Countdown To The Coalition Agreement – 8 Months 23 Days

On many platforms, Mr.Ousainou Darboe was heard of making the point that President Adama Barrow should lead for five years because that is what the constitution says. Indeed that is what the constitution says, but the coalition partners were NOT ignorant of the constitutional provision of five years during their discussions, but that after much discussion and thought, they chose to go for three years, presumably, for some good reasons.

With the sacking of Ousainou Darboe from the Barrow government, one may wonder what the UDP’s position is on the coalition agreement that calls for a three year transitional rule. The coalition campaigned, up and down the country, to serve for three years and the people voted believing or knowing full well that the coalition government, if elected, would serve for three years, not five. The signatories to the coalition agreement including President Barrow were not deceiving the electorate.

There is nothing gentlemanly in telling the electorate that you will rule for three years when you meant five, especially upon tasting honey and milk. Gentlemen mean their words. Unfortunately President Barrow has made it clearly that he is constitutionally mandated to rule for five years. President Barrow is a signatory to the agreement which binded all those who signed it.

Therefore despite the glory and all that goes along with holding unto power “integrity” among your contemporaries is a virtue that must be upheld. If the President at the expiry of the agreement fails to relinquish power or not acting honestly to observe their so-called gentleman’s agreement, I think for the sake of the country, the coalition partners must unite and insist that he steps aside after the agreed three years.

With the recent firing of UDP heavy weights one may wonder why Mr. Barrow at one time made the statement at State House that he is a UDP president. That was against the coalition agreement? He never and could not rejoin the UDP party. In as much as we are remembering these issues, time has blurred those events and statements. Now President Barrow is a foe to the UDP hierarchy and they see him as a renegade.

As we see it now, the political landscape is worrying. Coalition members are counting down to the agreed time. The UDP is in agony with the sackings whilst President Barrow is looking at his political future with unrest. The president cannot form a political party any time soon because he heads a coalition government.

If Mr. Barrow insists on serving for 5 years, he will be deceiving his Coalition Partners and the whole country. Clearly, the current leadership and all of the coalition partners must know that they will not be on the right side of history for supporting such deceitful action; such action will not serve the country well in the long term. Therefore, there must be push for General election in 2019.

Gambian Government Recognises Complimentary Role of Rotarians Globally

The Gambian president, His Excellency, President, Adama Barrow reiterated his Government recognition to the complimentary role that Rotarians around the globe and Rotarians in the country are undertaking to touch the lives of the various communities within The Gambia.

This statement was delivered by the Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Lamin B. Dibba on behalf of President Barrow as he addressed Rotarians during the five-day 6th District 9101 Assembly and Conference (DAC) which recently ended at the KairabaBeach  hotel. The theme for the convergence was: “Be The Inspiration” while the Motto of Rotary reads: “Service above Self; He profits Most Who Serves Best” which is an epitome of the work that Rotarians across the world are undertaking to help bring about a positive impact to the lives of people globally. As a Government Barrow went on, they are aware of various Gambian Rotary Clubs projects in the country such as a Science Lab project in Kanifing, 13 water and garden project in the Central River Region, ongoing medical equipment supplies to EFSTH, Burns Unit at Bansang hospital, Giborokuta water project that has brought portable safe drinking water to over 4, 000 inhabitants within the area, scholarships to post graduates for pursuance of studies in the area of Peace and Conflict Resolution. President Barrow said, in all these intervention as a government, they take pride in the support that Rotarians are lending to the communities for the realization of the country’s economic development programs within the framework of the National Development Plan (NDP). “Rotary efforts in the global eradication of Polio through Polio vaccination campaign and eradication of Malaria are indeed noble because District 9101 Malaria Committee is headed by a Gambian in the name of Dr. Emma Bruce,” Barrow stated. The Gambian leader believed that repositioning of Dr. Bruce leadership to the said committee will bring to District 9101 a new sense of purpose considering the havoc that malaria is wreaking within the confines of the ECOWAS borders.

He commended, Akiladi Jeremiah Allen for being the First Gambian Governor District 9101 and for successfully bringing the District Assembly and Conference (DAC), for the first time, to the shores of The Gambia.  “I am hopeful that there are other aspiring Rotarians in the country who will keep this aspiration going and as a Government, we urge the Rotary Clubs in the country and beyond to continue the good work they are doing and the positive changes they are bringing across the countries, communities and continents globally,” President Barrow ended. The outgoing Governor District 9101, Akiladi Jeremiah Allen informed his fellow Rotarian that there are five Rotary Clubs in the country namely; Banjul, Fajara, Brusubi, Bijilo and Kotu respectively. According to Mr. Allen, membership is vital for the effectiveness of their organization and he therefore, stated it is important for Rotarians to prioritize the expansion of their membership based. “Where membership is less than 25, I urge you (Rotarians) in the country to appoint Membership Committees and challenge them to recruit new members, of balanced gender and diversity, which are committed to propagate good work of Rotary,” Mr. Allen urged fellow Rotarians. The ceremony was attended by Cabinet Ministers and other dignitaries.

Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay And Yankuba Touray Jointly Charged

Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay and Yankuba Touray both former minister of Yaya Jammeh’s regime were Friday jointly charge for allegedly interfering with a TRRC witness. The two accused person initially appeared before the Kanifing Magistrate court and were granted bail.

However, on Friday Police prosecutor, ASP Manga requested for the withdrawal of the previous charges against the accused person arguing that they have filled new amended and additional charge regarding the matter. ASP Manga also inform the court that the prosecution team wants to prosecute the two accused person in the same courtroom and therefore apply for the withdrawals of the first charge sheet.

In response to ASP Manga’s request, Magistrate P.M. Sarr granted the application and discharges the accused person on the previous charges.

Meanwhile, when the case was called before another Magistrate Isatou Janneh Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates court, ASP A. Manga and ASP Jallow announced their appearance for the IGP and Lawyers Abdoulie Sisoho L.S. Camara represented the first and second accused person.

The two accused person are now jointly charged with three criminal counts, Conspiracy to commit a felony, contrary to section 368 of the criminal code cap 10:10 volume III laws of the Gambia.

Charge sheet

Particles of offence on count one, Yankuba Touray and Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay on are about the 5th day of January 2019 at Kanifing and diverse places within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court of the Republic of the Gambia, agreed among themselves to influence, discourage or tried to stop Alagie Kanyi a potential witness from testifying and did called him for that purpose.

Statement of offence on count two is interfering with information or witness, Contrary to section 36 (a) of the TRRC Act, Laws of the Gambia 2017. Count two particles of offence, Yankuba Touray on or about the 5th day of January, 2019 at Kanifing and dives place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court of the Gambia, with the intent to obstruct, or interfere with the work of the TRRC, called Alagie Kanyi a potential TRRC witness through your mobile number 7877948 and told him that he should not mind the commission as they cannot do anything which act suggests or amount to interfering with the work of the commission in the discharge of its functions thereby committed an offence.

Statement of offence on count three, Statement of offence on count three is interfering with information or witness, Contrary to section 36 (a) of the TRRC Act, Laws of the Gambia 2017. Count two particles of offence, Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay on about the 5th day of January, 2019 at Kanifing and dives places within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court of the Gambia, with the intent to obstruct, or interfere with the work of the TRRC, called Alagie Kanyi a potential TRRC witness through your mobile number 7877948 and told him that he should not mind the commission as they cannot do anything which act suggests or amount to interfering with the work of the commission in the discharge of its functions thereby committed an offence.

Land Commission To Enhance Law Reform In The Gambia

Land law reform is high on the agenda of “second generation” structural adjustment in many, perhaps most, African countries. This turns out to be far more than a matter of simply “getting the institutions right.” Discussions of land law reform are occurring against the backdrop of on-going tensions and sometimes violence. Rising tensions and violence coming out of Kombo South between the communities of Gunjur and Berending are very disturbing.

True that the government has instituted a Land Commission, where all matters relating to land issues should be addressed but land issues continue to emerge and there are no clear cut guidelines that demarcate free hold land between the communities. Ancestral property is mostly confused with a narrative from generation to generation that sometimes could be misleading.

Land law reform is and will remain much more difficult, politically, than much of the policy literature would predict. Today’s discussions of land law reform are taking place in the context of intensifying conflict over land rights in our country. Many a times a piece of land is sold to multiple people, each one of them with a certified document from an Alkalo or his clerk.  Our courts have heard numerous court cases with dubious dealings.

This is not peculiar to the Gambia but across much of the continent, demographic increase, environmental stress, and the mounting (although very uneven) pressures of commercialization of land, labor, and output all add momentum to processes that can promote the growing exclusivity of land rights. Pressures or movement in the direction of more exclusive land rights — including the land law reforms now on the table in many countries — can provoke contestation and conflict because of the distributional implications of such changes.

Ahmadiyaa Delegation Pays Courtesy Call On President Barrow

A delegation of the Ahmadiyaa Muslim Jamaat recently paid a courtesy call on His Excellency, President Adama Barrow, at State House. The delegation was headed by the Emir of The Gambia Jamaat, Baba F. Trawalleh and they were accompanied by the Hon. Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Mr.Ebrima Sillah.

Their visit to State House came after the Muslim TV Ahmadiyaa (MTA) International handed over newly equipped TV studios to the state broadcaster, GRTS. MTA is building its own studios in Banjul and they will soon begin recording programmes from Banjul and broadcasting them on MTA International channels. President Barrow expressed excitement about the support of the Ahmadiyaa Muslim Jamaat towards the country. He assured them that their participation in the development of the country is embraced by the government, and thanked the Jamaat for the partnership.

“I pray that we have more investors and development partners like the Jamaat to come and support the development of the country,” President Barrow said.  Emir Baba F. Trawalleh explained that the purpose of the visit was a courtesy call on the President after handing over the second studio to GRTS. “Jamaat is trying within our means, to contribute to all development areas beside health and education. That this country will eventually be a great nation and the people of the country can benefit as far its social aims are concerned,” the Amir said. The Jamaat is also involved in the agriculture sector. It is working on building an additional new hospital and an international technical training college here in Banjul. He said all of these projects are geared towards complementing the national development goals of the government.

MunirUddin Shams, Managing Director of MTA International, expressed delight at the cooperation with GRTS. “The founder of the Ahmadiyaa Muslim community has said that he has been sent by Allah for two purposes: to bring people nearer to God and to serve humanity. These are important to us and they are the reason the Ahmadiyaa Muslim has been establishing schools, hospitals in The Gambia and other African countries,” Mr. Shams explained.

As President Barrow Axes UDP Members New NAM Gassama Says He Is Still A Member Of The UDP

Foday Gassama the replacement of the United Democratic Party executive member Ya Kumba Jaiteh whose nomination into the National Assembly has been revoked by President Barrow has said that he is still a member of the UDP as he took oath of office last week amidst a heavily guarded legislative building.

Gassama took his oath pending the outcome of the case before the apex court determining the constitutionality of the President’s decision. However, if the Supreme Court determines in the coming weeks in favour of Jaiteh and nullifies the President’s action, Gassama will vacate his seat for Jaiteh. Contrary to the call by some supporters of Ya Kumba Jaiteh and UDP, there was no protest outside the National assembly which was surrounded by heavy security, rather a small group gathered outside the National Assembly to witness Gassama’s swearing in to show support to President Barrow.

Gassama did not mince his words as he told journalists; “I am still a member of the United Democratic Party despite increased tension between the party and President Barrow.”  It could be recalled that the UDP party’s leader Ousainou Darboe and two other ministers have since been fired by President Darboe. The reasons like most firings still a mystery.

However it was a thing that most people predicted and commentators fear that the worst could happen with a recall of some diplomats believed to be UDP members appointed by Darboe whilst he was foreign minister. However, Gassama said Gambians should be cognisant of the fact that the country is bigger than any individual interest and that “whatever we do we should put Gambia’s interest first”.  “We should put our individual interest aside if we want to promote peace and tranquility in our quest to develop the Gambia.

We should stop castigating one another and focus on institutional and legal reforms”. Ya Kumba Jaiteh, one of the five people nominated into the lawmaking body by President Barrow, had been sacked by the Gambian leader about three weeks ago and her firing caused huge controversy with claims and counter claims over its constitutionality.

Ya Kumba took a motion to the Supreme Court seeking for the President’s decision to be declared as unconstitutional. Her lawyers have also asked for an injunction to restraint the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Speaker from swearing in Gassama. However, in its ruling on the matter, the Supreme Court refused the request for an injunction and granted the lawmaking body the go-ahead to swear in Gassama and restrained Ya Kumba from interfering in the process.

The five judges argued that its decision is premised on the “presumption” that all official acts are legal. Therefore, it was logical that it allows the President’s decision to stand pending the outcome of the case.

Rawdatul Majaalis Calls For Electoral Reform At GSIC

Members of the Rawdatul Majaalis are calling fo r electoral reform at the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC) in order to give ownership to all Muslims in the Council. Cadi Abdoulie Kanteh, challenged the Council members not to conduct congress and elections without going through the right procedure of the election Act.

“If members of the GSIC conducted both the congress and elections without going through the proper channel, it means GSIC are doing things on their own just to make the Council “a Club of Friends,” Kanteh stated. According to Kanteh, for members of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council to delay the announcement of the congress and elections means they have a hidden agenda which they want pursue during elections.

Public Relations Officer,  Rawdatul Majaalis, Abubakarr Jabbie called on GSIC executive to make public all those interested in executive positions to forward their names to the secretariat within a stipulated deadline. He suggested to GSIC executive members to issue ID card to all Muslims in the country so that Council would not be described as a Council that belongs to few individuals instead all Gambian Muslims.

PRO Jabbie said what Gambian Muslims need at Gambia Supreme Islamic Council is “System Change” instead of seeing the institution being monopolized by few individuals whose interest is to clinch unto power forever. “We are aware that plans are in pipeline for GSIC to organize both congress and elections next month and no announcement has been made to that effect by the Council.

According to PRO Jabbie; “The entire Gambia Supreme Islamic Council Executive should be declared vacant before they call for elections.” Rawdatul Majaalis Organizer, Lamin Marrie reminded that the first election conducted by the GSIC was in 1992 where all Imams and Majaalis sects in the country participated except some Arabic Scholars.

Lamin Jarjue Is Impersonating An Alkalo: Says Chief Momodou Bojang

The Head Chief of Kombo North District describes self-proclaimed alkalo of Babylon’s actions as impersonation that can be tantamount to Obtaining money by false pretense, Conspiracy, Willful damage to property and Trespass.

Alhaji Momodou Bojang made this revelation during an exclusive interview with our reporter at his Sukuta residence recently, while 4 other Alkalos within the Babylon neighborhood also express similar sentiments.

According to Chief Bojang, the Government of The Gambia does not recognize Babylon as a village nor recognize Lamin Jarjue as the village head.

He categorically emphasized that Lamin Jarjue committed the crimes mentioned together with his team and he added “how can someone whose parents never settled in Kombo claim ownership of a land in the area?”

Chief Bojang explained that Lamin Jarjue has in his custody false documents which he paraded before pressmen at his recent press briefing with journalists at Babylon.

“Even the office of the former Governor, West Coast Region, under Musa Amul Nyassi issued press releases stating that “the Government of The Gambia did not recognize Babylon as a village” nor recognize Lamin Jarjue as the village head”, Chief Bojang revealed.

He informed our reporter that the current Minister of Local Government and Lands, Musa Drammeh in December 2018 and himself (Bojang) as Kombo North Chief invited Lamin Jarjue to discuss the Babylon issue but he (Lamin Jarjue) did not honor the invitation.

It is good news he went on, to be informed that through his chieftaincy, Babylon residents paid their 2017-18 rate tax to Brikama Area Council (BAC).

Chief Bojang said whoever paid his/her tax was given a serial number instead of compound number by Brikama Area Council adding that no country can develop without tax.

The four alkalos (village heads) from Mandinaring, Kerewan, Lamin and MaKumbaya gave account of how Babylon came into existence.

According to them, Babylon was named after one of FahCeesay’s grandparent’s herdsmen by the name Ba Billo Bah. He (Bah Billo Bah) was with his two brothers Biggie Bah and Gallo Bah both herdsmen in the same area.

According to the 4 alkalos, all what Jarjue was saying about Babylon was unfounded thus stressing that none of his parents ever settled in Babylon.

The alkalos further stressed that the documents in Jarjue’s possession regarding Babylon are not authentic but he paraded them to mislead the general public.

They challenged Jarjue to produce his appointment as alkalo of Babylon in order to back his claim that he is the legitimate alkalo of Babylon, while stating that the record of Babylon as a village cannot be traced in any office in the country especially at the Local Gov’t Ministry and WCR Governor’s Office.

According to them, Jarjue never inherited any land from his parents at Babylon nor was Babylon in the Gambia National Gazette noting that both Jammeh’s and Barrow’s Governments conducted their investigation as to whether Babylon is a recognizable village or not.

Oprah Winfrey Living The American Dream

Oprah Winfrey has lived the American Dream, overcoming hardship and adversity to become one of the largest media figures in the world.

Orpah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She was named after a biblical character in the Old Testament named Oprah from the Book of Ruth. A clerical error in the hospital listed her as Orpah, but many people struggled to pronounce it and finally the name Oprah stuck.

Her mother, Vernita Lee, worked as a housemaid. She took her last name from Vernon Winfrey, a city councilman who was serving in the armed formed forces at the time of her birth (although a Mississippi farmer named Noah Robinson, Sr. later claimed to be her biological father). After her birth, her mother moved north and left Oprah in the care of her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee. Hattie taught Oprah to read at age three and brought her to the local church in which she was very active.

The family was poor but made due with the resources available. Hattie even designed dresses for Oprah made from potato sacks. When she turned six years old, Oprah moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to live with her mother. Vernita gave birth to another daughter, Patricia, and she worked as a maid, leaving her with little time to give Oprah the attention she had been receiving before (she also gave birth later to another daughter, also named Patricia, whom she gave up for adoption and a son named Jeffrey. Both the first Patricia and Jeffrey would die, in 2003 and 1989 respectively). Because she was struggling to raise the kids, Vernita sent Oprah to live with Vernon in 1962, so Oprah began a new life in Nashville, Tennessee.

During her childhood, Oprah was sexually molested by several family members beginning when she was nine years old. She did not receive support from her family through these hardships. It would lead her to run away from home when she was 13. She became pregnant a year later, but the baby boy passed away. She returned to Milwaukee and attended Lincoln High School before transferring to the more prestigious Nicolet High School. She was teased by her more affluent classmates and often stole money from her mother to try to imitate the lifestyles of these classmates.

Angered and frustrated, her mother sent her back to Nashville to live with Vernon, who, though strict, was fair and encouraging. He helped her focus on her education and soon she was excelling in the classroom, becoming an honor student. She was voted most popular girl in her high school and won a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, in no small part to placing second nationally in a dramatic interpretation competition. She studied communications in college and gained enough confidence to enter the Miss Black Tennessee competition, which she won.

She now began to attract a great deal of attention and was hired by radio station WVOL as a news reader and then moved on to WLAC-TV where she served as a news anchor. Ambitious, she was not content to enjoy where she was, instead moving to Baltimore, Maryland where co-anchored the six-o’clock news for WJZ. She also participated in a local talk show for the station called People are Talking.

In a true sense, people were talking — about her, and soon she was on the move again, this time to Chicago, Illinois where she would become the host of WLS-TV’s AM Chicago, a morning talk show. Within three months, she pulled the show from the bottom of the ratings to the top, overcoming the Phil Donahue juggernaut in Chicago.

As she enjoyed her local success, she was drawn into the national spotlight when she was cast in the role of Sofia in Steven Spielberg’s production of “The Color Purple.” Incredibly, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Now in the public eye, it was time for her to make a move nationally.

Encouraged by media critic Roger Ebert, she signed a syndicated deal with King World to create what would become known as The Oprah Winfrey Show. The show went national on September8, 1986 and it soon surpassed Donahue’s show. The shows were considered tabloid talk shows, presenting sensational, scandal ridden topics and soon there were no shortage of competitors. Among others, shows hosted by Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, Maury Povich, Montel Williams, Ricki Lake, Sally Jessy Raphael, and Geraldo Rivera hit the airwaves, each trying to outdo the other in outlandishness.

With so much competition, each seeming to pull themselves and their competitors into a cesspool, something had to break. In 1996, Phil Donahue bowed out, no longer able to compete with the sleaze. Oprah also had a moment of clarity and realized that she needed to move in a different direction, less she get pulled down into the quagmire. In the mid-1990’s she decided to tackle less-scandalous, but more important topics that affected real people’s lives.

She decided to create a show that helped to provide therapy, not only to the guests appearing on that particular show, but also to those in the audience at home. Rather than focus on the guest and ridicule them for their poor judgment or poor choices, Winfrey instead shined a light on the topic, creating a community, both in the studio and at home, to tackle the issues, collectively. She also connected with her audience members, rewarding them for their loyalty by giving away prizes, such as giving away a brand new car to all of her audience members on September 13, 2004.

Her approach caused her to shake off her competitors to become the Queen of Television and she began forging into other areas of media. She created and co-starred in a television miniseries called the Women of Brewster Place and adapted the Toni Morrison novel Beloved into a feature motion picture. Her success was not, however, without its obstacles.

While the Women of Brewster Place was critically acclaimed, its spin-off television series was quickly cancelled. Beloved failed at the box office spectacularly, leading Oprah to suffer a bout of depression leading to a 30 pound weight gain. Also, on an episode of her show, Oprah touched on the topic of Mad Cow disease and one of her guests made statement against feeding processed livestock to cattle, a practice which many in England believed contributed to the disease. Members of the cattle industry in Texas sued Winfrey based on a 1995 Texas law under which people can be held liable if they make false and disparaging statements about perishable food products.

The lawsuit seemed nonsensical on its face, but it placed Winfrey in significant emotional turmoil as well as in potential financial jeopardy. Oprah hired Phil McGraw to help prepare her for the trial and after the judge dismissed the case against her in 1998, she publicly thanked McGraw. She soon began inviting him onto her show as a relation and life strategy expert and in 2002 Oprah’s Harpo Studios began producing a new show for him called the Dr. Phil Show. Oprah began inviting a number of guests on to advise audience members and guests. One of these was Mehmet Cengiz Oz whom she referred to as Dr. Oz. In 2009, Harpo Studios began producing the Dr. Oz show.

Message To Her Excellency Dr. Isatou Touray, Vice President

Your Excellency DR. Isatou Touray, Vice President of the Gambia, and my dear friend and good Gambian Sister,

RE: WARM AND GRAPHIC CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE.-

Friday 15th March 2019, (“The Ides Of March”, William Shakespeare- “Julius Caesar”), was indeed a great day, in The Gambia’s Constitutional /Political history. It was indeed “a red-letter day” (i.e. an important or memorable day), when His Excellency President Adama Barrow, The President Of The Republic Of The Gambia & Commander-In-Chief of The Gambia Armed Forces, deemed it absolutely fitting, to evoke the appropriate Executive Powers (Sections:- 70 (5) (A), 71 (4) (B), 70 (3) & 71 (3)),  vested in him by our present 1997 Constitution, to effect a major Cabinet Reshuffle, after which the following monumental political changes inevitably occurred, with immediate effect:- (1) His Excellency Mr.Ousainou Darboe, the then Vice President, was relieved of his post, and he was succeeded by Her Excellency DR. Isatou Touray, (your good self), the former Health Minister, and you are now overseeing The Ministry Of Health, (2) Hon. Mr.Amadou Sanneh, Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration & Employment, was succeeded by Hon. Mr.Lamin Jobe (a Master’s Degree holder, in Public Administration, Poona University, India), (3) Hon. Mr.Lamin .N. Dibba, was relieved of his post as Minister Of Agriculture, and Hon. Mr. James .F.P. Gomez, Minister of Fisheries, Natural Resources & National Assembly Matters, is now overseeing that Ministry. “Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide, in the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side”, James Russell Lowell (1819-91), an erudite and inspirational Methodist hymn writer, and poet.

William Shakespeare, the erudite “Bard of Avon”, in his masterpiece Play/Comedy titled: – “As You like It”, rightly wrote:-

“All the World is a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances. And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven stages………..” Indeed Your Excellency Madam Vice President, as a distinguished and very famous Gambian lady, you have indeed “played many parts”, and you are still playing those parts effectively, in the Political, Cultural and Socio-Economic arenas of The Gambia. Politically, you are the first Gambian Woman, to bravely and patriotically present yourself as an Independent Candidate for a Presidential Election, (i.e. in 2016). “Vel primus, Vel cum primus” (Latin:- either the first, or among the first). You did not make any political mistake whatsoever, in giving up this laudable political ambition, to join “Coalition 2016”, whose then able and invincible Presidential Candidate or Flag bearer was, Hon. Mr.Adama Barrow, (as he then was), now by God’s Grace, His Excellency President Adama Barrow, after successfully winning the 1st December 2016 free and fair Presidential Election, thereby clearly defeating Ex-President Yahya Jammeh and his ruling A.P.R.C. Party, at the aforesaid polls. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”(Latin: – The Voice Of The People Is The Voice Of God).  I am very sure, that His Excellency President Adama Barrow, when he was seriously considering to appoint you as Her Excellency The Vice President, he must have also rightly considered your aforesaid monumental and patriotic political sacrifice, which you consciously made “ Pro Bono Publico” (Latin:- for the good of the public). As a Senior Canadian-Trained Theologian, the appropriate Theological quotation, that inevitably comes surfacing to the landscape of my mind is:- “The King’s heart is in the hand of The Lord, as the rivers of Water, he (God) turns it, how he wishes”, from The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 21, Verses 1 to 3, in The Holy Bible. The era of “women shall be seen, but not heard”, is now a thing of the past. You are a classic role model or mentor, for all Gambian Women and Girls.

From the Social perspective, you are a founder member of B.A.F.R.O.W. (a well known registered N.G.O. for Women Empowerment), and you are also, the first Gambian Woman, to have a PhD Degree in Development Studies (Gender Issues). You obtained your said PhD Degree with flying colours, from University Of Sussex, U.K., after obtaining your Master’s Degree in Development Studies, from The Institute of Social Studies, in The Hague, The Netherlands, after obtaining your Bachelor’s Degree in Education and English, from Usman Dan Fodio University In The Federal Republic Of Nigeria.

Coincidentally, like you, by God’s Grace, I also did Postgraduate Studies in The Hague, alias “The World’s Judicial Capital.” From 7th July to 15th August 1997, I attended a Postgraduate Public And Private International Law Course, at The Peace Palace/International Court Of Justice (I.C.J.), and The Hague Academy of International Law, and I  obtained Postgraduate Certificates In Public And Private International Law, from The Under Secretary General And Legal Counsel at The U.N. Legal Affairs Office, and The Executive Director of The United Nations Institute For Training And Research (U.N.I.T.A.R.) in Geneva, DR. Marcel Boisard. Upon successfully completing the said intensive Law Course, with a highly competitive U.N.I.T.A.R. Fellowship, I then became both: – (1) A Fellow of U.N.I.T.A.R. and (2) A Fellow Of the said Academy.

The incontrovertible evidence, of you also being a prolific seasoned and accomplished writer, was that in 1998, you were among erudite scholars/researchers  from four English-Speaking/Anglophone West African Countries namely:- The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, who ably co-authored a famous Sub-Regional Women’s Rights Law Book titled:- “Women And Law In West  Africa”, which was professionally published by The Human Rights Center, of The Faculty of Law of The University Of Ghana, Legon. The publication of the said book was a popular literary project that was fully funded in U.S Dollars, by Carnegie Corporation, in The U.S.A. The 6 Gambian Co-Authors/Researchers were:- (1) Your good self, you were then the able Co-ordinator of “Gender & Management”, at The Management Development Institute (M.D.I.), and you wrote on:-“Women, Land Tenure & Land Rights”, (2) Hon. Mrs.Hawa Kuru Sisay-Sabally, who was then, the Hon. Attorney General & Minister Of Justice. She is the first Gambian Female Lawyer, to be officially appointed in the said Legal capacity, and Hon. DR. Fatou Bom Bensouda (O.R.G.), My Learned Friend and the current Chief Prosecutor of The I.C.C. in The Hague, The Netherlands, was the second. Hon. Mrs.Sissay-Sabally wrote on “Inheritance in The Gambia”, (3) Ms. Nana Ama Ofori Atta, The Director Of Vinasha (a registered N.G.O.), who wrote on :-“Violence Against Women In The Gambia), (4) Ms.Mahen Njie, a Senior Statistician/Researcher at The Central Statistics Department (C.S.D.), who wrote on:- “Family Law In The Gambia”), (5) Mrs. Amie Gaye, our Country Co-ordinator and a Senior  Statistician/Researcher at The C.S.D., who also wrote on:- “Family Law In The Gambia” and (6) lastly and by no means the least, my humble self. I also wrote on:- “Violence Against Women In The Gambia”. I was then a State Counsel at The Attorney General’s Chambers & Ministry Of Justice, and a Founder Senior Law Lecturer at The Law Department of The Gambia Technical Training Institute (G.T.T.I.), (from 1994 to 2007), where I was a Founder Senior Law Lecturer, in both:- (1) the two-year Diploma-In-Law Course and (2) The Institute Of Legal Executives (I.L.E.X.) Course. The G.T.T.I.’s External Senior Legal Consultant for the I.L.E.X. Course was a Senior British Solicitor, my good friend and colleague, Mr. Chris Buckwell, who is now deservedly, a Senior British Immigration Judge. When I was doing my Master Of Laws (L.L.M) Degree/Postgraduate Course in Environmental Law & Management, at The    University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, U.K, Mr.Buckwell kindly arranged for Lord Molyneaux Of Killead, to invite me to a high-profile Reception, at The House Of Lords, (The Upper House Of The British Bicameral Parliament), on behalf of The Directors Of I.L.E.X. Tutorial College, on Thursday, 27th January 2000, since I was a G.T.T.I. Founder Senior I.L.E.X. Law Lecturer.

When I was The Solicitor General & Legal Secretary, (The Deputy Chief Legal Adviser Of The Gambia Government), by the grace of God Almighty, (from 2007 to 2009), I was travelling on an Official African Development Bank (A.D.B.) trip to Tunisia, with Mr.Cherno Marenah, ( the present able  Solicitor General & Legal Secretary), and we met both your good self and Mrs. Amie Bojang-Sissoho, (the present able Director Of Press & Public Relations, at The Office Of The President, at State House). We all happily met at the International Airport at Casablanca, Kingdom Of Morocco, and while we were waiting for our different flights, we had a very fruitful brain- storming session, on Women’s Rights and Women’s Empowerment in The Gambia. As a Senior Human Rights Lawyer and Author, I am happy to say authoritatively, that your recent and well deserved Official appointment as, Her Excellency The Vice President Of The Gambia, by His Excellency President Adama Barrow, is indeed a bold step in the right direction, for Women’s Empowerment in The Gambia, and it is also in harmony or consonance, with what has now become a good and enduring tradition in The Gambia, for a distinguished and highly educated Gambian Woman, to be Officially and deservedly appointed as, Her Excellency The Vice President Of The Republic Of The Gambia.

I am highly elated to inform you, that I am about to complete the final manuscript of my fourth Law Publication titled:-“Violence against Women and Women’s Rights in The Gambia (Case Study)”.  I am also happy to inform you, that you are among the prominent Gambian Women, whom I have deservedly talked about, in my aforesaid proposed Women’s Rights Law Book. Any help which Your Excellency will be able to give me, for the publication and launching of this book, will indeed be highly appreciated. Mr. James M.B. Abraham, an Oxford University-Trained Educationist, and a former Member Of The I.E.C., (who kindly edited my said manuscript), has reliably informed me, that in 1965 just after our Independence on 18th February, when he was the Deputy Headmaster Of Crab Island Secondary Modern School, (when the late Mr.Alieu E.W.F. Badjie alias “Mr. Kama Badjie”, was the substantive Headmaster), you were among the most intelligent students, in the said Citadel Of Learning, and he is now appreciating your achievements in different walks of life, or different fields of human endeavor, both in The Gambia and abroad.

In conclusion, let me avail my humble self, to warmly congratulate you, for your recent and deserved Presidential appointment, as Her Excellency the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia. I am conceptually and evidentially certain, that you will indeed acquit your good self creditably, and you will certainly deliver as expected of you. “Those to whom much is given, much is expected.” I wish you a happy and successful tenure of Office, as Her Excellency the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia.

Please accept Your Excellency Madam Vice President, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration and fraternal esteem.

Yours in the Rule of Law

……………

(SD) DR. Henry .D.R. Carrol (M.R.G.)

  • Senior Oxford-Trained Lawyer.
  • Solicitor General Emeritus Of The Gambia &
  • Founder Senior U.T.G. Law Lecturer (from 2007 to date).

 Cc. Hon. Mr.Ebrima O. Camara,

Secretary General & Head Of The Civil Service,

Office Of The President, State House, Banjul.


Cc Mrs. Amie Bojang-Sissoho,

Press And Public Relations Officer,

Office of The President, State House, Banjul.