Breaking News:GPU President Madi Ceesay at the”center of corruption” allegations!

Madi Ceesay accused

GPU President Madi Ceesay at the”center of corruption” allegations!

Local Journalists called For His resignation or to face impeachment proceedings!

Journalists accused Ceesay of “lack of transparency, corruption, abuse of office among others.”
By Staff Writer Karafa Badjie, Banjul.
Paid For and Commissioned by the Freedom

The President of The Gambia Press Union Madi Ceesay,  is  likely to  be impeached if reports reaching the Freedom Newspaper are to go by. The Union President would be very lucky if he survives plans hatched by Union Members, who agreed unanimously to have Ceesay impeached, following what these reporters called “abuse of office, corruption, and  gross monopoly of union matters. The embattled GPU President would have his fate decided this coming Saturday at an extraordinary general meeting  to be held at the GPU Secretariat in Serre-Kunda,  few kilometers  away from the Capital City Banjul. The aggrieved journalists claimed that Mr.Ceesay uses his position as the GPU President to enter into financial contracts with some establishments without their expressed permission. The journalists also lamented about what they called the lack of accountability and transparency under Ceesay’s leadership. The journalists cited the GPU printing press donated to them by the US Embassy, which according to the aggrieved journalists, its proceeds were  never communicated to them by Mr.Ceesay. Funds generated from the said printing press according to the journalists  were yet to be accounted for.Ceesay was also accused of  receiving  funds in the name of the Union from individuals who one way or the other entered financial transactions with him without the knowledge of the GPU general body.  In some instances, he was accused of using the Union’s letter head  to  effect such business transactions without the blessing of his colleagues. Another reason they advanced for his possible removal was Ceesay’s move to set up a private business firm called the “Media Agenda.” Ceesay they alleged has not yet explained to them the source of his new business venture and the computers used to run his new internet café aligned to the Media Agenda. Mr.Ceesay a  former Independent Newspaper Manager, is at the centre of a major scandal, emanating from his own colleagues, who are working very hard at this hour to see to it that he ceases to serve as their leader. There are secret meetings being conducted by some Gambian journalists,  in a bid to see off  Madi Ceesay through the exist door. Many here believe that there is ” a bigger force behind the forced change at the GPU spearheaded by local journalists.” The Observer which is sympathetic to the Jammeh regime is also at the forefront in ensuring that GPU President Madi Ceesay “is  impeached from office amidst allegations of corruption” and abuse of office. One of such journalists spearheading his removal is Pa Ousman Darboe, according to credible and dependable sources who spoke to this paper. Mr.Darboe recently openly picked on Mr.Ceesay during the Union’s May Day Celebrations, in which he accuses Ceesay of  hijacking the Union. Mr.Darboe believes that Mr.Ceesay was not doing justice to the Press Union since he Ceesay was “only concerned about propagating his private business activities and not the general welfare of the country’s journalists.” Darboe who commands a strong backing from his colleagues at the Daily Observer, the Point and other news outlets called for a congress to change the “mess perpetrated” by Ceesay in their name. Darboe wondered how Madi could run the Union in the absence of majority of its Executive, some whom are currently out of the country. The GPU Executive consists of the following. Members. Madi Ceesay President, Musa Saidy Khan, first vice President, Aisha  Darboe Second Vice President, Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Secretary General, Omar Bah, first assistant secretary, Imil Touray second assistant secretary, Alex Dacosta co-opted member, Sarjo Camara co-opted member, Treasurer Alimatou Jarra Jallow. The current executive were voted into office in March of  2005. A good number of the Executive are currently out of the country. Observer’s wondered  how Ceesay and co were able to run a such a “poorly constituted” Union over the years.

Source of Ceesay’s New Business Venture!

The aggrieved journalists said they were also interested about  knowing  the source of Mr.Ceesay new business venture. They claimed that the journalist lacked the necessary funds to run such a business. “Thanks to the GPU Madi Ceesay is today posing as a business tycoon. He is driving a car and had his immediate family working for him at his new Media Agenda offices. There is a conflict of interest here. Madi is using the GPU to run his business. We want to know how he acquired the equipment for that office, the money to sustain the office and budget to register the business. The GPU has been marginalized by Ceesay. He is more concerned about his business. He  set up the said firm during his tenure as our President. We  want to know where he derived the funds to run the business.” said one of the protesting journalists.

According to the journalists, Mr.Ceesay also uses his position to sponsor his son to travel to the United States. “We are aware of his dubious activities and it is about time we say enough is enough. Madi has long been taking us for a ride. He has been running after Fatou Jahumpa Ceesay, Neneh Mawdol Gaye and some government functionaries in a bid to win their support. FJC in particular has been dishing out money to Madi Ceesay. The Union is not for sale. If Madi wants to be a businessman fine, but let him leave our Union alone. I will be at the meeting Saturday to speak my mind.”a local journalist alleged.

Is the Government using the Observer to undermine the GPU?

Some Independent journalists in the country who spoke to the Freedom Newspaper on conditions of anonymity said Mr.Ceesay was giving room to the government to intervene on Union matters. “If a situation like this arises, the government might likely intervened. Mr.Ceesay ought to know better. His actions undermine the Union’s welbeing.” said a journalist.

According to sources, local journalists would demand for Mr.Ceesay’s resignation come Saturday. Failure of which, an impeachment proceedings might be instituted against him. Many here are convinced that Ceesay is likely to be removed, as plans are afoot to table the impeachment proceedings against him. “The consensus is that he got to go. He has been using the Union to enrich himself. Madi cannot provide any proofs to substantiate his income. We don’t want to have a President who is entering business agreements without our consent. This was not the reason why the GPU was formed. The GPU has been transformed into his personal asset.” said one of the journalists.

Mr.Ceesay a former political activist recently visited the Daily Observer, where he praised its management for doing a fine job. His appeasing statement never saved him from local journalist’s determination to send him packing. According to sources Mr.Ceesay has no intention of stepping down from office.

Madi Ceesay Not Available for Comments!

This reporter made numerous efforts to reach Mr.Ceesay for comments but without success. Ceesay was said to be in Moscow attending the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Congress. An official  of the Gambia Press Union said” It’s only Ceesay who can answer to the allegations and concerns raised by the reporters. This is entirely his own domain and not mine. I hope you understand my position. We aware of the pressure mounted for his removal, but as I said, get in touch with Madi for any other enquiries into this story.” said the official.

Mr.Ceesay who won a journalism award last year was praised for his tireless efforts in promoting press freedom on the African Continent by the US based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Ceesay was honored alongside with other journalists around the globe for their gallant move to uphold the press freedom on the continent.

During his US Visit, Madi Ceesay launched an appeal to Gambian journalists overseas to extend helping hands to the Gambia Press Union. A vigorous fundraising drive was immediately launched with Joe Sambou tasked with collecting the funds.  Close to $1000 dollars were raised  in that fundraising drive. The funds were later wired to Mr.Ceesay for the up keeping of the Gambia Press Union Secretariat.

Few days ago, the former President of the Gambia Press Union Demba Ali Jawo issued a statement calling on local journalists to approach the matter with professionalism. It appears that the Ceesay affair is getting out of hand, with journalists vowing to mount pressure  for his  resignation come Saturday.

The Freedom Newspaper shall continue to try to reach Mr.Ceesay for his side of the story on the corruption allegations brought against him by these concerned Gambian journalists. Attempts are being made to reach Madi Ceesay  in Moscow for comments. Stay tuned….

Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 (Archive on Monday, July 23, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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