The New Gambia - moving wherever?


In the following crosspostings from Gambian Newspapers and Online Resources i will put some opinions of Gambian writers and journalists, which are mine not at all.


One of the problems of The New Gambia could be seen already before the elections in December 2016: The former opposition declared themeself as the better Gambians, the "better patriots" - in contrast to the Jammeh government which wrotes patriotism on their flags as well as in the name of their party, the APRC.

After the former opposition won the elecions with the coalition canditate Adama Barrow as new president, very soon the coalition broke. During the following parliamentary elections in April 2017, all partys went with their own nominees. As result, the UDP, party of the new president Adama Barrow won about 66 percent of the seets.

But this is politics - and the situation of the people is still not changing that much. Yes, there was hope - and still people are waiting for a real change of their life situation. But the hope is changing more and more to dissatisfaction above their personal situation, based on the economical problems ot the coutry. Especially poor people are still waiting for a change effecting their lives immediately.

The following opinions are worth reading - and show among others the complexity of problems of a changing society related to - let us call them - "better patriots".

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We will start the answerr of this question with the Editorial from 7th of August 2017 Issue of "InGambia: A Gambian Online Lifestyle Magazine With An Edge". They describes themselfe as follow:

"InGambia is not only the site for all things entertainment, health, art, culture, and fashion in the Gambia, it is also a place for positivity, a place to discover Gambian talent (both here and abroad) and a place that supports Gambian businesses, encourages creativity, inspires Gambian youth and helps create positive social change!"

Editorial: What’s New In New Gambia?

Dear Readers,

We are pleased to announce our return after a short break, kicking off with the theme: What’s New in New Gambia?

It has been a rocky road to democracy but the country has yet to reach its destination. Decades of dictatorship has not only taken a toll on the economy but on the country’s psyche as well. As the term ‘New Gambia’ gets thrown around, we would like to ask - what’s new in New Gambia? Or rather - what are the most pressing issues facing the nation and how can we collectively address them?

The youth are no doubt at the forefront of the new regime and as such, we have featured their voices, concerns and talents in this edition.

As we give the new government time to restabilise the country and enact a plan of action (after all, decades of damage cannot be undone in less than a year) we will continue to support those that are already contributing to New Gambia.

Please join the discussion and share your thoughts and ideas regarding the following collectively shared sentiments:

What can be done to reduce the high unemployment rates in the country?

What is fueling mass illegal (backway) migration which is costing our youth their lives on these perilous journeys to Europe?

Where are donor funds going? How can we ensure transparency to ensure funds are being used to address the NAWEC issue (constant power outages) infratructal issues (such as the lack of proper road drainage systems which cause region-wide flooding) and health issues (such as illegal dumping and lack of proper sanitation services)

How can we raise the standards of education in the country to give our graduates a fighting chance in the world?

How can we improve healthcare in the country and provide excellent yet affordable treatment?

How can we change the country’s collective mentality and go from passivity to proactivity?

These and many more are the questions we all need to ask ourselves and take steps towards addressing.

Enjoy the edition and look out for more articles to come throughout the month.



The Point, 07.08.2017

Within a period of Six Months, starting from the month of February when the Barrow administration was inaugurated, to the month of July 2017, a period calculated less than six months, a senior Gambian politician with a very high profile in the person of Hon. Halifa Sallah has said that the Gambia/Government is crawling.

This remark is reported in The Point Newspaper of Monday/Tuesday 1st/2nd of August and it is lifted from a speech made by the Hon. Halifa Sallah member of the Gambia’s National House of Assembly. He made this remark as part of his own contribution in the debate on the president’s communication speech/adjournment debate in the house of assembly.

This remark, long awaited, cannot go unnoticed and it deserves to be widely reported in the entire Dailies and all politicians, whatever part of the aisle he may be and all who wish this country well understand that the word crawling in this context is not a negation but praise for these laudable achievements within six months. This is an acknowledgement of the Barrow’s government tireless effort to make this country crawl within this short period of time.

This remark is a commendation and a praise coming at a time when the new government in the new Gambia despite all odds is nonetheless making all efforts to settle down. Therefore no one should be in any doubt that in the next few months, we will all not only see this country up and running but it will be flying, hovering in the sky.

Hon. Halifa Sallah will be pleased to know that his sympathizer’s supporters and all doubting-Thomas’s are all praising him for this objective remark, backed by a different person, from a different place, from a different walk of life. That person is the Gambian born high profile historian, who left the Gambia only a few days ago after a short visit. This person is professor Baba Galleh Jallow. He in The Point Newspaper on the 3rd August 2017 is reported to have said {the Gambia is on the move}. This tallies very well with the views of Hon. Halifa Sallah. Another incontrovertible event that The Gambia is crawling/moving comes from Halifa Sallah’s own neighboring constituency; that is Latrikunda Sabiji. The member for that constituency Hon. Saikou Marong is quoted in The Point Newspaper of Friday 4th August that {lots of developing projects promised during the campaign}. He said he was now able to fulfill the promises. One such promise he made to women vendors at Latrikunda market was to construct a modern safety tank for them at the market. The work on that tank cost about D120,000.00. (Thump up for Hon. Saikou Marong).

Another pointer to the evidence that the Gambia is on the move is the report in the same-self Point newspaper of page 5 of the 4th of August. M/S Jean Lambert of the European Parliament said that the “EU sees the Gambia as an important partner”. This we may add is no mean achievement on the part of the Barrow Government.

There are other activities. These pinpointing the crawl/moves of the government in having good relationship with many people, many organizations, and many countries all over the world.

Hon. Halifa Sallah and Professor Baba Galleh are both right and correct in their observations of the situation in this country.

We wish that many more people, even those in their cells and unwilling to come out will do so in good faith and stop being shy and come out and emulate these two Gambian gentlemen.

Author: Alhagi Ba Tarawale, Researcher/Journalist, Literacy House, Latrikunda Yiringanyaa

The Point, 03.08.2017

It’s Saturday, July 01, 2017. We left my lodgings at 4:04 am and got to Banjul at 4:45, so we could catch the first ferry to Barra. We are packed at the Banjul ferry terminal, waiting to cross to Barra for my first trip to Farafenni in many years. The drive from Brufut to Banjul was almost effortless. But God, we turned into Wellington Street, the pathway to the Banjul Ferry Terminal. I could not believe my eyes. The street was one big pool of muddy water. It was impossible to believe that a street in the middle of our capital city was this bad. It was almost a series of lakes and muddy mini mountains through which cars have to wade and wobble to access the ferry terminal.

Many times I find myself holding my mouth, peering around me, wondering, whatever happened to this dear little country. The people look visibly relieved that the tyranny that oppressed their lives for so long is now gone. But they also seem strangely traumatized, dazed. You could almost feel the sense of both naked despair and elation in the air. There is a certain turbulence in the calm. A certain ugly in the beauty. People look calm, but their eyes bear the scars of pain. Their fear of the dead dictatorship is yet to dissipate. Their sense of desperation is lifting. But it remains visible on gaunt faces. The taut skin speaks of tiredness, of fatigue born of twenty two years of fear, of watchfulness, of a sense of desperate bondage that threatened to last one billion years. One remembers calling friends in Gambia and mentioning Yahya Jammeh and being told in frightful tones, “hey, bayil lollu. Bul tuda koku” (hey stop that. Don’t mention that name) followed by nervous laughter. It had grown so bad that ordinary Gambians were afraid to mention the name Yahya Jammeh in public. For fear of being overhead and picked up by the NIA, Jammeh’s secret police and their ubiquitous network of informers planted in every nook and cranny of Gambian society. What on earth justifies such mad obsession with policing society as if people were some dangerous monsters? Perhaps, the strange mixture of fear and elation on people’s faces speaks of a cautious optimism that things can only get better than they were for the past two decades.

I walked past a small group of elderly men standing around in a small circle, speaking in Mandinka. They were talking about Yahya Jammeh. I came back again and stopped, just outside their small circle. I was shamelessly snooping, knowing that my presence would not stop those determined elders from having their noisy say in the new Gambia. In the old Gambia, they would not have been talking about Yahya Jammeh at all, except perhaps to exclaim how great he was.

“They burnt all the ballots,” one was saying. “Yae bae le jani!” (They burnt all of them!)

“Around Darsilameh too,” another retorted, “lots of ballots were burned. Senegali yeng maakoi le deh!” (Senegal helped us a lot).

“Senegal and Gambia are the same,” another added. “There are Fulolu in Senegal and Fulolu in Gambia; there are Mandinkolu in Senegal, and Mandinkolu in Gambia. Mbay moh killing!” (We are all the same people!).

“But are not all people the same?” another agreed.

“You know what the Nigerian president told his soldiers?” someone asked.

Everyone said hmmn, hmmn, in anticipation of the juicy bit of information.

“He told them if you go don’t do anything. If they shoot you, shoot back; if not, don’t do anything.”

“They were going to catch him,” another suggested in a confident tone. “Not a single shot would have been fired!”

“That’s what he knew! That’s why he ran away.”

The elders laughed and one of them said: “Gambia diyaa taleh. Gambia diyaa taleh.” (Gambia is sweet. Gambia is sweet).

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that statement. Yes, Gambia is sweet. In the months, weeks and days leading up to my trip, I did not know what to expect. I had been away so long that I found it hard to imagine how anything looked like. When I said this in a WhatsApp text message to my good friend and former Gambia High School classmate, Omar Gaye (Banaa) responded in his characteristic witty and confident style, “You will be pleasantly surprised.” And yes I am pleasantly surprised at the new Gambia. I could not fail to notice our society’s youthfulness. I could not fail to notice the confident beauty of the people, the respectful way in which ordinary Gambians in the street treat each other. I could not fail to notice how the very many young traffic police officers around the Kombos are so relaxed in their interactions with the bustling public and motorists. I could not fail to notice the youthful sense of purpose; a certain businesslike manner that, in a strange and interesting kind of way, strikes me as a spitting image of the new Gambia. There is certainly something new and beautiful in the air.  Yes, we do have many problems and some serious challenges. But I can feel that Gambia is on the move.

I was disoriented for the first few days after my arrival. I had thought I would feel like a stranger, and I do feel like a stranger. Yet I feel perfectly at home. This land is my land, these people are my people, the very laid back, smiling, carefree Gambians I had left behind seventeen years ago. The magic is that they all seem to have grown younger and more beautiful! Yes, most people I know have visibly aged. But elderly people seem almost invisible in the Greater Banjul Area. Almost eight out of ten people I see on a daily basis are young. It is good to feel the vibrant energy. I remember my good friend and colleague Dr. Pierre Gomez telling me during the impasse that Jammeh’s fall was largely due to “the Jammeh Generation.” I now see what he means by the Jammeh generation. I now see that Jammeh was outgrown by Gambian society. While he was busy grabbing and hoarding the vestiges of power, Gambians were growing up, mushrooming in a manner he was totally blind to. And when it became necessary to topple the tyrant, the Jammeh generation was there to help execute the feat, to tear his posters down from billboards, and to shout in his ears that Gambia Has Decided! The sight of graffiti proclaiming “Gambia has Decided!” and “Jammeh Must Go!” around the Kombos stirs a warm feeling in the heart and tells you in no uncertain terms that Gambia is on the move. Our challenge is to make it move in the right direction. And we will do just that.

Back in the car at the Banjul ferry terminal, I think I recognize traces of Jammeh’s NIA. I could see that blank indifference in the eyes of a couple of men. I was almost certain that they are former NIA, now the benign and restrained SIS (State Intelligence Service). I have pondered over the wisdom of keeping what used to be the NIA in a post-Jammeh Gambia. Perhaps to help thwart any evil plans by the former despot to destabilize the new government? Anyway, as I sat in the front seat of my car and started typing these thoughts on my laptop, one of the men I suspect to be ex-NIA agents walked over and planted himself right in front of the car. He was talking on the phone, or pretending to do so, eating a sandwich, and making small talk with passers-by at the same time by saying things like eh boy ibedee? Waw nakam? Mbinaa mbinaa mbinaa. Hey hey naa jang naa jang! It was clear that he was watching me, all the while pretending not to be doing any such thing.

In by-gone days, he might have come over to ask what was I writing about, or perhaps “invite” me to go with him to NIA headquarters. And I would have had to go. There, I would be asked to sit on a dry chair. And I would be asked a long series of silly questions. Then I would be asked to sit on a wooden bench. And I would be forced to watch an ugly system creaking and cracking and screeching around all day long. That was how it was back in the day. Maybe now they would have just sent me to the torture chamber. In any case, I was spared that sad eventuality. Nii mang kukeh kutela is back!

Author: Baba Galleh Jallow

The Point, 09.08.2017

There is no doubt that the new Gambia is faced with a myriad of complex problems. Our economy is broken. Our civil service is broken. Our educational system is in shambles. We still grapple with power cuts and water shortages.

Our streets are in a horrible mess. The cult of personality is rampant in our public institutions. One hears stories of strange personal vendettas and vicious infighting within some of our most important public institutions. And one hears and sees instances of blatant corruption bred by a dysfunctional socio-economic and political system that manufactures poverty even as it tries to create wealth and maintain sanity in society.

But change is surely in the air and Gambians are doing what they can to manage this change and move it in the right direction.

African history is full of examples of national socio-economic and political failures. Many African societies have emerged from civilian or military dictatorships only to fall right back into them, or degenerate into a state of chronic rancor and disorder. Post-regime change eras are often chaotic because neither state nor society had any idea what comes next.

The pre-change era was characterized by a stony determination to change the system. But no thought was given to what happens after the system change. It is delightful to note that the new Gambia is poised to be an exception to this dismal rule. Gambians have been thinking of the post-Jammeh era for many years now. They had grown to morally detest the bully state. And they had yearned and advocated for a state of democracy and the rule of law. In spite of itself, the fallen dictatorship foisted a common identity on Gambian society. It united us in our hatred of injustice. And it convinced us of the power of calm, dignified noncompliance with political despotism.   Yes there are many problems in the new Gambia. But yes, Gambians are tackling these problems head on through a vibrant national discourse.  That is our saving grace as a nation, and we are determined to nurture this beautiful spirit of open and honest discourse in the new Gambia.

One has a sense that the new Gambia is emerging into a beautiful model for African countries. During the impasse heavily armed soldiers in the streets of Banjul and the Kombos were calmly confronted by a quietly confident and totally defiant population. People simply went about their daily business and let the armed soldiers be. There were no loud and angry protestations that characterized such scenarios in other countries. There were no stone or missile attacks, no verbal outbursts against a bully state that literally had it finger on the trigger and just waited for an opportunity to open fire. The unjust authorities were treated with the calm and silent contempt they deserved and in the end, Jammeh’s oppressive apparatus simply collapsed into oblivion and eternal political infamy. There is a certain dignified presence in the air that makes one truly happy to be a Gambian.

The new Gambia is not going to fall back into dictatorship. There are almost zero fears of that. And it is unlikely to descend into a state of ethnic and political acrimony of the kind that has devastated so many African societies. This is partly because Gambians are actively engaged in a vibrant discourse on all issues of national concern. We are talking on social media, on the very many FM radio stations, on GRTS, and on the pages of our increasingly vibrant national newspapers. It is a beautiful and reassuring reality that Gambians now publicly express their opinions without looking over their shoulders. They publicly criticize their government. And they publicly bring up issues that they feel are of primary national importance without looking over their shoulders.

It is pleasing to note that over twenty-two years of dictatorship, Jammeh never succeeded in stopping Gambians from having their noisy say, whether he liked it or not. This culture of free expression predated Jammeh, it has survived Jammeh and now publicly blossoms with reassuring vengeance in the new Gambia.

There is no topic left behind. There are no sacred cows. And there are no unnamable personalities. Broken is the infamous sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, and Gambians are engaged in a serious if often heated conversation over their national destiny. One has a sense of a forward-looking, forward-moving society determined to advance in a measured and sensible manner even as people vehemently disagree and squabble over all kinds of personal, ethnic, economic and political issues.

It is refreshing to see that in the new Gambia, there is a noticeable collapsing of the power distance that existed between state and society during the Jammeh days. It no longer feels as if the government is some hostile behemoth perched on the sharp pinnacle of power, whip in hand, sneering and glaring at the people down below. It is encouraging to see that Gambian society is totally relaxed in its encounter with state presence and cordial in its encounter with itself. The society projects a spirit of calm determination tempered with a certain civility that promotes a sense of national dignity and inspires confidence in our capacity to succeed in spite of the many formidable challenges.

In the final analysis, Gambians seem to understand that our success in taking our country to the next level depends on our success in acknowledging and embracing diversity in all its various manifestations. Particularly important is that Gambians are increasingly recognizing and embracing the reality of different political players and idiosyncratic actors in our national drama. We are recognizing and embracing the fact that each player on the national stage has the right to express their legitimate opinion and if we do not agree with each other, we will just agree to disagree. And we increasingly recognize that the vision towards which we move as a nation is accessible through any number of channels and strategies, some of which may appear to be useless dead ends. At the same time, Gambians seem to recognize and embrace the reality that tensions are an inevitable part of national politics and the national discourse; and that our salvation as a people depends very much on our capacity to manage and neutralize these tensions in open and creative ways. One has a sense that the new Gambia is capable of doing just that with flying colours.

Author: Baba Galleh Jallow, 18.07.2017

The people who prevailed on Former President to subvert the will of the Gambian people are the problem. And these people should be never allowed at any cost to come near to the corridor of authority again in our new Gambia.

But sometimes I feel irritated, annoyed, and disturbed beyond all human race when folk’s point fingers to the Fonika’s and look straight in to their eyes and say to them that they don’t accept the will of God. This aforesaid, immorality statement is mathematically calculated wrongly with the intention and purpose of placing Foni at a bad viewpoint of light. Some do go extra miles using their position and ignorance to get the wrong impression about Foni at a bad light in order for the region to attract the attention of the media both national and international.

When Sir. Dawda Jawara was in power he never lost to Foni in any of the election being parliamentary and presidential. If we are to go by the statement that all Gambian’s have to support the Barrow lead administration, then it means we are trying to inculcate dictatorship in to the mind of the unborn generation of the new Gambia. The days of dictatorship are gone let’s embrace our newly born democracy.

If all had supported Yahya Jammeh then he will have still being in power. But we said no enough is enough we need to taste a different flavor which lead to his parking to Equatorial Guinea. It is not a crime neither unconstitutional to support a particular official registered political party under the laws of our dear mother land.

It is practically impossible for all Gambian’s to accept Barrow now, despite emerging the winner and being the president too. This will take time; it will be a gradually process with time things shall work well.

Barrow is the president which none of the Fonika’s denied therefore he have to engage Fonika’s for them to fell that yes we are recognized by the barrow lead administration. But if they are marginalized they will fell that they are not part and parcel of the new Gambia. The Gambia belongs to The Gambian’s both those home and abroad. In rebuilding a new Gambia we dream all regions need to be represented well and treated equally despite of our political ideology. In a place where trust does not exist, love, respect and solidarity are also absent. The lack of trust destroys family, country, as well as social, cultural, and economic life.

One cannot use Foni to prevail the hearts of the new leadership with the excuse of cajoling for peace. We the sons and daughters of Foni can sort out any issue amongst ourselves in the spirits of one Gambia and One Family and One People. In fact, there is no problem in Foni as most narrow minded think and want it to look like. Foni should not and cannot be a prolific ground for anyone to rejuvenate his or her political ambitions. We the Fonika’s are not sleeping and shall continue to rebrand the name of Foni in a white light as far beyond mountain Kilimanjaro.

We the Fonika’s will take the lead and government must recognize that. Strangers cannot be talking to our people as if we the Foninka’s do not have what it takes to resolve whatever misconceptions or perceptions that exist.

Peace is very important that need to be embraced by all and sundry without peace we cannot achieve our desire aims and objective. In the Qur'an, it is recommended to cease disagreements by peace and not to commence further disputes, fights, confusion, and discord; in addition, people are asked to take a balanced approach and seek justice (Qur'an, 8:1; 49:9–10). It is forbidden to spoil peace and tranquility by corruption; there are penalties for those who do. It is possible to apply the verse; Peace is better (Qur'an, 4:128) which was specifically revealed to eradicate disagreements between couples, to all kinds of human relations. Islam recommends a united and mutually helpful society, and this vision does not only refer to the level of nation, but includes international relations, too. In this sense, from an Islamic perspective, international law should take the establishment of peace as a foundation.
 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15 14).

I can’t comprehend, understand, have a handle on why Folks are trying to make name about the issue. We the son's of Foni will short  our own problem if need be since we are people of one voice!!

I am a proud Fonika a big one for that matter and shall continue to fight and wipe out any injustice that can hinder the attainment of peace in the smiling coast of Africa.

By: Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Activist/ Blogger




Is That The Gambia We Dream?

When I think of The Gambia the smiling coast of Africa so many question come to my mind such as.
Where are we heading to?
Is that Democracy?
Are we in the era of constitutional hijack and coup?
Are we in the era of selective justice?
Are the youth well informed?

Read the answers here:

(from:, 10.07.2017)


The Point, 09.08.2017

No deportation!


The Italian government has continued to lend a helping hand to the Gambian government to fight the lingering problem of irregular migration, as it has just donated again about 40 pickup trucks to the Gambia Immigration Department to aid its patrol efforts at forestalling attempts by the Gambian youths who try to brave the perilous journey through the desert and the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

But fighting illegal migration through the back-way by Gambian and by extension African youths has proven too much to contend with as the youths are still kept firm by the stony determination they have to reach the continent they believe possesses the fortune and living condition they so cherish in life. But why not, when Europe has the industries, the factories and other facilities such as better housing, training and good educational structures, among other systems, that can help one to transform life and lead a good living.

This is why African countries like The Gambia, together with European countries such as Spain and Italy, have been fighting to curb irregular migration over the years but to no abate.

The government of the Jammeh era did all it could to curb illegal migration or what we call the back-way but the more they tried the less they succeeded.

Over the years hundreds of Gambian youths, if not thousands, have lost their lives in the deep Mediterranean Sea, while some have seemingly lost track of their progress in life and are stranded in transit countries like Mauritania, Algeria, Libya and some other islands across the desert of North Africa, struggling to reach Europe.

While the government of Jammeh has passed away and the era of Adama Barrow with the new Gambia has been born, we have been seeing some semblance of efforts at trying to curb the back-way menace, with a lot of Gambian youths being returned from their centres of suffering in places like Libya to the Gambia to restart lives at home. But in spite of this, more Gambian youths are on the verge of taking the perilous journey back-way to Europe.

In trying to frustrate these plans and prevent the youths from taking such ventures the Italian government has been working closely with the Gambian authorities with various forms of support, such as the pickup trucks donation, to solve the problem.

But would such efforts by the Gambia government and the European countries help to solve the problem?  It seems unlikely, as there are many questions than answers, for now – to this challenge.

However what is true here is that, as the interior minister rightly quoted President Barrow, is the poor state of our economy and development, which is destroying any hope of making a good living or successful life in the Gambia, especially for the youths from poor background, who as a result of poor governance, corruption and corrupt practices, have been left vulnerable and handicapped to making a successful life in their homeland.

In deed we need seriousness in building a nation with a knowledge-based economy that has its base on industrialization – manufacturing – which creates jobs, produces products for exportation, brings in foreign exchange and continues to create opportunity for more skills to be learnt and more developments to be derived from our labour with better earning power.

This may guarantee our populations the good life or living that is attracting our people to Europe.

“Where asylum is used as a route to economic migration, it can cause deep resentment in the host community.”

David Blunkett

Gross Inequality In Our Public And Private Sectors

Jollofnews, 30.07.2017 - By Madi Jobarteh

(JollofNews) – The tragedy in the Gambia is not just about the suppression of our civil and political rights by the APRC Dictatorship. But this Dictatorship has also suppressed certain vital national issues while at the same time provided a cover for other forms of oppression and exploitation to take place across our society.

One of the effects of the Dictatorship is that it nurtured a culture of inequality, injustice and exploitation in our public and private sectors. The incidence of sexual harassment, abuse of power and wide income gaps are severely prevalent in our work places. Hence December 1 must begin the process of fighting for, and bringing about social and economic justice in the Gambia.

In the private sector, for example the banks, some CEOs are taking home nothing less than 400 thousand dalasi per month! Some general managers are collecting a monthly salary of nothing less than 200 thousand dalasi. All across our bank, managers can be seen with flashy cars and huge building loans, with sumptuous incentives and benefits.

At some banks, Board directors and chairs are said to receive up to one million dalasi as dividend per annum. At GTB the former chair who has always been in cahoots with Yaya Jammeh was said to receive 10 million dalasi as dividend in 2016! Yet the GTB permanent staffs get annual dividend of less than 10 thousand dalasi while the Xsell ‘Temporary Workers’ who form the majority of staffs never got any dividend until 2015. Meantime cleaners and security guards are outsourced only to be paid less than D2000 per month. These disparities are utterly scandalous and must be regularized!

This is gross inequality and it is unjustified. This scenario clearly shows that the private sector is an arena of exploitation and injustice where monkey works and baboon chops. It is such outlandish injustices that have led to movements in the US and Switzerland since 2013 campaigning for caps in what fat cats in the private sector can receive. It is unfair for companies to make billions of dalasi by overworking decent men and women who are only paid pittance while the directors, CEOs and managers enjoy fat salaries.

It is therefore urgent that all Gambians realize that we need to get up to ensure a fair and just society so that everyone gets a fair share of their sweat and labour. By maintaining these inequalities means we are perpetuating poverty and injustice. All over the private sector, from banks to commercial farms to hotels and supermarkets including GSM companies Gambians are being overworked and paid slave wages. This must stop.

The Gambia Government must step up to its responsibility to ensure that our private sector is progressively regulated to allow workers obtain decent wages that will ensure decent living standards. The Government must set a minimum wage. The Government must review the labour laws to better protect the rights and welfare of the Gambian worker. Civil and political rights are meaningless if social and economic rights are disregarded and damaged.

As it is in the private sector, the same inequality and injustice also operate within the public sector. From the central government to the local governments to parastatals and public enterprises wide income gaps prevail to the detriment of most workers. Permanent Secretaries, managing directors, directors and managers receive sumptuous allowances and benefits while their junior staffs live from hand to mouth. No doubt many people work for their entire life in the public sector only to retire into abject poverty after 40 years of service to the nation. This is unfair and unjust. We must restructure the Gambian society along the lines of justice otherwise poverty and deprivation shall continue to characterize the masses of our people.

Furthermore we have bossy permanent secretaries, managing directors, director generals and managers who are acting like dictators. They take vital decisions unilaterally; abuse their staffs by cutting salaries or marginalizing them and even dismissing or suspending staff members without due process. Some of these bosses have become true tyrants onto themselves. These were the attitudes in the past 22 years in many work places within the civil service that have contributed to killing professionalism, morale and productivity. We do not expect such abuses should exist anymore.

What all of these indicate is the gross structural imbalances within our economy which is the reason why that very economy could never grow and therefore giving rise to high cost of living and poverty. World Bank Doing Business Reports have consistently shown that the Gambia has always been among the top few countries with the highest total tax rate. Income tax is grossly high in the Gambia and with meager salaries, it means majority of workers bleed through the nose to make ends meet. This is also one of the reasons why corruption and deprivation are rife in our country. Until the Gambia embarks on urgent restructuring of our economy in order to modernize our systems, improve working conditions and increase wages in order to close income gaps, we shall always be a poor country.

Therefore it is urgent and necessary that all public and private sector workers begin to join trade unions and embark on industrial action to demand better working conditions and better pay and respect. We have seen how public and private sector workers in advanced economies agitate everyday and succeed in securing their rights and welfare. This shows that unless Gambian and African workers also agitate for their rights and welfare, they shall continue to wallow in poverty, deprivation and injustice. Let us therefore join trade unions and from now onwards we utilize May Day as a day of protest for better wages and conditions. No more sports and useless fanfare!

Let staff associations stop engaging in only staff parties and gala dinners and picnics. Let staffs sit together to identify their rights and work entitlements and make demands and pursue those demands until they achieve them. Workers must not allow one person to unfairly benefit from their sweat and labour just because that person is the CEO or Permanent Secretary or Board Director. Staffs must not sit and watch while one of them is being abused and disrespected by another senior manager. The public and private sectors must generate and distribute wealth for all and not to engender poverty and deprivation only for junior workers. The current set up of our public and private sectors is not geared towards that direction. No one will change that direction other than the workers themselves.

Workers of the Gambia, Unite and Arise! Expose unfair treatment and injustice in your work place. Demand better conditions and respect for your rights! Embark on industrial action including going to court for your rights and welfare. You are a human being and a citizen, not a slave!

God Bless The Gambia.


Power Of Freedom is a civic movement mainly comprised of young Gambians from all walks of life who stand for peace, positive change of the country and its people, social justice, without regard to gender, tribe, religion or political affiliation.

The movement saw the day following the April 14, 2016 peaceful protest organized by the United Democratic Party (UDP) in Banjul, The Gambia for which the founder of the movement (Retsam Jerreh Badjie) and his comrades took part to request the release of Solo Sandeng dead or alive as he was arrested in a previous peaceful protest for electoral reform that led to his arrest and assassination.

The incident awakened the movement to consider it as a national duty to participate actively in the fight for the change of a dictatorial regime that has asphyxiated The Gambia for more than two decades.

The team intends to continue its actions on social media, on the ground and in the diaspora.

The adherents of the movement are mainly knowledgeable and cultivated youths. They are determined to contribute their quota in Nation building by helping Gambians understand and stand for their constitutional and Human Rights. The latter is considered as a duty to the Nation.

Power Of Freedom is a non-violent movement that is inspired by great people such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bob Marley who serve as role models. The team considers non-violent actions as more than enough to achieve its goals of contributing to a stronger democratic Gambia where all rights are respected and protected.



The Point, 14.08.2017

Mr President, during the past few weeks, some Gambians were greeted with fear of the presence of armed robbers in the country, which is a very new phenomenon in our midst.

Reports have revealed that seven armed people attacked Hoja Jarra Pharmacy and seriously hurt the old watchman who was securing the place. Thanks to the ECOMIG for their quick response that they were chased away.

Other reports are being heard of armed attackers in other places of the country and most especially in the border post areas. Some believe that these are people who will be spying business areas during the day impersonating Nawec staff reading meters or looking for other commodities and will at night come to attack.

This act is new in The Gambia and can’t be encouraged. The security of the citizens and even non-citizens living in The Gambia should not be compromised.  As we are approaching the tourist season, tourists need to be guaranteed of a safe environment for them to spend their holidays peacefully in the country.

Mr President, the security officers need to be equipped and enforced. There should be patrol teams constantly at work at night. They should have vehicles at their disposal to be able to respond to any emergency when called upon and enough petrol/diesel be supplied too.

The police need enough traffic reflectors, torches, mobile phones, walkie talkies, handcuffs, tracking devices, bullet proof jackets, credits for their phones, motor bicycles, helmets, life Jackets, riot gears, laptops, etc. to name a few and also give them lucrative incentives to motivate them.

The Ministry of Interior should encourage community policing and organise trainings on quick response strategies to such attacks.

The community needs to be part of the police and The Gambia belongs to all of us therefore citizens should be advised to remain ALERT and signal or report anything unusual within their area.

Mr President, we want to commend the Italian government for donating 40 pickup trucks to the Gambia Immigration Department to boost the department’s border security and migration management efforts and the establishment of a Migration Training Academy in the sub-region is very welcoming and we hope this will go a long way in helping to tackle illegal migration to which the Gambia is not an exception.

We are appealing to other governments, friends of The Gambia, philanthropists, non-governmental organisations and individuals to help to boost the security officers to aid them in performing their duties well.

Foroyaa Newspaper, 14.08.2017


In February this year the EU signed an agreement with the ministry of trade, regional integration and employment to economically empower the youth so as to reduce their migration to Europe. This is an important project and more money has to go to such project than in intensifying security in preventing them from going to Europe; because lack of jobs and economic opportunity is the main cause of the migration.

Foroyaa has already approached the ministry requesting for an interview and as soon as it materializes, readers will be accordingly informed.

This move is part of Foroyaa’s editorial policy of encouraging transparency in governance and holding government accountable to the people.



Foroyaa Newspaper, 14.08.2017

Lance Corporal Jarju of the Gambia Armed Forces has alleged ill treatment while in the custody of the NIA in contravention of section 21 of the Constitution which stipulates: “No person shall be subject to torture or inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment.”

Lance Corporal Jarju has alleged openly to the media how he sustained injuries on his hands and feet. He had been admitted to a military clinic upon his release from the NIA. But now he has been returned to his detention cell at the Guards Battalion at Fajara Barracks.

Meanwhile the wife of Lance Corporal Samboujang Bojang, has said that investigation on the allegation is yet to be conducted and this has been confirmed by the PRO of the armed forces. She added that the injuries are yet to be healed.

The chief of defence staff had promised to investigate the allegation “if it is true that he had sustained bruises”. The head of the SIS (NIA) has promised to invite the media in due course to say something on this matter. The president, who has the NIA under his command, according to section 191 of the Constitution is yet to say something on the matter. Will he say something or remain quiet. Only time will tell.

What the New Gambia needs is a complete break from the past. There should be zero tolerance for arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, torture or inhumane or degrading treatment. The executive must persist in adhering to the rule of law and the constitution. One may face hard choices at times but it is those very difficult decisions which must be taken to break away from the past which is still haunting us. Yahya Jammeh has gone but detention without trial and allegation of torture are still lingering. Impunity still lingers on. When will we cut the umbilical cord and give a chance to a new Gambia.