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Gambian Politicians Speak on Obama's Nomination

Jun 5, 2008, 4:27 AM | Article By: By Abba Gibba & Baboucarr Senghore

Following the epoch-making nomination yesterday of Mr Barrack Obama ahead of former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party in the United States, this paper spoke to various political functionaries in The Gambia with a view to sounding their views on the development.

Ousainou Darboe-Really it is history in the making. In the sense that he is the first time an Afro-American is being nominated as a presidential candidate.

The history would be completed if he is elected as the first Black President. It will also mean the first black First Lady in the White House.

Fifteen to twenty years ago, nobody would have thought of it. It is a far cry from when Jesse Jackson tried to be President of United States.

This indicates that Americans now think of themselves as the same Americans, a history that should be followed even in Africa. That I belong to this tribe or that is irrelevant. We should look at ourselves as people belonging to one nation and be proud to pronounce our nationality.

And to Mr. Obama, I would advise him to follow the agenda and policy that he had presented to the people until he is nominated if he becomes president.

Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay - This is unprecedented in the history of the United States of America for an Afro-American to be nominated to run as a presidential candidate.

As at now, what both Hillary and Obama should do is to come together and work not only in the interest of the Democratic party, but also for the entire Americans.

Hillary Clinton should definitely be congratulated for her courage and enthusiasm as a woman for taking the stand to contest in the presidential nominations.

I believe both of them have very good and sound policies that they presented to the Americans in the run up to the upcoming elections. But all the same, I would like to call on Hillary Clinton to fully rally behind Barrack Obama and give him all the necessary support.

It should not be seen as a gender issue but as part of a democratic process. This is all about democracy.

We are all praying for Barrack Obama to win the presidential election come November. The dream ticket should now become a reality. Let them all work together.

Henry Gomez - It is time now for the whole world to believe that there is God. Nothing is impossible. The Americans with their history have never dreamed that of an Afro-American not to talk about an Afro-African to stand in their country as a presidential candidate. It is a happy moment for the Africans all over. For that we have to be happy and then give thanks to God for making this possible. I am appealing to all politicians in the world to know that it is God who chooses leaders at his own time and day. I am congratulating Barrack Obama and wishing him good luck in the presidential election in November. For Hillary, I am also giving her courage not to give up, as her own time will come. Impossible is nothing.

HALIFA -In my view, Obama's nomination is just like Mandela's election and is a memorable event. But we must bear in mind that such events by themselves are not necessarily historic.

What will make Obama's nomination historic is the type of campaign he will launch and the type of policies and programmes his cabinet will put in place and implement if they were given the opportunity to manage the affairs of the United States.

From my own point of view, he will make a historic departure from the cold war if he moves from the policy of unilateralism in international relations and adopt a policy of multilateralism.

He will give primacy to the United Nations and its charter as well as inter personal conventions in order to handle the problems in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

If he gives significance to advise organisations like the European Union and African Union and engage in consultations with the intelligentia of the world and people with moral authority like Bishop Tutu before formulating international policy for the US, he is likely to bring the US again into mainstream world politics as revered partner instead of being isolated.

He will be taking over at a time when the world's economy is in crises and environmental consideration are also uppermost in the minds of the world people who are being threatened by climate change.