What’s This Hullabaloo About OJ Interview?

Darboe-Promises-a-Formidable-New-Leader-For-UDP~~element78By Papa Kumba Loum

I really think that many people are blowing the recent exchanges  between Omar Jallow of the PPP and Ousainou Darboe of the UDP out of proportion and in the process exposing their intolerance and possible hidden sycophancy for their party and part leaders.  Having read the interview story as carried by the Standard Newspaper and  Ousainou’s response to the story and OJ’s  subsequent extensive interview on Freedom Radio yesterday in which he explained what was said during his interview with the Standard Newspaper of what he described as a very lengthy interview covering various issues affecting Gambia and Gambians in general, it is clear to me that Ousianou Darboe overacted to what was a general opinion expressed in a extensive interview about the political, and socio-economic state of the Gambia in which OJ inter alia stated that both himself and Lawyer Ousainou Darboe are now advanced in age and should both consider stepping down for younger people to take the helm of their respective political parties. The same OJ also dilated that under the current 1997 Gambian Constitution both himself and Ousainou are not eligible to stand because of the stipulated age limit in the Constitution.
Now if this is what was said by OJ, I think many supporters of UDP and Ousainou Darboe for that matter are overacting. Having said that, however, I would also like to read Ousainou Darboe’s version of events and why he said what he did and the manner in which he said it. I am however very disappointed by the reaction of some UDP and PPP supporters for the unnecessary bickering and pettiness demonstrated in their rejoinders to the “war of words” by the two party leaders. One will be mistaken to think that these kind of statements were coming from PDOIS supporters. My profound apologies to the PDOIS supporters whom I have taken a constant swipe at for their usual emotional, robust and expressive support of their party leaders and party when anyone expresses anything they perceive as anti-PDOIS. It now appears that many UDP and PPP supporters are not any better than the PDOIS ‘talibes’. Perhaps it is a general Gambian problem. “The Mansa/Leader can do nor say no wrong”.
My advice to all Gambians is that if we are going to build a prosperous country devoid of tribalism and religious bigotry, Gambians should be more tolerant of each other and concentrate on building institutions that are effective and transparent and that personnel employed and or elected to office must be accountable. Let us try and move away from cult and personality following. Regardless of whether the person is Ousainou Darboe, Halifa Sallah, Hamat Bah, OJ, Pa Nderry, Papa Kumba Loum we are all open to scrutiny. Please note that all human beings are susceptible to developing dictatorial and corrupt tendencies and we cannot leave it to chance, or the so called religious piety of the person and or the good will of those that are appointed or elected.   
Let us also note that the minority tribes like the Jolas, Manjagos, Balantas,
Karondinkas, Sarahule, Akus, Serers etc including all the “other major and famous tribes” have the right to rule the Gambia including non-Muslims and even those who do not have a religion.
Gambia belongs to all of us whether or not you can point out the grave of your 10th Grandfather or only one. Wake up guys otherwise Naserudin, Babilimansa will be there for another 20 years.


  1. Papa Kumba Loum, Hullabaloo or none, reaction or none, Omar Jallow should not even have started this mess in the first place. Omar Jallow needs to understand that there are certain things you just have to be careful of when and how you deal with. If he wants to retire because of his age he is more than welcome to do so. Besides who listens to him in the Gambia anyways. Who is the leadership in the PPP in the Gambia except his lone self. He worked very hard to sideline the likes of James Gaye, Yahya Ceesay and other prominence of PPP all because he wants to show his relevance. A couple of months ago, it was this same guy Omar Jallow who went around the US, telling folks that he was staging demonstrations on his return to the Gambia. The last of that was heard during his US stay. He did not utter a word upon return to the Gambia.
    Unless he is another Yahya Jammeh who wants to impose this age limit nonsense on Gambians, he needs to back off and let others who choose to continue with their hard work to return our nation to democracy and the rule of law alone.

  2. Lafia Touray la Manju

    I can’t comprehend this none sense talk by Papa Loum that the minority tribes too have a right to rule Gambia, who said they haven’t?? Does he even know that Oj is from the second largest tribe in The Gambia or is he another Yahya Jammeh, a chronic mandinkaphobic??

    • Lafia, I am very well aware that OJ is a fula by tribe. In fact when I mentioned the “majority and famous tribes” i was indeed referring to the Fulas, Mandinkas and Wollofs. I am not anti-mandinka at all and I believe that at times many people unfairly accuse Mandinkas of being power hungry etc, etc- I guess it is “fear” of the majority albeit sometimes unfounded. In fact Lawyer Darboe has been unfairly accused over the years for being a “power hungry mandinka politician” which as we know is false, unfounded and dishonest to say the least. I have come across many wollofs, fulas, sarahules and now with the advent of Yahya Jammeh many Jolas who are worst triablist than any mandinka I have interacted with.
      I am very much aware of the tribal dynamics of the Gambia and believe me I do not need any lecture from anyone for that matter on this topic. Reading the online exchanges from many quarters however, It is quite evident that there is a lot of suspicion among people surrounding tribe and tribal affiliation.
      Now regarding what I said about the issue of being able to “locate ones 10th grandfather’s grave in the gambia as oppose to those who can only locate 1 grandfather’s grave in the Gambia etc etc”, I have heard people and senior politicians for that matters using this to prove that they were more Gambian than others, etc,etc. I do not want this to be a tribal issue but it does appears that you are very sensitive when it comes to tribal issues. I am definitely not a mandinkaphobe and my friends will tell you this without revealing much to you about myself. You need to take it easy Lafia. Gambia belongs to all of us and even those who are gay/homosexual. I know I am now inviting more controversy by saying this.

  3. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Papa Loum, I am heartened to hear that you are not anti mandinka but your injection of tribe in this debate is a concern as it has no place whatsoever here.

    The current president is from the minority tribe. Mandinkas give more votes than their fellow mandinka, Darboe, and yet he jammeh had the audacity to sit on television and call mandinkas all sorts. Then, we have somebody like you telling us that minority tribes have rights to rule too. Mandinkas, wollofs and fulas don’t recognise that, why would they vote for Jammeh??

    As a proud mandinka, I have taken a personal pledge never stay quite while mandinkas are being insulted or threatened.

    People should no longer be allowed to take it out on mandinkas in the name of politics. We are not responsible for anybody’s low self esteem.


  4. Lafia Touray la Manju

    And yes Papa Loum, I have become very sensitive about tribe in Gambian politics because for far too long, my tribe, mandinka, have been insulted from both left and right. I am not ready to accept that anymore. My mandinka identity and culture is very dear to me and I am not responsible for anybody’s low self esteem in The Gambia neither is my tribe.


  5. Pap Kumba Loum Please stop preying, ridiculing, caricaturing, prejudices and malicious vile slanders on PDOIS? You are it again; with your disparaging remarks to massage egos. However you sugar coat it they cannot be slaughtered or butchered and use as scapegoats on straightforward issues and direct confrontation between UDP and PPP.

    PDOIS is open to constructive criticisms and debate on ANY POLITICAL AND NATIONAL ISSUE(S) FOR THE BENEFIT OF PUBLIC & WORLDWIDE; whenever their attention is required or made aware. You knew very well that they are dynamic, vocal; never wanting in addressing burning issues, civic education and political leadership.


    • Dwada I like the use of your many adjectives. i must admit that you are a true PDOIS patriot. Whenever and where-ever the word PDOIS is used, you emerge to make a comments whether or not they make sense. God bless you my brother and long live PDOIS

  6. Papa Kumba Loum. In simple terms what does PDOIS has to do with this direct confrontation between UDP and PPP or between Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and O.J’s opinions?