Dialogue With The Agent Of The devil: The Opposition’s Strange Strategy

Image result for gambia flagBy Dodou Jawneh

The disappointment is written all over our faces when the opposition parties met with the officials of the Gambia’s draconian regime to discuss and sign a memorandum of understanding, otherwise refer to as the interparty talks. In the real world, this is commendable move as dialogue leads to greater understanding between parties. But the Gambia has not been in the real world since 1994 because of the unfortunate seizure of power by Jammeh and his military council. The anarchy in governance and the untold suffering that Gambian citizens have since endured, represent the ‘horrible histories’ of post-independent Gambia. The dialogue, coincidental or not, is taking place at a time when the nation was thrown into yet another serious crisis orchestrated by the leadership following the arrest, torture, and the killing of peaceful opposition protesters between 14 – 16 April, 2016. The regime’s callous handling of this matter enraged the population causing larger crowds to come out on the streets denouncing the country’s leadership. Meanwhile Mr Ousainou Darboe, leader of the biggest opposition grouping, the United Democratic Party(UDP), together with dozens of his party officials remain under detention or uncounted for.

Many in the opposition movement were hopeful that in this national crisis, the opposition leaders would have the wisdom and temerity to stand firmly with the UDP that is currently under attack. More specifically people were hopeful that the leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Omar Jallow (OJ), would fulfil his promise to lead his supporters in protest against the arrest, torture and unlawful killing of peaceful protesters as enshrined in law. Some of his followers, including myself, have had a rude awakening, coming to the realisation that OJ would keep deferring his promise during this crisis. Our hope was that he would unconditionally urge his supporters to join the UDP in peaceful protest. Such action will also go on to buttress his incessant advocacy for opposition unity. My personal point of view is that the PPP under OJ has not done the right things to bring about the unity he advocates and many in the opposition movement cherished. Unity could be facilitated when OJ throws PPP’s support behind the UDP, undoubtedly the biggest opposition party. The failure of coalition aims to materialise may be complex, but OJ’s own position relating to the upper age stipulation for the presidency may have also created a stumbling block. He claimed personal reasons for refusing to advocate for an electoral reform that includes removing the 65 years age limit, citing the fact that it might be misconstrued as a personal agenda to enable him contest for the presidency. He added that the time for fighting against that law has passed, as far as he was concerned. I beg to differ because to me laws are not made for individual interest, contrary to Jammeh’s frame of mind. Secondly it is never too late to fight against unjustified laws or against injustice.

The more critical amongst his supporters might have realised by now that OJ is not matching his word with action, a situation that makes my position as party volunteer untenable, if the dithering continue any time longer. It will mean putting away my membership card in the cupboard until there is leadership change or a major shift in policy that will once again project the PPP on the path for championing human rights and democracy.

The opposition parties’ reluctance to match the UDP’s action in response to the government’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters can be seen as another calculated impediment created solely to frustrate opposition unity. This enduring phenomenon has perpetuated the Jammeh dictatorship’s grip on power and indirectly render opposition leaders culpable in the national tragedy. It is incumbent on followers to realise this and be ready to point out such failings.

Whatever rationale there is that opposition leaders can be engaged in dialogue with the devil that opened the Pandora box in our country rather than come together in fighting alongside the UDP should be made known to followers. But even this seemingly sensible expectation is being treated as unaffordable, and the opposition leaders preferring to keep information to themselves because, as OJ has said, ‘they do not want the enemy to lay hands on sensitive information.’

Yet it is clear to Gambian political observers that agreements signed with Jammeh are not worth the papers they are written on. It is pointless cataloguing all the promises Jammeh reneged on since he stole power in our country. It will suffice to mention how on a daily basis the Gambian Constitution has been flouted left, right and centre making it an irrelevant subordinate to the dictator’s whims and caprices. The manner that this current crisis erupted, the farcical nature of legal proceedings that ensued, and the manipulation of the security apparatus and media exemplify clear violations of the supreme law of the country.

Neither can we say that Jammeh will ever enter into dialogue with anyone because he would be prepared to genuinely forgo his benefits, or any part of them, for another party’s interest – a fundamental requirement for a durable settlement. The Gambian opposition movement is well aware of this fact. And one would expect that outside bodies, such as US Embassy, representatives of EU, UN and ECOWAS would be aware of the same about Gambia’s rogue regime and should deal with it in that light. Which one of the above was not shown the middle finger by Jammeh in the past? It is this self-centred disposition that Senegal finally recognised and stamped its authority in the ongoing Senegal Gambia border impasse, preventing goods and motor vehicles crossing to and from Gambia. I hope Senegal will continue to maintain this position until Jammeh quits power. Many recognised that as soon as the Gambian dictator is able to use these rounds of negotiations as a means to defusing the current national crisis, he will quickly revert to his normal business of abusing defenceless citizens and continue to loot the nation’s resources. Whilst Gambian citizens recognised that engagement in negotiated settlements is a part of the terms of reference for international bodies, many are baffled how the opposition has concentrated energy on the interparty-committee talks at a time of national crisis and amidst the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.

To conclude, my hope is that the opposition will take notice of the people’s aspiration and to substitute rhetoric for action in defending the Gambian nation whose survival is threatened by the Jammeh dictatorship. They have a duty to stand by citizens who have become aware that they are heavily indebted (in the moral sense) because of the lack of adequate action for the past 22 years that enabled the thuggish regime to maim, kill and imprison the defenceless. To me the economic indebtedness that the regime has put on our necks is dwarfed by our nation’s moral indebtedness. The realisation of the urgency to correct this historical anomaly must be the responsibility of all citizens taking a lead, not excluding state apparatuses such as the civil service and the security bodies.



  1. Deyda Haidara

    I had waited for a long time to tell Gambians in the diaspora the truth about OJ and Halifa.
    PPP executives is NOT behind OJ. They called OJ on quarter deck twice to advice him to desist from using the name of the party for his personal financial gains. I can say here and now that the PPP executive are old people that cannot go in the streets, the youngest amongst them is 70 years old. They are all supporting the UDP and are providing skills and moral support to the UDP executive since day one. I have enjoined on them to issue a press statement disowning OJ but they say they prefer to let OJ shoot himself on the foot which he did presently. OJ squarely depends on less than 50 old people at home whom he rendered services when he was a minister and these old people will never venture out with OJ on the streets reason why he cannot fulfill his treacherous promises and lies in the diaspora.
    Halifa has TOO many business interest to safeguard, his schools, real estate, trucking businesses etc… and since he hide behind politics he cannot offend the dictator for fear of being investigated for tax evasions. Halifa present followers at home are all old boys of 40 years and above and they do not number more than 50 committed followers. The ones I spoke to at home have now decided to throw their voting weight behind the UDP as they realize that voting for Halifa is betting on a loosing horse.
    There is no need to talk about Hamat Bah the businessman politician conman and double agent of Jammeh.
    At home Lawyer Mandela Darboe and the UDP have already won and no amount political and propaganda argument can change that. The next government will be a UDP government, like it or not but it is already “Signed Sealed and Delivered” by GOD and the Gambian people at home.
    Time will tell.

  2. Messrs O.J, Sallah and Bah must go out now to show solidarity. The time is here and now. They risk being rendered obsolete if they fail to meet the expectations of closing ranks in times of crisis.

    • Kinteh , these are political hypocrites who are after their selfish personal interest . Ahmat lied to Gambian people that the opposition leaders will have an emergency meeting on April 16 and we will hear from them on April 18. This was what he told Gainako radio . Since then he is busy with his campaign in the provinces . OJ said similar thing on faturadio , to this days he is running away from the online radios . He appeared once on gainako radio where he blamed the diaspora and also claimed that lawyer was solo Sanderg’s dad and a solo was a member of UDP . Therefore it was UDP’s problem . Early on faturadio , OJ claimed that he was not informed and he can’t do anything at the time. He lied again that he will talk to his colleagues and see what they can do . He has been silenced since then . OJ’s daughter, Neneh also called to Gainako radio where she blamed the diaspora for inciting people to demonstrate . So this was what transpired since April 14. Halifa wrote a letter to advise the dictator because that was his role . Pdois also went to court to observe the proceeding and would advise Jammeh privately about the situation .
      I have been saying here for long time that UDP didn’t have true partners to fight dictatorship . These opposition leaders are fake, dishonest and are hypocrites .

      • Max, you are very informed and enlightened about these developments particularly with regards to our political hypocrites. This is the best opportune moment for a political change in the country. But those who think that by destroying Lawyer Darboe or seeing the back of him would open the chance for them, they are making a mistake.

  3. Dodou, all genuine Gambians of conscience will spot the political crooks no matter who’s side one is on….

    Omar Jallow’s pronouncements on standing up to injustices were on selfish personal aggrandizement ONLY & nothing else; no one must be surprised if OJ crossed carpets & serves as Halifa’s employee in a PDOIS government-scenario; these two “strange bedfellows” have merged their souls together before; I believe (they) are still in agreement in tandem; stooping to any levels humanly possible, to conspire against & sabotage Gambians whom they pretentiously deceive in (their) readiness to serve without fear, favour or ill-will when voted into office…

    The aprc & opposition leaders individually & collectively, all know NONE of them can match Lawyer Ousainou Darboe & UDP in (a) democratic Gambia; OJ & Halifa & the rest of them, as already manifested are just rendering “lip services” for the most needed desired opposition unification temporarily against our common MURDEROUS kanilai enemy, which is the only cost-effective alternative for the Gambian salvage struggle…..

    The so-called interparty dialogue farce is just smokescreen to continue manifesting their personal selfish greedy inclinations; these so-called politicians will rather the MURDEROUS status quo continues, rather than democratic Gambia as long as it’s not theirs to lead & loot….

    They will do ANYTHING under the sun to enable the Murderous Predatory kanilai DEVIL overt (openly) & covertly (undercover); some of them, I believe, are in direct contacts with the OPPRESSIVE kanilai KILLER-DEVIL; whilst they “play to the (audience) gallery”, pretending to look, appear & seem genuine in (their) attempts to deceive the peasantry population….

    Even if with their collaborations with intent, & (they) managed to keep kidnapped Ousainou, UDP officials & fellow gallant citizens incarcerated in captivity until after December elections, it’s (a) known established fact none of them them are threats to the Murderous kanilai DEVIL individually & collectively; except lawyer Ousainou Darboe, UDP & the decent oppressed peasantry population, who are ready & prepared to salvage reclaim our motherland by all & any means necessarily possible no matter how (long & anyways) it takes; “ENOUGH is ENOUGH”….

    The Manipulative kanilai KILLER DEVIL is going round the country from tomorrow, to threaten the peasantry population as usual, & UDP (the) membership in particular……

    The Gambian people’s fight will continue & go down to the wire in any ways if necessary, with or without the selfish politicians; UNTIL total liberation which is a MUST…..

    • The Hammer

      Bajaw the UDP should be able to produce another candidate to take the fight to APRC in December. Locking Darboe will be a mistake for it should give fire to all genuine Gambians to rally behind the UDP candidate.

  4. The Hammer

    Mr Kinteh I think Halifa, OJ and Bah, Fatty and Gomez have been exposed and they need to continue staying home. This crisis has been going on for close to a month so no one needs them now. It is there insincerity that lead Gambia to this point.

    like I told you before the conspiracy is to maintain minority rule, some of these so called politicans will cut their nose to spite their face. these losers are not serving Gambia but their selfish agendas.

  5. These opposition leaders are simply bunch of hypocrites and they lack conscience . OJ is the most dishonest of all while Ahmat bah is the worst hypocrite . Halifa sallah is an agent of legitimization of dictatorship

    • The Hammer


      The campaign to put them in the same box as Jammeh is well over due. I do not know the difference between them anymore. The man who oppresses or the ones that enable him due to selfish interest.

      to me they are all the same

    • I do not mean this in a disrespectful way, but up to the point I am writing my comment, none of you have contributed anything positive to how the current situation can be resolved, in your comments.

      All you are engaged in is playing the “blame game” and that needs to stop. It is doing no one any good. Halifa Sallah, OJ and Hamat Bah are NOT the entirety of the Gambian People and if the people want forced change through demonstrations, they will not wait for any of them.

      The question that you guys have to ask and answer, is why has the masses not come out into the streets for almost a month of daily protests.?

      Try and deal with that question and find a solution. That is better than all this moaning and grumbling, which doesn’t change anything. Time will tell who will have a future in The Gambia..

      • The masses are coming out. However the state machinery is doing every means available to frustrate the gathering of supporters. Coupled with practically no mention of it in the media, and the rounding up of the entire UDP leadership, the gradual summation need time to show its strength. The willingness to show solidarity is at hand and unbroken.

        Calling on the other heads to close ranks is ensure that the liberation is achieved through a common effort and so that effort is honoured in the next Republic.

        • Kinteh…

          (1)…Once the masses are out, the state machinery will be so inundated that the regime will lose its control. The regime is in control precisely because the masses are not out…and no one should blame the other opposition leaders for the absence of the masses on the streets.

          (2)…There must, surely, be more ways than one to show solidarity. Why does everyone think that hitting the streets is the one and only way to show solidarity.?

          Unless we listen to the players on the ground and stop pretending to be in control of the narrative in the Gambia from the diaspora, we will not know whether ranks are being closed or not.

      • Bax , I know you are confused deliberate distractor here but truth be told opposition leaders are the one who put themselves in that position , therefore they should be out call when they refused . They need to show leadership . Please try to be honest for God sake .

  6. Devil yaya jammeh only gets inclusive for selfish gains only when threatened; that’s why it accepted the so-called interparty dialogue; to be able to have thorough insight into the hands & intentions of the opposition…

    Until this Political Reforms demonstrations yaya jammeh planned to ban some (weak) political parties which (it later realised) would have catalyse some temporary unified collective efforts against the Murderous kanilai DEVIL; it then decided to allow all of them to run, except Waa Juwara’s Ndam who already openly mortgaged his & party’s soul to the DEVIL; already knowing the selfish greed of some political opposition leaderships who also willingly aid abet tyranny directly for personal greed; whilst others aid abet purposely for not in position to be enable to take direct charge personally in democratic Gambia to continue to loot from our meagre State resources….

    These ill-fated untruthful pretentious politicians & some disciple followings are double-elements actively partaking in enabling the continuous entrenchments of tyrannical autocratic dictatorship; long as it’s not their supreme-leader’s opportunity to next assume the mantle to continue the plunder….

    Please fellow compatriots, be VERY careful & always be aware of leading questions & provocative antagonisms….

    These are all manipulative tools in attempts to solicit information for the enemies…..

    I thank you all

    • Thank you Bajaw for your wise words . Indeed they are hypocrites who pretended to be opposition supporters . Some of these confused disciples are spies for the Dictator .

  7. The believe that devotion to God makes one realise his/r heart’s desire and the believe in the miracles of voodoo in a community, society or country, attracts not a communal progress but indeed the ghouls, who are not at all saintly but have evil desires to rob us of light to see, to be able to bring about ourselves ideas or alternatives with regards to a community, socitey or country’s population’s general welfare.
    Though ‘ghouls’ might be real just in tales, their threats to human civilisation in tales can serve as some psychological therapy in finding the light in our real lifes.
    May God send away the ghouls called into the country by belief in voodooism and devotion to religions as a means to realising invididual desires amongst multitudes in a community, society or country.

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