Just like Brikama Baa, Farafenni and its surrounding towns and villages came out in large numbers to attend the political rally organised by Sobeyaa to sell the agenda of their presidential contestant. Some of the greatest cultural feats and traditional drumming and dancing styles, which are rarely seen, were performed with much energy and agility.
However, they expressed disappointment in their situation, and revealed pessimism over another Gambia, where the final decider is President Adama Barrow. Among those to voice out their plight for Mr. Faal to help them were village elders, village youth and women leaders. They expressed the need for health facilities, proper education facilities and other essential amenities.
Kitabu Fatty, renowned comedian who endorsed Essa some time ago after he had announced his wish for the coming elections, said that the only way to a truly new Gambia is to vote for Essa Mbye Faal and put him at the helm. He revealed that in a government led by Essa Faal, the Chinese would not be in our seas, destroying the river’s resources in their quest to fish for the best of Gambian fishes for exportation, thus, making fish so scarce that Gambians eat no other fish but tilapia fish.
“It is not right for someone to be educated at Farafenni then go to the Kombos for college education. Farafenni is big and therefore, needs a college of its own,” Kitabu said.
Kitabu condemned tribal and ethnic politics in The Gambia and said that the only way to a meaningful change is by true nationalism and patriotism and not about tribe or ethnicity.
He also reiterated the fact of some Gambian elders saying that they would not disagree with government because of their belief in the predestination of ruler ship. He hinted that opposing or voting out a government because of its incompetence is not wrong.
Dawda Saine, a Sweden-based Gambian said: “those who are saying that Essa Faal became known by the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) are wrong. He did other great things. But it is God who says that those who were yet to know him would do so by the TRRC. Essa Faal is a good and honest man. He entered politics just to alleviate the people. He wants nothing else. He entered politics for nothing but that.”
Giving the final discourse was Essa Mbye Faal, the one on whose cause the rally was held. Essa voiced the belief that Gambian people, especially the youngsters, know that the government of the day does not care about them. He supposed that had they cared about the Gambian masses, then they would have worked towards fulfilling their wishes and aspirations.
“Just look, for instance, at the soldiers. The Gambian soldiers are sidelined, as if they have no importance, no one cares about them, no one is interested in their matters, and then, they go bring soldiers of other states to place them on our very own Gambian soldiers.
“That is indifference” he said. That is a great disregard. That is so heartbreaking. That is a lie. I would not accept that. We know Gambian soldiers are disciplined and respectful, professional and brave, and are going on missions and bringing medals.”
“Here in Gambia, there is nothing happening. There is no conflict, and we are in peace, but you took our soldiers and sidelined them. That is heartbreaking. If I take this country, after three months I would thank them (ECOMIG) and get them out, because their being here has no benefit for the country. The soldiers we have, we trust you, we respect you and you can also do your job.”
“So, it would be you that we would entrust with state security. A country has only these things which are its flag, national anthem and security. Those are the things we should take pride in. Those are the things we take pride in.”
He lamented that parents would do everything they could to pay for their children to go to school, but after 12 years they are paid 1,500 as salaries which are not even enough to buy a bag of rice and pay its transportation fare.
“Those bad wages and salaries and inopportunity is why when the youths of Farafenni and the surroundings finish schooling, have nothing to do, go to the Kombos, and at Kombo, when there is no job opportunity, they would try the back-way for Barcelona or barzag,” he cried. “However, there are too many youths remaining with us here. Then, when people went to the extent of preferring death to sitting in their country, then, that country is really very difficult.”
“But what of the living cost. Now a cup of cooking oil is D23. This is a great price hike. Something which was D7 five years ago, now D22, if you are in Farafenni they sell it at D24 and D25 at Basse.”
After Essa highlighted problems upon problems and troubles upon troubles faced by the masses, which he believed exist because of the negligence of the Barrow administration or because of President Barrow’s incompetence, he assured that he would bring massive, radical but also effective and efficacious change to the Gambian people, if voted asthe top sharer of the nation’s resources, as he has the necessary knowledge and competence required.