By Sarjo Bayang
Popular opinion suggests no 5th term for overstayed dictator
Using deadly weapons to dislodge a sitting elected government is not only undemocratic but most barbaric way to usurp political power. That is exactly what Yaya Jammeh did on 22 July 1994. He promised returning to barracks and to continue serving in the national army. It is now more than 22 years as Yaya insists he will rule for 1 billion years.
Transition period of four (4) years was forced on Gambian people using bogus committee set up by the military soon after their coup to seek public opinion on how long before returning to barracks. Yaya who claims to be righteous by carrying around what many are made to believe copy of the Holy Quran wants to be taken for someone sincere and genuine. To allow Yaya Jammeh another or 5th term in office will spell doom for Gambia. Popular opinion holds that Yaya Jammeh must not be allow taking part in any more elections.
Let us examine some compelling reasons why in next or future elections Yaya Jammeh must not be a candidate. As he claims to know truth, let Yaya reason with Gambians by pursuing the right course of action; leaving without extending further trouble the nation so bitterly endures for over 22 years iron fist dictatorial rule amidst shameful scale of corruption.
Politically incorrect to allow 5th term for Yaya Jammeh military rule
It is troubling and considered most politically incorrect that Yaya Jammeh is seeking 5th term of office after rigging on 4 occasions to ensure he clings to power. In the course of 22 years since his forced rule began Gambia is transformed to worst dictatorship leaving everyone so disappointed that a man who plays sweet by lip service turns so bitter in his dish on the empty plate of hungry Gambians.
Looking at Gambia’s politically active population it defies all sound reasoning that one person insists on life time presidency. There are thousands of very capable persons with higher integrity who are willing to serve as Gambian leadership position most decently.
Yaya seized power without lawful occasion. He should have been punished for that barbaric political misconduct. Gambians thought they could give him benefit of doubt to see how he performs on this most demanding task of presidency. Now there is now doubt he failed everyone’s expectations including those seen standing by him in thick and thin.
Yaya has to be reasonable enough and to accept he is not the right person in first place. Worst of everything, he already failed so woefully. If he is sincere to his loud pronouncements claiming love of Gambian people and nation, then Yaya has no reason staying for another day. Gambians are truly forgiving people. They know Yaya failed by design from wheat is known. If he should submit to the will of people by what popular opinion dictates, it is possible life goes normal for him. To insist staying in forced rule will only bring about more serious troubles that could consume Yaya Jammeh and his enablers at a time they least expect it.
Over the last 22 years political awareness of Gambians has grown to critical proportions. Even those born after 22 July 1994 coup already know the history of this undemocratic military rule perpetuated by Yaya Jammeh and his unflinching cohorts.
More willing and highly committed persons are ready to rebuild Gambia from this gigantic political earthquake lasting 22 years. Even those who pose as supporters of Yaya Jammeh want to see him go away. They may be enjoying crumbs but without peace of mind.
A new proper political dispensation will preserve more peace and stability while assuring everyone protection against arbitrary rule characteristic of this police state military regime.
Popular uprising may be inevitable
Not anyone’s choice but by compelling circumstances, if Yaya Jammeh insists clinging on power for any longer it may lead to political turmoil. Majority of Gambians are completely exhausted and want change from military dictatorship.
News about what is happening in other countries tends to fuel hopes that unless Yaya Jammeh acts in good enough time by relinquishing power graciously he be compelled to encounter unceremonious exit.
Social media is the platform of exchange where political events around the world are widely shared for discussion. Opinions are being shaped through exchange of ideas about the way forward.
Not everyone in Gambian army prefer dictatorship
What may surprise lot of people is the fact that truly disciplined members of the Gambian army will not back Yaya Jammeh in any event of popular uprising. There is high speed undercurrent talks suggesting that majority in the army may not accept being used against innocent Gambians especially after seeing what happened to those they thought as close loyalists.
Many in the army feel very much disappointed while preferring to keep quiet. They only talk to trusted colleagues and family members.
Good news about Gambian army rejecting to protect dictatorship is that they see the innocent civilian population as helpless victims of prolonged dictatorship.
While Yaya Jammeh deceives some members of Gambian army that a civilian government is not in their favour, he already failed to convince right thinking disciplined ranks who already know what is at stake.
Good reason for the army to be part of civilian population
Talk to any army ranks and you will be amazed how they feel as part of civil society. After all they are family members; brothers and sisters to rest of the population. They are aware that at end of dictatorship doors are open for their integration.
Some of the army personnel have acquired good vocational skills very much needed in any properly established order. They have all rights to sign out after serving their terms. It is encouraging that some of these highly disciplined members of the army will continue serving in more fitting roles after their call of military duties. Those competent good members of the army will not permit few selfish individuals dropping bombs to destroy a country they have been sworn to defend. Very hopefully end of dictatorship may not mean war as Yaya Jammeh and his gang wish to impose.
Defections in the Libyan style
Record number of defectors already threatens the support base of Yaya Jammeh and his ruling military government. Situations like this breed lot of mistrust amongst the skeletal remainder of window dressing loyalists.
Already Yaya Jammeh is fully aware that life is no longer the same. He does not know whom to trust. Those who prefer temporal gains will give him the impression that all is fine.
Some of the pretenders blowing hot and cold air to give Yaya Jammeh false hope only want taking advantage of the void. Lot of them have no more confidence and simply anticipating when the ticking time bomb explodes and not doubting if it will not.
Votes rigging before elections
Going by what key personalities in the ruling party keep saying that they already won elections ahead of votes what more will anyone expect? They are ready to rig any election their usual ways.
Writings on the wall clearly indicate that those thinking of Jammeh serving another term of office are determined to see him sweep the votes by hook and by crook in their usual trickery.
Experience of vote rigging is done in many ways. Those appointed by the dictator Yaya Jammeh are made to believe that unless he wins they will not stay in their jobs. That includes civil servants, district commissioners, chiefs, and other public office holders. They are brainwashed by inducing fear of insecurity if Jammeh is defeated through elections. That same notion is what some army personnel are carried by.
Everyone calling for peaceful end to dictatorship
Word is going round at fast speed conveying popular opinion rejecting any more elections for Yaya Jammeh as candidate. By adding your good voice to this call loud enough it may be the end of dictatorship everyone yearns for.
Where truth prevails, Gambia does not require a dictator in first place. To permit dictatorship for more than 22 years is politically incorrect and most unbearable. Consider also squandering of public resources by the dictator Yaya Jammeh over the years in his forced misrule.
Most bitter insult added to the political injury of every right thinking Gambian is to imagine one person forced rule with no light at end of the tunnel. Going to any more elections with Yaya Jammeh after his 22 years dictatorship amounts to political mass suicide. Don’t let 5th term for already overstayed dictator who failed to serve public interest in pursuit of his selfish personal economic drive. The choice is yours.
Stop dreaming Sarjo, wake up and lets try to solve the main issue that is keeping the Pig in power.
Halake once said if Gambians are serious about solving their political problem they will unite and kick Jammeh out. If and when we stop the internal fights that are deep rooted and based on regional and tribal affiliations the Pig will leave. We need to first of all tackle the elephant in the room. Gambia first.
Yes, PM, the title of this piece is rather perplexing. The headline purports to be a statement of fact, when infact it is not a fact! It is not a fact that Jammeh has been barred from the 2016 election! It may be a wish on Sarjo’s and other Gambians part – but it is not a fact as it is stated above.
Halake’s point PM, was that when NADD contested as a united opposition they were a challenge to the APRC. And that is the position in 2016 too – a divided opposition will be rolled over by the APRC. But a united opposition could beat the APRC – but such opposition unity seems unlikely in which case 2016 will most likely see another Jammeh and APRC victory. As things stand, only the economy is the danger to the APRC and Jammeh. As the great Bob sang: “A hungry man is an angry man”. But Jammeh knows Bob’s tunes too – and might conjure up 10Billion from Allah’s Bank, who knows?
With the word “should” added to the title my above comments then become unnecessary! (lol)
It is very unfortunate that our political leaders refuse to see the path to winning. Thanks for teaching
Mr. Mendy the unity being called for, to me is vage. We would hardly be going back to NADD. How many political parties are even relevant to determine the guidelines of such a party unification?
But that is not the only form of unity that can bring about change. The reality on the ground is that UDP is -both in activities and membership – by far the most important formidable force that poses any real challenge to the so called gov’t.
Therein lies the point. Are the other parties strong enough to take on the status quo? Should they join hands on the basis of partnership to effect change? There is also the option of signing a MOU which states the conditions of alliance and the settlement clause in the event that an opposition party carries the vote . The simple act of not putting up a candidate -based on the arithmetic evidence of no chance of winning -will help tip the balance in favour of a UDP candidate.
Therefore, my opinion is that the other parties should come out and engage the electorate and throw their lots on the biggest party to win.
At the end of day, a UDP gov’t will be answerable to the demand of the smaller parties than the current dispensation.
I will try to show you why each and every political party is relevant if I have time this weekend. for the time being: Each and every party is relevant because of the energy that unity will bring to a nation that badly needs political change, each and every party has financial backers that when they put their resources together will make a huge difference in providing transportation, fund projects, sensitizing missions, discourage APRC from buying votes, fund overseas trips.
I think you are underestimating the level of animosity between the parties. There is total warfare mentality on the ground that none will tell you in public. There are elements in UDP and PDOIS who have a war mentality. I honestly think it is no longer about the Gambian for some of these militants.
It is unequivocal that there are some PDOIS militants who see and feel unity will strengthen UDP and lead a Group they have been fighting from the creation of the State/nation back to power. The comment “I will never help someone to become an Elite” comes from a deep political philosophy that is eating the soul of Gambia.
Because I believe the best and brightest should lead and politics affiliation should be based ideology, I understand some PDOIS militant’s believe that politics as usual and the genuine treat of UDP turning PPP once in power is valid. I think it is UDP’s responsibility to choose a candidate that has the charisma, political skill to over come the impasse.
On the other hand some UDP militants despise PDOIS because they see PDOIS as the Party that broke up NAAD that was a clear ticket to getting rid of APRC. Furthermore those who think in this line believe that PDOIS is standing in the way of progress.
I think this is the contemporary Political Dilemma.
The foor is open for serious political discussion.
But then to go by your narrative , in the eyes of pdois, UDP must cease to exist. If that is the case, then we should forget about the change we are yearning for and let Messrs sallah and Jatta join forces with aprc to continue to block what in their eyes is a mandinka resurgence disguised as UDP. I think that is the core of the problem if I have to take your argument seriously for opposition unity. But pdois can also go into unity with other small parties, so that the field of candidates is narrower.
Few will have the fortitude to talk about the underlying issue. In public the political correctness dictates talking about different types of unity. “We have a fundamental difference in political philosophy” means we will not aid you get rid of a national problem because we will rather suffer under aprc rule than see UDP in power
Rather than rallying behind UDP what we have is mining Ming Tafal tafal.
Watch unless this cancer is tackled and nationalisms takes front center the only solution left are another coup or armed conflict