A passionate old man grabbed the microphone at a recent United Democratic Party rally in Busumbala and called for concerted efforts to dislodge President Yahya Jammeh from power. The old man in his 70s said the struggle for The Gambia’s political emancipation belongs to his generation.
“It is time for old men and women to be active in politics,”the man, identified only as Mr. Barrow, insisted. “If our constitution bars us [old men and women] from holding the highest office of the land, then the battle for us is to fight and defeat this injustice meted out to us. It is an unfair and unjustifiable law that must be removed from our constitution. It is a law that is meant to discriminate the elderly people majority of who are endowed with wisdom and rich experience as compared to a man [Yahya Jammeh] who ascended to power without a child.”
Mr. Barrow said many people of his generation have now pointed daggers at this law. “Its fight has energised us; people should not be surprised to see many elderly people entering politics in full force,” he told his audience.
This is the law that bars presidential candidates above 65 years. Both Ousainou Darboe and Omar Amadou Jallow, leaders of the UDP and People’s Progressive Party, have been banned by this law. But several speakers at the Busumbala rally insisted that Yahya Jammeh must also be thrown out of the ring if “Lawyer Darboe cannot contest the 2016 presidential elections.”
Indeed, age-bar in a continent known for revering the wisdom of the elderly is an anomaly – and the old man has latched onto something here.
Of course both the US Senate and UK’s House of Lords are full of the Elderly guiding the affairs of the nation. UK’s Head of State is 85 years old and has been at the helm of state affairs for 61 years (through the Privy Council).
Gambia would do well to get rid of this law (and reinstate the important role of Traditional Rulers whose demise began with the PPP govt and continued under the APRC).
PS Suntou: Don’t get jealous but I have just been informed that I can apply for London Transport’s “Freedom Pass” from January – inshallah of course. I wish I had known that before I wasted money on a car! Apparently, I can jump (or hobble like Sam Sarr – lol) onto any bus, tube or train within London without paying with my “Freedom Pass”!
Dictator Jammeh has come up with so many stupid laws to entrench him in power such as Election Act 2015 , communication acts enacted and which was amended few years ago , removal of second round of vote in the constitution , removal of proposed two term limits before referendum and Amendment of constitutional provision which bar him From doing business so that he could engage in business now , other criminal and unlawful so called executive directives which curtail basic freedom of Gambians as well as their economic development . Even those ignorance National Assembly members have mortgaged the future of their children in the process of Jammeh’s entrenchment in power by enactment of bad laws and continous amendment of the constitution to suit his needs . But it is not a surprise to see them engage in such self destruction because in many African countries , leaders do not care about the future and therefore Africa underdevelopment simply lies on lack of vision and lack of laying down progressive foundation for future generations . Jammeh lack wisdom of aging grandparents , father or Aunty while he was growing up and this is why he has no respect for anyone’s parents including his own mother . This is evident by Jammeh’s assignment of insulting names to himself during his online activities as well as insulting people’s elderly parents during his outburst in various meetings or tours throughout the country . If recent events are to go by such as exposure of his sexual predatory behaviors by his closed aides and those in his inner circle, jammeh will have ugly end . Today sir Dawda is resting comfortably in The Gambia without any threat , harassment or disrespect from Gambians because he has no damn blood in his hands . Jammeh’s hands is completely soaked with innocent blood , therefore those who continue to believe that jammeh will leave power without a fight , good luck with that view . I for one always believe that jammeh will be removed through violent means even if there is electoral victory . Two fundamental problems affect Jammeh’s personal life which later contributed to our current predicament in my opinion . First one I already mentioned above , that is lack of wisdom from grandparents , father , uncle or Aunty throughout his life . Every typical Gambian will have these important elderly figures in his life who will provide guidance , love and supports apart from biological mother but jammeh lacks these in his life . As a result , he grew up as angry young man who think that every member of society hates him and as we speak this is biggest problem in his life .
Secondly ,jammeh was not lucky to have a good wife who loves him . His current so called wife is basically after money . Jammeh’s lack of strong and loving Gambian woman made him a monster among Gambians. He was rejected by all those women he approached before the military coup . Today he is on revenge by going after such women and any beautiful woman in The Gambia . Jammeh have sex with wives of his victims at statehouse. This is usually done when these women ( wives ) made a private visit to statehouse to plead with him to release their husbands , instead the monster will insist to have sex with them if they have bigger butt and beautiful face. This is why these innocent women are silenced by their husband incarceration and would never go public about their husband imprisonment or illegal detention . A strong and loving Gambian woman would have made Jammeh to have sympathy for Gambians. Even if jammeh was married to bad Gambian woman , I predict that his in-laws, grandparents , father or other relatives would prevail on him . There is ample evidence that Gambian culture would allow these relatives to pass their wisdom on him regarding various issues affecting his personal life. That is why in Mandinka , they said “sympathy comes from getting to know the person ” . Jammeh lack sympathy and wisdom which all resulted from lack of elderly grandparents , father or Aunty in his life who would have provide him guidance , love and support both in his private life and presidency . Wisdom of elderly are important pillars in stirring the affairs of family and the nation. We must allow our elderly to bring their lifetime of experience and knowledge in forefront of our national development. Therefore our constitution must be changed to increase age limits to 75 years to allow men and women with lifetime experience and wisdom to contribute immensely in national development . A child without a wisdom of parents , elderly grandparents , Aunty or uncle or any elderly person in his life is likely to fail in life.
UDP in Tanje today.