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.”