My indefatigable Fula in-law and ex-Jammeh ADC, Lt. Lamin Gano, has called on the opposition parties in The Gambia to put their differences aside and select a “neutral” candidate to lead them to victory in the December 2016 Presidential elections.
The fired-up Lt. Is absolutely adamant that a “neutral” female candidate will without a doubt thrash the APRC candidate, the Lt.’s own much loved “Godfather” President Professor Yahya AJJ Jammeh. So sure is the Lt. of such a “neutral candidate’s” victory that he has sworn by the now infamous swear words of President Jammeh, words which led to the killings of prisoners at Mile 2 in 2012.
Says the Lt.:
“To buttress my challenge, I will borrow the words of President Jammeh and my godfather:
“Billahi! Wallahi!! Tallahi!!! If the opposition present a female candidate such as Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang or a Christian candidate to lead a united opposition coalition, I will drink blood and eat maggots if Jammeh wins this year’s elections!!!
The thought of the handsome Lt. Gano feeding on “maggots” would make me vomit, though the equally handsome Masai warriors did once offer me fresh cow blood when I happened to be in their village (and I found it tasty, actually!).
Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang neutral?
I do not know much about Madam Tambajang, but I do know that she was a Minister for President Jammeh and that alone rules her out from being a “neutral” in the eyes of the opposition (remember that Halifa Sallah refused the offer of a Minstry at the same time). Furthermore, I see no reason whatsoever why opposition leaders who have opposed Jammeh for the last 22 years, should give way to a “Johnny Come Lately” like Mrs. Tambajang.
I think the good Lt. Col. mentioned Mrs. Jallow-Tambajang only because she is a fellow Fula – in which case he stands a good chance of becoming an ADC again when the government of the Gambia moves to Basse!
If a female candidate of “neutrality” and undoubted High Stature in The Gambia is called for, someone with a 30-year recording of superb contribution to the development of The Gambia, I personally would have gone for Dr. Touray of the Anti—FGM fame (but then again I have no vote!).
Gano joins the Opposition!
After all the “Godfather” blah blah, it is clear now that Lt. Gano has joined the opposition and the Diaspora should now welcome him with open arms – after all even Fatou Camara is now a Warrior in the struggle. Here is Lt. Gano’s latest piece, which shows that, like the other great soldier Julius Caesar, the good Lt. Col. has crossed the Rubicon!
MY CHALLENGE TO GAMBIA’S POLITICAL OPPOSITION PARTIES
By ex-Lt Lamin Gano
Courtesy of www.lamingano.com
If it is true that there is a constitutional amendment to indefinitely extend the expired term of the ICE Chairman and his entourage, then we don’t need a Jahanka marabout to confirm that there will be no political reforms to meet the demands of the opposition. In fact, my hypothesis is that there will be more similar draconian moves to make the political landscape even more tilted in favour of Jammeh.
In my opinion, all these biased electoral rules/laws is a clear revelation of the Government’s firm belief and conviction that the majority of the Gambian people are fed up with the APRC and that there is indeed a real possibility of an opposition victory in the December presidential polls. This should inspire and strengthen the resolve of the opposition parties.
Since it is now clear that there will be no significant political reforms, this leaves only two options for the opposition political parties. It is either they all unanimously boycott the presidential elections until all their demands are met or they all come together and present only one candidate to contest against Jammeh.
However, as an optimist and a believer that a coalition can and will defeat Jammeh, the aim of this blog post is to give my take on a way forward to the formation of an alliance/coalition by the opposition political parties of The Gambia. But first, let us separate the smoke from the fire.
In my opinion, there are actually only three opposition parties in The Gambia which are in a position to present presidential candidates for the December polls. These parties are the NRP, PDOIS and UDP. I arrived at this conclusion because the PPP has made it categorically clear that they will not present any candidate and will instead support any coalition candidate and also because Mai Fatty’s GMC, Henry Gomez’s GPDP and Sheikh Sedia Bayo’s NTCG are all missing in action in the diaspora.
Hamat Bah of the NRP has categorically stated that he is in favour of a coalition formation and I believe that because he was given a chance to lead the NADD coalition in 2011 and failed woefully, he is not expecting to be nominated to lead any coalition this year. So my Fula brother is also out of the list. This therefore narrows down the coalition equation to only two parties which are the PDOIS and UDP.
The PDOIS’ position on coalition formation clearly states that if there are no electoral reforms, then the only way to beat the incumbent is through a unified coalition. So since there are no electoral reforms, the PDOIS is saying that there has to be a coalition of all opposition parties this year.
However, the only obstacle to the formation of a coalition is the PDOIS’ proposal of holding a convention to nominate a coalition flag bearer. I must admit that the idea of a convention is theoretically logical, it is in line with the principles of democracy, and it is the best way to resolve such a critical issue in a normal electoral process. However, because of the fact that the Gambia’s political situation is anything but normal and time is at a premium, it is important for the PDOIS to be flexible in this matter.
To borrow the words of George W. Bush after 911, desperate times calls for desperate measures. Since Jammeh is using every single Machiavellian tactics to remain in power, the opposition must also adopt unconventional methods to form a coalition. If a coalition fails and these two parties ended up running against Jammeh, everyone knows that not only will the PDOIS come out third but Jammeh will be handed over the Presidency on a silver platter. This is why I am convinced that the opposition parties have no option but to unite and unite they must!!!
This now brings me to my challenge to the Gambia’s opposition parties. You must nominate a neutral but formidable candidate who is capable of not only uniting all the opposition parties but also to galvanize the support of the majority of the Gambians especially those sitting on the fence due to their loss of faith on Gambian politics .
To buttress my challenge, I will borrow the words of President Jammeh and my godfather: “Billahi! Wallahi!! Tallahi!!! If the opposition present a female candidate such as Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang or a Christian candidate to lead a united opposition coalition, I will drink blood and eat maggots if Jammeh wins this year’s elections!!!
While hoping and praying for a successful coalition formation, I implore our opposition leaders on the ground to please remember the prominent politicians and other significant personalities in the diaspora who are not on the ground due to reasons beyond their control. Also include in your demands for Gambians in the diaspora to vote this year.
On a final and lighter note, you must also include in your plans an agenda to facilitate Jammeh’s transition to a leadership role in international political affairs so that I will also have a second chance to work as his personal aide and security officer. If you do that, I bet even Jammeh himself will vote for you on 01 Dec.
In this way, everybody becomes a winner including the opposition, the Gambian people, Gambians in the diaspora, President Jammeh himself and all the hundreds of thousands of people like my humble self who served the Second Republic with patriotism, justice and loyalty. I truly believe that we can all smile and no one has to cry anymore. That is why our country is known as the Smiling Coast of Africa!!!
Long live the Republic of The Gambia and long live our peace, security and harmonious co-existence.
Dida, unfortunately our struggle to remove the dictator has frequently seen new arrivals who are famous for brief period of time and then they disappeared in thin air. Majority of these new arrivals have no moral guidance or principle. They are not different from you and many others who have helped to oppress our people. It is not a surprise to see our various media falling for such cheap propaganda without asking Mr Gano and others relevant questions about their past roles. Today Mr Gano is the new darling of media which is why they continue to publish his articles which are full of inconsistencies and lies. How can independent and Fair minded Gambians take our online media seriously when they refused to ask relevant questions and continue to showcase individual who have played huge role in our current predicament ? Lt Col Gano or anyone has every rights to cross-carpet to opposition but he must be asked to answer relevant questions about his past support and denounce his former boss. Lt col Gano has refused to do that. In the case of Fatou Camara, she had realized her mistake and has denounced Jammeh’s human rights violations and corruptions. Today Fatou Camara is playing huge role in exposing the dictator and she has pledged her loyalty to the constitution of The Gambia. This is the main difference between Fatou and so called Lt col Gano who is still loyal to the Dictator. If Mr Gano want to be taken seriously, he should challenge and repudiate his boss about his human rights violations and corruptions, and challenge his fellow military officers to disown and disavow the Dictator. Mr Gano should also pledge his total loyalty to the constitution of The Gambia . In the absence of these simple request , I continue to believe that Lt col Gano’s efforts is pure distraction and might even help his godfather to win the next election. Gambian people are too naive and our media too falls under that category. For 21 years, Dictator Jammeh has been lying to Gambian people and we never learn any lesson. We are so hunger for information that any insider who escaped for his personal interest are given celebrity status before we discover that he or she is another opportunist or a liar. A responsible media in any advance democracy, hold leaders accountable by asking relevant questions about their past roles or positions. If we Gambians want to have genuine democracy and rule of law, we must first ask ourselves about our sincerity and honesty to hold our leaders accountable. It is not only president Jammeh that we should be worried about and ask relevant questions, anyone who has refused to answer basic questions in the past must be confronted to clarify his past when he join the diaspora .President Jammeh is Gambian’s creation and it is only Gambian people who helped and continue to help him in executing his failed policies and human rights violations. We must all ask ourselves “what is my role in this oppression ?”. Self exoneration is the worst Gambian’s character which we will continue to see in each new arrival in the Disapora. It is time for the Disapora media to hold themselves accountable for their failure to ask relevant questions in this struggle and also their continue efforts to showcase opportunists or those looking for cheap propaganda. Today, majority of key louder mouth in this struggle are former Jammeh’s officials who has tainted past record. While some of them are honest and decent people who should be encouraged to play huge role in this struggle for political liberation, we must not loose sight that those who has committed heinous crime must be accountable for their past roles as they try to position themselves. This struggle can be only be successful if it is guided by honest, decent and selfless individual who believe in democracy and rule of law. These individual must be men and women of strong moral guidance, strong ethical principles and must be willing to take personal responsibility for their failures.
“….equally handsome Masai warriors did once offer me fresh cow blood when I happened to be in their village (and I found it tasty, actually!).” Dida
You nasty man Dida. You drank blood?
If I were Lt. Lamin Gano, I wouldn’t have sworn, but it seems to me, he has inherited some of Yaya Jammeh’s bad attitudes as well, which is very, very unfortunate. One doesn’t necessarily need to swear to prove himself/herself right! If you believe what you were saying was the truth, who cares if you swear or not? A swearing is always a bad habit, especially someone who believes in God. Please, stay away from unnecessary swearing.