My take on the current political situation in The Gambia

Friday, August 03, 2018

Dear Editor,

I wish to thank you for having provided me and many others with space in your widely read paper to reach out to your readership. I wish to express my profound disappointment on some of our politicians, particularly;

1. The APRC executive

2. Those who are calling for 2019 election

3. Those using the social media for character assassinations.

APRC EXECUTIVE: am sure it is not only me, but many people were surprised and shocked to hear the APRC executive talking to the former president as if they accept that he will return to this country to lead and develop it for them. When he quoted a so called Wolof proverb and when he said Allah said to Muhammad if they insult you, just say salam, their reply to him was ‘that  is true and Allahu akbarr, Allahu akbarr’ respectively. One may wonder if they rightly heard what he was saying, otherwise they would have kept quiet and just listen. Jammeh said; ‘nothing can happen without the will of Allah’ but he and his people forgot that it was the will of Allah that led to electing of Barrow.

Jammeh want to come back but are the APRC executives considering the aftermaths. Well, not many matured politicians would think like them. They must remember that Jammeh took over this country with the support of many, who were viewed as friends, but I think we don’t have to remind ourselves about some of those friends since some of them were allegedly betrayed.

The APRC executive must understand that the APRC many be bigger than them, but we don’t need to remind them that The Gambia is equally far bigger than Jammeh, the executive, the APRC and its total membership.

Why are they still representing Jammeh’s interest? They need to organize themselves and support the democratization process and possibly appeal to government to pardon their leader if he is found wanting or to appeal to their leader to apologise to the Nation and the allegations made against him are true. Remember whoever is calling for his return as president is definitely calling for more problems in The Gambia, which will definitely have spillover effects in other parts of the sub-region. Who will Jammeh ever forgive if he comes back? Security experts may agree with me that his attempt to come back is a threat to national security, truly, many people will choose to abandon their homes and go into exile. Jammeh said to you; ‘when the time comes, you know what am talking about’ and he also said among other things ‘you have not seen anything yet, I Yahya Jammeh, I have not done all what I should do, inshallah’. I only hope that you understand what Jammeh is telling you and at one point he told you that he is making some arrangements. You did not ask what type of arrangements and with who.

It is true that you would admit that APRC is bigger than everyone of you, but you forgot that The Gambia is bigger than you, APRC, Jammeh and all of us, therefore whatever you do please consider the national interest first.  Is it that Jammeh has given and continue to give you money to represent his interest in the country, as Yankuba clearly states that he was given ten thousand dollars by Jammeh which he never declared to the militants, but instead unknowingly declared it to the whole world. Please do not use the party to enrich yourselves, be genuine to the nation and the militants of APRC and please we need a country that will remain peaceful and never interrupted by wars or conflicts.

Calls for 2019 Election; For those our brothers/sisters who are dreaming of elections in 2019 still need to have patient, then they will realized the said agreement is in conflict with our constitution and elections are very expensive. Please help us to make the financial statistic of the last three elections held in the country then you may agree that the country need more time to conduct elections.

During the signing of the agreement it appears that certain unforeseen circumstances were not factored by the coalition members such as;

1.The coalition splits; It is evident that the coalition unexpectedly did not survive to see the implementation of its agendas. Most of the political parties that constituted the coalition are either not part of the coalition or are concentrating more on their individual politics.

2.There was no proper handing and taking over of government and the national coffer was not promising.

3.The political impasse and security challenges; the agreement possibly did not cater for the political impasse, which continued to divide the country and thus creating security challenges and also coupled with economic and tribal challenges for the Barrow government, with less coalition participation. The impact of the impasse seemingly will consume the greater part of the three years. It would have been wise for the coalition partners  to work together as a government to fulfill the promises they made to the electorates than asking Barrow to step down to fulfill an agreement that is in conflict with the constitution.  May be not, but I think even at the level of joining a coalition, the party leaders were to organize a congress to have approval from their militants and the agendas must be agreed at the congress, but in our case some of the politicians took the decision without a congress.

Use of Social Media for Character Assassinations;

The country has seen an upsurge in the character assassination of government officials, which is uncalled for. Though we need to use the media to rectify with the hope to unite and develop the country, but not to divide the nation and not to also spread false information. Remember the same approach was made on social media which mostly results to bad blood between the former president and many people in and outside the country. I have read many unfounded stories about people with good characters in the country. Recently, there were allegations of the former vice president and minister of Interior and the Director General of State Intelligence Services (SIS) intending to plot against Barrow and again linking them to the importation of arms.

Actually it is know that the owner of the container is not any of them and they don’t have anything to do with the owner. You have used same medium to insult the president and his wife. During my recent visit to the ministry of Justice I was lucky to overlook the SIS headquarters and have seen the ongoing tremendous infrastructural developments at that place and it may be a secret but many people envy that SIS. The DG did also achieve the objective of the Barrow government, for the recasting, rebranding and repositioning of the SIS among other things. Please let us not use the social media and behind politics to showcase tribal sentiments.

The character assassination was not limited to ones mentioned above, since O Jallow and Halifa Sallah (one of the strong pillars of the coalition) were never spared.

Please give Barrow the chance to use the brains around him to stabilise and develop the country. Remember peace is not just the absence of war, but because of the attitudes of some and the impact of December 2016 political impasse the country is seemingly going through psychological warfare. There is definitely a rise in tribalism in the Gambian society, particularly in politics.

A concern citizen