Politics of uncertainty

Mar 17, 2021, 2:38 PM | Article By: D.M. Badjie, Political Scientist/Commentator

It is well known to all concerned citizens that the political environment in the country is least appealing. We are all witnessing the fragility of the democratic system. Staying in power and wanting to be in power cannot be seen to derail the democratic process.

Our leaders will be blamed for focusing on the wrong priorities of political development should the nation fail in tackling several governance issues under their watch. These are, among other things, the pending Elections Bill, the registration of voters, the Draft 2020 Constitution, uncompleted TRRC hearings, the pending Anti-corruption Bill, etc. It seems our political leaders are taking the political consciousness of Gambians for granted.

The strategy of delaying tactics so that elections will not be held in 2021 will be both unconstitutional and unacceptable to Gambians. It is time for the political leadership of the country to call for the expeditious implementation of the pending governance issues mentioned. The government announced COVID-19 lockdown on March 8 which included a ban on all public gatherings and political meetings among other things. This, in my opinion, carries political ramifications and throws a bad light on political development in an election year. We are now faced with political uncertainties that are worrisome and of concern to many Gambians.  We cannot pass the threshold of democratic decency if we fail to put in place the pending governance issues.

As I see it, the fundamental problem in the current national discourse is political ignorance. Politicians think and act on behalf of the people on governance issues. Familiarity of the electorate on governance issues has been very low and therefore the politics of deception sends dark clouds on political reality, hence the seemingly quiet nature of the local population on the burning issues of the day, especially the pending governance concerns. It is only through creative massaging by civil society organizations that we can counter the propaganda efforts of politicians in these trying times in national politics.

The tragedy with national politics in this era is that power conviction takes precedence over the consolidation of good governance and the achievement of a national consensus on the Draft 2020 Constitution. No leader or party heard from Allah as to who will lead the country in the 2021 elections if that will even take place with the current foot-dragging on all requirements of the electoral process. Gambians must be decided on elections this year.

Political naivety cannot hold the nation to ransom. As citizens, we should have enough strength and confidence to overcome the convoluted political atmosphere and to move ahead with the democratic path for a better Gambia. The climate of fear, hopelessness, rivalries, callousness, bitterness, hatred, antagonism, procrastination, indecisiveness, uncertainties and political bigotry must now end.

The New Gambia must continue to be backed by the spirit of 2016 which changed the country from dictatorship to democracy. I am to warn politicians, “IF YOU NO SABI SWIM, WATER GO KERR YOU GO.” Righteousness exalts a nation.