The defeat of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic, Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) by the opposition National Reconciliation Party (NRP) in the Lower Saloum by-election has proven the ruling party members fears of losing an election in a level playing field hence the urgency to tighten laws in a bid to eliminate potential political threats. The crushing defeat of the APRC candidate backed by the entire state machinery and resources clearly signal that the unstoppable Wind of Change has started sweeping in the country. The landslide victory of resource scarce opposition candidate in a country that symbolises political oppression should inspire the opposition to unite against President Yahya Jammeh and his cabal.
Modou Bamba Gaye on Thursday stunned the nation after he had polled 2, 764 votes as compared to Kaba Touray’s 1, 618 votes. The defeat dashed the ruling party’s hopes of retaining a seat that became vacant after the occupant Pa Malick Ceesay was expelled from the party. He now faces corruption and economic crimes charges.
The NRP leader’s statement that “the results are clearly indicative of the people’s desire for a change in the 2016 election”puts the opposition in a bright spot. This however does not mean the opposition leaders should fold their hands and expect Manna from Heaven. We understand their daily challenges and struggle but they must not relent in the fight to uproot one of Africa’s worst dictatorships in the 21sr Century. The only winning formula is unity to achieve a common goal and whoever becomes an obstacle to that must not be forgiven. We cannot afford to have another five-year mandate of a President who publicly declared owning the country and uses his sweeping powers to decide who goes to jail or survives. Another Jammeh era heralds doom for everyone, including those bunch of nincompoop APRC deputies who blindly enacted a law to disenfranchise poor Gambians and mortgage our country to the rich class.