Year in Review: Gambia in review in seven days
As the year 2018 gives way to a new one, GunjurNewsOnline looks at major events in the past two years that are likely to shape the days and months ahead. Join us in the fleet down memory lane:
Day 1: New Year, New President
The beginning of the year 2017 was the beginning of the end of the two-decade tyranny of President Yahya Jammeh. Following his defenestration a month earlier in presidential elections, he sought to cling to power citing alleged anomalies. Adama Barrow would be sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Senegal, and was shortly after installed following the intervention of Ecowas troops which saw Jammeh leave for Equatorial Guinea. The new year ushers in another period of accountability and audit for the fledgling coalition government as anniversary edges ever closer.
Day 2: Killing of Kanilai protester
Photo: Protesters in Kanilai, the birth place of former president Yaya Jammeh
Struggling to come to terms with the realities of life following the departure of president Jammeh along with most of the privileges they enjoyed, Kanilai residents took to the streets on June 3rd, 2017 while the president and interior minister were out of the country on government business.The protest was put down in bloody fashion by ECOWAS troops. Mai Fatty cut short his trip to address the nation and vowed to restore order to every inch of the territorial confines of The Gambia.
Day 3: Mai Fatty Fired
Photo: Mai Ahmad Fatty was sacked as Interior Minister by President Barrow in November 2017
His rise in position and influence in the new government was meteoric. And spectacular was his fall. In the wake of immense public debate about the award of bio-metric ID card and passport to embattled Belgian company Semlex, Mai Fatty was fired under insalubrious circumstances on November 10, 2017.
Day 4: Faraba Protests
Photo: President Adama Barrow visits the injured from the Faraba protests at EFSTH in Banjul
Aggrieved by exploitation of their resources and environmental destruction, young people in Faraba took on the paramilitary force perpetuating their misery in collusion with businessman Julakay Marenah. Three young people were killed on June 18 in a major test for Barrow’s leadership. The president would soon apologise for the loss of innocent lives and made a condolence call on families of victims. At a rally held in Faraba, he pledged to ensure the matter is investigated and perpetrators brought to book. Day 5: VP, others canned in cabinet reshuffle
Photo: Madam Fatoumatta Tambajang was sacked as VP shortly after the Faraba Bantang incident in a major Cabinet reshuffle
Chastened by events in Faraba amid mounting public criticism, Barrow instituted changes in the highest echelons of government. No more was the Vice President Fatoumatta Tambajang who has been touted as the architect of the coalition. She was supplanted by veteran lawyer and founder of UDP Ousainou Darboe. Also canned were the ministers of Health and Education. The Finance Minister, Amadou Sanneh, was also reassigned.
Day 6: Gambian tech giant Draman Touray Dies
Photo: Draman Touray of Prestine Consulting - was at the forefront of Gambia’s technological evolution
He had been a constant presence at the forefront of Gambia’s technological evolution into the internet age as head of Pristine Consulting. Destined was he for great things with award of contract to print ID card and passport for the Gambian government, but things soon took a turn for the worse. His contract would soon be yanked by quondam president Yahya Jammeh who sent him to penitentiary. Following exile and successful legal case against Jammeh, the matter was settled out of court, but he remained abroad in Senegal where he set up business. He would lead the fight against Jammeh’s removal and triumphantly returned home. But the new government wouldn't give back the contract to him despite his best efforts. His sudden death which many put down to heart-break from loss of the contract caused a massive backlash against Barrow government, especially among the mercantile Serahule community.
Day 7: UDP Congress
Photo: Party leader and Secretary General of UDP and VP of the coalition government
Amid persistent rumours of rising tensions between president Barrow and his political mentor Ousainou Darboe, UDP went to Congress. The relationship between the mentor and mentee seemed to have soured. Lawyer Darboe assumed leadership of the party, and in remarks believed to be aimed at Barrow, vowed to fight anyone who tried to bring disunity to UDP regardless of position. He also described UDP Youth wing as the only recognised youth organisation in the party in a side dig at the much maligned Barrow Youth movement (BYM). Barrow would respond in kind at a meeting in Basse that left little to the imagination of stratospheric tensions that seem to have consumed UDP.
Gunjur News Online thanks our esteem readers and followers for being with us throughout 2018. We have been growing from strength to strength from our launch in July 2017 to date, thanks to the support from our growing readership for which we are ever grateful. For that, GNO takes this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous 2019.