By Burama Sanneh, Seattle, Washington State
Let the Chair or Public Relations Officer of the Committee for the Restoration of Democracy in the Gambia (CORDEG) explain why those who attended the 2013 Raleigh Conference for Democracy and Good Governance and even contributed financially were left out while those who did not attend were given preference? Let them tell us if we have class in the struggle? There are so many questions to be asked but we will take them as we move on.
This matter is now bigger than radio associates parading themselves as professional journalists. If they claim to be what they are in our struggle to liberate our country and its people, they would have taken Dr. Abdoulaye Saine [CORDEG Chair] to the cleaners after his interview with Freedom Radio, in which he admitted seeing the GDAG/UDP members’ trouble coming and that he was not surprised. Journalist who worth their salt would have asked him to resign for betraying the trust and confidence bestowed on him. As the head and face of the umbrella diasporan group, his failure to act on time until the coalition started splintering has dashed the hopes of 1.7 million Gambians desperately yearning for a change. This means Dr. Saine and his executive have blatantly failed to take appropriate measures to keep our hopes alive. Their decision to see the split happen the way it did was baffling and yet these so-called journalists brushed that under the carpet and instead want us to talk about other issues. I think it’s about time that we became clean and real as to what we stand for or abandon the cause of liberating the Gambia from the clutches of dictatorship.
I want the readers to know that I am not interested in taking a portfolio in CORDEG. Rather, I want to know why they took our contact numbers and emails address at the conference when we would end up being discarded. Don’t you people think it is prudent and necessary to consult people who left their two 40-hour jobs and paid for their airfares have serious concerns for the situation back home that they needed to be consulted for their input after Raleigh Conference? I consulted both Banka Manneh [CORDEG PRO] and Sigga Jagne [CORDEG Vice Chair] on both phone and Facebook a couple of times to show my interest in forwarding proposals. None of them take me as a serious comrade. Do they think they already know everything and therefore did not need any ideas onboard? Why would they people think all their affiliates have something important to the struggle?
Why in the first place do the Raleigh Conference organizers extend invitations to people or were some of us invited as mere spectators? I am mad with every one of you, including GDAG [Gambia Democratic Action Group] that after Raleigh, there was only a steering committee that was set up to continue consulting every participant, regardless of his/her affiliations. It was not right that individuals who took it a matter of concern and attended the meeting did not matter to the continuation of the struggle after Raleigh. They were no longer seen as partners. It was only three of us from Seattle – myself, Ebrima Dibba and Demba Baldeh – who attended the Conference and participated until last minute. Was it that those people who were consulted throughout are the big guys in the Animal Farm or they belong to a special class of long time Americaners? You know how much I have been sacrificing even when I was in the Gambia when things were rough. As a former Chair to the concerned Gambian youths of all the opposition groupings at the time, I championed the mediation efforts for opposition party leaders to unite against the Jammeh dictatorship.
I spoke to Banka a couple of times while in the Gambia in his capacity as a representative for Save The Gambia Democracy Project (STGDP) and immediately alerted him about my presence here in 2010. I wanted to let him know I am here to continue the struggle. I am disappointed that he does not see me as a serious partners as evidenced by his failure to keep my number. Don’t you see any importance in keeping me as a partner in the struggle?
The worst hypocrites in the struggle are those who are fighting cause that are personally directed at people for reasons known to them and only them.
I did call on CORDEG Chair to resign and I stand by this for the simple fact Dr. Saine dare to come on a public media saying that he saw this trouble coming and failed to tell us what he did to avert it. Was it because he is simply not capable of doing anything about it or was it that he was happily expecting because he will have some out of his way?
Secondly, how can he be accused of opening a bank account in his name in OHIO when Ebrima Dibba, the appointed Financial Director was not informed even though he was assigned by the same Chair to open one? Is this act going to substantiate Freedom’s allegation that people are receiving money on behalf of the struggle and using it for something else different. I am sure genuine and sincere people would agree with me that they heard me take on Freedom Anchor seriously for making such accusations. I have been and will continue to support the struggle in any way I can without using the platform to alienate old comrades. Let’s seize the hypocrisy and face facts as they are. Period!
My sole commitment is directed at one thing and that is as simple as this, the Gambian peoples are suffering under the clutches of dictatorship, including my biological mother who sent me to be schooled to be able to stand and fight things that affect her life. I have no obligation to anybody or party to deviate from the cause of liberating the only country I call home.