By Pata Saidykhan
First things first! CONGRATULATIONS to honorable Omar A. Jallow and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) for a very successful rally celebrating the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary. It was not only fitting considering it was the Party that led us to independence, but very timely and necessary. With all its weaknesses, it’s long overdue for the PPP to defend its record against all the smear campaign, the mudslinging by Yaya and the APRC. Time and time again, OJ has consistently done that with high velocity and degree of vehemence.
What we’ve heard from the rally in Brikama was the fiery, brave, committed and unapologetic politician taking the battle to the doorsteps of the dictatorship. Challenging and exposing the regime in a fashion so uncharacteristic of an opposition shackled in a poisonous den. He asked about the the president’s riches, the illegal arrests and disappearances. ‘Go tell him I said it!’, he roared. He challenged them, pitching their record against Jammeh’s and came out on top! That’s what was expected!
But what’s even more salivating was the aggressiveness and boldness of a top opposition figure that Gambians longed for, to continue the demystification crusade against a coward who is preying on a very innocent, peace-loving people. A people whom over the years have been terrorized and almost rescind to fate that the chains are unbreakable. Layer by layer, Yaya bark’s gets peeled. OJ galvanized Gambians. He has reawakened the hope that the Gambia is only a few brave politicians like him away from salvation. It was impossible for anyone to not be proud and happy for the PPP and their interim leader for their latest assault.
Just like any other time that our Struggle Train gained momentum, there’s always a mechanical failure to take the steam out of it. The fault is always a self-inflicted one. OUR OPPOSITION PARTIES again! UDP, NRP, PDOIS all stayed away. GMC didn’t get an invite which Hon Fatty made clear. And from OJ’s radio interview with FatuRadio’s Mamalinguere, I sensed a baffled man who was still bewildered by the unexplained absence of his comrades. That’s gotta be lonely but Mr Jallow wasn’t deterred.
Although there’s not been a formal reason advanced by those invited for their absence yet, does not lessen the bitter taste of disappointment. We expected a show of solidarity from ALL parties for what the occasion was. So we await. I hope we’ll be given answers. Until then, I’ll remain ashamed, disappointed and hurt the realization that we’re indeed far from the top of the hill than we thought. That a serious look, diagnosis of what must have been the deep tetanus wound that remains incurable. A serious disappointment of course for UDP’s absence and the silence is deafening. They’ve been the longest allies going into all previous elections. So it begs a tangible official reason for staying away. Gambians deserve one.
It scares me that we’ve not even started talks of political union to go into the coming elections under one flag bearer, but that potential marriage is heading for a divorce before they walk the aisles. In a normal marriage, counseling would have been a must. This isn’t an exception if we’re to retain the slim hope of a serious fight against the incumbent. Our political parties are not oblivious to this fact but the diaspora should be battle-ready as partners to do all we could to summoned them to the table even if that means rolling the dice. It’s worth the try.
This is why I’ve always asked that we be partisan but still be cautious not to be overly partisan if our goal is to forge a United Party Alliance. Considering the history these parties have, if we openly take partisan positions from the jump, we’re bound to dig holes for ourselves as every party would come out swinging to avoid being buried. The diaspora Will make and/or break what we have at stake. We’re a very significant constituency even when we’re disenfranchised. It’s best we impartially maneuver thru the barbed wire in pursuit of political unity than face them head-on wearing party colors. That might work for the fringes and the insignificant voices like me. But those who already command the respect and notoriety of being able to get the folks on the table must tread lightly. That by no way means avoiding the truth.
But what do I know?! This malaria must have gotten to me. 🙂
Good Morning And Peace To The Planet!
Well, the Udp also invited the Ppp to their 18th year anniversary rally but the populist-Speaking OJ chose not to attend neither did he delegate a representative. So why should he expect udp to honour his invitation?? The Ppp cannot eat their cake and have it. If you want unity and solidarity, you have to demonstrate it by action too, not just by flowery words.
Ofcourse the absence of other opposition parties is disappointing but OJ himself authored it all at least in the case of Udp. This is yet another demonstration that the Udp is not Ppp, ncp or a combination of both. The Udp is the Udp_ an independent sovereign party- and it’s colour is yellow, not white, not blue and certainly not orange.
Ah! Soon the hypocrites will jump and say udp should have just ignored OJ’s past conduct and just attend the rally in the interest of unity. Well, first of all I don’t know why udp did not attend. I am only saying oj’s failure to honour udp earlier invitation is bad for unity and solidarity. Why didn’t you say anything about that?? If you think it’s ok then I expect you to consider udp’s none attendance of a Ppp rally as ok too. Deal??
Oh…So now you have a defense for non attendance,eh…? Truly, God does work in mysterious ways….
Well stated Lafia, an excellent reminder that the PPP did not attend an important UDP event despite having been invited like other opposition parties. But unlike other opposition parties who attended in terms of sending a delegate and/or a statement of solidarity, the PPP did none. The UDP made no fuss over this; nor did any of our so called political referee raise the red flag: what a myopic and biased analysis of issues.
Manju and Alkali.
Rallies are good and we must welcome the roars of political lions calling for such events. It is even better when organized by Gambia’s oppositions for the Gambian people. We need more rallies especially when the goal is set around uniting the Gambian people and the oppositions against the senseless tyrannical rule impinged onto us by a madman.
But I also worry about rallies – the aftermath of rallies and worry for those who may remain vulnerable to the treacheries of a corrupt system of governance where the law keep a hard eye on one group and softens on others. I left and flashed back to 2013 GUC rallies to remember this innocent dedicated countryman Alasana Jobarteh who had his share of the backlash of a rally in that year. Bairo was dragged into a court system accused of breaking laws that were unheard of and when everything was said and done, he received a fine of enormous proportion. Shocking as is, but what was even more shocking was that some of those who are roaring now, those who Jobarteh covered at that 2013 rally never even show support during his court case. They never showed up at the court house to stand with Bairo as he goes through the Jammeh nonsense. Forget about their contribution to the fines and legal fees.
Am I open form unity to take on the challenges we faced as people? Yes I can but no more interested in working with people who bailed out when the going gets tough. This time around there has to be conditions. That if one goes down, everyone else stand put and fight back. Without this you can roar all the roaring you want, you will never have me on your side.
Thanks Alkali for your concurrence. I think anybody who cares about the truth will say exactly what you and I just lamented. The political referees must have dropped their red cards at the corner pools lol!
Defence for none attendance; where is it and who gave it??
“Lafia Touray la Manju on March 31, 2015 at 2:39 PM
Well, the Udp also invited the Ppp to their 18th year anniversary rally but the populist-Speaking OJ chose not to attend neither did he delegate a representative. So why should he expect udp to honour his invitation?? ”
Comment…I did not make this up, did I. ? Here in lies your defence of the UDP for non attendance….
That is just another way of telling the so-called political referees that they do not have any moral standing to blame UDP since they have failed to blame OJ when he chose not to honour udp. That’s all it is.
As for my personal opinion, I have said the UDP’s non attendance is unfortunate. I also said that I do not know the reason behind UDP’s non attendance. Of course you are playing “pointless” hence your misrepresentation.
Bax is playing “Pointless” again
@Touray la Manju, Alkali,…..can the ordinary people or in ather words, the electorate, be referred to as ‘political referees’ or there are other possible definition to the phrase? i just want to be enlightened.
I see Jammeh as the President in the next decade. Its clear from the actions of our political parties. This is a conspiracy against Gambian people. You all work for Jammeh.
Tonyaa, you are very much spot-on…. You have said it all as it is…. Our current politicians are SELFISH breeds hell-bent on individualistic selfish gains at ALL costs above country & anything else…. Yes we can all visualize the continuity of the cold blooded murderous butchering of innocents, the oppression, kidnappings, corruption, mismanagement & various abuses unending….. & this is for all Gambians & friends including the very opposition leaderships, families & their diehard jihadi supporters…. True, we all stand to LOOSE, collectively & individually, UNLESS we do away with our selfish GREEDY individualistic self-destructive tendency gains, instead of the common good for all… God helps & bless Gambia; Ameen.