• Gambian children now kitted out in Castletown FC strips

    18/Jan/2016 // 289 Viewers

     

    A Castletown woman swapped her usual holiday attire for Castletown Football Club kits to donate them to schoolchildren in Gambia while she was on holiday.

    Wendy Mahon, who is dental practice manager at the Tracey Bell dental clinic in Castletown, visited the African country on holiday and decided to take the football shirts for children at a local football academy in the town of Kololi.

    Wendy visited the coastal town for three weeks and said: ‘It was purely for a holiday. I have three grown up children so I go away and get some winter sun. A friend owns a beach resort there and he said ”why don’t you come out to The Gambia?” and invited me to visit the football academy.’

    Before she left for the trip on Boxing Day Wendy got in touch with Castletown Football Club to see whether they would like to donate football shirts for young players in the town.

    The club donated 25 kilos of old shirts for Wendy to take to Gamfresh Football Academy in Kololi.

    The football academy was founded by local man and coach Bassirou Bassane and aims to help local talented players.

    Gamfresh Football Academy has around 50 players from the age of five to 16 in junior and senior teams.

    Wendy said: ‘Normally I just take hand luggage but I booked a 25 kilo bag of football shirts.

    ‘I rocked up to the boys’ training session and said there’s a bag for you and their faces, it nearly broke my heart, it was just amazing!

    ‘You’ve never seen anything like it, some of them live in shacks and half don’t even have shoes - they were so grateful.

    ‘It was well worth taking the time to go, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.’

    The dental practice manager, who was a keen rally driver in the island with Manx Auto Sport and Druidale Motor Club for three years, was also invited to watch football games at the academy and saw the senior team reach the final of a football tournament in the town.

    Talking about the children and coach Bassirou receiving the shirts, Wendy said: ‘[Bassirou] was extremely appreciative and very humbled when I gave him the kits.

    ‘The children’s excitement and smiles made my holiday even better, it made us all realize how a simple gift of kindness can mean so much to a group of schoolchildren who showed everyone their kits and wore them with great pride.’

    Wendy had help from Michael Sansbury, who trains the children at Castletown Football Club, with sorting the donated shirts and chairman Ben Clark said the club was ‘delighted’ to be asked to play a small part in bringing smiles to the children in Gambia through their shared love of football.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Before The Gamble In The Gambia: Memo to Buhari, by Cornelius Segun Ojo

    18/Jan/2017 // 1778 Viewers

    Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the spirit. If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots. — Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-182)


    The current political impasse in The Gambia has placed a burden of history on Nigeria’s President MohammaduBuhari (PMB). And unless the situation is handled with utmost care, another haven for Boko Haram, ISIL and Al Shabab elements is in the offing. 

    Following the December 1, 2016 general elections which President Jammeh initially conceded to Mr Adama Barrow, the opposition candidate, the U-turn by the President to reject the election result based on alleged malpractices (and later cancelled), has raised the stakes not only in Gambia but also across the world. In the midst of ensuing tensions, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) set up a committee headed by President Buhari to mediate in the crisis and restore orderliness.

    However, sentiments so far by ECOWAS point in the direction of military intervention. Hence, this public memo to President Buhari, urging him to ensure peace and not war reigns.

    First and foremost, from what can be advanced from the electoral processes, President Jammeh appeared genuine to organise a credible election, and also was confident of his victory (for whatever reason). Watching the video of his concession speech, President Jammeh appeared shocked, but nonetheless, he wore a brave face to accept his defeat and concede to his opponent. While it is noble and heroic to accept defeat even before the process is concluded and reports from field managers collated and analysed, the implication here is that, evidence of malpractices might emerge thereafter, and a rejection of the result already accepted is likely to cause confusion, as it turns out. Ghana’s recent example, where the ruling party refused to accept defeat even in the face of pressures mounted by the opposition and a section of the press, until they were satisfied of the sanctity of the process, appears more credible. Notwithstanding however, the fact must be reiterated that, accepting and conceding defeat does not rob off on allegation of electoral malfeasance – morally or legally.

    The pertinent question to ask is: why did President Jammeh reject the election results? The fact that the Electoral Commission admitted errors and fiddled with figures should be of grave concerns to all advocates of democracy and accountability. Since elections are a game of numbers, recording correct figures for all candidates thus becomes a matter of duty. The moment an allegation of padding of figures surfaces, the credibility of the election results becomes compromised. Only courts are then vested with the powers to ascertain the errors, and validate/invalidate the results. Rejigging the figures as carried out by the Gambian Electoral Commission remains a nullity.
    Nigeria Raises Army Battalion For Gambia, Ready To ‘Forcefully’ Remove Yahya Jammeh

    Still, President Jammeh may have been confronted with credible proofs of electoral fraud both from his field managers and the security apparatuses. Another plausible reason may be that foreign interests compromised the process. Given the fact President Jammeh recently stirred controversies — pulling out of the Commonwealth and the controversial International Criminal Court (ICC); as well as declaring Gambia an Islamic Republic, not a few feathers of the ‘owners of the world’ would have been ruffled. The election may therefore have presented a perfect opportunity and means to kick out another independent-minded African leader. Mr. President Sir, whichever of the above may be the case, writing from the perspective of the concept of power; I will argue that it will be an extraordinary decision for anyone holding the levers of powers to overlook and concede to pullers of the rug under his/her feet. While this is natural, institutions of State may also push against allowing such democratic infractions to stand.
    Flowing from the above, the decisions by ECOWAS, not to bother to investigate the veracity or otherwise of the allegations of electoral malpractices, but to simply condemn and threaten President Jammeh appear to have scuppered the peace initiatives. This costly error also negates the principle of peace and conflict resolution which does not favour apportioning of blames. It also puts President Jammeh on a moral ground with his insistence that ECOWAS was ab initio, not interested in peaceful resolution but to simply intimidate and humiliate him. The situation now is grim and the fate of millions of Gambians hangs in the balance.

    No doubt, PMB will be under intense pressure to act and restore the opposition Adama Barrow to power. Whether Nigeria should embrace the military option being pushed now appears to be a matter of serious concern.

    To enable PMB decide on the best route to go, I list four reasons, why Nigeria should eschew violence. In the run up to the invasion of Libya by NATO, there was a sharp disagreement among African leaders, with majority going against the planned invasion. President Obama was said to have spoken to then President Goodluck Jonathan on phone, persuading him to endorse the invasion (without Nigeria’s approval, the plan would have been defeated). Libya today is a failed State while humanity has been put on the precipice. Most Africans (that I have met) bitterly complained that Nigeria was responsible for the collapse of Libya. The level of mistrust between Nigerians and other Africans thus appear to be on the increase.

    Spearheading another war in Gambia will surely make the matter worse. Besides, Nigeria has had to pay heavily for the collapse of Libya, as looted weapons and NATO munitions found their ways into the hands of Boko haram in what can be regarded as a coordinated conspiracy against Nigeria by the invading nations. Over twenty thousands of innocent Nigerians and thousands more of our security personnel have also been killed, maimed and dehumanised. Most observers will be wondering whether Nigeria will commit itself to another potential catastrophe in Gambia.
    PMB will also recall that he contested elections three times before succeeding the fourth time in 2015. In those three periods, PMB was dissatisfied, and notwithstanding his shaky believe in the Nigerian judiciary, embraced the courts and never resorted to violence. Most observers may then be wondering why Nigeria will opt for violent intervention in Gambia. Very importantly too, Nigeria should not encourage the opposition candidate, Mr Adama Barrow to declare himself President. The situation will take another dimension from electoral disputes to treasonable offence. Historically, Nigeria has passed through this dangerous phase.

    The self-declaration by the late Chief MKO Abiola (RIP) in the disputed June 12 1993 elections, led to his arrest by the late head of State, General Sani Abacha(RIP). The ensuing violence exacerbated the crisis that nearly tore Nigeria apart. Eventually, both Chief Abiola and General Abaca were sacrificed in order to end the violence. Finally here, there is no evidence in the public domain suggesting that the people of Gambia prefer a violent change. Unlike in Nigeria and other places were by now, violent protests would have broken out; the people of Gambia appear to remain peaceful. This is not to suggest that they are weak. They may have weighed the consequences of a violent uprising. I strongly believe their preference for peace should be respected.
    However, in the event that the military option is finally embraced, ECOWAS should brace itself for a long-drawn battle with attendant humanitarian crisis. By the time the grim images of war begin to pour in, particularly of children and women, with allegations of rape and other avoidable war crimes, the public opinion as usual will change, and leaders will face the accusation of being quick to resort to a violent solution when peaceful resolution should have been embraced. Potentially also, Gambia could descend into ethnic war — a familiar turf in Africa.
    But the scariest of the likely scenarios, is the possibility of the dispersed elements of Boko Haram, ISIL and Al Shabab congregating in The Gambia to as they always claim, fight the infidels who invade another Islamic Republic. This will throw the surrounding countries into crises. In the case that President Jammeh is removed violently and Mr Barrow is installed, the possibility is that he will be presiding over a dislocated and destroyed nation. He will be at the mercy of foreign troops as Gambia’s wounded Armed Forces will not be able to guarantee him protection. Crises like assassinations, coups and counter coups could well become the order of the day.
    Mr President, from Iraq to Afghanistan, Yemen to Libya and Syria, none of the military interventions have succeeded in bringing the desired change, rather millions of innocent lives have been wasted wile nation states have failed. There is every possibility of Gambia becoming another failed state.

    Regrettably albeit hypocritically, the masterminds of these invasions have voiced their frustrations in bringing about peace to the destroyed nations.

    President Obama in particular recently admitted his regrets over Libya. Sadly, the crocodile tears cannot bring back the perished souls. Former South African President Tabo Mbeki confessed that former British PM Tony Blair suggested to South Africa that a military option should be considered to remove President Mugabe, but they refused. Today, Zimbabwe cannot be compared with the bloody situations in Syria and Libya where the military option was embraced. It is time West African leaders extricate themselves from the UN/EU/US pressures on them to always embrace military option in solving the sub-region’s problems. In conclusion, and in view of the foregoing, President Buhari should in the interest of humanity, strengthen the peace process and resist pressures to bring another African nation down.

    This piece was written by Cornelius Segun Ojo. 


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  • UK Foreign Office announces plans to evacuate Thomas Cook holidaymakers from The Gambia within 48 hrs upon risk of unrest

    18/Jan/2017 // 406 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 18, 2016: (DGW) THE UK has taken major step to evacuate its citizens in the Gambia as uncertainty hangs in the air over President Jammeh's refusal to step aside following the State of Emergency declared on Tuesday.

    The Foreign Office announced that nearly 1,000 Thomas Cook holidaymakers will under an emergency programme will be airlifted back to the UK over the next 48 hours, the BBC has reported.

    All but essential travels to the West African nation has been advised against by the foreign office upon the risk of unrest in The Gambia.

    According to BBC reports,  Thomas Cook, in a statement, said: "We will operate a programme of additional flights into Banjul airport over the next 48 hours to bring the 985 UK customers we currently have on holiday in Gambia home, including four additional flights on Wednesday 18 January.

    "In addition, we have approximately 2,500 flight-only customers in Gambia, whom we are contacting to offer the earliest possible flight availability for return to the UK."

    "Our colleagues on the ground in Gambia will proactively contact all customers on holiday with us as soon as possible to prepare for return to the UK," the statement continued.


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  • Incumbent president Yahya Jammeh gets three-month tenure extension

    18/Jan/2017 // 696 Viewers

     

    Gambia’s National Assembly Wednesday passed a resolution that gave the incumbent president Yahya Jammeh a three-month tenure extension, Reuters reported quoting Gambian state television.

    Jammeh lost to opposition candidate Adama Barrow in the December 2016 presidential election after ruling the West African nation for 22 years. But he later announced that the election results were flawed and unacceptable.

    On Tuesday, he declared a state of emergency just two days before he is due to step down, citing “extraordinary” foreign interference in the country’s post-electoral crisis.

    The declaration was necessary, he said on state television, after the “unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreign inference in the December 1 presidential elections and also in the internal affairs of The Gambia.”


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  • GAMBIAN journalist blasts Nigerian judges over JAMMEH (Watch video)

    18/Jan/2017 // 2594 Viewers

     

    AS the Gambian Polity keeps heating up Ahead of Adama Barrow‘s Supposed Inauguration on Thursday, Top Gambian Journalist and Activist took to her page to make an Appeal to the Nigerian Bar Association on behalf of Gambians to Steer Clear of their Judicial System.  

    The tension is really high in Gambia now, the outgoing president is doing all he could to make sure he remains in power, yesterday, he declared a state of emergency in the country which is meant to last for 90 days.

      Watch the video:




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  • BREAKING: Suicide bomber hits CAMP, dozens reported dead

    18/Jan/2017 // 2868 Viewers

     

    (AFP), JANUARY 18, 2017: A suicide bomb attack Wednesday on a camp grouping former rebels and pro-government militia leaving no fewer than  37 people dead, a UN peacekeeping source and a local official told AFP.

    The camp is located in Gao, a former bastion for Malian rebels and Islamist fighters who seized control of much of the country’s vast arid north in early 2012.

    The camp was set up under a 2015 peace deal signed between the government and loyalist militias following a French-led international military intervention launched in 2013 and which is still in place.

    Its implementation has been piecemeal with jihadists still active across large parts of the region.

    “A suicide bomber attacked a camp” housing Tuareg-led former rebels and loyalist militia, said a member of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA, who asked not to be identified.

    “The toll is 37 dead,” he said. A local official from Gao confirmed the deadly attack.


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  • Senegal asks UN to back ECOWAS action in Gambia

    18/Jan/2017 // 1453 Viewers

     

    Senegal on Wednesday presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council seeking support for ECOWAS efforts to press Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to step down, diplomats said.

    But the text does not explicitly seek council authorization to deploy troops to The Gambia to force Jammeh to cede power to president-elect Adama Barrow, diplomats said.

    The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power.

    Jammeh on Tuesday declared a state of emergency as Barrow, who is currently in Senegal, maintained his inauguration will go ahead as planned on Thursday on Gambian soil.

    At Senegal’s request, the Security Council will discuss the crisis in the West African country on Wednesday, diplomats said.

    The African Union has said it will no longer recognize Jammeh as head of state as of January 19.

    UN envoy for West Africa Mohamed Ibn Chambas last week told the council that ECOWAS was prepared to ask the council to approve the deployment of troops to the Gambia.

    The council last month demanded in a unanimous statement that Jammeh recognize the outcome of the election and transfer power to Barrow.


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  • JUST IN: Ahead of tomorrow's dicey 'inauguration', ADAMA BARROw, sends very powerful message to GAMBIANS

    18/Jan/2017 // 2163 Viewers

     

    The Gambia’s President elect Adama Barrow has said his countrymen are at the brink of making another world history tomorrow, after defeating Yahya Jammeh in the 1 December election.

    In his message, the President-elect to be sworn it a few hours from now told Gambian all over the world in a tweet message “We made history on the first day of December. Our future starts tomorrow”.

    Although he is now sequestered in Dakar, Senegal, leaders of the regional bloc ECOWAS have said he would be sworn in tomorrow on the Gambian soil, meaning they would drive away President Yahya Jammeh whose tenure expires midnight today.

    The ECOWAS leaders, in a mediatory efforts led by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari failed to convince Jammeh to voluntarily leave office after losing the 1 December election to Barrow, a real estate businessman.

    Jammeh instead embarked on a time-wasting effort to get the court to order a new election and stop Barrow’s inauguration. He failed on the two efforts as the Supreme Court could not form a quorum to decide his cases.

    In a last gambit on Tuesday, after shutting down four private radio stations, he declared a three-month state of emergency, starting from Tuesday.

    In a televised address on state TV on Tuesday evening, Jammeh announced that the 90 days state of emergency started from January 17 and will end April 17, 2017.

    “Under this state of public emergency, civil liberties are to be fully respected while all citizens and residents in The Gambia are banned from any acts of disobedience to the laws of The Gambia, incitement to violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace,” he said.

    Jammeh gave reasons for the state of emergency including “the need to prevent a constitutional crisis and power vacuum pending the determination of the petitions at the Supreme Court and the application for an injunction against swearing in Mr. Adama Barrow,until the Supreme Court decides on the 1st December 2016 Presidential Election results”.

    He also ordered the security forces, who pledged allegiance to him, to maintain law and order in the country during the period.

    The resolution was passed by the country’s National Assembly after a motion was tabled by Majority Leader Fabakary Jatta on Tuesday morning as indicated by the order paper made available to the media.


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  • Jammeh’s family reportedly flees Banjul amid heavy tension

    18/Jan/2017 // 1890 Viewers

     


    Unconfirmed reports said the wife and children of outgoing Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh have left the capital of Banjul, on the eve of the deadline given him by the ECOWAS and the African Union to quit power.

    Gambians and tourists were also leaving in droves. Bus parks were scenes of chaos as people boarded buses, packing suitcases onto trucks and hiring canoes to flee the capital of Banjul, as President Yahya Jammeh clung to power on the eve of his rival Adama Barrow’s planned swearing in.

    The Banjul airport was also chaotic as many people struggled to board planes to fly out of the country.

    Jammeh, a former soldier who once vowed to rule for “a billion years”, is refusing to step down, despite condemnation from regional leaders and threat of an imminent invasion by West African troops to enforce his election defeat. Today, his kangaroo parliament extended his tenure by three months, a day after it passed a state of emergency law for the same period.

    This post was syndicated from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

    CLICK HERE TO READ FROM ORIGINAL SITE


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  • Breaking News: Civil war looms in The Gambia, YAYAH JAMMEH to be treated a rebel leader - BBC reports

    19/Dec/2016 // 7704 Viewers

     

    The Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh will be treated like a "rebel leader" if he refuses to give up power when his term ends on 19 January, a spokesman for the coalition which defeated him in elections on 1 December has said. 

    Mr Jammeh, who first seized power in a coup in 1994, initially accepted defeat at the hands of opposition leader Adama Barrow, but has since launched court action to annul the result.

    In a statement, coalition spokesman Halifa Sallah said: 

    ''Any president who loses constitutional legitimacy becomes a rebel.''

    ''Anybody who is a military officer or civil servant who refuses to be under another constitutional authority obviously would also become a rebel.''

    The West African regional bloc Ecowas  said, after a summit of its heads of state on Saturday, that it would "take all necessary actions to enforce the results".

    Heads of state would attend Mr Barrow's inauguration, due on 19 January, an Ecowas statement added.


    Credit: Post appeared first  on BBC



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