• Nigerian Govt divided as Nigeria's Deputy Senate President foresees bloodshed, warns against military action in The Gambia

    03/Jan/2017 // 12514 Viewers

     Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

    Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has warned against military action in the Gambia following that country’s presidential election, saying such action could threaten the security of the entire sub-region.
    The warning is in a statement issued by the Senate deputy president’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr Uche Anichukwu on Tuesday in Abuja. Ekweremadu said such action could plunge the country into bloodletting and threaten the peace of the sub-region.

    The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh lost to Mr Adama Barrow in the Dec. 1, 2016 presidential election but insisted that he would not handover power on Jan. 18.

    Nigeria’s deputy president of the Senate then urged the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, as well as the international community to explore dialogue and to allow Gambian laws to prevail as a sovereign nation.

    Ekweremadu, who is a former Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Parliament), also called for sanctions, in line with the traditions and relevant Protocols of ECOWAS.

    According to him, sanctions should be considered in the event that dialogue and judicial options fail.

    He added that “from Liberia to Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, among others, West Africa has seen so much bloodletting and political instability.

    “Heavy destruction of lives and property has been visited on the sub-region by insurgency and terrorism, which remain present danger to the peace and security of West Africa.

    “Instructively, what normally started like child’s play often resulted in protracted, but avoidable political upheavals and fratricidal wars.”

    The deputy president of the senate urged major stakeholders, particularly the ECOWAS of Heads of State and Government, to tread with caution.

    He called for respect of the laws of the country, which allowed for judicial intervention in electoral disputes.

    “We must all acknowledge the fact that Gambia is a sovereign state.

    “If her Constitution and electoral laws allow for judicial role in resolving electoral disputes, then the Gambian constitutional courts must be allowed to count in resolving the political impasse.

    “If the Gambian laws are preempted and her sovereignty breached, it could set a bad and crisis-triggering precedence.

    “The sub-region must uphold the rule of law for the sake of the peace, stability and prosperity of Gambia.

    “We must take all necessary steps as a sub-region to steer the West African nation and indeed the entire community away from any looming bloodshed and monumental destruction,’’ he said.

    However, Ekweremadu commended ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for the concern and commitment toward resolving the political situation in Gambia.

    He further commended the efforts made by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the political situation in the country.

    He urged Gambian authorities to ensure the protection of the fundamental and political rights of all Gambians and the opposition, to avoid escalation of the crisis.


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  • Liberia opposition leader no longer wanted - Police

    03/Jun/2016 // 522 Viewers

     

    Police in Liberia announced Wednesday they are no longer seeking an opposition leader who went into hiding after alleging the existence of a government blacklist of opponents.

    Simeon Freeman, leader of the opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), spoke out in February after the mysterious death of leading government critic Harry Greaves.

    Police asked for Freeman to surrender himself for questioning after he said critics of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had been listed for “elimination” and alleged Greaves, the former head of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company, had enemies within government.

    In a statement, the National Police said it had been instructed “to drop all perceived claims and charges… and declare that Mr. Freeman is no longer wanted for questioning on concerns growing out of his utterances that the government of the Republic of Liberia had a list of politicians to eliminate.”

    MPC Chairman John Ballon told Anadolu Agency: “The only thing the government of Liberia needed to do was to come out with their charges and see if Simeon Freeman could not defend himself but they did not do that.”

    Credit: - Turkish Weekly


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  • Gambia must end brutal crackdown - Rights Group turn to ECOWAS leaders for help

    03/Jun/2016 // 698 Viewers

    Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh arrives for a summit to address a seminar on security during an event marking the centenary of the unification of Nigeria's north and south in Abuja, Nigeria. Gambian activists and politicians have called on West Africa's economic body to take actions against Gambia for its brutal crackdown on rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the run-up to elections later in the year. The calls come as Amnesty International released a report Thursday, June 2, 2016, that says amid opposition protests, peaceful demonstrators and bystanders were beaten and arrested in April and May.

    (AP) Gambian activists and politicians have called on West Africa's economic body to take actions against Gambia for its brutal crackdown on rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the run-up to elections later in the year.

    The calls come as Amnesty International released a report Thursday that says amid opposition protests, peaceful demonstrators and bystanders were beaten and arrested in April and May. The group says 51 people, including the leader and executive members of the opposition United Democratic Party, await trial and at least 36 others have been detained without charge.

    Opposition party secretary Solo Sandeng died in custody after torture, the group said, demanding accountability for President Yahya Jammeh, who has been in power since 1994.

    "Gambia is already in bad state. I would recommend that targeted sanctions to be applied against President Jammeh and his close associates," women rights activist Fatoumata Tambajang said.

    Tambajang called on countries like Senegal and Nigeria to put maximum pressure on Jammeh to step down.

    Gambians are forced to face a choice between speaking out or remaining safe, Amnesty said. New laws that further restricted the right to freedom of expression have been introduced since November 2011 elections, and journalists have fled Gambia because of persecution.

    Civil society activists have said they can't trust anyone.

    Gambia, a part of the Economic Community Of West African States, must observe and comply with its protocol on democracy and good governance, Amnesty said, calling for its suspension from the body if no progress on human rights is made.

    Top leaders from the organization have met with Senegal President Macky Sall, the chairman of ECOWAS, to ensure strong actions before the body meets for a summit beginning June 4.

     


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  • GAMBIAN trader says country has rejoined civilized world as President Adama Barrow blows hot, scraps Jammeh's four-day week

    04/Feb/2017 // 2092 Viewers

     Adama Barrow, President, Republic of The Gambia


    PARIS, FEBRUARY 4, 207: (DGW) A Gambian trader, Allieu Cessay based in the Gambian largest city of Serekunda has said that The Gambia has rejoined the civilized world following the scrapping of a four-day week introduced by his President Adama Barrow's predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, BBC reports.

    Earlier in a statement,  Adama Barrow said that public sector employees would now have to work a half-day on Fridays too. It would, however, be recalled that four years ago Mr. Jammeh had said the country's mainly Muslim population should use Fridays to pray, socialize and tend to fields.

    But in a sudden reversal by the new leader, the working week, has been officially shortened by three-and-half hours.

    Reacting to the new official order, BBC reports that Allieu Cessay while speaking the minds of his countrymen and women happily said The Gambia has now rejoined the civilized world.

    His words, "Now we have rejoined the civilized world," BBC quoted Allieu Ceesay, a trader in Serekunda as saying.

     


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  • POST-JAMMEH GAMBIA: President ADAMA BARROW announces plan to carry out major, sweeping reforms

    04/Feb/2017 // 4089 Viewers

     

    Gambian President Adama Barrow said Saturday that every aspect of his tiny west African state would need an overhaul after ex-leader Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year rule, but that its dread secret police would remain.

    Barrow faces an uphill task after taking over from Jammeh, who left behind a dysfunctional economy and allegedly emptied state coffers ahead of his departure.

    Rights group blame the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA) under his longtime control for forced disappearances and torture. Barrow said the NIA was “an institution that has to continue”, but that its name would be changed and training would be given to its operatives.

    “The rule of the law, that will be the order of the day,” he said. Barrow also addressed one of Jammeh’s most controversial declarations, from 2015, that The Gambia was an “Islamic republic”.
    Barrow, in contrast, insisted the country — whose population is 90 percent Muslim, with the rest Christian and animist — was a republic, “not the Islamic republic”.

    Civil servants would likely return to a five-day work week, breaking with Jammeh’s rule that Friday was a day off in line with his Islamic republic rules.

    “My government is going to look at every avenue and there will be a complete overhaul of the system,” Barrow said, speaking at his first press conference since arriving back from Senegal on Thursday.

    The president promised his cabinet would be named early next week so that he could “get the ball rolling”, adding he would receive the first comprehensive information about the state of the nation’s finances also on Monday or Tuesday.

    Jammeh has been accused by a Barrow aide of taking $11 million from the state coffers before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea, and diplomats have said the country was already in a precarious financial state.

    Barrow’s first cabinet pick, Vice President Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, has caused controversy as she is allegedly too old to serve, according to current constitutional rules.

    Asked about reform of The Gambia’s army, whose poor reputation is partly responsible for the presence of 4,000 west African troops to guarantee Barrow and the population’s safety, the president said he expected foreign nations to provide help.

    “In the army, if we need technical aid, we will contact countries that are willing to help us,” he said. Controversial army chief Ousman Badjie would, however, keep his job, he said. There was “no time set” for the west African force to leave, Barrow added.


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  • JUST IN: Anti-Jammeh T-shirt sellers 'freed' - BBC reports

    04/Jan/2017 // 3267 Viewers

     

    Mr Jammeh has refused to accept defeat in the 1 December election
    Five opposition sympathisers who were detained in The Gambia for selling or wearing T-shirts seen to be opposed to President Yayha have been released, AFP news agency quotes a security source as saying.

    One of those briefly detained, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said armed men had entered a shop selling merchandise featuring images of property developer Adama Barrow, who defeated Mr Jammeh in elections last month. 

    Caps, badges and T-shirts which had the slogan #GambiaHasDecided were seized, AFP reports. 

    The five were taken to the National Intelligence Agency headquarters where they were cautioned before being released, the agency adds.   

    Mr Jammeh, who first seized power in a coup in 1994, has refused to accept defeat and has launched court action to annul the result, despite pressure from the regional leaders to step down. 

    Mr Barrow has vowed to inaugurate himself as president on 19 January when Mr Jammeh's term ends. 

    Electoral commission chairman Alieu Momar Njai, who declared Mr Barrow the winner, has fled to neighbouring Senegal because of threats to his safety, his family has said. 


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  • Gambia army chief stands by embattled President Jammeh

    04/Jan/2017 // 1894 Viewers

     

    ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Gambia's army chief reaffirmed his loyalty to embattled President Yahya Jammeh on Wednesday in the face of a possible regional military intervention to enforce the result of an election that dealt the longtime leader a surprise defeat.

    Jammeh initially accepted his defeat in the Dec. 1 election but a week later reversed his position, vowing to hang onto power despite a wave of regional and international condemnation.

    West African regional bloc ECOWAS has placed standby forces on alert in case Jammeh attempts to stay in power after his mandate ends on Jan. 19. Jammeh has called the bloc's stance "a declaration of war".

    "May I please seize this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurance of the unflinching loyalty and support of the Gambia Armed Forces," General Ousman Badjie wrote in a letter to Jammeh published in a pro-government newspaper.

    Many Gambians, who have lived through 22 years of Jammeh's increasingly authoritarian rule, were stunned when the elections commission declared opposition figure Adama Barrow the winner of last month's election. Jammeh's initial acceptance of the result sparked nationwide celebrations.

    Badjie declared his allegiance to Barrow soon after the poll results were announced, according to a spokesman for the president-elect. However his position remained unclear following Jammeh's dramatic about-face.

    In an illustration of the growing pressure on Gambian officials as the Jan. 19 deadline looms, Alieu Momarr Njai, the head of the elections commission, fled Gambia on Friday due to fears for his security, family members said.

    Last month Gambian security forces seized control of the commission's headquarters, which holds the original poll records and told staff, including Njai, to leave.

    Over the weekend Gambian security agents closed three private radio stations, making it harder for the incoming government to communicate with its supporters.

    "It is a sign of weakness for any side of the political spectrum to resort to media closures rather than engagement to put one's position across," Barrow's office said on Wednesday in a statement that also called for the release of detainees.

    Leaders of ECOWAS member nations have dismissed Jammeh's move to challenge his election defeat before Gambia's Supreme Court on Jan. 10 and say they will attend Barrow's swearing-in this month. 

    Credit: Reuters


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  • Breaking: Gambia President-elect , ADAMA BARROW, not dead, he is safe and well

    04/Jan/2017 // 1358 Viewers

     

    Gambia President-elect has debunked rumour making the rounds that he has been assassinated but contrary to earlier media reports, Gambia’s president-elect, Adama Barrow is hale and hearty.

    CBN Television, Banjul had ‎earlier reported that he was murdered by that unknown assailants who overpowered his security guards, leaving two dead and six others injured from gunshots.

    However, a tweet from his official handle, @adama_barrow, ‎said he’s alive and well. “We would like to inform you that the President-elect is alive and well. #Gambia‎”, it read.
    adama_barrow

    adama_barrow

    His rumoured death is coming few days after he referred to the country’s constitution that a court action taken by supposed outgoing President Yahya Jammeh cannot prevent the winner of the poll from assuming office as mandated by the constitution.

    “It should be crystal clear that filing an election petition is the private matter of a loser in an election. It does not prevent mandatory constitutional processes from taking place.

    “ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations could only intervene if the two presidents fail to do, with impeccable thoroughness, what the constitution of the republic demands,” Barrow, who vowed to take office on January 19 despite the refusal of Jammeh to give up power, had stated.


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  • UPDATE: Manager of drowned Gambia goalkeeper: I don't know why she left - BBC reports again

    04/Nov/2016 // 939 Viewers

     

    A football manager in The Gambia has paid tribute to goalkeeper Fatim Jawara, who drowned at the age of 19 while trying to cross the Mediterranean. 

     Chorro Mbega, manager of the Red Scorpions club for which Jawara played, told the BBC that she was "a very lovely person, always smiling... very bold and intelligent".  

    Mbega said she could not understand why Jawara, who played for the national women's team, decided to embark on such a risky journey:    

    I'm really sad about this because she fought so much to be number one in the Gambia"
    In the BBC Focus on Africa interview, Mbega recalled the determination and versatility Jawara showed, after begging her to let her play outfield in a tour match and then contributing an assist:

    In her first international game for the club, she did not play as a goalie, but as a striker. She was a player who could play anywhere on the field. She loved the game so much."

    Mbega first heard that the young goalkeeper had gone travelling in September, after getting a phone call from the team's captain. 

    She said she was confused and saddened by her decision to leave for Europe:

    Everything she wanted had come true... she did not lack anything."
    However, she said that Red Scorpion players did not receive a monthly salary, relying on voluntary contributions to meet their needs.  - BBC

     


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  • Nnamdi Kanu and Buhari at daggers drawn, set for final showdown tomorrow @ ECOWAS Court

    04/Oct/2016 // 6584 Viewers

     


    The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Director of Radio Biafra and Biafra Television – Nnamdi Kanu, a Prisoner of Conscience, will be meeting with the federal government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, 5th October, 2016 in the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS in Abuja.

    Following series of alleged judicial misconduct from the Nigerian court, presided over by John Tsoho, who just withdrew from Nnamdi Kanu’s case, and having lost confidence in the ability of same court to do the needful, the legal team of Kanu filed a suit against the Nigerian state at the ECOWAS court of justice in May 2015, for gross misconduct and violation of his human right and court orders, stating that he should be released unconditionally.
     
    Despite meeting the bail conditions set, the Nigeria’s Department of State Security(DSS) have violated such orders and failed to release Nnamdi Kanu. It was against these backdrops and more that the defense counsels to Kanu (Barr. Ejiofor) took the initiative to file an application to secure his bail at the ECOWAS Court.

    It could also be recalled that the commander in chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria “President Buhari, displayed his ignorance in the most absurd manner by instructing ECOWAS court not to hear Kanu’s case, also vowing that Kanu would not be released due to what he termed as “severity of offence committed”, while forgetting that there is a limit to the power he wields as a president in Nigeria.

    IPOB reacting said, we want to make it absolutely clear to the whole of humanity that the severity of Kanu’s offence as ludicrously proclaimed by Buhari is nothing but ‘freedom fighting’ in the most civil manner as enshrined in the U.N charter on right to self determination, in which Nigeria under a tyrannical president -Buhari is a signatory to.

    Since almost a year ago he was kidnapped to be killed by DSS, until IPOB raised alarm, the Nigerian government is yet to find him guilty of any crime; despite numerous smear campaign and judicial manipulation, using John Tsoho as a willing tool, Kanu like a man who came to equity with clean hands was found too innocent to condemn; hence the radical approach to systematically assassinate him in prison using various mechanism, and thus prompting his lawyers to initiate an application for bail at the Ecowas court in order to secure his life.

    Nnamdi Kanu is a freedom fighter championing the cause of the restoration of Biafra, following the rules as obtainable under the U.N charter, and as adopted by the African Union (A.U) in which Nigeria is a member. It is preposterous that same body that instituted this law of self-determination have decided to keep silent under the present circumstances, triggering one to question the potency and virility of such laws.

    Nevertheless, we are urging all Biafrans, friends of Biafra, and lovers of freedom, to continue to stand in solidarity with our supreme leader, Nnamdi Kanu as his case comes up on that day. We the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are hopeful that Nnamdi Kanu will get justice at the ECOWAS Court on the 5th of October. We look forward to celebrating the victory of light over darkness, the group added.


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