By Deyda Haidara
Today I am fired up ready to share my views and experience in the political field on the ground. Firstly I would indulge readers to read this piece with an open mind devoid of nepotism, tribalism, regionalism or sectarianism. Thank you.
For those of us on the ground, we know for a fact that over 70% of the population does not like Jammeh, his regime and his party the APRC. How can we then translate this fact into a victorious election for the opposition? Here are some of my thoughts.
1- We must wage a rigorous campaign in Senegal with the help us Article 19, Raddho and other civil right organizations to disseminate awareness that foreigners should not participate in other countries elections. It is illegal, unethical and downright criminal. Senegalese nationals coming to vote in our presidential elections specially the Southern Senegalese people just because of tribalism should be exposed in all the medias in Senegal and possibly have the government of Senegal issue a STRICT warning to those Senegalese nationals that engage in this criminal enterprise of crossing the borders just to vote and go back. Gambian diaspora organizations and opposition parties on the ground should work hard on this in Senegal
2- Jammeh knows very well that the majority of his opponents are in the diaspora reason why he refuses to accord us voting rights as in other countries.
3- Today whether we like it or not, Mandinkas are not the majority tribe on the ground anymore. This is not to say that Gambian Mandinkas are not the majority tribe should they all be resident on the ground. Overtime Jammeh has been able to compel the majority of Mandinkas specially the youths (boys and girls) to go on exile en-mass for obvious reasons and today we are only left with the elderly on the ground. Lawyer Darboe knows it and all season politicians and leaders including the APRC know it as well. If we try to hide this naked fact from the electorate we will be making the BIGGEST mistake in our fight against Jammeh and his master plans. That being the case it is imperative that all tribes come together for a massive vote against Jammeh.
4- We need all tribes and all hands on deck for the final push. The next biggest hurdle we must OVERCOME is the trap of simple majority vote. There is only ONE solution to circumvent this, which is to field ONE candidate against Jammeh failing which and in the absence of strong pressure of my previous warning of foreigners voting, we loose the elections to Jammeh. Unless we accept to take the bull by the horn and accept to put aside all other partisan considerations, we will remain VULNERABLE to Jammeh and his APRC machinery for a long time to come. Jammeh knows what he is doing, he is simply an intelligent “bastard; sorry readers” who would leave no stone un-turned to retain and remain the head of state all cost. The onus is on us to UNITE, focus and resolve to throw him out of the state house.
5- Finally the issue of candidates age limit should not be avoided, as long as Jammeh survives until the 2016 elections, it will be an issue to consider SERIOUSLY specially the UDP and PPP. NRP and PDOIS are not affected whiles those parties that are lead from abroad suffer an injunction. In order for the UDP to avail themselves in the elections they must select an eligible candidate and quickly for that matter.
Speaking to a friend of mine, he told me that if some UDP activist in diaspora were on the ground they would have been a good choice for UDP candidacy. However this should not detract us from fielding only one candidate against Jammeh. It is more than high time that we be honest to each other and unite to UNSEAT our common enemy Yaya Jammeh.
I hereby pledge that if we are able to select one candidate against Jammeh, I will donate D2 million dalasi for the campaign.