammeh has no boundaries. The man is delusional and running the Gambia into the ground in the process. What  kind of a prank is this fool pulling on Gambians? He will run to any dingy institution to get a title. Obviously been called doctor has gotten to his head. He is literally practicing some kind of voodo on patients admitted at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The sickening part of this whole episode is that you have board certified medical doctors vouching for his bullshit. This is the same man who try to sell what he claimed to be an all purpose medicinal water to our people last year. That scheme fail, not because he didn't have people vouching for his scam, but because everybody knew the fucking emperor has no clothes. Now whatever psychotic medication he is taking needs to refilled and fast: because the moron is losing it.

Why are the Imams sitting around and letting this lunatic use the Quran in vain. Funny, isn't it, how times have changed? Once upon a time, Muslims considered avarice a sin. They will rather go to an early grave than bear false witness. In Yahya Jammeh's Gambia, this isn't so. Religious leaders are much more interested in how to get their lot ahead than standing up to a coward.
If you are wondering what spike up my ire, well read this observer story and weep for the Gambia:
Jammeh cures PATIENTS at RVTH
The curative power of the Holy Qur’an and traditional medicine were yesterday put to effect at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit and the Private Ward of the Royal Victoria Teaching Hopital (RVTH) by President Yahya Jammeh.
Jammeh combined both the spiritual power of curing and traditional medicine to alleviate the suffering at the emergency unit, as well as restore the health of patients in critical conditions. The process was so effective that patients responded to the healing techniques within a short span of time. His medicinal application was simply the Holy Qur’an combined with a few traditional herbs. 
The curative power of the Gambian leader left many mesmerised and stunned, including his entourage, doctors, nurses, patients and other staff of RVTH. It was his second consecutive day at the hospital, after attending to the patients on Saturday.
Speaking in an interview with journalists, shortly after attending to the patients, President Jammeh said: “Nowadays there are a lot of strange illnesses. It seems there is no remedy for them and most of time even if there is remedy, it takes a lot of time for patients to heal. So I think its time for me to come out from hiding and show them what I can do”. 

He then added: “I told Gambians since 1994 that there are a lot of things that I can do. But Gambians would never know the Yahya Jammeh that is here. I believe in two things. If somebody is sick and you cannot cure the person with the Holy Qur’an, the person is certainly going to die. And it would not take 24 hours. There is no disease in this world that you cannot cure using the Qur’an and some natural herbs that are existing either in the forest and/or at our homes. So this is traditional herbal medicine but basically used in the Qur’an. It is spiritual. So you will realise that the whole ward that we took care of yesterday were coincidentally, all Muslims.” 

He then continued: “Yesterday, there were two patients that were in very critical conditions. In fact, both of them could not talk. I saw that one of them was suffering and was in great pain, so I had to take care of him to relief the pain. But the good thing about it was that he was temporary relieved. But I said yesterday that I have no home with him, including the old man.” 

President Jammeh told journalists he got his medicine from the forest, saying “what is important is that it my concoction and my knowledge. It is a natural knowledge for me, which is based on the Qur’an. These are basically plants. I have the title of doctor. In fact, I am a stronger doctor than them, because I use the name of Allah and the Qur’an”.
On the continuity of curing patients, President Jammeh decribed the exercise as a duty. However, he pointed out that he also has other responsibilities. “One, I am a head of state and have to take care of state matters. I am also a family man. Also, I have to pray a lot. In fact, what will happen will be Saturday clinics. And of course, it will not be every Saturday, because sometimes I have to go to Kanilai. But we will make an arrangement with them so that we can deal with the most critical cases. The rest they can take care of them, such as malaria. But cases where there is no hope, those are the ones I will concentrate on,” he noted. 

He disclosed that he would also attend to HIV/Aids patients,which he said would require time. He elaborated: “What we could do is to take members of Santa Yalla, who have exposed themselves so that we can start with them. But I will tell you when I am ready, because it is not easy to do it. It is not easy to prepare.” He stressed that one must pray a lot. 

President Jammeh then observed that he does not “ just go and cure a patient. There are signs I look for and I use the Qur’an”. However, he confirmed that for two of the patients, he did not use the Qur’an because he was “definitely sure that they are going to die. It is not easy but that is the way it is. There is nothing I can do for somebody whose time is up. But if it is a question of illness, we can take care of it”. 

He informed journalists that he started the curing process with his relative to ensure people understand that it’s no joke. “You must have seen the other one who before I touched him was saying he could not breathe and that he was going to die. After I attended to him, he was asking for a job to the extent that he showed me his driving license. Its all with the power of Almighty Allah,” he said. 

The link
Asked about the link between the Qur’an and traditional medicine, President Jammeh replied: “There is no distinction between the Qur’an and traditional medicine. Traditional medicine is purely the use of herbs. And every herb that is of medicinal value is mentioned in the Qur’an. You will also realise that there some people call marabouts, who use the Qur’an to write something, wash it and give it to the person to drink. So that’s the link. And for any verse that you can use in the Qur’an for healing, there is a tree in the forest that you can use if you cannot use the Qur’an. So if you can use the Qur’an and the tree itself, it makes it simple. You are invoking the name of Almighty Allah. And Allah has said that there are so many things that we can do. There are so many things that are hidden from us.” 

President Jammeh further noted that there is no difference between traditional medicine, modern medicine and the Qur’an. He explained: “Whatever they use as modern medicine, must have been extracted from a plant or naturally existing chemicals. In the Qur’an, you have both the herbs and elements - elements of a chemical nature that you can use. In fact, what you extract from the plant are chemicals that are extracted to make medicine. Some may exist in mineral or gaseous form to make medicine. The source of all modern and traditional medicine is from Almighty Allah, and that is the Qur’an. Allah says he has created for mankind all in this Qur’an. It’s like a literature. I may read a story like that of Shakespeare and I may know the literal meaning of it. But somebody who has done literature would be able to explain to you what they are talking about, which may be different from what I understand about it.” 

He then affirmed that he is willing to share the knowledege, provided it would not be commercialised. “If it is going to be commercialised, then no!,” he stressed.
Dr Malick Njie, Chief Medical Director of RVTH, expressed his impression with Jammeh’s miracle, saying what “he has got is different from what we learnt in medical school”. 

Dr Njie added: “I was amazed by somebody who said he could not breathe and who thought he would die. But after what he gave him, he asked for a job. I cannot talk much about that because I do not have much knowledge about it. But traditional medicine is someting that is in the country. It’s been an excellent visit. We had him yesterday, we had him here today. His mere presence stimulated a lot in the patients.” 

He disclosed that a woman, who was in a bad condition wanted to be discharged, after she had received “something from the President. She was ready to go. I told her well,. if you are well, you must go so that we can admit other patients. But His Excellency said do not let her go.” 

He said another female patient, who was in a psychotic condition and  incoherent also responded to President Jammeh’s curative medicine, after it was administered to her. “She was ready to go home, which we found amazing. She started talking coherently. This morning the consultant did the check-up round and certified her fit to be discharged”. 

Patients’ account
Also speaking to the journalists, Amadou Bah, a patient at the A&E Unit, said: “I am getting much better than before. I am really grateful to President Jammeh for treating me. I am very happy.” 

Omar Jaiteh, another patient, said: “I now feel fine. I am feeling much better now.”
Ebrima Demba, who was confined to his sickbed since his admission at the A&E Unit, said: “I feel really great. I could not walk from my bed to the toilet. But now, I can walk thanks to the President. Illness is cured through a gradual process and I really want the President to come again.” 

Alagie Hydara and Elbo Jarjue, also expressed similar sentiments.
President Jammeh brought gifts for the patients and then gave out D30,000 to a lady, whose father passed away at the A&E Unit. He also gave gifts of cash to the Kanifing gas explosion victims at the Intensive Care Unit.
President Jammeh was accompanied to the hospital by the Secretary General, a number of Secretaries of State and the Chief of Protocol....Daily Observer.

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has gotten a lot of good press or what media critics call a free pass from the press. But how can you knock a guy who is giving away some 90 percent of his money? Not an easy feat by any standards. However, investigative journalists are looking at the harm some of the foundation's projects are doing.

Besides funding research to fight disease that plague third world nations, the foundation is investing in companies that run power plants, which can pollute and cause respiratory disease. In fact, the foundation has been investing in lots of energy companies to earn more money to pay for vaccines and research.
And therein lies the contradiction.

Energy companies are not known for their environmental friendliness. But they generate great returns on investment. The cauldron becomes: should the Gates foundation shy away from what is otherwise a good investment or would it be better for the foundation to invest in solar power and fuel cells? Just where is the greater good?

Read the LA Times investigative story here.

Nominations to contest the January 25th national assembly elections have come and gone. The ruling APRC has field candidates for all forty eight constituencies. No suprises there...the UDP/NRP alliance has thirty five candidates vying for seats across the country. NADD is contesting in five and eleven independent candidates have thrown their hat into the ring as well.

The political climate in the country is dominated by the APRC. Police squad cars in the country are adorned with APRC flags and other party insignias. I remember the head of security at the Barra-Banjul ferry crossing ( an openly corrupt fellow called Joof) boasting about his party loyalties to me when I complained to him about the nefarious behavior he is engaged in by taking money from motorist and having them move ahead of the line. "This is the Gambia and we are in charge". He was pointing to his APRC baseball cap all this time.

But that will be an story for another day: back to the elections. The opposition can win in some of the constituencies they are contesting. Lower Badibou will be one of those battle grounds. I grew up in this district and knew the two fellows competing for the seat. They are both from my native village of Saba and from the same compound for that matter. Kebba Famara Singhateh ( the UDP candidate) is a PPP old hand and has been running for this seat since the late seventies when he came from Russia with a masters in economics. But Lower Badibou has always been an NCP strong hold and Foday Makalo (another Saba native) won in the district throughout the first republic. Suku Singhateh(the APRC candidate) came to the scene after the coup. He coyly join the nefarious July 22nd movement and engineered his way to the APRC candidacy. He was a small businessman prior to that and continue to dabble in business with not so stellar a reputation. Just last year he was sued by a farmers cooperative for swindling them out of thousands of tonnes of peanuts. That case is still pending. Suku's recent nomination has also been marred in acrimony. Some APRC militants in Kerewan are not happy with him and would like to replace him. However been the snake oil sales man he can be, Suku ecked out another nomination that opponents claimed he bought by giving out large sums of money to some nominating members.

The acrimony could doom Suku's relection. If APRC militants in Kerewan are not placated, they could sway the election to Kebba. However this is a big IF. Majanko Samusa (a Kerewan native and nominated APRC national assembly member) has his political future allied with Suku's chances. Should the later goes down so those he. It is therefore a battle royale for political survival and Suku and Majanko will go to any lenght to pull a win. Kebba will have to garner as many votes as he possibly could from the five largest villages to win. This is not an impossible task, but it is not easy by any means. Lower badibou as it stand is up for grabs.
The point has a run down of the opposition nomination district by district here. In another point story, Halifa Sallah is quoted as saying that this will be his last shot at running for the national assembly win or lose. He is planning on pursuing a PHD afterwards.

Halifa could very well lose his seat. He won this seat with a large number of UDP voters voting for him. However with the eruption and acrimony that followed the dissolution of the original NADD project, the UDP smell blood and refused to engage in any kind of tactical alliance that might be a saving grace for Halifa and Co. Instead they are going for the political jugular. If it looks like vegeance, well it just might be. Halifa is smart enough to see this coming and it looks like he has plans to mitigate against the fall: he is getting a PHD....

You know you must be suffering under cataclysmically bad leadership when you find yourself looking back on a past president and discovering yourself grateful for the awful things he didn't do to your country or in its name.

I'm finding myself these days wanting to write thank you note to all kinds of people for whom I've never harbored a shred of admiration before. Dawda Jawara is one of those people. Looking back, the Gambia under Sir Dawda was a heck of a place to live in. Peaceful and yes prosperous by today’s standards.

Yes, there were constitutional crises in there, along with corrupt deals and a coup stage by Kukoi that end up destroying lives and livelihoods. But now after living under the current president, I discover a reluctant gratitude to the leaders of yore.

Twelve years ago, I was in my communal home in Fagikunda when Yahya Jammeh and his junta took over the government. At the time, I was on summer break from my sixth form studies. I felt a sense of despair about the event even then. Notwithstanding my belief that Sir dawda’s prolonged grip on power is detrimental to good governance, the track record of coupist in West Africa hasn’t been stellar either. Their rhetoric on taking over is not followed up by their actions. Even at that tender age, I have seen enough examples in the sub region to know that the soldiers with a difference moniker touted by the AFPRC junta is nothing but hooey.

Fast forward to the year 2006. Here I am: after a decade of living in the United States, and three years since I last set foot on Gambian soil, witnessing the inauguration of Yahya Jammeh for his third take at the presidency.

As my friends and I watched the pomp of Yahya’s Inauguration on television, the sense that returning to United States was somehow abandoning my country during a time when it needed activists more than ever grew palpable. It was both frustrating and pathetic to think the likes of Ousainou Darbo and Halifa Sallah are the only ones left trying to fight back against what seemed to be an almost unstoppable rising tide of Jammehism in the Gambia. When I voiced my concern to my younger brother Ebrima, he smacked me on the back of the head and said something to the effect of "are you crazy? Get out of here while you still can."

Get out of here seems to be the only pursuit of most Gambian youth these days. The patriotic fervor and the ingenuity it fosters in citizens to toil and make their political entities a happy and prosperous place has been zapped from most Gambian youth. Growing up, I have been lectured that a good education is all I needed to live a better life. I took it to heart, studied hard and to this day I still harbor a great deal of respect for Kebba Jadama (my first grade teacher) who sacrificed his time and taught village kids like yours truly the intricacies of the English alphabet without getting paid for it.

These days the advice to get a good education is secondary to the pursuit of making a passage to the west. When elders pray in mosques, you don’t hear them asking for a better education system, instead they pray for the opportunity to have their kids make it to the Promised Land (Europe and the United States). We have come from a society that value education to one that fancy and pray for the departure of its human capital to foreign shores. That is what twelve years of Jammehism has wrought on the Gambia: a despaired and destitute citizenry whose only resort is send their young ones in rickety boats across the ocean hoping that they will make it to Europe and make life easier for those left behind with the remittances they send back.

Jammeh apologist will always point to the "development projects" his government has instituted since 1994. They will talk at length about the television station, the coastal and north bank roads. This is pure unadulterated nonsense. What else is he supposed to be doing? If you travel on the Brikama- Basse highway like I did on my recent trip, you will be amaze at the disrepair that has befallen the once mighty trans-Gambia highway. It is a sad case study in irresponsible governance.

If you watch the pomp and pageantry of yahya’s inauguration, the multi million dollar extravaganza that follows: be it the free Youssou Ndour show or the McCarthy Square gala where our boy king (Yahya) was dancing like a kid in a candy store, you wouldn’t know that thousands of his country men are struggling day in and out to get a square meal. Our braggart of a president was also sound engineer on that fateful day. He kept walking from his seat to check on the sound system the type of which he claimed doesn’t exist on the African continent. In fact if you believe Yahya only four of its kind exist in this world and he is the proud owner of one. The best part of his con game is when he claimed to have purchased the system for the youth. I couldn’t help but yell bullshit at the TV.

That in essence is what the Gambia has degenerated into. The government is synonymous with Yahya. Taxpayer funded projects are Yahya’s projects. All you hear is Yahya did this, Yahya did that. It makes one wonder what good is the Gambia government?

Opposition politics is virtually dead on the ground. Granted there are thousands of people who oppose Yahya with a vengeance, but the leadership and organization to make it a viable force to reckon with is lacking. The opposition parties are electioneering entities. What we need to counter Jammehism is a movement and nobody is offering Gambians that kind of radical shift. Instead what we have is half ass election year politicians and in the intervening years they are dormant. PDOIS came close to a movement but they are too dogmatic. You’ve got to win first in a society like the Gambia before people start listening to you. Educating them when someone else has a larger microphone to drown you out with will not get you far. And that has been what plague PDOIS from the jump-start.

With hundreds of thousands of unemployed youth daydreaming about making it to Babylon (Europe and US), an explosive situation is brewing in the country. It is a dangerous and flammable issue that needs concrete policies to solve and not the infantile demagoguery of Yahya Jammeh. He kept harping about working on youth issues, but thousands of them, semi educated and distraught roam the streets of urban Gambia with no plausible plans for the future. Our only hope for security is to pray that no sinister elements get through to them, because that would be catastrophic in consequences.

A new bourgeois class is burgeoning in the country. The old money learned to cope and lay low. They (old class) still possess most of the valuable pieces of property in the Gambia. They are mostly anti establishment, but the terror that comes with publicly opposing the king of Kanilai is too much of a bargain for most.

There is a construction boom going on. Almost all of the money behind comes in the form of remittances from those living abroad. No wonder every Gambian wants to send their kids abroad. Living and working in the Gambia (unless you are part of the bourgeois gang) will enable you to hardly feed your family not to think of building a house.

My Gambia trip is a mix bag of emotions. On one hand I was happy to see my family and friends again and enjoy that warm Gambian hospitality. But at the same time feel sad at the deplorable economic environment that most of my countrymen live in.

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