PDOIS Challenges Jammeh’s Executive Directives




In many parts of the world where the sovereign people are aware of their rights and powers, the policies of government and the laws parliaments enact are examined periodically to determine whether they are serving or negating the public interest. If they fail to serve the public interest, Presidents and Ministers who formulated the policies and members of parliament who voted for the bills to become laws are held accountable by the public and are deprived of votes in subsequent elections.

This is why it is immensely important for the public to keep tract of government decisions. In this vein, PDOIS has decided to look into the subject of executive directives which are constantly being relied on to manage the affairs of many institutions at both the National and Regional levels.

Executive Directive on Council Revenue
It has been brought to the notice of the Central Committee of PDOIS that an executive directive has been issued giving authority to the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) to assume responsibility for the collection of all revenues on behalf of the Councils with effect from 1 March 2015.

This Executive Directive is not only unconstitutional and unlawful but has not taken into consideration the human capacity available at the GRA to carry out such a task.

The Constitution and the Law
The Constitution envisages councils with autonomous financial institutions.
Section 192 (1) of the constitution states: “Local government administration in The Gambia shall be based on a system of democratically elected councils with a high degree of local autonomy”.

The behest of the Constitution is amplified by the provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 which has given mandatory powers on how councils should manage financial matters.

Consequently, Section 127 of the Local Government Act states:

“Subject to this Act or any other enactment, every Council shall have autonomy over its financial matters.
Section 128 adds: (1) The revenue and funds of a Council include all sums of money or funds accruing to a Council.

(2) The revenue and funds of a Council shall be applied to the administration, development and welfare of the inhabitants within its Area of jurisdiction.

(3) The Central Government shall provide twenty-five per cent of the Council’s development budget.

Section 129:“Every Council shall be answerable and accountable to –

(a) Its electorate for all moneys which accrue to the Council from the electorate; and

(b) The National Assembly for all moneys appropriated to the Council from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, or otherwise.

Section 130. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the financial affairs of a Council shall be regulated in accordance with a Local Government (Finance and Audit) law to be enacted by the National Assembly.

Section 131. (1) A Council shall have power to levy rates and such taxes as the National Assembly shall prescribe, to meet all liabilities, whether of a general or special nature. “

On the Finance and Audit Act
The Local Government Finance and Audit Act indicates how the funds, budget and accounts of councils are to be managed.

Section 3 of the act states:
“a council shall keep a Council Development Fund into which all revenue generated by the Council shall be paid and from which all; liabilities falling to be discharged by the council shall be discharged.

Section 12 of the Act adds “ Subject to the provisions of this Act and any other Act , each Council has autonomy over its financial matters , excluding salaries , allowances and other emoluments.“

It is therefore abundantly clear that the executive order is at variance with the Constitution and the Local Government Act and ought to be revoked.

The tendency of many Gambians is to condone impunity by simply retorting: What can we do about it? Some would even claim that the writing is useless because the executive would not listen. The fundamental difference between a Monarchy and a Republic is the authority resident in each citizen in a Republic to be able to remove from office, any power which refuses to be guided or restrained by the just demands of the people.

The executive has sworn to Govern in accordance with the Constitution and other laws of the country. To fail to do so is to deserve impeachment.

This is why the electorate should be mindful of the type of people they elect to become National Assembly members. The first line of defence against the impunity of executive power in a Republic is an Independent National Assembly with representatives who would ensure that executive power is exercised within the guards and fences provided by the Constitution and other laws failing which they face impeachment proceedings.

Will the National Assembly members look into the executive order given to the councils? The people are watching to see whether they would carry out their oversight functions.

PDOIS has made it clear that if it is given a mandate it would create Village, District and Regional Councils which would produce sovereign wealth at each level to promote development. Village farms, Aquaculture and Cottage Industries would enable them to earn income for the development of villages.

Governors would be replaced by Regional Permanent Secretaries who would exercise direction and control over the operation of government departments in the Regions. All councillors would be elected. All powers given to dissolve councils and appoint administrators would be revoked. Councils would be under the rule of law which would make them transparent and accountable to the public instead of being subjected to the rule of the might of the executive.

A jury system would replace the District tribunals to free the justice system in the rural areas from executive or political influence and patriarchy.

Development shall be centred on the sovereign people and shall be designed to ensure their liberty and prosperity. This shall be the core values of the Third Republic.

The End


  1. This message is clear.Power belongs to the people.

  2. All Councillors elected by the people and who are serving the interest of their electorate should resign their post if the Jammeh regime wants to force/push this unconstitutional and blatant disregard for law and norm. Jammeh’s attempt to control every aspect of Gambian life is a manifestation of his state of mind. It cannot just be the desire to amass wealth.
    Thanks for the piece, informative and instructive..

  3. Deyda Haidara

    I vote for Halifa President but please clean up all foreigners in our election register first, only then would I expect your victory in future elections.

  4. Whilst commending PDOIS efforts in condemnations highlighting the murderous tyrannical kanilai devilish syndicate & closet’s maladministration, misrepresentation, misrule & corrupt practices; geared towards macro & micro-collecting all state revenue for the abuse, mismanagement & misusing by the tyrannical kanilai slave master for personal self aggrandizement…. It’s essential to note that while some educated people can consume & digest the message, the majority of voting populace are illiterate, aren’t, won’t or mightn’t be aware of such exposure statements or couldn’t even digest & understand where as they heard of or know of the disseminations; hence some people, as already noted, mentioned/observed in the dissemination statement, can’t afford not to see the futility in the dissemination efforts as all are powerless currently to impact/stop, much more do anything about it due to the entrenched tyrannical hostilities… The statement undoubtedly is the norm as in all mature democracies BUT every situation, community &/ country needs its own specific assessments on its own situational merits & demerits independently for success…. Hence the Gambian poor/worst governance & oppressive tyrannical situation can’t be treated the SAME/equally as in mature democratic situations… Hence ours need some radical approaching which will & can only be redressed with quicker/immediate effects by much needed & requested opposition unification, where all stakeholders, individually & partisan, all needs to be flexible to concede or loose some bit of grounds to move & meet each other in center grounds for country ONLY above partisan devides; which is our only immediate feasible remedy for urgent salvation to stop such & numerous others contributing to the dilapidated economy & the current advanced decadence of the motherland…. God helps & bless the collective endeavours to salvage Gambia; Ameen.

  5. Yankuba Jobe

    Excellent thought!

  6. Janjanbureh

    Folks, we still have dictatorship in the Gambia. Dictator Jammeh do not respect the Gambian constitution nor do he care about the Gambian voters because he always steals the elections by registering foreign voters, print extra ballots for himself, divide the oppositions by injecting money to split them, arresting and intermediating people. Day dreaming is not going to change the way the dictator govern the country until Gambian people take the bull by the horn and remove Yaya Jammeh by force from power. Until then, he will keep on laughing at everything as a joke.

  7. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Village farms? That sounds like chairman Mao.

    I rather we replace Governors with elected Area Council Chairmen/women.

    Jury system is not workable in The Gambia due to the bribe culture, masla, and Mbokayaa. Also, their personal safety will be compromised as the state will not be able to guarantee their personal security 24hrs for all yrs. So an intimidated juror or a juror concerned with his own personal safety in the community in which lives or other areas where he is known, can pervert the course of justice to save his life or against bodily harm. He/she may not also want to be seen going against a defendant who is a friend, neighbour, relative, native of the same town/ village or any other relation he/she may have with the defendant or somebody close or related to him/her. It’s a small country and we are related or connected in one way or the other. A country is not moved by utopian ideas but sound and feasible ones.

    I am not giving feedbacks on pdois’s cranky policies anymore because I know they are scooping for ideas from people like me.

    Many thanks

  8. Is this not the type of leaders the country need?

    Who would be against such ideas and oversight other than those that are truthphobic and individualistic.

    Your words and selfless sacrifice would free us one day.

  9. @Lafia Touray la manju, I think the jury system can work because the participants can be drawn from a whole different areas of the country.Banjul for Bases, faraffenni Brikama and so forth. For a start, intimidation cannot be avoided but can be minimised. All the jurors can be given a place to stay.This place should be equipped with 24 hourrs surveillance as well as full security. Power to the people!!!! …With regards to the village farms, it has worked for China. The Chinese peoples’ economy is flourishing today because Chairman Mao showed them how to fish instead.It is all about SACRIFICE.We MUST do it for children.450 years of capitalism or “Cheputalism”as in wollof still we have nothing to show for it.I think we should look the other way, because Gambians are always taught to share.THE HAND THAT GIVES, this is our faith, we have a firm believe in that. If the West will not help us restore democracy in the Gambia, maybe when we should turn to china they will help.Both the Gambia and china stands to benefit more from each other in a post jammeh era.Please do visit them if you dont do it yet and see for yourself. Seeing is believing.. The Chinise govermnent can flood the Gambia with all kinds of farming equipments in a post jammeh era. .China’s John Deers, they are ready for tilting.You should try one of them, Mr Touray.

    • Lafia la Manju

      My friend, true Gambians tend to have relations and relatives all over the country. My blood relatives are found in all the regions of The Gambia and so is for many others. If you add the intermarriages, work relations and friendships that are akin to family relationships or that resulted to family ties into the equation, you will find out that we are all one, and that is a defeat for a jury system. There will be an appearance of bias based on relations of some sort. Plus the entrenched bribery, masala and badinya culture will also mean that a jury system will be a threat to justice in The Gambia.

      PDOIS people are no sabi

  10. Lafia , before the amalgamation of the district tribunals into the main justice system, it used to consist of several elders and presided over by the chief. Who used to secure those people???? Today, villages and regions are coaxed to farm to give the produce to Yahya or forced to go work on his various farms around the country. Even civil servants and security forces are not exempted. Before doing that how about being empowered to have their own farms to generate revenue for their villages. You call that Communist. You see, your only problem is sheer hatred. Period!!!

    Decency and common sense dictate that if you criticise something to be wrong, you provide or suggest an alternative. If you believe the pdois suggestions wont work, give yours as well in the public fora as we always do. If not you would be irrelevant and won’t deserve to be listened to.

    Like I always say, you are not even UDP supporter. You only masquerade yourself as UDP in order to be seen as oppositions fighting each other.

    The subject is “GRA taking over the collection of local government taxes; unconstitutionality, illegality, undemocraticness and being another means for Jammeh to control every revenue generating institution in the country and milking them to his personal wealth”. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THAT????

    If you are true and have children in Gambia whose future you care about, talk about that.

    May the struggle against Jammeh be saved from detractors like lafia. Amen

    • Lafia Touray la Manju

      Gambia, communal farming system is a communist/socialist concept (Mao and Stalin) that have been tested and failed miserably. We are in an era of free market system, and Pdois should not be allowed to return us to the dark ages. Even China is increasingly abandoning chairman Moa’s philosophy in favour of a free market system.

      Yes, what obtains in gambia today is not appealing to any sound thinking person, I am afraid, pdois is prescribing an even more backward thinking policies. Not acceptable in this 21st century.

      Chairman Moe would have been glad to know that Halifa draws all his inspirations from his failed policies and backward philosophy.

      And by the way; what is this pdois statement frenzy all about?? It seems to be on an increase since the Malik Kah debacle, a sign that Somebody is unhappy at the so-called People’s Centre.

      Like I said before, pdois is scooping for ideas from me and so I make no further comment.


      • Lafia: You are wrong again. collective farms or communal farming is the bedrock of bygone epochs whether in Europe or Africa or Asia. Commercial farming in Advance countries has over powered or rendered communal farming unnecessary due to industrialization.
        So it is not entirely true that Communal farming is a communist or socialist enterprise. It is a human enterprise to quickly eradicate hunger and propel the economy.The problem with Gambian intellectuals is they do not study to digest concepts but just run with prejudices and parade them as facts or knowledge.Those are the real obscurantists. How many farms in Gambia are owned in common?
        Collective farming and communal farming are simply various types of agricultural production in which the holdings of several farmers are run as a joint enterprise. This type of collective is essentially an agricultural production cooperative in which member-owners engage jointly in farming activities.
        Advocates of collective farming have been proven right by all UN agencies involved in food production. Right now the World Food Programme is promoting communal farming or kafoo farms to produce rice which they would buy and feed children in schools. Are you saying that is bad just because some communist somewhere at some time had introduced it.
        Collective farms are based on common ownership of resources and on pooling of labor and income in accordance with the theoretical principles of cooperative organizations.
        The Soviet style usually referred to during the country-wide collectivization campaign of 1928-1933 was an example of forced collectivization, but many countries have traditionally been engage in mutual work well before any communist ever thought of it. The Gambia and African farming communities had always been engage in collective or communal farms for collective benefit. There are Kafoo farms every where in the Gambia whether we accept it or not.
        If you read what PDOIS is calling for is through voluntary collectivization which will be governed as democratic entities. Collectivization in itself cannot be considered bad but when it is forced on people without their consent is what is not feasible or sustainable.
        Is the World Food Programme not currently running a project in the Gambia to accommodate institutional feeding support for 13,500 pre-school children in day-care centers and 80,000 children in Lower Basic schools supported under the Community Based Food-for-Work project. Lets not trivialize workable solutions lest we fail to take off in development endeavors. Soon we will come to know who is the real obscurantist.

        • Very appropriate response and educative, as well…I have followed Mawdo and you are awesome…Keep it up…Pullojery..

  11. Bajaw: “It’s essential to note that while some educated people can consume & digest the message, the majority of voting populace are illiterate, aren’t, won’t or mightn’t be aware of such exposure statements or couldn’t even digest & understand where as they heard of or know of the dissemination; hence some people, as already noted, mentioned/observed in the dissemination statement, can’t afford not to see the futility in the dissemination efforts as all are powerless currently to impact/stop, much more do anything about it due to the entrenched tyrannical hostilities…”
    Dear Bajaw, it is not futile to disseminate information even if the majority cannot consume it as you want us to believe. There is no message the public cannot consume or understand. How the message is disseminated to them may be the issue at hand. An agent of change should not underrate the power of information. Retrogressive governments like that of Gambia have dominated the main stream media precisely because of their knowledge of the use of information. How then can an agent of change undermines its own effort by propagating that it is useless to expose issues because some members of society cannot digest it. Let few digest it and transmit to others than not expose it at all.
    My problem with your comments is that you want us to believe that nothing should be done since in your opinion nothing will come out of it as long as Jammeh remains in power. You see everything that is written is a record/ evidence kept in the archives for future actions. Authentic information cannot be useless.
    We have to also understand that we are dealing with people/human beings and not animals. Every exposure we make goes to help the people to understand WHAT IS AT STAKE which goes to help them to TAKE A STAND. Expressing anger alone is not sufficient to help them to do that. There must be a systematic method of informing, educating and organizing people to precisely reach the stage we might have reached to take that grand stand like in Burkina. Society is evolving and that evolution is not controlled by anybody or power. Revolutionaries must have faith in the people and know that one person alone cannot bring about the desired change otherwise you will be gripped by endless frustration and not succeed in doing even the barest minimum of things.
    As far as Coalition is concerned, PDOIS has made it clear its proposal for two options and waiting for others to come up with their options. Instead of crying like a helpless infant, please come up with your suggestion if the PDOIS one is not your take. It will be read against theirs and i know PDOIS is open to further proposals. My problem is that many people just push unity but do not come up with any suggestion as to how that unity is to be forged. I implore you to digest the two options of PDOIS proposal and say you do not agree to it or otherwise. That will take us a step further.
    And thank you for commending PDOIS

  12. Quote Bajaw..”…..all needs to be flexible to concede or loose some bit of grounds to move & meet each other in center grounds for country ONLY above partisan devides;…..”

    Comment….Bajaw, you confuse me here, not because your statement is confusing, but because your position is confusing to me…

    You seem to.suggest here that ALL SHOULD PUT PARTISAN DIVIDES aside to form a united opposition, yet your wrought is not directed at the UDP, which is the only party saying an emphatic NO to that approach, but only at PDOIS which has.made any secret about proposal for a strategic, non.partisan alliance…That is confusing to me.

    Everyone knows that the UDP wants a UDP lead coalition which presents a UDP candidate and uses UDP colour and symbol…Regardless of what anyone says in.support of this proposition, it.is a partisan one. period. .

  13. Yerro, maybe it’s either you didn’t understand my statement or my statement isn’t clear enough for your understanding…. By starting with commendation first, of the dissemination efforts shows how appreciative I’m with PDOIS efforts. However I continued to buttress, as already observed in the statement what some reactions will be; that indeed with the low illiteracy rate it won’t be of much help as majority of the populace are ignorant of their civil/civic rights to digest the intended message of tyrannical mismanagement & corruption, etc, involved… Which made me go further to include the necessitation of the much cherished & requested temporal opposition unification being more relevant ever than before, which will be easily digested & understood by majority of population, literate/otherwise; where when successful after salvation, it will be easier for such future statements dissemination as civic & other right awareness campaigns will be order of the day in post dictatorship…. Yes indeed the dissemination is inline as in all mature democracies as I have observed….

  14. Bax, I might be currently on PDOIS as they have put their Agenda Proposal out for all to critique & criticize as deemed fit; however that doesn’t make me apolitical/against PDOIS in particular as party, as you have known my stance ever since, that I don’t subscribe to any particular individualistic opposition parties but I do sympathize with political parties both PDOIS & UDP inclusive, pending on the forum of the day, determined by the best arguments forwarded for country, BUT it’s also the case sometimes to find myself fed-up with both/any who’s proving unreasonably difficult at material time, on one issue/another… I’m already on record here to have condemned the rigid no adaptive stance of your friend Lafia & any arguments, insisting on UDP leading ALL & ANY temporal unified merger in their own rights as the majority dominating opposition party. This I believe isn’t the holistic UDP rigid party principle but of individual supporters, until put up in public domain officially as party policy… Hence my humble suggestions are & always remains to be facilitating negotiation encouragements involving all stakeholders for the collective endeavour to salvage the motherland; I’m not particularly bothered who leads us pending on the unanimous consent of all stakeholders, all I’m concerned with is, not to let our misunderstanding how complex they may be, to elongate our collective sufferings much further than necessary; my conviction is no issues should take precedence than greater community & country first above individualistic partisan divides…. Thank you.

  15. Yerro, all I can do at moment is to diagnose & digest PDOIS statements critique & criticize on what I think of the manipulative bits; wait for the other opposition party stakeholders to also inform on their policies so I can do the same & opine on what I think on the way forward…. Left to me alone there’s no need for these opposition political wrangling; if I’m to have my way & impact on the way forward all current political party leaderships will take a holiday for the next coming elections, choose an independent candidate whom we all can rally behind to support to defeat the murderous tyrannical devil…. Dr Isatou Touray of GAMCOTRAP e.g., is the person in my mind, whilst she got all it takes in the position & situation…. Isatou can lead a single term, level the political playing fields, then the sky be the limit for all political parties & politicians in post dictatorship democratic Gambia…. God help & bless the collective endeavour to salvage Gambia; Ameen.

    • “…. Isatou can lead a single term, level the political playing fields, then the sky be the limit for all political parties & politicians in post dictatorship democratic Gambia….”

      Comment…From what I understand, this is what NADD was all about in 2006…This is what Agenda 2011 was all about…..

      Not necessarily for Dr Isatou Touray to lead, but the whole point of holding primaries or a convention was to open up the leadership selection to the public and broaden the scope of potential candidates outside the political circles…making it possible to have someone like Dr Isatou Touray, as a flag bearer for a specific term, to carry out agreed governance programme…

      This approach has been negotiated, agreed upon, spelled out clearly in the Memorandum of understanding and sanctified by all parties after been signed…It is the UDP that ended it by claiming that NADD could not be registered to contest election but history has proved that contention to be incorrect…

      There already exist a workable platform for a strategic alliance, so there is no need to go back to the drawing board and ask Cordeg to formulate an alliance strategy…

      However, it will be interesting to see what form of alliance strategy Cordeg will identify and why…

      Will it be a strategy that takes the interest of all parties into consideration for a level playing field, at least, for the first election to usher in the third Republic or will it be one that seeks to put one party in an advantageous position, including the advantage of incumbency, which at the moment, is the biggest polling factor in Gambian politics… ?

  16. PDOIS has again fulfilled its role to scrutinise government and offer an alternative…This is the least expected of a genuine opposition party..And history, as Foroyaa would write, has recorded it…

    Lafia, you need to sit down and reflect on what you wrote about the jury system being unworkable in The Gambia…You may realise the enormity of what you wrote…

    If the reasons you gave are what will make the jury system unworkable, then you might as well claim that we, as a people, are not to.be trusted with anything…

    We can’t even be trusted to serve as witnesses and give evidence in court..Let’s do away with the witness system too..

    How.about dispensing public services.? We can’t be trusted with that either…So no judges because they will be bribed or influenced by “mbokaya” …And by extension, every other public sector will suffer in the same way…

    We don’t even deserve a justice delivery system that research has shown to be the best protection against miscarriage… Ridiculous and absolute nonsense…

    And as for protection, how many hundreds or thousands of witnesses, who testify in court before defendants and their families, and help prosecutors secure convictions, have been harmed due to lack of Police protection in The Gambia..? Please provide the statistics to justify your point…

    Moreover, in a trial by jury, jurors are charged with the responsibility of determining whether, on the facts of a case, a person is guilty or not guilty…The jury must reach its verdict by considering only the evidence introduced in court and the direction of the judge…Jurors neither collect evidence, nor interpret it..Furthermore, verdict is always reached by majority…It is in fact the best way of negating/minimising the possibilities of bribery and “mbokaya ” in a justice delivery system…

    Once again, PDOIS policy is superior to what exists. ..

    And elected chairmen/women of local councils cannot perform the duties of regional governors because they (governors) are representatives of central government, whereas elected councillors are representatives of their various wards ..

  17. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, judges don’t make decisions for jurors. They just say; “if you believe this, you should return verdict Y” or “if you believe that, you should return verdict X”. So essential it all comes down to the juror’s own judgement albeit within the scope that the judge provided.

    The British system is based on a jury system but they won’t extend the jury system to Falklands Island and some other small dependent British overseas territories exactly for some of the reasons I highlighted in my last post. A jury system would be a threat to justice in The Gambia.

    Ooh! I have to stop here because PDOIS is scooping for ideas.


    • @ Lafia…. (1).. “. So essential it all comes down to the juror’s own judgement albeit within the scope that the judge provided…”

      Comment…So unless you also belief that the judge will be affected by bribery and “mbokayaa”, your argument against trial by jury is baseless…

      Moreover, the “juror’s judgement” is formed on the evidence before the jury and this individual juror’s “judgement” will NOT constitute verdict, unless other jurors (usually 2/3 of all jurors) agree with him/her..There-in lies the safety from your concerns..

      (2)…”The British system is based on a jury system but they won’t extend the jury system to Falklands Island….”

      Comment….This is not quite true…According to Wikipedia, although a formal jury system does not exist in the Falklands, defendants in criminal cases can elect to have trial by Jury and Judge or Judge alone..

      The court system also has a panel of Justices of Peace (JPS) who sit in Summary Courts..These JPS are described as “non lawyers” and “understanding Members of the community” and they hear the most simple of criminal cases (and even.sit on.cases when.the Senior Magistrate is not on the Island.)..That is essentially a “jury”… only that it’s called a “Panel”.

      Also Lafia, since you have mentioned Britain, if your reasons for saying “NO” to a jury in The Gambia is due to the influence of tribe or family, are you disregarding the.make up of British Society?

      Wouldn’t race be as prejudicial in the UK, as tribe may be in The Gambia and present the same or greater risks for miscarriage of justice, if your argument is true..?

      Studies in England and Wales have shown that myths against juries, especially the idea that they discriminate against Black defendants, are unfounded…

      The study, titled, “Are juries Fair”, which was commissioned by the Ministry Justice in/around 2010, and carried out by Professor Cheryl Thomas of University College, London, concluded that juries were Fair, Efficient and Effective…

      Of course, there is no system.that is 100% safe but PDOIS policy has to be weighed against what exist (not what we don’t know) and in this instance, once again, it is a superior and better alternative..

      Lafia, you can continue pretending to hide your policies from PDOIS…The truth though, is obvious…More than a year of online discussions and arguments about almost everything under the sun, but not a single UDP Policy for public scrutiny that I have seen…That speaks volumes for.the type of party it is…

      • Lafia Touray la Manju

        I have no policies as I am not vying for political office neither am I an official of any existing political party in the gambia.

        By the way, judges enjoys certain previledges and protections designed to ensure their independence and impartiality. Jurors are not covered .


    • Bax, if I recollect correctly there is precedence for a jury system in the Gambia. I believe it was before the 1981 coup, in an incident of an “armed robbery” involving employees of the then Gambia Commercial and Development bank. They were ambushed on their way to the airport transporting money for air shipment. The subsequent.trial that ensued in this case was s trial by jury. The defendants were freed in this case. It was a high profile case. The trial I believe took place at the Kanifing Magistrate court. Those who remember or witnessed this case can corrobate or correct me if I am wrong.

      • Lafia Touray la Manju

        There is a reason why it was abolished. Tried, tested and proven to be a threat to justice in The Gambia.


  18. Lafia Touray la Manju

    I do not see any representive of the central government in County Durham or West Yorkshire. So why should Central government have representives in Gambian regions. This is a colonial legacy that is no longer helpful. The days of Commissioners/Governors should be over and let the people’s representives takeover.

    There should be a chief executive who should be a permanent secretary within the civil service. He should be the link between the central govt and the local govt authorities in the region.

    Abolish the office of commissioners/governors. It has been abused throughout and does not serve our people well since the advent of 22 July 1994.


    • Lafia…..

      This is what a PDOIS Government promised to do……

      “Governors would be replaced by Regional Permanent Secretaries who would exercise direction and control over the operation of government departments in the Regions……”

      This is what you wrote in response…

      “I rather we replace Governors with elected Area Council Chairmen/women.”

      Now, this is what you wrote…

      “There should be a chief executive who should be a permanent secretary within the civil service….”

      Question….What is.it going to be..? Permanent Secretaries or Elected Area Council Chairmen / women. .?

      You also asked the following question…..

      “So why should Central government have representives in Gambian regions..”

      Are you confused..? If government is not to be represented in Gambian regions, what the hell is your permanent secretary/chief executive doing in the Gambian Regions..? Is a permanent secretary not a rep. of central government, being a civil servant. ?

      So.taking government to the regions is a colonial legacy..? What’s your proposal : For government to remain in.Banjul and Kombo. ?

      We know why a PDOIS Government would.have Regional Permanent Secretaries:-

      To exercise control and direction over the operation of government departments (repeat)…To exercise control and direction over the operation of government departments…(not over local councils).

      One word.for.that is DECENTRALISATION… That’s why Central Government needs to be represented in the Regions…(this is my own common sense understanding; not an interpretation of the policy)

      Let’s hear your explanation….

      • Lafia Touray la Manju

        We already have Chief Executives in the Local Councils. All I am saying is that their positions should be at par with permanent secretaries since they are the administrative head of the councils albeit answerable to the political head, Mayor or chairman.

        The role of governors/commissioners should be usurped by the Area Councils and let the Chief Executive, who will be a civil servant, be the link between the central govt and the local govt authorities. That’s all I am saying.

        Governor/commissioner position is a tool of political oppression and should be abolished altogether, not to be substituted only by name as pdois has prescribed.


        • Lafia Touray la Manju

          Also, the ministries should be able to exercise control over central govt bodies in the regions. There is a UKBA in Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool etc. Home office in London still overseas them. Its called de-centralisation and it does not require a governor/commissioner or a permanent secretary substituting a commissioner/governor at the regional levels.

          UK’s Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, coordinates the relations between Westminster and the various local government authorities in England through their various Chief Executives. That is the model required in The Gambia. Utopian ideas don’t move a country forward.


  19. Bax, the so-called NAAD agenda 2006 & Agenda 2011 aren’t necessarily PURELY PDOIS formulated ideas but were hijacked claiming ownership… These whole idea of neutral independent candidature of leading temporal opposition political merger have been suggested by the public well before & in the public domain from time memorial when PDOIS were hell-bent & continuously on manipulative rigid policies of party aggrandizement above country & anything else first… I refer you to Hakilo’s articles sometime back, in the archives of the Gambia Echo & Senegambia News for your perusal, when similar wrangling erupted BUT the ideas were hijacked shortly by corny PDOIS & adapted entirely as their own without referencing credit to the source/s where the whole idea emanated from… E.g., where PDOIS can always insistently resist all forms of public appeals for reasonability as manifested, on so-called principles purely designed & geared towards party manipulative dominations only on all temporal unified political issues, just why don’t you think UDP too can’t also insist in their own right as the major dominant party in opposition, to lead all temporal unified merger as generally the norm & dictations in all mature democracies, as on the instincts of some of their supporters…??? Then there are some of us the neutrally party-colourless, who stand to appeal to all sides to be considerate to the broader vision of country first, above all partisan divides for our collective common good…. This is why I always call upon for sanity to prevail & dictate most of our various collective engagements &/ dialogues, & believe if possible, for all stakeholders to reasonably concede bit of grounds from various tactical-rigid inclinations, to meet in central grounds for collective country common good FIRST, above all & anything else…. This will save us most valuable time, also from hassling & wrangling amongst ourselves, which is quite unhelpful as all undoubtedly acknowledged; all opposition party leaderships can hold on tightly to the individualistic party principles without loosing face or what not, to take a political holiday for this coming presidential election ONLY, rally behind a neutral candidate independent of party affiliation, where the various party leaders lead from the front in countrywide campaigns to defeat the tyrannical murderous kanilai devil…. Then rewrite the Constitution, level the political field, but the independent will/must accept to lead a single term ONLY, in all fairness to avoid manipulations in favour with opportunities & resources available to incumbency in the circumstances, in the following & subsequent elections; thereby sky be the limit for all politicians & aspirants in post dictatorship democratic Gambia…. God help & bless the collective endeavour to salvage Gambia; Ameen.

  20. Sadly there will never be a PDOIS government. With all my support, pdois does not have significant influence or outreach to win any elections. At most we should focus on working with stronger partners that can help us experiment our ideas in government.
    I remember as a junior staff in state house Edward Singhateh and Chairman Jammeh making fun of comrade Halifa’s long open letters. They use to mockingly say, “what is Mister Book saying again”. In fact they don’t read anything in the letters.
    All opposition ideas are untested, we as civil servants understand that ideas outside government can be merely tall orders and with PDOIS, certainly a lot of what they write are impractical, lacking past experience. But then what else should they do in order to engage themselves.
    Bax, it is not even a dream, PDOIS cannot even win 4 seats in parliament let alone form a government. We will argue here merely for argument sake. But Halifa knows armchair politicking will never win a seat in Serrekunda let alone government. Argue it along, but daydreaming is now our passtime.

    • MK Sarr, where are the stronger partners if i may ask. PDOIS will never form a government, who will? You are just expressing your wish or are you a soothe Sayer? Come on, talk on the issue and stop side talks. Do you have a proposal or does your party have any new proposal on unity? Who said PDOIS is not interested in alliance formation? Only this party has come up with something on paper and is not afraid to tell the whole world and no other.Turn to the popular column of Kairo you will see PDOIS Agenda 2016 and read the two options proposed by it. If you don’t agree say so and come up with your proposal which will be critiqued side by side with PDOIS’ in this platform. Who is daydreaming? The one who has come up with a program and put it in public space or the one who is just preaching unity for the sake of confusing issues?
      Bajaw said independent candidate and Bax said that is already accepted by PDOIS in its Agenda 2011 but Bajaw insist that it was earlier suggested by someone else long before PDOIS. I think what is important is at least PDOIS has accepted the idea, whose idea it was does not matter in my opinion, and he said PDOIS is manipulating.
      Some of you think electors are your personal property forgetting that you are dealing with independent human beings capable of offering support to any Gambian.
      How can MK Sarr quote what Singhateh said to rely on to make a point in a forum where genuine politics is being discussed beats my imagination. Whether they accept it or not they are always adopting ideas from PDOIS without acknowledging it. I have no doubt that as a civil servant under them you would not be able to notice whether they apply the advise or not because you were so scared to look closely lest you are found snooping and picked up and made to disappear with allegation of being a spy. If opposition ideas are of no use why don’t you continue to labour for Jammeh on his farm till death do you part?

    • @MK Sarr….”Sadly there will never be a PDOIS government….”

      Comment….That’s quite a statement, isn’t it.? Yero thinks you are a “soothsayer”, but that is an understatement…Soothsayers don’t pretend to “see” till eternity…

      MK Sarr is not in any doubt, whatsoever, about what generations of voters yet unborn, will do till the end of times : They will NEVER vote for a PDOIS Government…That’s some knowledge.

      But these exchanges are not about whether PDOIS will ever get into office or not…Rather, they are about whether PDOIS has any policies different to the party in office, and not only have they shown that they do, they have, once again, demonstrated that they are not afraid to put them under public scrutiny. .

      I would have loved to know what policies your party of choice has different from both the APRC and PDOIS, but since you claim that you support PDOIS (which I doubt and I will show you why), I couldn’t do that…

      However, could you state a few of the “ideas” of this “stronger party” that you want to be “experimented” in government….

      And why do you think that the “ideas” of this stronger party are “practical”, since according to you, the impracticality of “a lot of what PDOIS write”, is due to their lack of “previous experience”…Has this strong party had any previous experience..?

      At the end of the day, MKSarr, the role of any political party, whether it wins elections or not, is to put their programmes before the people for consideration and that is what PDOIS is doing…Why should anyone who claims to believe in democracy, find fault in this approach.?

  21. Bax, may I refer you to pages of Jollofnews “PDOIS’ Position On Opposition Talks”, just to buttress my point on examples of PDOIS graduation & mastery of manipulations & hijacking of others’ ideas by Halifa turning my opinion on suggested independent candidature on the much cherished temporal opposition unified merger into his own, which is synonymous for PDOIS party proposals, doctrines, policies, principles &/ what you got…. Bax, with all Halifa & PDOIS’ bravado of being full of good governance principles & knowhow pretentiously, it beggars believe that the party is acutely short, barren &/ lack of ideas how to create & steadily improve upon significant support base countrywide…??? Except some mastery of formulated elongated colourful statements, deliberately designed to captivate the few radically minded for confused wholesale consumption, which is no longer possible with the sterilized surgical apparatus of the day with some of us, ready to bisect in any for thorough analysis, PDOIS have failed to capture support in much of the peasantry population, except for Wuli obviously based on Seedia’s connections only, & Serre Kunda based on same similar personal connections…?? Just why do you think PDOIS lacks behind, in chronic party supporters shortage…?

    Please may I add that I’m not at all bothered of what Halifa thought of my “hatred/dislike” of his person, which is NEVER the case but rather his personal opinion which he is totally entitled to…. Whilst he as politician & political party leader, also MUST accept my undeniable stakes & rights in ALL politicians, which I’ll continue to exercise REGARDLESS of what anyone thinks &/ makes out of…. God help the collective endeavour to salvage Gambia; Ameen. Thank you all.

  22. Yerro if you insist on acceptance & not hijacking, I’ll accept that, but I want Bax, you, Pappa, Faal & all “PDOIS infantry” if you don’t mind my light hearted humour, all put your heads & hands together to solve misery of your lack of broadened countrywide support base, after all these years of existence… If Halifa & PDOIS thinks they got haters let’s wait for others’, particularly Hamat & NRP who mortgaged their souls & the country by accepting illegal financial inducements in exchange, feeding on our blood… Thanks very much.

  23. Yero Bah. As I said, PDOIS position themselves for mere academic arguments not problem solving.
    A problem solver never rush to the press. Feeding Foroyaa has become the main game of play for the party. If pdois leaders want a workable solution to the dictatorship they will first recognise their margin, size and influence. But since the leadership only want to demonstrate that they have better ideas on paper, and they’ll argue heaven and heart to proof that, the problem remain untouched.
    Any political entity truly interested in being part of a collective solution, you deal privately with opposition partners. Talk confidentially and privately, ideas and plans put before fellow opposition partners.
    However, every election cycle under the dictatorship, it is PDOIS who comes out pre-empting talks, revealing discussions and even attempting a public debate over coalition or alliance building. Such will never yeild to any solution. Yes the few core supporters might sing the praise of the party and its leaders but the reader will quickly see through the posturing and bare bottom games.
    Hence PDOIS will continue to want needless debate to proof a point but such school boy mantra will not gain them votes or support. So what is the reason of not tabling ideas before partners and discussing it confidentially rather than doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result. ales

    • (1)…”Yero Bah. As I said, PDOIS position themselves for mere academic arguments not problem solving.”

      Comment…An indication that your claim that you support PDOIS is not reliable, unless something is, politically speaking, seriously wrong with you…Otherwise, why would you support a political party who “position themselves for mere academic arguments not problem solving” ?

      (2)… “If pdois leaders want a workable solution to the dictatorship they will first recognise their margin, size and influence. ”

      Comment…I must say that this is a very unique method of problem solving….Because how size, margin and influence become the most important factors to problem solving, is completely beyond me…

      I would have thought that acknowledging a problem, identifying it, diagnosing it and finding appropriate solution, should be the most important factors…

      However, this is the give away that expose where your political preferences lie…And they are not with PDOIS, as you claimed earlier…

      (3). ..”.Any political entity truly interested in being part of a collective solution, you deal privately with opposition partners. Talk confidentially and privately, ideas and plans put before fellow opposition partners.”

      Comment. …You haven’t shown how PDOIS has failed to do that….Furthermore, what we know is that PDOIS has been involved in negotiation talks with other parties, to formulate a common ground for electoral reform and has not said a word about those negotiations…

      But PDOIS is a political party that has the right to issue public notices to address any misrepresentation of the party or.on any matter they deem fit…and in the way they want to do it…Nobody should tell them what they can or can’t put in their press statements…

      (4)…”it is PDOIS who comes out pre-empting talks, revealing discussions and even attempting a public debate over coalition or alliance building….”

      Comment…If you want genuine exchanges, you have to back your allegations with facts…How did PDOIS pre-empt talks; where did they reveal discussions and how are they attempting a public debate on alliance…?

      PDOIS has stated their opinion on those matters and in case you missed it, here’s what I understand from.it….

      (A)…Let parties build their grass roots support in.order to.deny the incumbent the 50% mark, if reforms are carried out. ..

      (B)…If there are no reforms, parties can work out what form of alliance is workable and select a single opposition candidate….There is no ambiguity in this position…

      You have your position, but you need to show why giving a “stronger” party an opportunity to “experiment” their ideas, is superior to the PDOIS option…

      Finally, if failing to win elections to get into government constitute “day dreaming”, then PDOIS aren’t the only “day dreamers”, are they..?

      • “Yero Bah. MK Sarr: You are entitled to your opinion but I’m afraid your opinion has not passed the test of common sense. Whoever gives you this information has deceived you most? First of all let it be clear that PDOIS has every right to sell its ideas not only in the media but propagate them among the people at every stage. Who are you to tell them not to do that?
        MK Sarr: You said the PDOIS way of solving problems is not sale able to you. Then how do you intend to solve the problem? We keep repeating this because it is the core of the issue. PDOIS has put their proposal on the table and are working steadily to achieve their aim but you want to divert them from their agenda and push them to a ‘No Agenda’. Is putting a proposal in the public space not another way of communicating with people? That is the best starting point for any proposal.
        You talk about confidentiality. In PDOIS release they informed that while they opposition were engaged as GOFER in 2012/13 which included even the Independent MPs and assigned Jesse Jackson to mediate between the Opposition and the Government, others went to Raleigh and got into something else which derailed the GOFER process. They said again, while they are engaged in confidentiality talks on electoral reform 2015, others again started talking with CORDEG and even assigned them to design an advocacy work as well as fund raising when they have actually done everything waiting only for signing. Who then breaks the confidentiality ethics? This is why PDOIS is saying they cannot keep quiet anymore because an impression is given that they are the ones derailing a process while the real culprits go Scot free.
        It reminds me of Lafia relegating the issue of codes of conduct to the invention of socialists again. It looks like he is giving a lot of credit to us on so many good things. If there is no guiding principles or if you deal with people whose preoccupation is aimed at personal interest alone, how then can you work with them on issues of national interest?
        “if you don’t mind my light hearted humour, all put your heads & hands together to solve misery of your lack of broadened countrywide support base, after all these years of existence,”Bajaw.
        Bajaw, please do not hurt your finger if PDOIS fails to win support since the party you render support is winning the people enmasse. That is likely to solve the problem for all of us if your party could win out right majority. Why the qualm?
        The reality however is quite the contrary.I can assure you Bajaw, that PDOIS will not be failing in its attempt to deprive the incumbent the 50% mark should there be a second round of voting instituted. If you desire to make a survey on your own and ask Gambians which party is their favorite in the 2016 election, go ahead and do so. What empirical evidence do you have to arrive at your conclusion? You know that PDOIS as a party has not participated in elections since 2006, it has always been in one form of alliance or another, proving you all the more wrong that it is not interested in alliances.
        My problem is that while PDOIS is trying to address your core criticism that it lacks support by engaging in village to village tour, you keep trivializing their work that should have addressed that core criticism. It looks like no matter what PDOIS does, will not matter to you anyway. But be rest assured PDOIS is one of the most vibrant parties in the Gambia and Gambia is moving towards that genuine change not in the far distance but in the near future and it will not be a cosmetic one. You will be surprised, only time will tell.

        • Yero, I am not surprise with your response. You very well know, with all our hopeful messages, we have not improve or increase our gains in any significant way for the last 25 years.
          Politics is about winning and putting ideas and policies to test. However, if we don’t even have a 5% chance of winning, yet we want to share fanciful ideas with people who will hardly ever vote in a Gambian election, what is the purpose of writing stuffs?
          PDOIS is losing young educated voters daily and that reality is here for all to see, yet such discussions are never held.
          If pdois are in the politics to simply educate the electorates, then we have not done a good job of it. Since, our messages haven’t gotten to them. I remember the hopeful message that rang around Agenda 2011. It wasn’t bought by the masses, yet Halifa some time ago stated, people are buying the ideas, they haven’t.
          In all seriousness, we can keep banging on about how great our ideas are as compared to others, and how the people are too ignorant to accept them. But the reality is, we are have been going about our politics wrongly and we are too stubborn to accept our mistakes and faults.
          The statement at hand will not be read by a significant number of people, because people find us too boring, too voluminous and not good at summarising stuffs.
          So who are we targetting, the few core followers who will back our messages day in day out or new supporters?
          I have stopped being a nodding along supporter, and We will propose to challenge to the way things are done, since, right now, it is only 4 main people who control all the ideas coming out of PDOIS. And they have lost touch with the young people and they will not accept it.

          Bax is simply nodding along, armchair politics will not make us threaten any political party in the Gambia. That is the cardinal truth.
          I will come to the way Foroyaa itself is run at a later date, got to head to Brikama. We pay for Halifa’s personal expenses, yet he tell us to sacrifice with peanuts. This is what is causing the outflux of genuine PDOIS supporters. The few in Europe and America can sit comfortably and defend the policies, but we are not gaining any grounds. The University of the Gambia and Gambia college, MDI, GTTI, and the many vocational training colleges have produce a significant amount youths with grounds to penetrate them, but we haven’t. If we don’t want to tell each other the truth, we will continue selling newspapers on the back of other people’s complaints. Politics may not be our cup of tea.

  24. Good try Yerro, lol!! but if there’s anything trivial about questioning your party’s lack of countrywide support base, politics & elections are all about numbers of majority only… It’s not only an open secret but established facts that PDOIS’ support are within Wuli & Serre kinda only, if there’s any, maybe some of you few pockets of radically minded, who are continued to be fed with the junk colourful statements wholesale, then go about making equivocal noises the same as always, repeatedly…. Truth is, it was only through collective opposition tactical voting before, by alternatively declining/avoiding to put up other opposition parliamentary candidates in certain constituencies for other opposition candidates to win which is why there were more than one PDOIS MPs at a particular time…. My logic is not for belittling/demoralizing PDOIS per say but rather want to emphasize the essence of temporal tactical merger/s for collective maximum impact…. My personal proposal of Dr Isatou Touray for independent candidature for the collective merger, is also in the same tactical vein & not personal hatred of anybody for I don’t have that time; she’s got better exposure in every part of the country due the nature of her work, our women too will embrace well with open hands as one of their own, while all opposition parties & leaderships pull our utmost bits to finish off the job for maximum votes… Yerro, if every PDOIS supporters, members & leadership continue to be intolerant to critiquing & criticisms which politics is all about, then it’s you & PDOIS who got the problem & politics isn’t your domains…. But it’s unrealistic whiles your party is brilliant at hijacking, or accepting ideas as you would rather have it framed, only to twist & polish it here & there, claim & adopt it as their very own, whilst you’re literally barren & terribly lack ideas & knowhow of how to create support & improve in other parts of country without personal connections &/ influences as all continue to witness, don’t you think Sir Dawda’s “pseudo-intellectuals” title for your party yet truly continue to stand the test of time unabated….???

  25. Bajaw: You are now talking for the sake of actually saying nothing. You are belaboring on tactical merger and we are showing you what PDOIS’ position is on merger and alliances are. This was why i asked you whether you are in your right frame of mine.
    I respect MK Sarr and Bajaw for not supporting PDOIS and its policies which is normal but i argue that to say that PDOIS does not or is not willing to partake in talks regarding coalition is untrue. To also say that PDOIS is not accepted across the country is also a figment of your imagination but is far from reality. No party is in touch with the people more than PDOIS. Your problem is precisely this, you want to remove PDOIS from an important Agenda to a No Agenda. That is not possible. How can people who do not belong to any party or organization like Sarr and Bajaw and Pata Saidykhan engage in futile and endless writing to derail a political party from its authentic work? You are simply deluding yourselves.
    If PDOIS is only 5% why are you wasting every breadth of yours trying to cajole it into your empty or hollow so-called alliance arrangement?
    You said PDOIS militants are arm chair and are just writing endlessly. Tell us what you are differently doing. Read the last reaction of PDOIS on the issue of opposition unity and you will know that you are being deceived. You can also be comfortably accused of being robots who are simply manipulated to say or do something on behalf of somebody who is afraid of coming in the open because she/he knows the consequences of fabricating untruths and subsequent exposures, otherwise you cannot miss to know PDOIS’ good intentions.
    Read the below response on what the Standard wrote, culled from Kibaaronews.


    OVERSTATEMENT” states Halifa Sallah of PDOIS
    17th March 2015
    The information you gathered from the Press Release issued by an Organisation called CORDEG, which had restricted circulation in the Online papers and PDOIS’ response, has not captured the letter and spirit of the meeting of the Opposition aimed at formulating proposals for electoral reform. Electoral reform is in the interest of all political parties and the public at large since the aim is to hold free, fair and genuine elections in the Gambia which are deemed credible by all observers. Hence no opposition party could withhold signature to a document which is prepared in common by all to promote electoral reform.
    In this vein, the concluding remarks purportedly made by an opposition insider in your article that if Halifa and PDOIS continue to hold out, the other opposition parties would continue the negotiation and possibly form a coalition is without foundation and amounts to a mere exercise in fiction writing. PDOIS is in fact playing an instrumental role in the negotiation for electoral reform and no one who understands how those proposals are being prepared would imply that PDOIS is holding out or could be sidelined. The contradiction between the participants is about confidentiality and not about content of the reform proposals. Needless to say , the discussions are characterised by maturity and mutual respect as befit those who aim to lead a nation. It is also important to point out that the negotiation is about electoral reform and not about forming a coalition. Hence there is no room for controversy or failure in reaching an agreement.
    We therefore wonder why the so-called opposition insider decided to invent that PDOIS is posing obstacles to reaching an agreement on proposals for electoral reform when PDOIS leaders are among those who displayed the highest level of devotion and are among those who are central in the preparation of the document .
    It is also curious that the so-called insider is talking about coalition. At the moment there is no discussion about a coalition because the time for that has not arrived.
    Organised political parties do not form coalitions by word of mouth. All agreements between political parties must be put in writing and signed by authorised signatories. Even the setting up of an interparty committee was premised on a memorandum of understanding signed by all parties.
    Hence, at this moment what is expected of credible opposition parties is to hold party congress and formulate policies on when alliances would be necessary and which form of alliance would be acceptable to each party.
    PDOIS is the only party which has formulated proposals on how a United Front could be built which is to be submitted to a congress so that it could form part of the PDOIS Manifesto for the 2016 -2018 electoral cycle.
    We have already proposed in Agenda 2016 that all parties should pursue electoral reform so that the second round of voting would be restored.In order to ensure that the incumbent is deprived of more that 50 percent majority we propose that all parties should go on the ground to extend their political influence so that they could share among themselves more than 50 percent of the votes on the ground.
    In this way, the opposition candidate who would have had the largest number of votes to go for the second round would get the support of all the other opposition parties. This is PDOIS’ first proposal.
    Secondly, we have left room for the possibility of not having the electoral reform desired. In that case the whole world would be convinced that the incumbent is afraid to submit his mandate to the rigors of genuine elections. In that case , PDOIS proposes for the opposition to meet and select one credible candidate to run a transitional government if elected with the support of all.
    To ensure that a credible candidate is selected PDOIS proposes that the political parties should select their candidates and expose them to the electorate and when it becomes necessary to form a united front, the party candidates as well as the Independent candidates could join a caravan to tour the country before any negotiation so that the public appeal of each candidate could be assessed.
    We hope the opposition insider would now come in the open to state the proposals his or her party has for building a coalition. If he/she fails to do so the general public should classify him among those people who spread rumours of the formation of a coalition to justify political inactivity and always cast an accusing finger at some scapegoat when they are failing in their schemes to mislead public opinion.
    To conclude we hope the general public would form opinions on political Parties and personalities based on their policies and actions and not on the allegations made by those who wish to cover unpleasant facts with distortions to try to isolate those who do not fit in their scheme of things.
    Halifa Sallah

    In its edition of Tuesday 17 March 2015 The Standard published the following story:
    The ongoing talks among six opposition political parties in The Gambia, known as the Group of Six, have suffered a setback, after two months of closed-door negotiations.
    The opposition PPP, UDP, PDOIS, GMC, GPDP, and NRP had agreed to meet on March 7 to schedule to date for the signing of the document that entails their electoral reform proposal, which they intend to push forward ahead of the 2016 elections.
    However, PDOIS party had refused to reach agreement, pending clarification from PPP and UDP leaders, who had purportedly had a separate but similar arrangement with an abroad-based Gambian civil society organisation, Committee for Restoration of Democracy in The Gambia, CORDEG.
    “We have tried to reach Mr Darboe [UDP leader] by phone to request for postponement of the meeting scheduled for Saturday March 7, until we get clarity on statements issued in CORDEG’s press release,” Halifa confirmed writing to other parties in a reaction published by online newspapers last Wednesday.
    CORDEG, in its press release, said the group had on February 23, ‘brainstormed’ and ‘agreed’ with representatives of PPP, UDP and PDOIS on need for electoral reforms and a united opposition front.
    However, PDIOS denies participating in the meeting, clarifying that the party’s alleged representative, Malick Kah, of their chapter in Europe, ‘had no mandate to represent PDOIS.’
    Halifa added: “…if the two opposition party leaders had indeed entered into a venture with CORDEG to jointly design a comprehensive advocacy strategy to address a dead lock on electoral reform as mentioned in the release, then their act would constitute a breach of confidentiality.”
    In a text message sent to Halifa following his request for postponement, Mr Ousainou Darboe, the UDP leader cautioned Halifa against going public with information on the negotiation.
    “I request you not mention how far we have gone with the negotiations on the electoral reform. Any statement on this should be made by all parties that have been attending the meetings and not by PDOIS alone whatever its views may be on the meeting,” Halifa leaked in his reaction published on Maafanta.
    And, in response to Darboe’s request, Halifa lamented the failure of the PPP and UDP leaders to clarify ‘the wrong notion given to the public by CORDEG’.
    “In that regard,” Halifa argued, “we will not hesitate to tell the whole world that a comprehensive programmatic document on electoral and constitutional reform has been prepared and is ready for signature. At least, we can say this much and not go into the details. This is the first point. Secondly, we have decided to put our advocacy strategy in the public domain to distance ourselves from the agreement of the two leaders with CORDEG.”
    Meanwhile, opposition leaders are still tight-lipped over the issue and efforts made by this paper to have comments from them on the issue were unsuccessful. However, an opposition insider told The Standard that if Halifa and his PDOIS continue to hold out, the other parties would continue the negotiation and possibly form a coalition.

  26. Yerro, everybody following can now see through your agitations, showing similarities to the same with Halifa’s & PDOIS leaderships’ intolerance with bare truths, crying wolf when there’s none, which sociologically, is some form of insecurity; for this won’t help you in an healthy debate; the same is synonymous for Halifa & PDOIS executive reactions & so-called manipulative principles… Everyone, including some PDOIS followers, up to date with online debates particularly on kaironews here, knows my views & non-party political stance except for country ONLY…. Hence yourself can’t afford but notice my “cajole” encouragements for collective endeavour efforts for all opposition parties inclusion, as we dearly need all stakeholders on board for the successful salvaging efforts… But the truth must be told, REGARDLESS of who is affected, felt hurt &/ who’s ox is gored, if we’re to enable to convince all stakeholders, particularly those who have proven significant practical realistic votes on the ground, to disagree to agree for our common collective good first…. This very statement you quoted was the same on Jollofnews which hijacked my suggested independent collective opposition candidature when your very self challenged me for any alternative suggestions on the way forward; which I innocently did with all honesty stating my reasons for opinion, as all have been following, lest I know it was the same traps set at play as usual & always, for manipulative polishing & adoption, claiming as one of PDOIS’ very own Proposals & Principles… I never accused PDOIS for not wanting to engage in temporal opposition merger; everybody following can attest to the fact that I only diagnose & condemn their insincere manipulative tendencies on so-called insensitive conditional rigid principles in engagements, & subsequent alternatives which they always imposingly dictate & set terms of reference to, for others to abide by, geared for selfish party gains above anything else…. If PDOIS have been in existence all these years, can only hide behind futile colourful pseudo-sophistication but can’t qualify & quantify this false pride of sheer bravado into real support base &/ votes on the ground, who do they think they are kidding except themselves…??? For all stakeholders to be convinced & motivated to concede bit of grounds to move together to center grounds for country first above partisan divides, we must be prepared to relay the truth & nothing else but the TRUTH WITHOUT any sacred cows… & whosoever choose to be economical with the basic truth & reality must find how to live with it; for those are bygone days for selfish falsified manipulations were order of the day… For nobody, absolutely NOBODY will ever deter the genuine Gambians in the services of country first above all & anything else… God helps & bless the collective endeavour to salvage Gambia; Ameen. Thank you all.

  27. @ mk sarr, you say PDOIS has failed to improve their support for the last 25 yrs. May I ask which party has increased it’s support in the Gambia over the last 20 yrs? APRC after a merge with ncp in 2001 rushed to remove the +50% and 2nd round.

    UDP votes in 2001 were less than 1996; 2006 were less than 2001 even though they Allied with NRP. 2011 was less than 2006 even with the alliance with ppp.

    Why is APRC using coaxion, intimidation, harassment and everything they can, yet the highest constituents in Gambian elections is voter apathy.

    Why are we being blind with the truth and focused only on our narrow sentiments.

    PDOIS has again proven that it fulfils its obligation as a political party that has better ideas than the current government. As Gambians do your part as well by putting yours forward too.

    Like I said of Lafia, most commentators here are Jammeh loyalists whose only goal is to divert attention and sow seeds of discord among opposition.

    If the parties had already done so much and came to the point of signing a program document, why can’t the participants of the cordeg meeting see to that conclusion rather than engaging in a repetition to start all over again. Yet no one is seeing that as an obstacle.

    What is wrong with us as Gambians .

  28. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Ghost!! pdois is been shredded into pieces.

    Gambia, Please report on PDOIS’S votes as well. You got it all wrong on UDP but that is expected of you. I think once you finish reporting on pdois, you will ask yourself what on earth were they doing in politics for 30yrs with such an appalling showing.


    • Bajaw, You never cease to amaze me. You said you are obsessed with opposition unity and expressed that you feel that it is PDOIS that is slowing the process down. You are told in my last write up how far the PDOIS has gone with other parties towards signing a document which is ready for signing. If that is not true you think Halifa will put that in public? This is to show you that you are being misinformed that the opposition are divided in the Gambia. Now you said you agreed that PDOIS is interested in unity, which is the first stage in our difference.
      You other opinions are that politics is just sheer numbers which is just an opinion which you and MK are entitled to. How can anybody argue with opinion?
      But i am saying as far as i know those opinions do not hold water because in my opinion PDOIS is growing faster than all other parties in two ways. It is growing qualitatively and is being translated into quantity as well. This is good because it is going to be here for a long time to serve the Gambia and Africa, unlike parties who died with their leaders.
      I asked Lafia, you and MK which party is growing in numbers because as far as i know no party is. The case in point is the Council elections and we could see how the APRC failed to bring voters to come and vote on their side. Like Gambia said those who staged at home are the majority.
      UDP which is an offshoot of the former ruling party and the largest opposition parties NRP and GPP continues to reduce its votes in every subsequent election, from 36% in 1996 to a paltry 17% despite its alliance with the former ruling PPP and GMC.
      I reminded you that PDOIS did not participate in elections singly since 2001 but in one alliance or the other since then and the latest collective figure within a united front was a 11% in 2011 election which you cannot say is not an improvement.
      If you are not myopic in your analysis, you would objectively look at the contribution of the PDOIS in National development and politics and see whether it has measured up to its expectations or not rather than accusing it of not getting votes.
      I said you never cease to amaze me because you view is that only numbers matter in politics. Are you really thinking and do you really believe that? I don’t think you do. I think numbers matter in some instances but not necessarily at every instance. What about knowledge, credibility, integrity, honesty, commitment, foresight, national interest, devotion to duty, fearlessness, determination, appropriate programmes, policies, ideas, effective leadership and so on. Numbers may change but the above qualities should not is not to dwindle and die.
      So Bajaw, please don’t adopt the approach of those who want to pit the opposition against each other. We have to accept that we live in a multi party arrangement whether it works or not and not all parties can be equal in votes at each given time but all can contribute at all times towards national development.
      In that respect i trust Lafia who admits being a fan of the UDP even though his attempts to defend them puts that party into disrepute. Giving all the credits to the Socialists for inventing this noble idea of a code of conduct, ethics and communal farming etc will go a long way in depriving his party of the credit.I hope this is food for thought for you and MK.

  29. Yerro, you would wrong on my side if you tried tying me down to other people’s suggestions…. True, politics isn’t about numbers only but it’s quite a major integral part without which other components are rendered insignificant… Every individualistic party negative/positively are quite unique in their own separate ways…. I have stated umpteen times on records, how opposition parties are doing their best in various domains under the murderous tyrannical yoke…. Majority of the dwindling opposition votes are due to numerical factors but quite significant among are due to the fact of lack of sincere dedicated temporal merger even whereas it’s been happening sporadically; this led to most people on the ground back home & in diaspora to loose all faith by simply refusing to vote in subsequent elections…. I rather see the efforts as for the opposition sticking together, to doing theirs on the grounds whilst the diaspora does ours outside with collective endeavours together; which are efforts to compliment each other but not necessarily to contradict one another as others want us to believe CORDEG’s facilitative means to be… For the current predicament is affecting us all & can’t see why any party should be solid-rigid, not ready to sacrifice/concede bit of reasonable grounds to accommodate each other for our common collective good for country above all & anything else…. Thanks very much.

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