Kijera says Gambia will be unruly if Jammeh returns without justiceApr 13, 2021, 11:45 AM | Article By: Adama Tine & Sankulleh Gibril Janko.
The chairman of the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations, Sheriff Mohammed Kijera, at a press conference on Friday, revealed that it has come to their notice that tactics and efforts of Yahya Jammeh’s return are ongoing which he described as disastrous for this country and Jammeh himself.He assured that if those rumors should materialise, the victims would take to the streets; the victims’ families and loved ones would take to the streets; patriotic Gambians would take to the streets, which would result in an ungovernable situation in the country.
According to him, having endured gross atrocities for 22 years of Jammeh and his brutal regime, no one must be allowed to deny and distort the facts and bury the painful episodes of our people after having subjected citizens to lots of pain and indignity.
“The minister of Defence Sheikh Omar Faye, would do anything to keep a job. He disrespected and insulted victims who suffered torture, rape, castrations, enforced disappearances, extra judicial killings, wrongful arrests and detention under gruesome conditions by telling them to “suck it up and stop crying over spilled milk,” he recalled.
He pointed out that many people resisted and fought against Jammeh’s evil regime until they lost their lives, while many lost their limbs and livelihoods and still many fled leaving their loved ones behind, some were raped, others lost their manhood; so therefore, it would take only an enabler to suggest that all Gambians were responsible for that evil regime.
He added that the Victims Centre is dismayed by the “frivolous” statement made by Minister Faye, and as a result, the Centre cannot let it go without expressing its “repugnance to such irresponsible and callous remarks as it was totally unacceptable and deserves absolute condemnation to the strongest terms.”
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Friday inaugurated the recently refurbished IEC regional office in Brikama, West Coast Region. Funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the project is under the electoral support project 2020- 2022.The UNDP electoral support project is a US$ 4.9 million project aimed at supporting the country’s electoral cycle. The project has already sponsored the provision of furniture and office equipment which have been installed in the regional offices.
At the handing over ceremony, chairman of the Commission, Alieu Momarr Njai, said the event is another key milestone for the Independent Electoral Commission. “The conduct of free, fair and transparent election cannot be done in the absence of adequate resources. Availability of human and capital resources is key in any development process,” he pointed out.
The Commission, he went on, had been challenged with the inadequacy of capital resources, adding that the conditions of some regional offices had been a matter of great concern to the Commission. “Most of the IEC regional offices lacked adequate office space and storage facilities. The conditions of some of the IEC regional offices were left to be desired.”
He said the delivery of the office would immensely help towards the successful conduct of not only the voter registration but all other electoral activities during the electoral cycle 2020 to 2023 and beyond. Apart from Brikama Regional Office, the UNDP, he added, is also refurbishing other IEC regional offices across the country.
He reassures the electorate and all its stakeholders of the IEC’s continuous commitment and resolve to deliver free, fair, transparent and credible elections to all Gambians at all times.
UNDP Resident Representative Aissata De, in her deliberations, said The Gambia has a permanent independent electoral commission that needs to be in good conditions to prepare for elections. She underscored the need for electoral agents to be in good conditions to fulfill their duty in a good manner.
The UNDP, she said is not organising these elections. “What they do is to support these areas to ensure that the elections are free and fair and inclusive. She noted that elections are not only for the electoral commission, but for everybody. While reiterating their support, she emphasised that development cannot be attained without a democratic system which is why they are investing in that area.
Governor Lamin Sanneh of West Coast Region thanked UNDP for their support, saying that getting a good structure for the IEC is a source of motivation for the staffs and electorates.
“Democracy in any country cannot be complementary in the absence of having a very good independent electoral system in the country.” He described UNDP’s intervention as timely; stressing that good governance cannot be done in the absence of good democracy.
The secretary general and leader for the United Democratic Party (UDP) has described the D80 million spent on other “peripheral” things as wasteful spending by President Adama Barrow administration, saying his government would divert this amount into the health sector.Lawyer Ousainou Darboe made these remarks over the weekend at a gathering as the country is being hit by spate of criminal activities including killings and drug trafficking.
He added that the unnecessary budgetary spending of the current government will not be allowed by the UDP leadership. He cited that some other financial spending by the Barrow administration is unnecessary, stressing that the D80 million unnecessary budgetary spending by the government will be taken into other useful sector such as the purchase of drugs for hospitals.
“We have seen how other unnecessary spending is being carried out by the Barrow government. The needless spending of 80 million dalasi by the current government into useless sectors will never be allowed by my government. It is very disheartening to hear that hospitals do even lack gloves for nurses and doctors and the high rate of death during delivery in our health care system.”
He urged Gambians to rescue their country from President Adama Barrow’s leadership amid increase in drug trafficking and murder cases.
“The Gambia is becoming the transit point for drug trafficking. And why will we have containers loaded with drugs shipped into the country? If any country is seen as a transit point for drug trafficking, crime rate and other illegal activities will continue to persist.
“So it is high time the country is rescued from individuals who do not care about the security of their own people and give it to a government that will not allow the country to be used as transit point for drug and gun trafficking including illicit criminal activities.”
“We have seen how guns were illegally imported into the country and till today, no proper explanation has been made by the government. This country will not be used as drug transit point and other criminal activities under the United Democratic Party’s leadership; it will be protected from that,” Darboe assured.
“What a country are we living in? Even school children find it difficult to arrive early in schools for classes and buses were given by the Turkey’s government for school children. So are those buses meant for our children?,” he queried.
In a statement released on Saturday on the United Democratic Party (UDP) official Facebook account, the party observes with alarm and horror the recent spike in incidents of violent crimes such as rape and murder happening with a disturbing frequency in hitherto quiet and peaceful communities of Tanjie, Sanyang and Busumbala.The release, written by the Secretary General and Party Leader Ousainou Darboe, further indicated that there have been reports where security personnel and installations have been violently attacked by mobs, causing injuries and serious damage to property and security establishments.
“If the security men and women employed to protect the people are under attack, then the security situation in the country has degenerated to a distressing level and that the Barrow Government should directly engage the affected communities with the security apparatus of the state to restore peace and tranquility.”
The part as well welcomed the appointment of a substantive Inspector General of Police after the untimely demise of IGP Jobe, while he commended the current initiative ‘Operation Zero Crime’.
The release continued to call on the Barrow government to engage the affected communities, local government authorities, and all relevant stakeholders to stem the tide towards chaos and lawlessness.
The party further called for an investigation into all incidents of violent crimes and keep the people informed of all developments as a way to reassure them of their safety especially in their homes and places of work within the ambit of the law.
“UDP is aware of the difficult times the vast majority of our people are going through with the exorbitant rise in the cost of living and the absence of livelihood opportunities for the youths. The devastating impact of COVID19 has affected the whole world but as a people, we cannot give in to despair. UDP stands in solidarity with the Gambian people and renews its commitment to build a capable state that will empower and enable the young people to fulfill their dreams of living a life of purpose and dignity.”
At the end of the release, the party urged Gambians to be law-abiding and continue the peaceful coexistence that the nation is known for.