By Yerro Ba
What Maxs fail to understand is that PDOIS emerged as an independent entity not supported by the down fall of any party or organization. Secondly, PDOIS’ politics is completely a liberation message to help the people to understand their power as sovereign citizens who will shun bribes and be pulled by others to serve their selffish gains. If PDOIS were to adopt the traditional mediocre politics of promoting inducement tribalism and nepotism and all the other vices, it would have earned it a lot of votes like other parties. What Maxs did not realize is that such votes no matter how much does not help a party to grow in strength. It is just numbers to be quoted by people like him who do not have a clue of how politics works in the Gambia.
You cannot compare PDOIS to NCP which had benefitted from the withdrawal of the UP at the same time it emerged and whose leader was a member of the ruling party and had been followed by his constituency to his new party. You cannot compare PDOIS with the PDP who has been financed by a diamond businessman who had been dishing money across the country and using every means just to get votes for the sake of it. You cannot compare PDOIS to the GPP whose leader has used the tribal card and made a tribal slogan of JAWARA JIPPO throughout the country and also moved out from the ruling PPP with his influence and constituency. You cannot compare PDOIS to the PPP whose leaders had initially named their party PROTECTORATE PEOPLE’S PARTY” meaning party for the people in the provinces or better still the Mandinkas who mainly inhabited the rural areas at the time as a stepping stone to win votes from them. Nor can you compare PDOIS to UDP whose leaders had come from the banned parties; namely; PPP, NCP and GPP to form a united front as a protest movement to dislodge the ruling party.
Maxs, we have to accept that the PDOIS is different from the UDP in every respect and different from all other parties as well. Its emergence is different and therefore its method of operation must also be different if it is to achieve its objectives which is not simply to grab power for its sake but for the sake of uplifting the people from the age old backwardness that they found themselves for centuries. We have all witnessed the ‘punting pantang’ culture of wasting the scarce resources during the PPP era and now and the people are helpless in stopping it. Without systematic education and persistent awareness raising, our people whom we love so much will continue to wallow in abject poverty and misery and politicians of the statusguo will continue to use them as things for their selfish and hidden agendas/objectives. This is why PDOIS’ method as opposed to your cherished method cannot fundamentally be the same. And therefore, PDOIS’ votes will have to develop from a small quality to a bigger quantity and that is what is happening. Bax told you the increment in PDOIS votes in 1996 and 2001 and Halifa’s votes under the NADD ticket in 2006 at 6% of the votes. These quality votes are on the rise in quantity and so on at all times which will eventually lead to a leap. Once it reaches the leap, it must certainly take over power but it must not engage in any adventurous route to reach power, but must certainly address issues as our times and circumstances permit until the people take charge of their destiny. So this is why the PDOIS is always emphasizing that we allow the people to decide the flagbearer of the coalition so that if the person selected by them did not measure up, they would not be a hindrance to the party from going back to them and appeal for support.
Max, PDOIS came into being in 1986 and that is 30 years this year and not 40 years as you always exaggerate. You remind me of Jammeh’s history of 400 years of colonialism.’ And in the 30 years of its existence, it has certainly done its duty as expected of a political party and its genuine support base is not dwindling but growing and growing fast by my observation. Never has a political party stood its ground of zero tolerance to bribing the voters, zero tolerance to fooling the voters, zero tolerance to misinforming the voters as PDOIS in the political history of the Gambia. This is why the people have always ascribed the word TRUTH to the PDOIS. It did not earn that out of the blue but it was real. No one ever doubts the sincerity of the party among the people So do not bother yourself too much regarding PDOIS votes, PDOIS knows what it is doing and what it is doing is making the party the biggest party in the country. Ask genuine Observers of the scene, you will be told the truth.
Why are the people not voting for it? The answer is simple. The people are becoming politically mature but they have not yet collectively reached that stage. So we must work with them side by side, day in day out until we reach there collectively. This is why the PDOIS does not accept the phrase “N be ali kooma” They say Nga tembe Nga taa nyoo la”‘ PDOIS’ low votes has helped the party to prepare their minds for a long battle to win the hearts and minds of the people. The 1987 results had shown how much work is necessary and how much time is needed to bring about the transformation of the society.
So Mr Maxs, it is not like your party which is out for a short fight to come back to privileges lost. PDOIS is out for a genuine cause to liberate a people who would stand against injustice wherever it raises its ugly head. We are ashamed of slavery and we are looking for allies that hate it too and want to eradicate it but not at the expense of the people on whose behalf we are sacrificing. Dont you see how respectful and unfair it would be for me to tell to also tell the UDP to adopt the same message as PDOIS when they have not agreed to any formal alliance.