Statement by the Former Minister of Information & Communication, Sheriff Bojang on the Political Impasse in The Gambia.
أعوذُ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ (A’udhu billahi min ash-shaytaan-ir-rajeem) I begin in the name of Allah the Most High, the Most Clement and the Giver of Wisdom. I begin this statement by hereby announcing that I have taken the decision, and written to the relevant high authority to the effect that I have resigned from the Government and the Cabinet as Minister of Information & Communication Infrastructure with immediate effect. I hereby wish to thank His Excellency, President Yahya AJJ Jammeh for according me the onerous opportunity to serve my country in the high office of Minister of State for exactly the past two years this month. On 1st December 2016, the people of The Gambia went to the polls to elect a new head of state. After the final tally of votes Mr Adama Barrow of the Coalition was duly announced winner and declared president-elect. President Jammeh conceded defeat and pledged to work with Mr Barrow on a transition. However on 5th December 2016, the electoral commission issued a statement clarifying that when the total votes per region were being tallied, certain figures were “inadvertently transposed”. The error was corrected and did not change the status quo. On 9th December 2016, President Jammeh announced his rejection of the results. Subsequently, petitions were filed at the Supreme Court, which among other things call for a declaration of the nullification of the results, a rerun of the polls. It is my considered opinion and stance that the results of the December 1st election represent a true reflection of the sovereign will of the Gambian people. The current attempts while appearing to have a veneer of constitutionalism are in fact an attempt to subvert the express will of the Gambian electorate. The people have spoken and they could not have spoken louder and clearer. They want change. A disaggregation of results shows that apart from the Fonis, the APRC and President Jammeh secured a 50+ per cent majority in only 3 out of 53 constituencies. The APRC has no one to blame but itself for its dismal performance at the polls. We took very impolitic decisions from mid-2015 which led to a haemorrhaging of support from our traditional bases and made the party unappealing to new millennial voters. The Gambia has decided and we must accept and respect this decision. This is the time for clear thinking and not burying of heads in the sand. To remain relevant, the APRC must take the hard decisions and make the necessary systemic and structural changes within the party. The first of these hard decisions should be the dropping of petitions at the apex court, re-engaging President-elect Barrow and his Coalition team and expediting the transition arrangement. I hereby appeal to my colleagues in cabinet, among them some of the finest ladies and gentlemen of the first order, and of course including His Excellency President Jammeh, to look into their conscience and take the right decision within the most reasonable time for the present and future of our vulnerable little Gambia. It is never too late to do the right thing. I want to apologise to my colleagues in Cabinet that since the President’s December 9th announcement, my refusal to attend all cabinet meetings despite some of their entreaties was not meant as an affront or rebuff to anyone but a symbolic gesture of my opposition to what is taking place. Finally, I have been heartened by comments – with the exception of one (an interview granted to The Guardian of London by a senior member of the Coalition) – from President-elect Barrow, Halifa Sallah, Ousainou Darboe and others on their vision of the post-Jammeh Gambia. I hereby acknowledge Mr Adama Barrow as the President-elect of The Gambia stemming from the wishes of Gambians and the will of the Almighty Allah. I also call on President Jammeh to respect the wishes of Gambians and the will of the Almighty Allah he so much expressly believes in, and start the transition and hand over power within the stipulated 60 days from the elections. In taking this decision and making this statement I have not sought the undue advice or help of anyone within or outside The Gambia and I am not seeking the validation or otherwise of any person or group.
Baba Sheriff Bojang
After spending two years lying to the world , you have Finally come to the truth . I hope you take personal responsibility for the lies you have been spreading in the world in the name of despicable regime .
It is always easy to criticize someone for what you would have done, if given the opportunity. The important thing is, he decided he is not going to go along with the word Jammeh administration anymore. That is his right as a citizen and a free born. Would you, he is anything but less than that? I think not. Do not let “blind hate” for President Yaya Jammeh and and his supporters make you blind to all reason and common sense. He served when called upon to serve. What have you done? Only you know and that speaks volumes.
Mr Sidi N Bojang , I want you to clarify your statement that ” do not let your blind hate for president Jammeh and all his supporters make you blind to all the reasons and common sense . He served when called upon to serve . What have you done?
From your illogical reasoning above , it shows your lack of respect for human rights in the country for the past 22 years . If you have little empathy and humanity in you , you would have condemned many lies perpetuated by Mr Sherif Bojang during his tenure as information minister. Your statements above is very irresponsible and despicable in sense that it lack basic human decency and respect for the constitution of the country . In your nonsensical comments, your myopc view indicated that Mr Bojang lies he spreaded in the name of the regime was meant to serve our country well. What a lie you have stated. Such a distorted view is a falsehood and very ignorance and silly position . Anyone who is call to serve our country must do so in line with the constitution of The Gambia and must be truthful and honest in his or her responsibility. Mr Bojang failed in his capacity to be truthful and honest about various events of human rights violations in The Gambia when he lied and defended the lies spreaded by the despicable regime . Mr Bojang has a choice to either resign peacefully or he will be forced to leave this despicable regime in January 19th . His resignation only favor him and he is trying to save face . How would you feel if your father was Sherif Dibba or solo Sanderg who were mudered by the regime and Mr Bojang lied about their demise , conditions of treatment and rights as citizens as enshrined in our constitution ? Would you still claim that ” he was called to serve ” based on his lies he spreaded over the course of two years as minister of misinformation. Please use your brain to think properly before you spew your hateful and ignorant statements. Our fight is all about better treatment of our fellow citizens as our constitution indicate . It is about upholding our constitution, democracy, human rights and rule of law as well as economic advancement of all indigenous citizens and people living in The Gambia. This is the fight we have won and it is a fight based on true spirit of humanity and respect for fundamental human rights and decency. Mr Bojang has defended unjust treatments of his fellow human beings and he must take personal responsibility for the lies he spreaded when victims and their families were looking for answers from him and the regime he worked for. There is a difference between serving our country based on collective interest of the people and respect for the constitution ,and those who served based on their selfish personal interest. Get this difference . By the way , welcome to kaironews a place where we are here to keep each other honest . Let your heart not be troubled by my honest view . Thank you .
“Max”, I am not going to allow myself to be dragged into an an Elementary School playground insults. I cannot understand the illogical reasoning behind the believe that it would be better for all who served in the current government of President Yaya Jammeh, to continue to serve the government that you hold responsible for violating the Constitutional Right and Human rights of the Gambian people. I am not sure what that would accomplish or achieve. I am also at a lost with reference to the relevance of the personal attacks leveled at Mr. Bojang’s father. Is not a pre-requisit for a parent to provide for his offsprings by Ang legal means? Since when is it unlawful and illegal to for a parent to do so, especially in our Cultural and Socio-economic way of security a job in government. There is a well traveled road that has been the norm and ways and means of security a government in most African countries, The Gambia included. As you read this, the incoming President Elect Adama Barrow is being visited like a King of the Kingdoms and is being Solicited for jobs. They are not visiting him to protect him. What they have in mind is either a job for themselves or for a son, daughter, cousin, sister, brother or in-law. I suggest that you and your paper spend some quality time and effort in not trading in Subliminal messages of personality attacks and insults, and focus on the Potential Chaos post President Yaya Jammeh who should relinquish the Presidency come January 19th, 2017. In the heat of the moment of getting President Yaya Jammeh to relinquish the Presidency, the Press and the Coalition Alliance Leadership and the Gambian people have been Blind to the Potential Infighting and Divisive Politics and Governance that Characteristic of all Coalition governments. Very little is known if President Elect Adama Barrow with reference to his Qualifications. For example, he supposedly a Real Estate or Property Developer, that he is a Successful Businessman. What Real Estate Property did President Elect Adama Barrow develop in the Gambia? What Real Estate Company did he Establish in the Gambia? What Real Estate School, College, Institute or entity did he receive his Real Estate Credentials? Is the Institution Accredited? Can you and the Coalition Alliance Party Leadership and President Elect Adama Barrow do the Gambians an important and significant Civic Duty and with Due Diligence and Transparency, please make available Documents in response to this significant and Important missing information to the Nation and the Gambian people. The new Dispensation need to be Diligent and Transparent with the Gambian people from the very start. Secrecy breeds Suspicion first, and then Contempt. The News medium being the “The Fourth Leg of a Democratic Dispensation, the Medias silence and lack luster leadership in probing for Salient and Relevant information from the Coalition Alliance Party Leadership and President Elect Adama Barrow is tantamount to Dereliction of Duty and Ethics of Journalism.
Max, this are some of the issues that we should be focusing on as we look forward to a New Political Dispensation in the Gambian. Personal attacks and insults of old men and women who normally are respected in the Gambia I grew up in the Sixties, would do little to move us forward as a United and Free born Citizens. One Gambia, One People with Tolerance and Diversity in Thought and Action…
Thank you honourable Bojang, this is what is expected of you. Well done. Governments comes and go, but the Gambia remains the Gambia. The country is bigger than all of us.
I would in the first place never have joined the regime knowing very well who the man is and what he does to sustain the regime.
May be you are too young, or hypocritically decided to be ignorant of the facts as they were during the So-called Nirvana and “Honey dripping” 32 years regime of David/Dauda K. Jawara’s Economic and Financial Malfeasance? If you were young or old enough to know better, but decide due Hatred and Tribalistic reasons to be balkanized and subdivided into “my Gambia of the First Republic” and “their Gambia of the Second Republic”, I am indeed sorry to inform you that there is only one Gambia and that it has been that same Gambia and Gambians who when called upon to serve, did serve to the best of their ability. What, if anything have you done for the Gambia and Gambians? Don’t answer ! You may be a gang member of the “Foreign Agents of “Living room” and “Kitchen” Labtop “Revolutionaries”. Thank you for your kind of contribution, but do not make any all fellow Gambians who served in the Second Republic, enemies. They achieved more than the Second Republic achieved in 32 years of Scandals such as, THE BUTUT SCANDAL, THE TESITO FUND SCANDAL and many other SCANDALS OF ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL MALFEASANCE AND CORRUPTIVE PRACTICE, ONLY TO HAVE THE CULPRITS MOVED TO OTHER POSITIONS UNTIL THEY STRIKE AGAIN. I AM A GAMBIAN FIRST, THEN ALL ELSE. I WONDER HOW MANY OF THE OPPOSITION TO JAMMEH AND THE SECOND REPUBLIC CAN TRUELY SAY THAT WITH HONESTY. HATE is a Heavy Burden to Carry All These Years. Only you can destroy the Hate in you before it consumes and destroys you and all that you hold dear. The Caveat goes to all Gambians, young, old, poor, rich, Urban, rural, you owe it to yourself to Purge yourself of the deadly virus of Hate that is being Normalized and fills the Gambian Breeze in Hamatan and Heat in the Summer. One Gambia, One People, One Nation, Not one of a Balkanized First Republic, Second Republic, or Third Republic.
Sidi Bojang , you are missing the point here .there is difference between serving your country based on rule of law and constitution , and based on dishonesty and outright false propaganda in defending the lies . We are talking about Sheriff Bojang who lied many occasions about atrocities committed during his tenure as information minister . Are you implying in your myopic mind that it was ok for him to publicly lied about the condition of Mr Sherif Dibba who was brutally murdered when he was in state custody ? Why are you hypocritically comparing the lies of Mr Bojang to whatever corruption which took place some 50 years ago ? Are you implying that since there was corruption in first republic then it was ok for jammeh and his henchmen to be corrupted and caused human rights violations? If such is your view then you have very ignorance view . You need to be educated . Injustice anywhere is wrong . In fact Yaya jammeh claimed to come to reform such injustice and he became worst due to ignorance people like you who have no understanding of the constitution of The Gambia. Go get some education . You don’t sound like someone with rational thinking about the situation of our country.
Man, you are a real good freak, Isn’t it? But what have you just done with your laptop..Didn’t you just use it to show off how elegantly pompous you can be. Those you refer to as ‘western agents’ are far off better than you because lots of them got skills. Lack of vital skills in people like you exactly indicates the level inferiority complex in your persons. To tell you something true, its funny seeing Sheriff sporting a very funny tie, looking like a former slave overseer of a plantation owner. Man, guys like you need an orientation! Lack of skills is more an ability to evade the truth of issues facing our children of tomorrow but no, for some, it is never for the sake of our children but for the sake of ‘a kitchen’ with servants at their service.
Guys like you in the continent with anti-western booga are the very same ones who go back-door and under-the-tables of the West to exploit the continent either by illegal arms sales to criminal entities of Africa, exploitation of its natural resources by bogus companies or opening the doors for your fellow resourceful citizens to flee in exile, to be exploited by ‘criminals’ in the West, as criminals everywhere. If civilians governments of Africa are or do corrupt in power, it’s dictators usually of military or militia, will corrupt, loot, jail, kill the citizens and throw the food in their kitchens away. However, don’t have to be convinced I am a pro-West or a Panafricanist sympathiser whatsoever! I am pro-human, and that is to say I can represent in activism, the rights of fellow Africans in parts of the West where their human rights are vulnerable to being abused. This is my individual view of the world democracy in process, as democratic ideas in my opinion, can only get better and better for a people who apply it. Dictatorships on the other hand would only worsen down to the drains, whose aftermaths are always a start from zero.
Mr Bojang you are weakening your arguement and not doing yourself any favour by invoking Balkanized sentiments to make your point. No one has made any mention of tribe in their comments about Sheriff Bojang. All the comments so far have been about Sheriff the man who for whatever reason has served in Jammeh’s Government. I have known Sheriff since we were both young in Brikama and have always known him to be a decent person. Although I wish he had not Joined Jammeh’s cabinet, I would not pass judgement on his decision to do so because I don’t know prevailing circumstances at the time he accept the offer. Your attempt to draw a comparison between the Gambia and the Balkans is at best intellectually dishonest and at worst dangerous. Gambians have been very clear that they don’t want Jammeh as their president because of the way he has been conducting himself over the past 22yrs not for any other reason.
Mr Bojang the only person who has constantly brought up the issue of tribalism in the public sphere has been and continues to be Jammeh. Despite that Gambians have not been taken the bait but instead continued to live peacefully. I would advise that your continue to make to arguments supported by reasoning and not subtle references of tribalism. I believe you are old enough to remember the 1981 coup attempt by Kukoi Sanyang and his gang? That event had cause untold misery to Gambians. But despite that no blame the Jolas for that. Instead people put the blame squarely on Kukoi and his gang just as people and putting the on Jammeh and his cohort this time and not on Jolas. It is about time that people stop crying foul when confronted with the truth..
Mr Baba sanyang, you made good points about tribalism which is perpetuated by jammeh . However I wish to differ with your statement that ” I would not pass judgment on sherif Bojang’s decision in joining jammeh’s cabinet because you do not know the prevailing circumstances at the time he accepted the offer ” . I think your statement is not factual correct and it is misleading. Every one knows that sherif Bojang was a strong critic of Jammeh’s regime prior to Joining the regime of dictatorship. Therefore everyone was aware of prevailing circumstances which was military dictatorship based on falsehood, deception and outright human rights violations . He was hired by the regime of terror as a propaganda mouthpiece so that he can lie to the world about various human rights violations the regime failed to acknowledge. During his tenure , he lied on so many occasions to Gambian people. He knew he was hired by a despicable tyrant who has no regard for Gambian people. Sherif never hestitate to lie because he was willing and wanted to lie to save his job . He had an opportunity to resign when the regime lie about the conditions of solo Sanderg , solo krummah and sherif Dibba but he refused to resign until now when he knew he had no choice . If he was a decent human being he would have never lied about atrocities committed during his tenure in office. He has woefully failed in his responsibility to speak the truth and defend the constitution which he was sworn to protect and uphold . Therefore it is erroneous to indicate that both of you are not aware of prevailing circumstances when he was offered the position. Thank you .
@Max “Sherif never hestitate to lie because he was willing and wanted to lie to save his job . He had an opportunity to resign when the regime lie about the conditions of solo Sanderg , solo krummah and sherif Dibba but he refused to resign until now when he knew he had no choice.” This sensationally said a lot about the man.
Hi Max, just to clarify my point, I didn’t mean the prevailing circumstances in the Gambia around the time of Sheriff Bojang’s appointment but rather his personal circumstances which forms the bases of his thought process and the decision he took. I am not an apologist for him but just don’t want to pass judgement on his decision. We all know that Sheriff Bojang has always been a critic of Jammeh so for him to accept a job from Jammeh is at odds with his utterances. But its never too late to repent. So lets welcome whoever abandons Jammeh back into the fold because the may proof to be valuable sources of intelligence on Jammeh’s operations. However we should take them to task for their part in Jammeh’s repressive regime. For now I think we need all hands on deck to get rid of Jammeh. We can deal with all his collaborators later. There is enough evidence out there to prosecute all of them. This is what the allies did in WW2. They first got rid of Hitler then went after his men. It won’t be hard to prosecute them as they have been documenting all their crimes. Thank you.
Thank you Mr sanyang. Yeah we welcome all of them but they must take personal responsibility and be accountable to Gambian people.
why dose it take so long for some of these so-call dishonest learned Gambians to see wrongs of yaya jammeh. What is wrong with them. now that his master, Baabtutu mansa is oust by popular votes, this info and comms minister has fled and exposing the his master. i wonder if his master is still in power. Mr Bojang this is Gambia, the SMILING COAST OF AFRICA.
Sidi N. Bojang, I will reconstruct your first line like; (we can easily criticise sycophancy when we can be one ourselves given the opportunity to us). However true that may sound, right now, Gambians have to deal with the former information minister’s and in that scope, I would say, we shouldn’t be giving the impression that other’s wrongdoing in the public space and to the public should be brushed off their shoulders by giving simple reasons as; anyone would have done the samething in their shoe. That is the kind of mentality that’s got us in a lot of mess.
Please give us all an opportunity to learn from the learned former minister of information in the interest of the country.
I think any developments that weaken Yaya Jammeh and discredit his claims of electoral irregularities should be welcome, and former minister Bojang’s defection should be welcome as such..
Obviously, the political circumstances under which he served his country are well known to all of us, and given the fact that he was the face and voice of that nasty, criminal regime for a while, questions of personal responsibility will be raised, and rightly so.
My only point of disagreement is the timing of such concerns. I think we should welcome all now and focus on wrestling the reign of government from Yaya Jammeh on January 19th and then we can begin to fix the system and society gradually. That’s when people will be required, over time, to come clean and seek forgiveness in the spirit of reconciliation.
However, I find it quite amazing that there are Gambians who actually draw parallels between the graft of the 1st republic and 22 years of Yaya Jammeh’s callous, mad (mis) rule and banditry in the Gambia. Is there any parallel between the corruption and nepotism of the APRC regime to the PPP era ? Do you have to be “old” to know that there is no comparison between these two eras?
Please Sidi Bojang, you can defend anyone you like, but don’t insult our intelligence. There is no group of Gambians that “see Gambia first”, more than the men and women who have stood against Yaya Jammeh’s criminality all these years, until victory was eventually achieved.
Difficult case if you ask me…
Sheriff bojang was once a critic of evil jammeh. That means he knew jammeh was undemocratic, but he joined his government nonetheless.
Makes one wonder was his resignation meant to safe face or for the good of the nation?
Still, welcome to the people’s camp…
@Karamo, despite looking like a difficult case you have said it all… “Sheriff bojang was once a critic of evil jammeh. That means he knew jammeh was undemocratic, but he joined his government nonetheless.” This is the truth no objective and realistic person can avoid. So I will say it is not difficult at all as you started with the fact and the only fact.
1. Being such a journalist no one should have told him who and what Yahya Jammeh was, what he does to sustain his regime, the number of people who have been killed, forced labours, human rights violations, torture, unlawful dismissals… Yet knowing all these he decided to join the regime.
2. I do not therefore think anyone should give credit to those who supported such a regime for turning their backs on him now when everyone knows it is a game over for them.
3. I remembered when Yahya’s first speech was broadcast over the radio in The Gambia, I was on trek and listened to it in a car. My first comment was there were no leadership qualities in the man and certainly not from the speech.
4. So with all their slogans of “soldiers with difference” I stood my grounds as I knew very well that it was a disaster; they were soldiers of difference for the worst; there was a disaster in the making.
5. Most of those going to the army at the time were those who did not do well in school with little if no management/administration experiences, so how can they bring about a meaningful change?
6. So even though people were jubilating, it was never a moment of rejoice for me.
7. Many people give corruption in Jawara’s regime as the excuse. I remember at the time prominent people like then Bishop Michael Cleary were among those who were shouting everywhere in BBC, VOA and other international media against Jawara; amidst all sorts of corruption allegations from the American government as well.
8. At the time one US Peace Corp in fact told me that from what the US was doing because of their differences with Jawara government he could see a regime change agenda. In less than 3-4 months the US put Yahya in government.
9. Whatever Yahya did in the period is no secrete to anyone. If they talk about corruption in Jawara’s government, I don’t know how we will describe Yahya’s regime. This is a man who has no distinction between state property and his; anyone who wants to loot state property uses his name or gets close to him.
10. There were all sorts of commissions into Jawara’s government, what has happened to the report? In fact those who were mostly going to the Commission were never close to Jawara as such…the Gillens and the Fofana’s…
11. So if those same people who supported and carried out all sorts of things for Yahya are now coming to social media writing all sorts of things to distance themselves from him is mind boggling. They would have never done this had these developments not happened.
11. We should and must never go back to the previous status quo.
This guy writes very badly. His script leaves one wondering if his journalistic training had any impact on him as a script writer, or if this long, incoherent, rambling and endless carrying on was just another manifestation of the insincerity of the man himself. We note that the script’s borrowed punchline is”It’s never too late to do the right thing”, and conclude that it can only remain that – borrowed! – and could not rightly be attach to the character and actions of man himelf, Mr Baba Sheriff Bojang .
It is true that Mr Bojang apparently, has always “done things the right way”, and has largely managed to always be on the right side of the track. His recent most recent achievements included appointments as Minister of Information to the Jammeh regime where he willingly and enthusiastically played the role of “squealer” to the much reviled Jammeh regime.
But always doing things “the right way”, is not the same as doing “what is right”. Ghandi, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Halifa Sallah, Lawyer Daboe, members of the coalition and Mr Kandeh, and a few other brave souls could be said to have done “what was right” …for the Gambian – when it most mattered, and in hindsight went about this in the “right way”, resulting in the spectacular defeat of Jammeh/Bojang regime through the ballot box: notable ingredients included strategy, execution, and a steadfast commitment and sincerity to do “what was right” …for the Gambian in the face of great uncertainly including risk of imprisonment, torture, and even death.
No such thing could be said for Mr Bojang’s after-the-event- actions of jumping the now sinking ship of the Jammeh regime. And no subsequent rambling from a safe distance under the security of a Jammeh affiliate-cum enabler-cum defector about “It’s never too late to do the right thing” could mask the fact that “action always speak louder than words”. Thus for Mr Bojang’s the term rings hollow as mere semantics. First sometimes it really is too late! For example, if you aim a gun at a man’s head and pulled the trigger, and latter protest that you did not intend to kill him, the judge will still have you hanged!
Second, while it is sometimes natural to confess to one’s sins and to seek contrition, it must also be recognised that habits die hard, and in this context sometimes confessions and contrition actually hide strong strategies by some elites- cum-fallen angels to buy both time needed and the right sympathies to further their desire to always “do things the right way ” ……in the new Gambian circumstance, thinly disguised in word play and semantics such as “It’s never too late to do the right thing”, or Jammeh’s infamous retractions about the election results. Not all professed of guilt ,or contrition amount to a rehabilitation.
I have forgotten most of my “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, and cannot remember now if “Squealer” (Aka: fat pig) was latter “to be burnt to the stake” following the “animal’s” revolt or was allowed to walk away scot-free?
@Alieu Phaal, I do not thing anyone can add to what you have said above. Well said and well constructed. Great!!!!!!!!!!!!
Alieu Phaal it would be wrong for me to add anything to what you wrote I couldn’t agree more. You have put it succinctly.