As UDP Intensifies Grassroots Politics, Njogu Bah’s Villagers Give In

Medina Serign MassThe villagers of the former Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister, Njogu Lamin Bah cross carpeted to the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) after rallying with the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) party of Yahya Jammeh for two decades. Mr. Bah, whose qualification had been widely disputed, was dismissed, convicted and jailed for abuse of office.

Scores of Medina Serign Mass villagers announced their allegiance decision at the UDP political bureau in Banjul on Thursday.

The development follows the opposition party’s heavy investment in grassroots politics, which according to one party official, has been paying dividends. The opposition party’s new strategy was triggered by a standoff it had with security forces in Fass Njaga Choi last year.

The delegation that comprises men, women and youths had a lengthy discussion with the UDP leader, Lawyer Ousainou. Niumi villagers are delighted for the warm welcome accorded to them. They attribute their allegiance to the party’s active public outreach which centers on the need to bring back democratic change in The Gambia.

Mr. Darboe welcomes the new members with open arms. He praises their brave move.

“Everyone in the country is affected by the irrational and erratic decisions making of the President and his ruling APRC,” Mr. Darboe adds. He says there is ample evidence for sensible Gambians to distance themselves from Yahya Jammeh.

Darboe wants the new loyalists to “double up efforts” to bring more APRC supporters to the UDP.

The UDP leader says the country’s main problem has to do with the government’s deliberate decision to neglect the bread basket. “Agriculture has been underfunded and neglected,” the lawyer politician notes. He says to add salt to injury, the government has failed to provide market for farmers produce. This means farmers will not have finance which in turn deprives them of the joy of reaping the fruit of their labour. “Farming therefore becomes less economically viable. This why the rural-urban migration is unprecedented and even eroded village communities.”

The UDP Electoral Liaison Officer with the Independent Electoral Commission praises Medina villagers for their timely decision. Mr Sulayman Sarr says the onus is now on UDP militants and the wider public to acquire voter’s cards, the only way to end voter apathy which plays against the opposition. Sarr says the IEC will reintroduce the acquisition of voters cards through identification by elders and village heads.

The two-month supplementary voter registration begins on January 14th.

The party’s formidable Youth Secretary, Ebrima Solo Sandeng, credits the UDP National President, Dembo By Force Bojang, for his tireless efforts in Medina Serign Mass. Mr. Sandeng thanks the party’s “youths for their continuous fearless work in meeting Gambians at their abode and sharing the UDP’s message of change through popular participation in the electoral process.”

Lawyer Darboe finally demonstrates his party’s belief that there cannot be meaningful development in the absence of agriculture. And as token of appreciation, he handed over variety of vegetable seeds to the newest party members. Darboe encourages Medina villagers to “hold their heads high and be self reliant. You should not allow anyone to devalue your sovereign rights of the country.”



  1. Deyda Hydara

    Freedom has no price, it’s a GOD given right not to sell or deny illegally.
    Our forefathers got their independence through grassroots politics. At that time no television or radio was used to pass the message to communities. I am proud of the UDP for not waiting on GRTS, radio or the print media to access the potential voters. In fact one wonders who watches GRTS in the country? Over 90% of the population do not watch GRTS anyway. In essence Jammeh is talking to himself on TV and hadn’t been the online and the print media no one will hear what Jammeh is saying on TV. This is the reality on the ground today.
    Gambians on the ground have enough of Jammeh and do not want to see or hear his bull scrap on TV.

  2. This is the best ways to undermine a dictatorship. Do your thing and focus on the masses.

  3. I hope this gives the Fonis the courage to disown Janmeh and open up to the opposition…

  4. Bax , if Foni and the jolas disown their son , jammeh will be history . Jammeh’s security and survival depends on Foni and jola people around the area and cassamance .

    • Max, I disagree with that view about Jammeh’s security and survival depending on Foni and Jola people around Cassamance…

      Jammeh’s security and survival depends on The Gambian People, a very minute minority of whom live in Foni..This minority in Foni can neither protect him, nor guarantee his survival, if the rest say otherwise…

      People from Cassamance may show some kind of loyalty to Jammeh to enjoy some forms of benefit from him, but they cannot protect him or ensure his survival, if the nation were to rise up against him…Trust me, these will be the first to abandon ship and head home, with their booties.

      • Bax , I think we debated this security issue before and I believe I have indicated the same view before . Looking at the geography or location of Foni and its proximity to cassamance as well as jammeh’s connections in terms of his blood connections , geopolitical interest , security interest and personal involvement in rebellion in that region , I think it is 100 percent safe to say that jammeh’s survival as president depends on the people from this region. This is further evidence by jammeh’s security arrangements which indicate that almost all the top security officials are from his tribe ; from interior minister , inspector general of police , National intelligence agency , Gambia army chief of defense staff , state Guard commander , Gambia prison services , and the head of greenboys . These are key security posts in the country . Remember, you also thousand of cassamance citizens in the army , police and NIA.
        In security detail ,Jammeh’s chief personal protection officer , commonly called king Papa at statehouse is not a Gambian citizen , he is the one who sleep next to jammeh’s bedroom and he is last security personnel before you reach jammeh when you pass the guard post inside the building where jammeh stay in statehouse . Almost all the soliders in this area are jolas either from Foni or cassamance . Saul Badjie and other top security details are also inside this building before you reach a king papa. You have some members of jugulars who are outside while others are at guard post . Majority of these soliders are jolas who are very loyalty to jammeh . His inner circle are people who are very closed to him whether it is family or tribal affiliation . All his business dealings or activities are run by these people .
        Cassamance conflict is a source of protection for jammeh . Jammeh’s Grand design is to be life president by having these jolas from Foni and cassamance as his main protectors. At the beginning , most jolas sees jammeh as one of their own and it is now some of them start to distance themselves from him because of atrocities he committed against them. Jammeh trust jolas more than any other tribe and jolas has also demonstrated that they support him unconditionally as evidence by making Foni inaccessible area for the opposition parties for the past 20 years .

  5. Deyda Hydara

    I don’t want to give false hope but Foni people are secretly distancing themselves from Jammeh. Whether this will translate to a vote against Jammeh is yet to be seen.
    Jolas are equally as tired under Jammeh as anyone else. The economic hardships and high prices transcend tribal boundery. They are also in a catch 22 situation and it is our role to encourage them and assure them that there will be no witch hunting in post-Jammeh era.

  6. Mr. Bah and people of Medina Serign Mass have demonstrated a good sense of perspective and deserve due respect for this important step they took. The Udp should be creditted for its tiredless efforts in engaging the people on the ground and should be urged to keep it up.
    About disowning one’s son is not fair in our dear mothers and sisters point of view on the ground. according to an article in Kairo News on a previous Udp rally somewhere in Kombo.They have emphasised that they are not afraid of the gun wielding men, women, boys and girls even if they will kill them because these men, women, boys and girl are their children.
    My question to @Bax; where(which areas or regions of the Gambia) exactly, do you think are Aprc’s winning spots? I agree with Karamo’s ”do your thing and focus on the masses” to prevent one from suffering himself with the ???? hegemony flu again which definitely seems to be the symtom.
    Others have desperatedly pointed fingers at people of Kombo sometime ago in the forums and now it Foni; this is the kind of game you can genuinely call a ”blame game”
    Well done Mr. Bah and your fellow villagers for doing your thing; the right thing.

    • Lafia Touray la Manju

      The story did not say Mr bah has cross-carpeted. People from his village, it says.


      • Thankyou @Lafia for the head up, sometimes our very writings are crap, so no doubt with our full concentration.. Indeed Mr. Bah deserves no commendation…

    • I have not blamed Foni for anything, nor did I ask any mother to disown their children…What I.said is very clear :

      I merely expressed the hope that Foni will have the courage (from the actions of these villagers) to disown Jammeh and open up to the opposition…

    • “My question to @Bax; where(which areas or regions of the Gambia) exactly, do you think are Aprc’s winning spots?

      Forgive me, but I don’t see the relevance of your question…Nevertheless, to satisfy you, I will say that the APRC has a dominance in almost all areas of the country, if we go by past elections data…So their winning spots are in all areas where they win elections…I.hope I have answered your question.

      • The son Foni should disown however was delivered in life by a mother in Foni, Gambia. Bax you like to be read after whilst I like to have an understanding of what others write. In reality, the masses have seen the light and in that process they need not disown their sons but reach out to them. Sons who have committed atrocities and other crimes against their own people should be brought before justice stipulated in the Constitution when the need arises. We should reach out to them even when they are in Jail because we should not disown people. Disowning one and another only generates bitterness and grudge and it does not set a good example for the children. So I think Foni or people of Foni should not to live up to any expectations higher than the rest of the Gambia for this matter.

        You hope Fonis be given courage by the move made by Medina Serign Mass people and disown Jammeh and open up to opposition as if all foni is Aprc. Run and run from your writings @Bax but you can’t runaway from your conscience. Foni, Wulley, Kerewan, Niumi, Tumana, Badibu, Kombo,St. Mary, Kombo central, Kombo South, Jarra Kiang and etc.., all have the same responsibilty in restoring democracy in the Gambia and that is, focusing on the MASSES.

  7. Foni has and will not determine who will win nor who will stay in power, just like Badibu was not, by itself, able to bring about change in the first Republic.
    The change we are aspiring for will be decided in the main towns- foremost kombo and greater Banjul area. Contrary to the sixties, Kombo and greater Banjul area owe it to the country, this time around, to come forward rally around the opposition to bring change.
    The logic is simple. Whereas the largely unlettered protectorate people fought for suffrage and representation, Kombo & greater Banjul are the foremost beneficiaries of the fruits of independence. The children had less hurdles to attend school. Amenities also were provided first in these areas. Today, they also make up the bulk of the elites -albeit infamously silent or at worst colluding with the dictatorship.
    This expectation of gratitude to the country, however is not a blank check for the rest to fold their hands and abandon our individual or collective roles in bringing back sanity to our country. Sanity for all within her border and at peace with our immediate neighbours.

  8. Kinteh, I think you will agree that politics of first republic is different from politics of today. Some part of Baddibu especially lower and central Baddibu were opposition stronghold but upper Baddibu had always been PPP stronghold, upper Baddibu is biggest constituency in Baddibu. So you can clearly see that even Baddibu was divided politically between the ruling PPP and opposition parties. In today’s Gambia, we have military dictatorship which has completely divided the people into tribalism, regionalism and sectionalism. This was why Foni has been inaccessible to opposition parties since jammeh came to power. Foni is the only region which behaves like this because they have consider jammeh one of their own based on tribal affiliation and regionalism.
    Legislatively, Foni despite its small size in terms of total population has equal or more number of National Assembly members than Baddibu. Population of upper Baddibu is nearly the same as combination of two Foni constituencies. This is a huge advantage for Foni and APRC.

  9. Maxs, indeed I would do a great disservice to the country, should I place 1st and 2nd Republic in the same footing.
    My contention, is to draw a parallel in terms of the relevance of Foni to effect or deny change in our country. I think you laid fears to rest yourself, when you laid figures to confirm that Foni is even over-represented in the parliament. In a presidential election, numbers matter and Foni is in that category irrelevant, just like Sir Dawda’s birth constituency wasn’t relevant in PPP’s power calculus. Barajally and constituency also continually supported ppp in the polls till to the end.
    In nutshell, what I am trying to put across, is to refute the notion that Foni has a “magic stick” to keep a son for ever on the “throne” or should be encouraged to use a “magic broom’ to pave the way for change. Barajally or Jawara’s constituency (sorry I don’t know the area name), could not prevent Sir Dawda’s his fall. So who becomes president and who stays in office depends on our collective resolve. Of course if we abandon our citizenship responsibility, somebody or few people can dominate us by using divide and rule tactics.

  10. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Barajally is in Naini

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