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Gambia OIC Failure: A missed opportunity to host the World’s second biggest event

Updated: May 27, 2019

By Alhassan Darboe:


A bunch of incompetent cronies connived among themselves to sabotage World’s second biggest inter-governmental organisation event in The Gambia.

A mystic philosopher once wisely remarked “the map is not the territory, the menu is not the food, the chart is not the cause of events and coincidences are never mere coincidences.” 

Revealed: Gambia OIC Secretariat’s top earners

Going by the facts and revelations trickling in from the Gambia’s OIC secretariat after the foreign minister of the Gambia, Tangara revealed that Gambia is no longer hosting the OIC summit, one would have been forgiven for thinking and hoping it is all a fiction.  One would have been forgiven for thinking that the days of nepotism, corruption, cronyism and favouritism are over after the ousting of Gambia’s dictator Yahya Jammeh. But nay, lo and behold corruption, nepotism and favouritism is rife like never before. The secretariat set up and mandated by the government of The Gambia to resource funds and coordinate the Gambia’s successful hosting of the summit has failed woefully in its bid to fulfil its mandate due to lack of work ethic, qualifications, experience and desire to ensure that the November event takes place in The Gambia. Instead, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now listed on the OIC website as the hosts for the 16th regular session of the IPHRC from 17 - 21 November 2019.


The government of the Gambia instead of hiring professionals with the proven track record of sourcing funds and organising major events of the upcoming OIC summit’s calibre, decided to hire amateurs based on political affiliation, nepotism and favouritism. According to reliable sources, the former vice president of the Gambia Aja Tambajang got his son and Essa Bokarr Sey a job at the secretariat. Nyang Njie, albeit educated and experienced none the less was brought in because his aunt is married to erstwhile foreign minister and vice president Lawyer Ousainou Darboe. Lamin Sanneh the head of OIC secretariat was also picked because his father, Jallow Sanneh was a founding father and financier of the UDP.


Cumulatively, the dysfunctional and unproductive secretariat reportedly burn through $25,000 dollars a month in salaries for just Lamin Sanneh, Njie, Omar Ann and Essa Bokarr Sey. According to a reliable source embedded within the secretariat the quartet named above at the secretariat connived among themselves to scupper the successful hosting of the OIC summit until 2022 so they can continue to earn their huge salaries which would have been cut off if the meeting goes ahead successfully as planned. He said: “these people have no work ethic whatever. They turned this place into a village bantaba. They come to work as later as they wish and leave as earlier as they wish during working hours. They openly decided among themselves to deliberately delay the summit so they can continue to enjoy their fat salaries till 

20121(sic)”.


Profile of Gambia OIC Secretariat’s Top Echelon:  Lamin Sanneh: Sanneh is a seasoned banking and finance professional with an MBA in finance from Oxford Brookes University, UK. He has huge international experience working in multiple high-profile organizations and running businesses before moving back to The Gambia to run OIC secretariat which as it stands is a spectacular failure. Given his wealth of experience and professional pedigree, it beggars belief how Sanneh and his team were not able to mobilise the necessary funds to build the requisite infrastructure in time to host the World’s second biggest summit in The Gambia. Lamin Sanneh is reported to be earning $10,000 U.S dollars a month. Nyang Njie: He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Jacksonville State University in the U.S. He was laid off at Comium for under-performance. That was his last job. His departure from his previous job at ministry of finance under Jammeh was also unceremonious and shrouded in the murky waters of his relationship with the Jammeh-Baba Jobe, shady transactions in the area of petroleum products. Give it up to him, Nyang Njie is smart and articulate but instead of working towards the successful hosting of the summit he spends most of his time travelling across Europe, Saudi Arabia and exploring all over Gambia with a camera crew in tow taking videos and selfies. Nyang is reported to be earning $5,000 U.S dollars a month. Essa Bokarr Sey: His academic qualifications and work experience are murky and unverifiable at best. He is the Public Relations Officer for the secretariat. For an event of this magnitude, Essa BokarrSey has no prior Public Relations experience and does a very terrible job as a P.R.O for the secretariat. Instead of branding the secretariat and creating a public relations plan for it and communicating simply and clearly, he mostly writes in military style codes: DETECTED. He recently put on dark glasses in an interview with paradise TV which is frowned upon in the world of public relations because it means the speaker is hiding something.  Responding to question posed to him on the rumour that Gambia will no longer host the 2019 OIC summit, he told Gunjur News online:  “As far as the OIC secretariat is concerned we are assigned to mobilize resources, work on projects in preparation of the summit. We at the secretariat are yet to receive any information different from what we have been assigned to handle as professionals”. Essa Bokarr Sey cannot deny nor confirm as to whether the event he and his allegedly professional team are tasked to organize is still going ahead. For now, he remains in darkness and denial as we go to press. Essa Bokarr Sey is reported to be earning $5,000 U.S dollars a month. Omar Ann: He is a son to former vice president Fatoumatta Tambajang. Despite some digging, we are unable to know anything about his educational background. According reliable sources he was a cab driver in Raleigh North Carolina before relocating to The Gambia. Omar Ann is reported to be earning $5,000 U.S dollars monthly.


The failure of the hosting of the OIC Summit in November is the result of lack of the requisite infrastructure - enough quality hotels, road network, and mobility for the visiting heads of states, among others. The Gambia OIC Secretariat has given Gambians the hope that these will be in place ready for the summit, albeit no tangible evidence was seen to back this except the construction of the state of the earth conference centre funded by China.

This begs the question: Would the government of former Gambian despot Yaya Jammeh have done everything possible to pull off this event just like they did to host the AU summit for the first time in the history of the country?

Anyone believing this view could be forgiven, given that the former government lobbied and bid to host the OIC summit in the first place. What is clear though is that failure of those tasked to mobilise resources and work on projects for the successful hosting of the 2019 OIC summit in Banjul would not have been an option under the brutal regime of former President Jammeh.


In a letter to the press for a press conference that the secretariat planned to conduct, it remains to be seen what official reason would be given for the shifting of the 2019 OIC summit from Banjul to Jeddah.



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