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SCORPIONS TRIO SHORTLISTED FOR SJAG AWARD

 

By Lamin Drammeh

 

Scorpions trio Modou Barrow, Omar Colley and Hamza Barry are shortlisted to be crowned foreign based athlete of the year award.

They are nominated by the Sports Journalists Association of the Gambia as part of it’s annual award. The prestigious award and gala-night is meant to honor past and present sports personalities for their outstanding achievement over the year.

The three footballers made the list following a thorough assessment on their achievement in their respective clubs over the past 12 months.

We look at the performance and achievement of each of the nominee for the award:

1. Modou Barrow:

{A.} CLUB PERFORMANCE:

The scale of Barrow’s contribution to Swansea football club cannot be underestimated.
Watching him play in Europe’s biggest league has been the greatest honor for his country.

He is arguably the most decorated footballer in the country and the only Gambian footballer to have ever played and scored in the English Premier League.

In 2008, Barrow’s compatriot Omar Koroma, came very close to achieving that landmark for Portsmouth but unfortunately, he did not make any appearance.

Barrow, nicknamed MO, was signed by Swansea City in 2014 from the Swedes side Ostersunds FK for a fee believed to be around £1.5M.
He made his premier League debut after coming off the bench in Swansea 2-1 home win against Arsenal.

The pacy attacker Barrow who preferred Gamba over Sweden was on target for Swansea City in the 6-2 victory against Tranmere Rovers in the FA cup third round.

He was offered a four-year- contact which will keep him at Swansea until 2019.

He was sent on loan to Blackburn Rovers after be became surplus to requirement at the Liberty Stadium and made his Rovers debut in the 2-1 home defeat against Shrewbury Town in the first round of the league cup before returning to Liberty Stadium.

Barrow who was strongly linked with a move to a number of top European clubs has played 20 league games for Swansea in the 2016/17 season.
But his fall out with manager Paul Clement limited his playing chances.

On January, 31, 2017, (Transfer dateline day), MO, move to Leeds United in the English championship and signed a loan deal until the end of the season.

{B.} National TEAM APPEARANCE:

Barrow’s brilliant performances with Swansea earned him a call up to the Sweden U-21 national team but he pulled out of the team through injury.

In 2015, he opted to play for Gambia’s Scorpions after he rejected the chance to play for the Swedish national team.
He later took to twitter to announce his decision to represent the Gambia’s Scorpions.

He made his scorpions debut in the 0-0 draw away to South Africa in the Caf qualifying round. Barrow went on to play six times for the Scorpions including the 2-1 friendly game win against Central Africa Republic in which he scored his first goal in a Scorpions shirt.

OMAR KOLLEY

1. CLUB PERFORMANCE:

{A}. Omar is another strong contender to win the SJAG award. He has been a focal point of Djurgarden and KRC Genk defense over the last 12 months.
Kolley moved to Genk from Djurgarden last season, two years after signing his first professional contract with Finish club Kups from Wallidan.

His performance for Racing Genk in the Europa League have brought him to the attention of a number of premier League, serie A and Bundesliga clubs all keen to lure the talented defender away from Genk.

{B}. SENIOR TEAM APPEARANCE:

Kolley nicknamed OJ, was a key member of the 2009 Caf U-17 team that won the youth championship in Algeria. He also travelled with the Gambia U-20 national team to caf youth championship in South Africa in 2011.

The-25-year-old Centre back who made his Scorpions debut in 2012 is currently the captain of coach Sang Ndong’s team.

HAMZA BARRY

1. CLUB APPEARANCE:

{A}. Hamza was signed by Maltese club Valletta from domestic club Gambia Ports Authority in 2013 and made his debut in a 2-1 win against Mosta. He was named the best young player of 2014/15 season by the Maltan FA following an impressive debut season. The former U-20 hit man went on to scored 16 league goals for Valletta including a brace against Pieta Hotspurs.

After brilliantly performing for Valletta, Barry was offered a new deal by Valletta but he chosed to leave the club in favor of a move to Cypriot club Apollon Limassol on a one-year contract in 2015/16 season.

The 23-year-old skilful midfielder was later sent on loan to Maccabi Natanya in Israel and then another loan spell at Napoel Tel Aviv and Hajduk Split. He was a key member of Split side that won the league and FA cup titles as Hajduk won the double.

SENIOR TEAM APPEARANCES

The former U-17 and U-20 star midfielder made his Scorpions debut in 2013 and has since appeared several times for the Scorpions.

Pa Modou Jagne who plays his trade with FC Sion in the Swiss Super League won the award last season.

The Full list of the nominees in the other categories will be published in our subsequent publications.

GAMBIA – THE NEED FOR SERIOUS LEGAL REFORM

Now that politics is over and a new executive and a National Assembly are installed, I wish to prevail on our country’s new leaders to take up their sacred duty of serving our nation with utmost sincerity to us the citizens including themselves and their own children.

This post in intended for the attention of the members of the national assembly as the law makers of the land. Although it is evident that our type of government gives the executive branch every responsibility including the drafting, presentation and defense of bills in the assembly to become laws, members of the assembly are nonetheless the most important denominators in the law making process. It is prudent therefore that they the members of the assembly know the laws that are being brought before them and properly scrutinize them for their ramifications and everyone.

As a former police officer, I can attest to the fact that The Gambia is among few countries that makes very bad laws and tie the hands of the police and judges in enforcing them. It is a country where you will find a lot of criminal law and constitutional provisions that are at total variance with the dictates of any civilised, democratic and independent nation. Although some of these laws were inherited from the British colonialists who made them with the intent to curtail the rising trends of anti colonialism movements in Africa during the struggle for independence, I cannot understand why we still have such laws in our statutory books over half a century after independence. What makes matter even worse is that our own national post independence governments instead of repealing such draconian laws, amended them and make them even worse for us thanks to our irresponsible representatives we put in parliament.

Let us take a short tour on our Criminal Code. Section 52 of the Criminal Code of The Gambia provides for a fine of between 50,000 to 250,000 or an imprisonment of 5 years or both for publication of a seditious material. A seditious publication is anything that is intended to bring the person of the president to disrepute etc. There is the giving false information to a public officer act which we will all recall as in the last ten years hundreds were sent to prison for that act for writing to the president for grievances.

Section 69 defines Unlawful assembly as any three people or more assembled with intent to engage in riot. And when they start to carry out their actions, it does not matter whether they harm anybody or not, their action now constitutes a riot which is punishable with up to 5 years in prison without an option of a fine.

What is even more scary about that Public Order Act is section 73 which states that law enforcement officers engaged in dispersing such riots will not be held accountable whether in criminal or civil courts for any injury or death resulting from such dispersing. As far as these laws are concerned, it does not matter whether such protests, assemblies or riots result in victims or not or breach of peace or not. It only gives a verge phrase of “causing fear” which is subjective.

You will recall that these were the laws used to put the entire UDP executive in prison together with dozens of their members following the late Solo Sandeng incident. The sooner we conduct a thorough cleansing of our statutory books, the better for us all as no one knows who the next victim will be. As we speak, we have at least 2 cabinet ministers and at least another 2 in parliament who were victims of this very law.

Our constitution is also in a similar mess. Look at the membership of our national assembly. Can you imagine a whole constituency voting for a member in an election only for him to lose that seat when he is dismissed by his party leader. The seat becomes vacant and that constituency will have to go through a bye election to get someone to represent them. Now we are wondering why our parliaments are rubber stamp and parliamentarians are loyal to thief party leaders instead of their constituents.

If we accept such provisions in our law books and constitution, what more do we expect as a people other than being victims of our own complacency.

Another law I had always had issue with is our Social Security and Injury Compensation Act. How can a person be involved in an accident and gets permanently disabled and you pay him only fifty thousand dalasis. When he dies, he gets only a 100,000. How will the disabled support himself for the rest of his life let alone the young dependants the victim leaves behind?

This is my little contribution as a citizen and I hope that President Barrow and his parliament will carry out their parts as well in our best interest and we will not see a repetition of the last 2 regimes.

Long live The Gambia and her citizens.”

From a concerned citizen

Gambia’s Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, Minister of Women Affairs and Overseer – Vice President’s Office, is the New African Woman of The Year

 

The fearless Gambian human rights activist won New African Woman magazine’s Woman of the Year Award at the their Award ceremony that took place in Dakar last night. Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajan was instrumental in galvanising the opposition that eventually beat long-term now exiled leader Yahya Jammeh.

Held at a glitzy Gala Dinner at the Terrou-Bi hotel in the Senegalese capital Dakar on 12 April and the Awards, now in their second edition, recognise, celebrate and honour African women who have made exceptional impact and change in their countries or communities in the past 12 months.

Nigeria’s Amina J. Mohammed – the new United Nations Deputy Secretary – took home the New African Woman in Politics and Public Office. Prior to her new post, she served as Minister of Environment. But she has played key roles in both the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), on how both agendas impact Africa – more so its women.

Winners have been selected by a special panel of judges from 68 shortlisted candidates across 12 categories. The Award for Women in Health, Science and Technology went to Namibia’s Dr Helena Ndume – a pioneering ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon, who has to date, performed over 35,000 sight-restoring surgeries on Namibians, completely free of charge.

Morocco saw serial entrepreneur Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch, take home the New African woman Award in Business. Zimbabwean philathropists and educationist Tsitsi Masiyiwa, received the New African Woman Award in Education for her work with Higherlife Foundation – a not for profit organisation she runs and offers scholarships to orphaned and vulnerable children to give them a better chance in education. Over 250,000 children have benefited from the work of Higherlife Foundation.

The much-talked about New African Woman on the Rise (The Next Generation) – a category which received the most nominations – went to the Kenyan girls rights activist and UN Women youth advisor Vivian Onano.

The New African Woman in Civil Society was given to Chief Theresa Kachindamoto, who annulled over 300 child marriages in her village in Malawi, a feat that played an important role in forcing the government to ban child marriages in the country all together.

 

Other winners were Nigeria’s Joan Okorodudu (New African Woman In The Arts & Culture) for her services to raising the profile of African models and fashion; Mali’s Binta Touré Ndoye (New African Woman – in Finance); Amira Yahyaoui of Tunisia (New African Woman in Media) and the former African Union Commissioner Agriculture and Rural Development Tumusiime Rhoda Peace from Uganda, is the New African Woman in Agriculture for pushing the importance of food security and adding value chain to African goods while she was at the AU.
The New African Woman in Sport went to the Senegal’s Fatma Samoura – the world football body’s Secretary General – a position she was appointed to in 2016, becoming the first African woman to hold the post.

Source: AllAfrica

Senegal: 22 die in fire outbreak at religious retreat ‘Daaka’ in Medina Gounass

At least 22 people were burnt to ashes in a serious fire outbreak in Madina Gounass in the Tambacounda Region, Senegal. According to media reports, over 75 others are currently hospitalized at the Regional Hospital in Tambacounda.

 

The fire outbreak occurred on Wednesday, April 12, during the annual Muslim gathering locally called ‘Daaka’. The victims were part of thousands of Muslims who are currently in the Senegalese provincial town to attend the annual Muslim gathering, ‘Daaka’.

 

However, the cause of the fire incident is not yet established.

 

Meanwhile, the president of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, who is currently on a State visit in Portugal, has on behalf of the Senegalese population, sent his condolence to the Omariene Family through the Tidianiyya Cheikh of Madina Gounass, Kalipha General Cheikh Ahmad Tidiane Ba. He also announced that he will be visiting Madina Gounass with a high powered of delegation comprising government officials tomorrow Friday, April 14, 2017.

 

Prior to the incident, the Senegalese Interior minister, Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo was in Madina Gounass with members of the security under his purview and many other senior officials of the Senegalese government.

 

GYIN Gambia launches first ever Rural Youth Award

The Gambia chapter of Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) on Thursday launched the first ever Rural Youth Award meant to recognize the efforts of enterprising youth in rural Gambia, at a ceremony held at the offices of the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) in Abuko.

The Award categories are: Young Farmer of the Year; Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Young Business Idea of the Year; Young Emerging Business of the Year; Young Information Technology Enterprise of the Year; Young Commercial Farmer of the Year; Young Agribusiness of the Year; Young Social Media Campaigner of the Year; Best Business Innovation of the Year and Young Business Partner of the Year.

Scheduled to take place at the Agricultural Rural Farmers Training Centre in Jenoi, Lower River Region (LRR) on the 29th April 2017, the theme of the Award is ‘WE NEED YOUNG PEOPLE IN RURAL AREAS: We need them to produce, process and market the food that will feed the world’.

The overall aim of RYA2017 is to identify, promote and elevate successful young women and men who, despite all odds, are channeling their creativity, energies and passion to contribute in making a change their communities and societies, a statement from the Chapter says.

The event is being organised with the financial and logistical support of the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) The Gambia, European Union Trust Fund for Africa, the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema), and National Youth Council (NYC).

Speaking at the launch, Bakary EK Jammeh, head of Knowledge Management and Communication at NEMA on behalf of the project director, gave a summary of the project saying it is a seven year project funded by IFAD is meant to assist women and youths.

According to him, they operate under three components notably lowland and upland development, business development with focus on Agriculture and Project facilitation respectively.

“On Component one and two, the youths of the country benefits most. We are now constructing nine vegetable gardens, many of which are meant for youths. We are also about to construct 22 other vegetable gardens for the youths” he said.

Mr Jammeh however noted that their only challenge is that youths are not forthcoming in taking up ownership citing rural-urban drift and the perilous Libya journey as major contribution.

He implored on GYIN to make sure that in next year’s event, they make emphasis on agricultural production, vegetable gardening and processing as priority. He reminded Gambia youths to venture into agriculture business saying it is one of the fastest ways to gain income and sure food security.

He thanked GYIN for the initiative and assured of NEMA’s continued collaboration.

Mamadou Edrisa Njie, executive director of GYIN Gambia says the body aims to create and support an enabling environment under which young people in the country can act on their own behalf and on their own terms, and to facilitate exchange of experiences, learning and networking for young entrepreneurs.

According to him, GYIN Gambia is a nominated member of the project steering committee for NEMA and has collaborated with the project for the implementation of youth related activities such as trainings and small-scale vegetable garden production.

“GYIN Gambia Chapter implemented the Entrepreneurship component of the NEMA Project by training 50 rural youth in Lower River Region and North Bank Region on Entrepreneurship. Earlier in 2016, GYIN Gambia Chapter successfully organized an international event on Youth Agribusiness, Leadership and Entrepreneurship on innovation (YALESI) in Dakar, Senegal which brought together more than 400 delegates worldwide” Njie said.

He added that GYIN Gambia has also trained a total number of 172 rural youth (boys and girls) and has implemented a series of training programmes for rural youth organization on Leadership Skills and Qualities, Organisational Management, Entrepreneurship, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction.

Mr Njie finally insisted that the experience gained by GYIN Gambia in project design and implementation from the NEMA project is ample justification that GYIN has what it takes to deliver the proposed project.

The idea for the first ever Rural Youth Award stemmed from recommendations from that National Youth Summer Camp held in Jenoi, LRR, ACCORDING TO Mariam Saine, financial controller and member of the Award committee who was deputizing the chair of RYA Committee.

According to her, one of the eleven point-recommendations was to organize a Rural Youth Award – celebrating Youth in Entrepreneurship, Agric-business and Information Technology.

She observed that rural youth are generally known to be low income earners, adding, recognition of successful youth in agri-business, entrepreneurship and information technology could serve as a model for the majority of others who are yet to enter into start-up ventures and open up doors for access to finance.

“The inclusion of rural youth in decision making and celebrating their success is a priority for GYIN Gambia. We believe that it is absolutely necessary to recognize the efforts of young rural entrepreneurs especially in agri-business and entrepreneurship to further motivate the youth and to ensure their continental fight to end poverty and improve rural household livelihood” she noted.

Alhagie M Sarr, Board member of GYIN Board of Directors said the importance of recognizing and rewarding the efforts of rural youth cannot be over emphasized. He said productive youth play a vital role in the socio economic development of any nation.

He advised youths to embrace the opportunities avail to them at home and make good use of it; not to allow themselves to be left behind in nation building and stop risking their lives in the perilous journey in search of greener pastures whiles they can make everything green at home.

Alhagie Jarjue, Program Manager of the National Youth Council saluted GYIN for the foresight in organizing the first ever Rural Youth Award in The Gambia. He assured that Council will continue to support GYIN and urged the media to give enough publicity about the event to ensure its success.

Baboucarr Kebbeh, a member of the organizing committee of the Rural Youth Award chaired the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter (GYIN Gambia) is a national youth network operating across the country and has been implementing a number of youth projects in the country.

President Barrow To Travel To Congo Brazzaville Friday

 

PRESS RELEASE

The Office of The President wishes to inform the general public that His Excellency, Mr. Adama
Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia will travel to Congo Brazzaville on a two day
friendly visit.

His Excellency, The President and delegation will depart Banjul International Airport at 10:00 AM
on Friday, 14th April 2017 and those invited to see him off are requested to be at the airport half an
hour before departure for the usual ceremonies.

Amie Bojang-Sissoho
Director of Press and Public Relations

For: Secretary General

CC: Media Houses
Web Manager – State House Website

GOOD MORNING PRESIDENT BARROW

 

Wonders shall never end. In life come moments when one is compelled to face his past. Some take a step back to reflect and draw lessons to right their wrongs. Others, due to the enormity of their lapses, opt to run as far as possible to avoid their deeds catching up with them. Their efforts rekindle the proverbial ostrich of burying their heads in the sand to escape recompense. Thus, Fabakary Tombong Jatta’s recent attempt to distance himself and APRC from Yaya Jammeh came across as a person attempting to disinfect his DNA in order to be different. He tested, “Those alleged to have committed wrongs were not doing it in the name of the party and that include former President Jammeh. I believe if there is any wrong doing by Yahya Jammeh they should be directed at him as an individual and not the APRC in general because the party was not behind anything associated with the allegations”. Verily, Yaya Jammeh and APRC are one with two varied names.

 

You cannot mention one without conjuring the other. As a result, Karamba Touray charged, “Mr Jatta is attempting an impossible feat; dissociation from oneself. They are condemned by history for the terror and violence that they represented. This distinction without a difference implicit in his statement does not pass the common sense test for most Gambians”.

 
Madi Jobarteh was even more blunt in his reaction to Mr Jatta’s attempt to rewrite history, “Fabakary had the legal, political and moral obligation to defend the rights and lives of Gambians under Section 17 of our Constitution, yet he committed a crime of both commission and omission for failing to uphold Section 17. During the period in which Fabakary Tombong Jatta was a member of parliament, Yaya Jammeh consistently flouted every rule of our constitution and committed every kind of crime with impunity yet Fabakary Tombong Jatta never stood up in the parliament to condemn the excesses of the Executive. Rather he supported it wholeheartedly”. I don’t really see how Mr Jatta can successfully distance the APRC from Yaya Jammeh not alone his crimes. History a battery of evidence not only crucifying APRC but also incriminating Mr Jatta. Was he not among those who organised and partook in the solidarity matches to uphold Jammeh’s gross disregard and abuse of the Constitution? Who was championing the crowning of Jammeh?. This is precisely why those in power must be very mindful how they exercise it.

 
Mr President, pertinent lessons can be drawn from the Fabakary Tombong Jatta’s saga. Firstly, nothing last forever. In other words, no matter how powerful, popular and revered one maybe, a day will arise when all is deflated. Therefore, how one relates and treat others less fortunate than you determines how they will treat you when you equally need them. This remains me of another Wolof dictum: “Running from the sick. Don’t run from the sick until they become aware of it as it can worsen their sickness”. It went on to warn “If the person recovers from the sickness and you happened to need his help after abandoning him in his time of need won’t you be a destitute? Furthermore and the most worrying is how people will make you believe in the existence of unrealistic elution while you are in power. Those who are meant to be honest with you by pointing out your strength weakness will only be dressing you in borrowed robes. They will make you believe those telling you the truth no matter what are jealous and your enemies. Some will ensure anyone who will genuinely hold you accountable is kept well away from your reach. Similarly, if you believe as a leader, you can do as your ego pleases at the expense of popular demand, a day will come when you look back at things you could have said or done differently only to beat yourself. That moment everybody should endeavour to avoid by all means. Mr President, like Yaya, you are also surrounded by the likes of Fabakary Tombong Jattas. Don’t be another victim of their schemes.

 
2 term-limit. This is the desire of every Gambian to have a two-term limit for the presidency in the constitution. It will avert anyone overstaying his or her welcome as a president. More so, it avails every Gambian the opportunity to lead and contribute as a leader. You are chanced by fortune to leave a legacy that will survive the termites of time and be a referential leader for democracy. On the other hand, you can choose to be a leader whose people cannot wait to bid farewell. At least I have done my part for been sincere with you.

 
Finally, I want to commend Hon Mai Ahmad Fatty to being a people’s leader. He quickly response to situations requiring leadership intervention and arbitration. For instance, the Sibanor saga and the message circulating on the social media. He assured, “In as much as the safety, peace and security of citizens is our primary concern, we will not do anything tantamount to the invasion of the privacy of citizenry and an affront on the respect of the fundamental human rights of the citizenry”.

 

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK

REFLECTIONS ON THE GAMBIA FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

 

To: The Relevant Authorities

I would like first and foremost to congratulate the President and the new government for the resounding a victory during the December 1, 2016, President Elections. BRAVO TO THOSE WHO VOTED FOR CHANGE.

I intend to draw the attention of the new government to the Gambia Fire and Rescue Service: personnel, equipment and facilities. This might help decision makers take into consideration the department in the transformation of the Gambia into an envious state among states. Fire Service is as important as any other government institution because it is completing the efforts of government, all and sundry in the provision of emergency services: fire fighting, rescue, road traffic accidents among others. Everybody everywhere is at risk of either one of the above mentioned emergencies therefore building the capacities of personnel and providing them with adequate equipment and facilities will go a long in the effective and efficient service delivery and in keeping the Gambia safe not only for the citizen but investors and their properties as well. WHO IS NOT AT THE RISK OF FIRE, ROAD AND SEA ACCIDENTS OR OTHER TYPE OF EMERGENCIES?    

The most important to consider and I believe and hope many people will concur is the introduction and enactment of FIRE SERVICE ACT by the National Assembly and accented to by the President of the Republic. The Gambia Fire Rescue Service is established in the Laws of the Gambia (under the Police Act) but an act of the National Assembly will further empower and better mandate the department to implement PREVENTION and PROTECTION which will lead to the ultimate effective and efficient RESPONDING.

The development process, telephone and water service among others need to be regulated in relation to emergency service delivery. The development/building regulations recognize some functions of Fire Service (particularly the public institutions regulations), the information act states the provision of emergency telephone services, the water act provides for the provision of water for emergency use all of which are inadequate for EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVISION. Introduction of an act will pave way for the department to work closely with relevant stakeholders for effective and efficient service delivery.

Allow me suggest a section/clause such act may take into consideration: in case of road maintenance, the National Road Authority shall notice the Fire Service Department at least (specified time period given) prior to the closure and commencement of such road work to enable the department to assess the alternative routes to public places and high risk areas to the nearest fire station(s). This shall relieve the responding crews from criss-crossing streets looking for access route to the fire scene while fire victims wait in agony.

Risk and health allowances will not only encourage the personnel of the department but will motivate other Gambians to venture into this risky National duty. Image the risks involved in fire fighting and other emergency operations such as well, toilet and sea rescues. There are few fire fighters who suffer injury, burnt in active service though I don’t know how much compensation they enjoyed/are enjoying but such allowance will go a long in the lives of our fire fighters.

The new government should include purchasing new and proper fire fighting vehicles in their long term programs because the former government purchased fleets of fire fighting vehicles based on attraction (political attraction). This is because most of those vehicles cannot be used on our road network (not to talk of certain streets). The purchase of firefighting equipment should be based on technical expert advice (if the former president was advised who would have advised him to purchase such vehicles).

Finally I am appealing to the authorities to take a close look at the Department and provide technocrats to transform the Department (management/administrative issues). There should be a human resources unit in the Department to be advising the leadership on human resources: recruitment, appointments and promotions and retentions. The Department is threatened with attrition and brain drain to other institutions and the so called BACKWAY. There are staff at the Department who could be better utilized for the achievement of the overall short and long term goals. Experience is important and perhaps the best for some but the 21st Century realities cannot be divorce from education/knowledge.

Long Live Gambia Fire and Rescue Services

Long Live The New Government

Long Live The New One Gambia

Long Live The President of The Republic of The Gambia

From a Concerned Citizen

Teacher calls for end to tribal politics

 

Following the European Union Election Observer Mission’s report, which observed that at least at one rally some members of the GDC and UDP called on certain tribes to vote for them, a teacher, a private citizen Kebba Drammeh, a resident of Brikama, has called on the parties concerned to desist from tribal politics in the Gambia.
Speaking to The Standard Mr Drammeh said tribal politics is primitive, and has the potential to retard the country’s national development goals.

“Any party, whose only aim and objective is to use tribal politics to gain momentum, is a failed political party,” Mr Drammeh, who once unsuccessfully contested the Niani-Kuntaur local government election under the ticket of PDOIS, said. The GDC has since denied that it ever canvassed votes on tribal lines.
He added:“This tribal politics may now become a great concern now but it has been here for long and PDOIS has been sensitizing people against it.”

Drammeh said tribal politics is only used by backward politicians whose ideas are primitive dangerous to society. He said the nature of Gambian people is unique because everyone knows everyone else and we are all one big family. ‘What sould be our focus is Gambianess as there no is Mandinka passport, Fula passport, Jola passport or Wollof passport. It is only a Gambian passport meaning that Gambia comes first,” Drammeh said.
Mr Drammeh also disagreed with GDC’s decision to contest the national assembly election results.
“I believe there was no fraud. The results were credible. It’s the people’s will.”

Meanwhile, Mr Drammeh hailed the presence of the few PDOIS members in the assembly saying that with their experience the young and new ones will be well-guided and enlightened on how the national assembly functions.

Source: Standard Newspaper

FTJ: Whether Jammeh comes or not APRC is here

 

Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the former majority leader and current chairman of the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) has said as a party the APRC would love to have their leader Jammeh back since he is a citizen of the Gambia. “But whether he comes or not APRC is here to stay,” Jatta said told journalists Tuesday.

“If you ask me if as a party we want Jammeh back, of course as a party we would wish our leader to be with us as a citizen of the country. After all I have never heard or seen anywhere that Jammeh has lost his citizenship. But we all know the circumstances in which he left. He left the country because of the impasse, which was as a result of his rejection of the election results when they were announced for the second time,” Jatta said,
He however defended Jammeh’s right as a citizen to contest the election results like every other contestant who may deem it necessary.

He continued: “But what baffles me is how did the international community find it difficult to facilitate the coming of just a few judges to decide the petition, yet it took them no time to mobilise thousands of troops in the name of Ecomig to come to the Gambia,” Jatta asked.

He said the APRC takes the sovereignty and integrity of the country very seriously stressing that the independence of the country should never be mortgaged. “Another thing that is important to note is that, whether President Yahya Jammeh comes back or not the APRC is here to stay because Jammeh is not the owner of the party. It is owned by every Gambian,” he said.

He said the APRC as a party is here to stay and although they will work with the new government on issues that are in the interest of the country and they will not hesitate to criticise anything that is not right.

Source: Standard Newspaper

Chief Justice urges judicial officials to be upright

 

Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow has called on the newly-appointed Notary Publics, Justices of Peace and Commissioners for Oaths to live up to the oaths they took and execute their duties responsibly.

Chief Justice Jallow made this call yesterday at the judiciary complex in Banjul while presiding over the swearing-in of 31 judicial officials.

He told the newly sworn in officials that they should discharge their responsibilities fully and uprightly.

He said the officials were selected from many to take up the responsibility.

The Chief Justice assured them of his office readiness to organise an induction programme in respect of the offices of Notary Public, Justices of Peace and Commissioners for Oaths.

In his vote of thanks, Kebba S. Fadera, one of the sworn in officials, urged his colleagues to adhere to the oaths they took, saying any of them that willfully certifies or propounds any false statement or document commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by the Judicial Secretary, Landing M. Sanneh and coordinated by the Master and Registrar of the High Court, Buba Jawo, who informed the officials not to authenticate any document when all the parties are not present.

The Notary Publics sworn in were Yassin Senghore, John B. Bright, Kebba S. Fadera, Musa B.I. Susso, Habibou Sanyang, Mahtarr E. Njai, Lamin Darboe, Omar Cham and Alhaji Amadou Touray.

The Justices of Peace are Princess S. Drammeh, Lamin M.B. Jaiteh, Alhagie Massaba Senghore, Cherno Nyassi, Jawo S.P. Jallow, Momodou Mulai Bah and Sering Mass Ndow.

The Commissioners for Oaths are Modou Musa Ceesay, Anna Maclean, Naffisatou Deen, Sabell Jack, Ebrima Solo Jallow, Musa Krubally, Ebou Sowe, Pateh Sowe, Momodou Lamin Manneh, Abdou Aziz Tunkara, Momodou L. Sanneh, Momodou L. Badgie and Sang Mendy.

A notary public is a third-party who does not only witness the signature of a document but also to ensure the fact that all parties signed, did so before him and willingly.

A notary public is a public officer appointed by the Chief Justice and constituted by the law to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business.

A notary’s main functions are to administer oaths and affirmations, take affidavits and statutory declarations, witness and authenticate the execution of certain classes of documents, take acknowledgements of deeds and other conveyances, protest notes and bills of exchange, provide notice of foreign drafts. Notaries charged fees for their services.

Justice of the Peace: In principle is a volunteer of good character and standing in the community who has been appointed by the Chief Justice through the Master of the Supreme Court.

Their role is mainly focused on witnessing affidavits and statutory declarations, certifying true copies of original documents and certifying a person’s identity.

Commissioner for oaths and affidavits are persons appointed pursuant to the laws and they are entitled to administer oaths and affidavits.

Source: Point Newspaper

Gambia far from achieving desired targets says Halifa Sallah

 

Halifa Sallah, leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), has said that The Gambia is far from achieving targets in ensuring unity and progress.

Speaking at a press briefing at his office in Churchill’s Town on Wednesday, he said even though the leadership of the country has changed, there are lots more to be decided.

Mr Sallah, who is elected National Assembly member for Serrekunda Central, said people must change for the aspired changes to be realised.

He recollected that the agenda of forming the coalition government was to effect change of government and elect parliament that would review existing laws and make laws, which the government would implement presidential term limits, among others.

“We agreed in the beginning to elect a president that will not overstay, and after serving three years such person will not contest the next election. This is what Barrow agreed and was elected at the 1st December 2017 presidential elections,” Sallah said.

According to the new parliamentarian, the constitution requires the president to conduct elections three months before the end of his term in office.

He continued: “That was why Yahya Jammeh stayed three months to prepare to leave after he was defeated in election. He first accepted defeat, but later rejected. This led to intervention of the international community to ensure that Yahya Jammeh step down, and Barrow took over from him on 19 January 2017.

“We all agreed that President Adama Barrow be elected as an independent candidate to lead the coalition and to elect independent candidates as National Assembly members under the coalition government. But some parties insist that they wanted to sustain their parties that was why we contested under our individual parties, instead of contesting as independent candidates under the coalition, as we agreed upon earlier.”

“Our priority is building new foundation for The Gambia to ensure good governance, respect for human rights. However, we have not yet escape crisis. We have not yet escape the past dilemmas considering the way things are moving.

“The instruments for parliament are Standing Orders that should be built to ensure transparency and accountability. There need to be a legal person to help build the legal instruments. We need to educate members of parliament on the laws to enable them sensitise the people. There is need to build trust among members to avoid partisan interest to supersedes national interests.”

“The majority in parliament is the UDP and they using partisan politics. It wouldn’t make difference with the APRC government if they decide to be praise-singers only. We need to move from self-perpetuated government to building Gambia for Gambians. What we want is all Gambians to be winners.

“Our hope is that the new beginning will lead to us to the Third Republic. However what we had was partisan campaigns as the president went for campaign and some parties were using his image during the campaigns.

“The nation is still a divided nation.”

Hon. Sallah, who was the coordinator of the coalition, explained that even though UDP dominates in parliament that does not mean they carry weight more than the rest of the parties in parliament as they do not form 2/3rd majority which is needed for impeachment of president.

According to Sallah, considering the percentages at constituency levels, UDP might win the seats, but that does not mean they dominate results of all parties in a particular constituency.

“It is said that Gambia has decided, but Gambia has not decided because there are still partisan politics. We are demanding for equality, unity and work for a common good of the nation. As long as that is not achieved we have not yet decided,” he said.

“Yesterday we were called in parliament and there was no Speaker yet, the Chief Justice stepped in, but he had to operate based on laws; parliament debate on the rules and procedures.

He recommended that parliament need to hire a legal person that will draft legislative policy based on which the parliament operates.

Source: Point Newspaper

APRC raises eyebrow over Parliamentary elections

 

Fabakary Tombong Jatta, APRC Party Leader, has cast doubts on the result slips given to their party polling and counting agents.

He said the IEC agents were not giving their party polling and counting agents certified copies of the result slips., adding that their agents did not append their signature to some of the result slips given by the IEC.

Many of the results given to their agents were signed by IEC agents only, he alleged, saying they would gather facts to prosecute the matter in court.

Tombong Jatta, former Majority leader of the National Assembly, alleged that their supporters were molested and persecuted.

He said the APRC is not liable to allegation against president Jammeh, adding: “You cannot do collective punishment for people.”

“We believe that The Gambia should move forward,” he said, adding that government should work on the weaknesses and limitations of the APRC, and consolidate the way forward.

Gibbi Bah, APRC Latrikunda Sabiji candidate, said he didn’t believe he was defeated in the Parliamentary elections, because the results he possessed, and those given by the IEC did not tally.

Source: Point Newspaper

GDC maintains position of rejecting elections results

 

Gambia Democratic Congress leader Mamma Kandeh on Monday convened press conference, saying his party is maintaining its position on rejecting the election results until clarifications are made by the IEC regarding the alleged irregularities.

“Until we apply what we need to apply as a party, and of course to respect and apply the rule of law, the GDC position is saying no to many constituencies where declarations were made, or where irregularities happened,” the GDC leader maintained.

He said they would continue to do their ground work to be able to come up with concrete evidence, because they don’t want to violate any law, as GDC is known for being a peaceful party and one that respects rule of law.

Mr Kandeh said he is having issues with President Barrow’s meet the peoples’ tour during the campaign period, which he noted had influenced the voting pattern of the electorate, to go in favour of those regarded as coalition candidates.

His said his party will scrutinize the results, adding: “We will make sure whatever we put on the table is concrete evidence.”

Barrow, who is not member of any political party, went round campaigning for political parties’ so-called Coalition candidates.

Source: Point Newspaper

“Have We Escaped What We Want To Escape” -Halifa Sallah

 

 

By Lamin Sanyang

 

Gambia’s veteran politician, Halifa Sallah, who was speaking at a press conference raised concerns as to whether the country has escaped from political parties having undue bearing on the decision making process of the executive.

“Have we escaped what we want to escape,” Halifa Sallah said.

Sallah talked about the composition of the Cabinet, National Assembly in terms of the nomination of members and Ambassadorial Posts, which he said should be transparent.

“Have we gone into technical consideration rather than partisan consideration. Are they being filled by obligations ought to the executive or obligations ought to the people?” he asked.

Sallah said he was not making condemnation but was only opening it to debate and urged the media to be vigilant in its oversight function. He said another thing that has been averted is the threatening of the executive by the legislative body. He asserted that the UDP with 31 seats cannot pass a ‘Vote of No Confident’ as it lacked 2/3 majority in the National Assembly.

“The composition of the National Assembly does not give the party with the highest number of seats the mandate to amend the constitution,” he pointed out.

Sallah explained that the 22 members that do not belong to the majority provide a leeway in balancing the executive when it comes to amending the constitution. He emphasized that the constitutional amendments can be done through a coalition which he said makes more sense. He added that if the 31 seats refused to passed any bill then it will not be pass by the National Assembly.

“We hope it will be united on purpose as we move to achieve the fundamental objective of the coalition that is to put an end to self perpetuating rule and consolidation of power,” Sallah said.

Meanwhile, Sallah has emphasized the need for reforming the institutions and building instruments to build a better country for all Gambians irrespective of their political, ethnic and religious affiliations.

I Put It To Fabakary Tombong Jatta that He Committed Treason!

 

By Madi Jobarteh

 

Finally Fabakary Tombong Jatta has broken silence with the intention to change the narrative by seeking to distort facts and reality in order to cleanse himself. Unfortunately it was on this solemn day, April 11 that he decided to challenge anyone to tell him what he had done wrong? I hereby put it to Fabakary Tombong Jatta that he committed treason by aiding and abetting a brutal ruler to take the lives of Gambian children. On April 10 and 11 in the Year 2000, Fabakary Tombong Jatta was an APRC parliamentarian when security forces shot dead 16 Gambian children including a Red Cross volunteer. Then in April 2001, the National Assembly passed an Indemnity Act to exonerate the killers of our children. Fabakary Tombong Jatta did not condemn the massacre only to go ahead to vote for the indemnity Act. Therefore here is what Fabakary did wrong which is treason.

 
Unless if Fabakary wishes to tell us that the lives of those children were nothing and the killers were right it is clear that he had flatly failed to defend the Gambia contrary to his mandate. Fabakary had the legal, political and moral obligation to defend the rights and lives of Gambians under Section 17 of our Constitution, yet he committed a crime of both commission and omission for failing to uphold Section 17. During the period in which Fabakary Tombong Jatta was a member of parliament, Yaya Jammeh consistently flouted every rule of our constitution and committed every kind of crime with impunity yet Fabakary Tombong Jatta never stood up in the parliament to condemn the excesses of the Executive. Rather he supported it wholeheartedly.

 
When Yaya Jammeh sacked chief justices as he wished, Fabakary Tombong Jatta kept quiet. When Yaya Jammeh rounded hundreds of our old mothers and fathers in Foni accusing them of being witches and subjecting them to untold humiliation and death, Fabakary Tombong Jatta decided to ignore? When Yaya Jammeh used the NIA and NDEA to arbitrarily arrest, detain and torture Gambians, Fabakary Tombong Jatta kept quiet. When Yaya Jammeh forcefully made Chief Manneh and Kanyiba Kanyi to disappear forever, Fabakary Tombong Jatta kept quiet. When Yaya Jammeh created the Junglers and Operation Bulldozer to wreak havoc on the lives of Gambians, Fabakary remained silent. When Yaya Jammeh assassinated Gambians such as Deyda Hydara, Daba Marenah, Enor Kolley, Jasarja Kujabi and many more, Fabakary kept quiet. When Yaya Jammeh summarily executed nine inmates from Mile 2 as well as the December 30 Freedom Fighters and dumped their bodies in undignified locations, Fabakary remained silent.

 
During his tenure as a member of parliament and as Majority Leader, the constitution enjoins clear obligations on Fabakary Tombong Jatta to check the Executive to ensure that the rule of law prevails in the Gambia. Yet Yaya Jammeh had personalized public resources and institutions, blatantly violated rights and summarily executed Gambians but Fabakary never ever called for a parliamentary enquiry to ascertain any incident.

 
Rather what we have seen was how Fabakary Tombong Jatta led the APRC in various activities around the country strongly showing solidarity with each and every unconstitutional action and atrocities of Yaya Jammeh. Yet today, Fabakary could have the courage to face Gambians to put it to our face that he did not commit any wrongdoing. How could Fabakary have the temerity to face Gambians to tell us that what Yaya Jammeh did was not done on behalf of the APRC? Could there be a greater insult to the dignity and intelligence of Gambians?

 
Let me put it to Fabakary Tombong Jatta that Yaya Jammeh did not commit any crime on behalf of the APRC. Rather Yaya Jammeh used the APRC as a tool to commit heinous crimes against Gambians. If he, as a human being and citizen cannot realize his own complicity by merely being a member of APRC, then we have to question where is the direction of the moral compass of Fabakary? It is even more insulting and criminal to realize that this Fabakary was in fact a leading member of the APRC regime, yet after 22 years of brutality, Fabakary says APRC is different from Yaya Jammeh?

 
Fabakary must thank God Almighty that he is in the Gambia to make such a criminal statement, because no German citizen dare claim that Hitler was different from the NAZI party. No Iraqi citizen dare declare that Saddam Hussein was different from the Baath party. No Cambodian citizen dare declare that Pol Pot was different from the Khmer Rouge. These are all tyrants with parties that wreaked havoc on their peoples that today they remained banned and buried for good. Yet in the Gambia, we have a party and a leader who killed, tortured, raped and bastardized Gambians in any imaginable way, yet a leading member of that party claims that the APRC is different from Yaya Jammeh. Indeed Gambians are such a beautiful and tolerant people!

 
Does Fabakary understand governance? Does Fabakary even understand the role and function of a parliament? Does Fabakary know where lies the sovereignty of the Gambia and where the state derives its legitimacy? For if Fabakary understood these issues, then by now he would have committed suicide for the high treason he committed for failing his duties to his own people. If Fabakary understood his role as a NAM, he would have been so ashamed of himself that he would not ever come out in public much more to make such treasonable statements.

 
Do we need to tell Fabakary that he has indeed betrayed his own motherland? When we entrusted our rights and lives to Fabakary to protect, he decided to throw his fellow Gambians to the wolves. Yet today he claims he did not do anything wrong. When Sidia Jatta and Hamat Bah walked out of the parliament in protest against the indemnity bill in 2001, why didn’t’ Fabakary walk out with them? When Halifa Sallah went to follow up on the mass arrest of old men and women in Foni, why didn’t Fabakary join him as the Majority Leader? When Solo Sandeng was arrested and tortured to death, why didn’t Fabakary follow Ousainou Darboe and the rest to demand justice? Yet Fabakary said he did not do anything wrong. How could he?

 
Do we need to remind Fabakary that when he was in the parliament and as a Majority Leader he had several meetings with ECOWAS, AU, Commonwealth and UN officials at various times who raised serious concerns about the Gambia? Has Fabakary Tombong Jatta not received reports from national and international official sources about the gross abuses of human rights in the Gambia? What did he do in all those cases?

 
Have I, Madi Jobarteh not conducted several workshops on human rights and corruption for National Assembly Members in which Fabakary Tombong Jatta was a participant? In those training sessions, we lamented the terrible bad governance in the Gambia, yet today Fabakary Tombong Jatta speaks as if he was never aware of the state of affairs in the Gambia under the APRC?

 
Was it not Fabakary Tombong Jatta who led the parliament to impose an illegal state of emergency on the Gambia just to enable Yaya Jammeh to flout the will of the people after the elections? Without fear or shame, Fabakary and his APRC colleagues deliberately committed treason there and then when they illegally extended their own term of office. To add salt to injury, Fabakary led APRC NAMs to further extend the term of Yaya Jammeh when they knew that APRC lost the election. Is there a greater crime against the Gambia than that? Yet Fabakary faces Gambians to challenge us to tell him what wrong he committed.

 
I put it to Fabakary Tombong Jatta that he committed a high treason never seen before in the history of the Gambia and second only to Yaya Jammeh. I therefore demand that Fabakary Tombong Jatta withdraw that statement of his and immediately apologize to Gambians for such insulting and treasonable statements he uttered in his press conference on the very day when Gambian children where massacred 16 years ago. Yet on that day, Fabakary happily went to his own children when his fellow fathers were weeping and moaning for their dead sons and daughters.

 
Today Fabakary can complain about the conduct of elections as if he forgot that the Gambian opposition faced all sorts of intimation and violence from the APRC as a party and a regime at the same time. Gambian opposition had sought all avenues to seek the attention of APRC and Yaya Jammeh and the IEC to ensure fair play, yet Fabakary never supported those efforts. Rather he continued to benefit from the gross electoral malpractices of his government to the detriment of democracy in our country.

 
Let us ask Fabakary to tell us what he did to defend the rights and dignity of Gambians from a murderous ruler and his regime. If he has forgotten, let him be informed that the ruling party of the Gambia from 1997 to 2016 was APRC in which Fabakary Tombong Jatta was a key member. Yaya Jammeh ruled the Gambia through the APRC just as Jawara governed the Gambia through the PPP. Today Barrow is governing the Gambia through the Coalition. Therefore to attempt to separate Jawara from PPP, or Yaya Jammeh from the APRC, or Barrow from the Coalition is nothing but a calculated and dishonest attempt to distort and mislead.

 

This is what Fabakary Tombong Jatta is seeking to do in order to cleanse his record. But his record cannot be cleansed until he sincerely apologizes to Gambians and faces justice for his complicity in the atrocities and carnage of the APRC and Yaya Jammeh.
The Blood of Gambians is on the Hands of Fabakary Tombong Jatta.

THINGS CAN NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN

 

The National Assembly has now been convened under a new situation of the country. The debate which has started proves that it will never be business as usual. The first debate dealt with the constitutionality of the proceedings.

The member for Serrekunda questioned the Chief Justice who presided over the opening session whether the proclamation for the holding of the first sitting of the national assembly was published in the gazette, which gives him legal authority to preside over the proceeding.

He declined to answer the question posed and passed it on to the Clerk of the National Assembly who claimed that he is not aware of any constitutional provision which made the publication of the proclamation of the executive mandatory. Halifa Sallah insisted that any proclamation from the executive is required by law to be published in the gazette before it becomes law. According to Halifa Sallah it is unconstitutional to observe any proclamation that is not published in the gazette. This debate was unsettled. The Chief Justice simply said that his point is noted.

Foroyaa will seek more clarification on this matter after been informed at a press conference to be held by noon today by Mr Sallah. The debate continues as the country opens up for more transparency and accountability in governance.

Source: Foroya

FONI BINTANG ARRESSTEES RELEASED ON BAIL

 

The Foni Bintang arrestees have been released on bail with no charges been made against them, according to the newly elected national assembly member for Foni Bintang constituency, Hon Momodou Camara in an interview with this medium on Tuesday.

Those arrested on Friday were: Buba Badgie- Sibanor, Momodou Colley –Sibanor, Sulayman Colley – Manyina, Tida Jammeh – Kamasorr, Alieu Jatta – Sibanor, Baba Jatta- Kusamai, Alfusainey Sanyang- Sibanor, Malang Badgie, Basiru Colley-Kaimo, Basiru Jarju- Kusamai, Malaine Camara-Killy, Sambujang Jarjue-Kusamai, Musa Gibba- Siwol, Amadou Camara-Sibanor, Mamina Jarju- Kusamai, Ensa Jarju- Sibanor, Ebrima BA Jarju-Sibanor, Jalika Nyass- Killy, Omar Jarju-Killy, Dembo Bojang, Lam Colley-Buram, Ansumana Jammeh-Buram and Imam Jammeh- Sibanor.

Those arrested on Sunday were: Ismaila Manyan- Sibanor, Bakary Jammeh-Manyina, Yusupha Sonko- Sibanor and Fatou Kanbuma Jarju- Sibanor.

Hon Camara revealed that the arrestees were asked to tender their national identity cards as evidence and report to the Sibanor police station on Tuesday, but when the arrestees reported, they were asked to report back today (Wednesday).

Hon Camara finally called on the electorate in his constituency to be united stating that no meaningful development can take place in its absence.

The arrest of these APRC supporters together with UDP supporters stemmed from a clash between supporters of both parties on Friday while the APRC supporters were celebrating their victory at the polls at Foni Bintang Constituency.

Meanwhile both the Minister of regional government and the Minister of the Interior convened a ‘peace and stability’ meeting in Sibanor to promote reconciliation and the re-establishment of the fraternal and family ties amongst the people of the Constituency “so that they see themselves as one people with a common destiny and that politics should not be a source of division for the community.” The response of community leaders was positive.

Community leaders at the ‘peace and stability’ meeting

Source: Foroya

Halifa Sallah Calls For Constitutional Amendments To End Self Perpetual Rule

 

By Lamin Sanyang

 

Honourable Halifa Sallah, Secretary General of PDOIS and National Assembly Member for Serrekunda Constituency has called for constitutional amendments to put an end to self perpetuating rule in The Gambia.

Speaking to journalist at the party’s bureau this afternoon, Sallah called on the country’s politicians to put aside ethnic, partisan and religious politics in the interest of nation building.

The outspoken politician has explained the different phases that the country has undergone to remove dictatorship ranging from the formation of the Coalition, political impasse and President Barrow’s assuming of authority to govern and the mechanism to contest the National Assembly Elections. He said the fundamental question that rise is the interpretation of the results and the composition of the National Assembly. He emphasized that the relation between the executive and legislature is of paramount importance.

“The fundamental objective of the Coalition has been to effect constitutional reforms to humble the executive which President Barrow agreed,” Halifa Sallah said.

Sallah went further to say that the first stage of humbling the executive should start with President Barrow adhering to a 3 years term as agreed by the coalition stakeholders which he said will set precedence to term limit whereas no leader in the future will be able to abrogate it. He said however, there is no constitutional provision to serve three years in office but was an agreement between coalition stakeholders that felt it necessary at the time. He added that the president as it stands has a 5 years term in accordance with the Constitution.

“Since the objective was to put an end to self perpetuating rule, we agreed to facilitate constitutional amendments so that we will be able to have term limits for the president,” he said.

He also talked about the agreement of security of tenure for the Independent Electoral Commission to avoid what was happening in the past empowering the president to appoint members of the election commission. He also said the same thing about the judiciary. He further mentioned the security of tenure of  National Assembly Members to avoid what was happening in the past empowering a party leader to dismissed a NAM from the party which also makes the NAM lose their seat in the National Assembly.

“How we prevent these abuses is through constitutional amendments,” Sallah pointed out.

The PDOIS Secretary General made mentioned the vulnerability of Chiefs and village heads. He called for the revaluation of the local government structures to ensure that the decentralization of powers becomes a reality. He reiterated the called for chiefs and village heads to be elected by the people so that they will be answerable to their people rather than selected and subjected to the executive.

Meanwhile, Sallah talked about key legislative packages including the empowering of women and urging  the inter-party discussions to ensure the right amendments.

CARAYOL: MASSIVE ADDITION TO GAMBIA AFCON QUALIFICATION HOPE

 

By Lamin Drammeh

Nothingham Forest popular winger Mustapha Carayol is a massive addition to the current Scorpions team for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers.
The former Swindon Town starlet has been a fundamental part of the Scorpions preparation for the qualifiers. Carayol, has quickly adopted to the scorpions playing style and delivered moments of individual brilliance. He has fantastically combined with teammates like Modou Barrow, Lamin Jallow and Babucarr Steve Trawally, in the scorpions attacking formation.

He was an outstanding member of scorpions side that recently concluded a week long international tour to Morocco and Central Africa Republic, where they held series of friendly matches in the build-up to the Caf and Fifa preliminary qualifier tournaments.

Pundits believed Carayol is fundamental because the Gambia’s hope of making it to the 2019 Nations cup final for the first time, is based on player’s of his calibre and quality.
It appears they are getting their predictions right when Carayol responded with a brilliant goal in Scorpions 2-1 win against Central Africa Republic a forth night ago. He controlled the ball from a near post after some great piece or art work with highly-rated attackers, Lamin Jallow and Modou Barrow. Within seconds on the clock, the former Middlesbrough star nodded home a fine finish, and secured a deserved 2-1 win for the scorpions on the bound.

That magnificent doubler was Carayol’s first international strike since he scored a spectacular solo goal in a 1-1 draw with Mauritania, at Stade Olympique Stadium in Nouakchott, last year, only a year after making his scorpions debut in a 1-1 draw against Uganda, in 2015.

Carayol’s goals has further boost Gambia’s hope of going into the Africa Nations Cup qualifier match against Benin, in great shape and confidence.

He made-up his mind to feature for the Gambia in 2015, several years after he turned down the initial request to play for his native country.

Gambia’s closest neighbor Senegal, the birth place of Carayol’s mother once pursuaded the industrious attacker to play for the Teranga lions. But he rejected the offer in favor of the Gambia’s scorpions with whom he remain a fan favorite.

Carayol, who holds a British passport, had spells with several English football clubs including Crawley Town, Torquay United, Kettering town, Lincoln City, Brington & Hove Albion, Huddersfield town and Middlesbrough.

He signed his first professional contact with Milton Keynes Don in 2007, after graduating through Swinton Town youth team, and was sent on loan at six different clubs.

Carayol, nicknamed Muzzy, joined Boro from Bristol Rovers in a fee believed to be at the region of £250.000 in 2013.
While at the London club, the 5 fit 11 in attacker found his playing time difficult to come by and eventually became surplus to requirement under former coach Aitor Karanka, who once hailed the contribution of the impressive winger.

He left Boro for Brington & Hove Albion and then on loan at Huddersfield town and Leeds United, as he continue searching for regular playing time.

He has many Scorpions caps under his belt, and will look to cement his place in coach Sang Ndong’s team for the 2019 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.

The Gambia is drawn in group D of the qualifiers with Tunisia, Benin and Algeria, as the battle to qualify for the continent’s biggest football tournament draws nearer.