How People’s Power Triumphs

By Bax

I think the problem of the judiciary and the predicament of judicial officials, can better be understood when we examine it within the wider context of failures of the institutions of governance and try to figure out the underlying factors for such failings, rather than just look at the failings of the judiciary, in isolation to everything else..

There is no need to examine the concepts of government, governance and the art of governance/government, but it is important to understand that government is nothing but the sum total of interrelated bodies (dependent or independent : ministries, departments and other institutions of state), created by a Supreme Organ (constitution & other laws) which lays down, not only how each must function and relate to others, but also a set standard of rules, processes, procedures, (etc) to be followed, as well as, codes of conduct and ethical (professional) behaviour for the occupants of these institutions.

The Gambia’s dilemma cannot be understood without looking at the organ that created these institutions and relate that to the traditions of governance/government since independence that, one can say, became the defining template for how Gambians as a whole, and public officials in particular, relate to, and interact with, the systems of government and the officials in government.

Only then can we fully understand what is happening, why it is happening and how it can be changed, but that is not the purpose of this write-up.

However, my view is that the biggest culprit in the creation of the state of affairs that culminated to Yaya Jammeh and the APRC misrule, is the very organ that is supposed to prevent this: The Constitution.

The Gambian Constitution (present & past), being diluted extracts from the colonial instruments of governance, leaves the door wide open for anyone who wishes to do so, to hold the entire machinery of Government hostage, by placing an enormous amount of excessive powers in the Executive, and that is the consequence of what is happening in The Gambia today due to the personality of the person we have in the Office of the President.

Unfortunately, changing government alone may not eradicate or nullify this danger that we face as a nation; nor even writing another constitution because the powers in government can simply amend it, as they wish, to achieve their desired results, as indeed, they have done now (A{F}PRC) and then (PPP).

Only a citizenry conscious of itself as the sovereign owners of the country, from whom all powers must be derived and on whose behalf it MUST be exercised, which is also alive to its duties and responsibilities to jealously guard against encroachment, can achieve meaningful and lasting change.

There is no better example to use to illustrate my point about a conscious citizens power than events in Turkey within the last 24 hours.

At about 20.00hrs (GMT) last night, rumours of a coup against President Erdogan were carried by major news outlets and by 2100hrs, it was no longer a rumour. It was confirmed: President Erdogan of Turkey had been overthrown by the Turkeys Military, announced the state broadcaster. A new governing body has been established. Major installations, including government buildings, roads, bridges and the main airport have all been occupied and closed by the coupists.. Armoured Tanks were roaming the streets, combat ready troops were patrolling the streets and fighter jets were roaming the skies..It was a terrifying scene for any civilian population, especially a NATO Member and a military power..

President Erdogan has effectively lost state power and was in hiding in an obscure lodge, outside Ankara, from where he managed to reach a small private broadcaster and called on the citizens to come out onto the streets and defend Turkey’s democracy…And to God, they obliged..Thousands or hundreds of thousands confronted the coupists and within hours, the coup was over.

President Erdogan has been restored back to power by early this morning; more than 2,000 officers and men of the Turkeys Military are under custody and life is returning to normalcy.

PEOPLE’S POWER has triumphed over STATE POWER.

Empowerment politics is the answer to our problem and the laugh and big joke is on those who question PDOIS’s approach, whilst wondering why what is happening in The Gambia is actually happening…



  1. Bax

    How can this “people power” be mobilised effectively in Gambia when you have Halifa Sallah manipulatively misrepresenting the constitution by defining it as “two potential powers” when it’s in fact one major (people) power as obtained in all democracies world over including Turkey; why should Halifa lie to distort facts to discourage further demonstrations implying that street demonstrations are unconstitutional that elections as the only legal ways to challenge murderous yaya jammeh despite all the hostilities towards any opposition on the ground & calling the opinionated Diaspora “war mongers turning the people into fodder” as compared to what just obtained in Turkey; why did you insult Ebrima Solo Sandeng & the whole of Gambia for that matter, opining that he “asked to be slaughtered like a lamb” whilst you hypocritically applaud the citizens’ acts in events in Turkey as exemplary…???

    • Quote…’why did you insult Ebrima Solo Sandeng & the whole of Gambia for that matter, opining that he “asked to be slaughtered like a lamb”…..

      Are you sure you are quoting me…? I can’t remember ever expressing an opinion that Ebrima Solo asked to be slaughtered like a lamb. ..Can you remind me when and where I made that statement..?

  2. In the Gambia, a call like president Erdogan’s, for citizens to rise aganst the army could have been viewed by the PDOIS political ideologists as, who knows….., an attempt to create an anarchy or to be calling for the bloodbath of innocent citizens and war mongering. In a nutshell, i will say the PDOIS leaders may have counterbalanced Erdogan’s call for Turkish citizens to bring their heads point blank to the army’s guns and under fighter jets as his effort to be trying to create an anarchy. Your type of political ideology would have been the onset for Turkey’s downfall had they bought one.

    • Ggapm, remember that Erdogan has been democratically elected as the president. Now you have the army that want to usurp power from him. He therefore need to call on the people to defend their vote and the democratic process, and the people have rallied to the cause of democracy and the sanctity of their sovereign power.

      The same could have happened in 1994 when the military took over power in the Gambia. Had Jawara stayed in the country and called on the people to resist the coup makers, chances are that it would have failed.

      What Jawara and his deposed government had failed to do, was exactly what PDOIS and its leadership were doing. Defying the coup makers and their decrees. Because the Jawara government was also very unpopular at the time of the coup put the final nail in the coffin.

      • A man who privately dies in acts in demonstration to defend soverign rights is usually celebrated by the whole Turkish opposition parties, especially leaders of those parties.
        PDOIS have never defied the coup makers but indeed helped to entrench them in thuggish leadership pretending themselves to be the most potential resistance to the coup of 1994.
        It is twenty two or so Years and almost everybody knows in fear now, that the coup has terribly ruined a politically slow but progressive civil society process for previous statistics to show you. If the PDOIS were really defying the coupists and their decrees in 1994, they should clearly be seeing for themselves that in 2016, the coupist regime have comfortably accomodated them(PDOIS) and their political activities in the country in trying to make ‘a cook-up’ potential opposition for themselves in efforts to insinuating to the international community that genuine opposition exists in the Gambia when indeed, no.
        Because we cannot do one thing in 1994 doesn’t mean we won’t be able to do it in 2016. The UDP in 2016 however decided to protest a protest constitutionally stipulated. If another politician won’t join or defend such a noble act, is better for them to put their food in their mouths rather than saying, someone could die in vain for doing what the whole wide world knows is constitutionally correct to do.

  3. You have seen a very very little fraction of turkey’s citizens in the plazas and streets yet.
    My questions to you @Bax are;
    -do you think the Turkish police and civil society’s face-off with the army was peaceful?
    -frankly speaking, what would you have said to the Turkish people if you were in Erdogan’s shoe?

    We all are doing our best I think, reading after people of the likes of PDOIS like you. Erdogan is incumbent as well as his ‘civil-society-democracy’ state of mind that makes it practically impossible for Yaya Jammeh’s to fit in his shoes.

    • Was the face-off peaceful, you asked…? Of course not; nearly 300 dead and many more wounded. But here’s the truth : those deaths were not in vain because the cause for which they died triumphed…That is why President Erdogan himself can attend the funerals and in some cases, even participated in carrying the coffins…

      As far as I am concerned, you are free to speculate what anyone would do under any given circumstances…That is your prerogative and so enjoy yourself. I don’t speculate; I deal with facts…

      The Turkeys masses that came out were enough to thwart the coup because they overwhelmed the coupists..If they had been a handful, they would all have been arrested and the coup would have succeeded…

      • This article itself is an effort to speculate that the thwarted coup inTurkey is a situation whereby the intelligent creepy PDOIS can explain to Gambians why the UDP executive member recently killed, have died in vain and how its leader and the executive are being incarcerated today, in vain. Ain’t no problem at all speculating, the problem in speculations is when it throws people off from what is real and true for every situation and time for this matter.

        Luckily for the Turkish people there are no dodgy and hypocrite political scientists to jump and say to them,’Hmm hMMM Hmm’. This is Turkey’s real triumph; straight forward and brave opposition leaders, intellectuals with an idea as to what peace means and on top of that, a brave elderly statesmanship, not the type in the Gambia to tell Gambians,’ you are going to die in vain’, if you try defending the country’s constitution. You guys just don’t know to qiuet a moment and listen to yourselves and see something like; the killing and incarceration of a major opposition party’s executive members, that is why you keep writing the whole lot trying to twist around folks listening abilities so, you run for cover and go like,’as far as I am concerned, you are free to speculate what anyone would do……………bla bla bla’, just to evade a simple, vital and straight forward question.
        Your type of political ideology practically don’t exist in Turkey today.

  4. This is the distinction we have always tried to make between State Power and People’s Power. The Turkey attempted coup cannot illustrate it any better.

    When I heard the President called out to the people to go into the streets and reclaim their democracy, I thought to myself that this is a defining moment. Will the people go out into the streets or not?

    If they did not go out into the streets the coup would have succeeded. There is no doubt about that. But when they did go out into the streets we now know where the real power lies. People’s power trumps State power.

    Halifa made a very fundamental observation which stands the test of time, that power only yields to a superior power. And superior power only yields to a more superior power. And it has been proven time and time again that the people possess this much superior power. People’s power.

    It is therefore relevant that our approach to politics should be based on this fundamental principle. This is the reason why PDOIS always reason that instead of calling the people to carry out demonstrations and protests, which some will heed and others will not, it is better to organize large scale rallies and political meetings in which people will come out in their thousands.

    When the people are out in their thousands to support a cause and rally behind a political force, it sends a chilling message to those that control state power that real power lies with the people.

    • Please , confused disciple when are you going to admit that Halifa is an agent who will never call for mass demonstrations to topple his progeny , dictator Yaya Jammeh . Pdois have big mouth but empty in actions . So don’t mind their empty rhetoric .

  5. Why would Halifa call for mass demonstrations to topple his progeny? We are not in the business of toppling governments. We are also not in the business of using the people to topple their government.

    We want the people to use their power which can be manifested in their vote through a democratic process to oust the government.

    We want the people to use the power of their vote in a collective endeavor to bring about the much needed change.

    What happened in Turkey is different. The army wanted to overthrow an elected government. The president who is elected by the people, merely called on the people to come out and defend their vote. The people came out in their thousands and subdued the army with their tanks and weapons of death.

    Who has superior power?

  6. Bax

    Are you sure you never stated “…the demonstration was poorly managed…” Like “…calling to be slaughtered like lamb…” That “…demonstrators aren’t heroes…”?

    • Bajaw…

      I asked you a simple straightforward question : Are you sure you were quoting me..? If “Yes”, provide me with the evidence where I stated that “Ebrima Solo asked to be slaughtered like a lamb”..

      Don’t ask whether I am sure about what I said or not. Let’s ascertain the truth of your first allegation…

      • Oh, you don’t really think he died ‘in vain’……………; Bax say something. If I do, I will say to you, ‘yes, I think he died in vain not slaughtered like a lamb to be consumed’ Atleast lambs are slaughtered to be consumed by man, if they don’t have other meat preferences. Isn’t it @Bax?

  7. Bax

    You have said that the “demonstration was poorly organised” & that it’s like “asking to be slaughtered like lamb”; this prompted Dida to caution you that “a life has been lost” which knocked you into your insincere pretentious apology…

    • Bajaw…

      All I asked you is to provide the evidence that I wrote the statement, as an opinion, that “Ebrima Solo asked to be slaughtered like a lamb”…

      I remember exactly what I stated that prompted my in-law (Mr Dida) to intervene, but it is nothing like what you are saying here.. The reaction then was in relation to my view that honest discussion about the incident was not possible due to the emotional nature of the incident, which was misunderstood by many, to mean that I was saying that the demonstrators were emotional or something similar.

      Whilst I was referring to the reaction of the public to the treatment of detainees, which had evoked a lot of emotions, some interpreted my statement as referring to the state of mind of demonstrators. That was why I had to apologise for the misunderstanding caused…

      So, once again and for the last time, I will ask you to provide the evidence…You may ask your buddy Max for help…He’s very good at unearthing past comments on Kaironews. Failure to provide the evidence will be very damaging to your reputation and credibility here, as far as I am concerned.

  8. Bax

    I, & I’m pretty sure many of the readership have our memories intact, so they will know certainly who is lying; I’m currently away from home, can’t access my computer & my handset won’t allow me to rewind back to the April postings directly (can only allow to end of May), whilst the Kairo news search option only allows specified headings & not searches on specific periods; I gain nothing from lying as this isn’t the first time I stated your this quotes but you never asked for evidence then…

    You did insist it’s your opinion; when you were vehemently condemned, you made u-turn in insincere pretentious apology; I don’t depend on anyone to defend myself; my integrity is intact; so you can’t taint, soil or stain me for once which you & your insincere lot are tirelessly aspiring for because of my stance for truth & nothing else…

    The barely “a day’s events’ in Turkey can’t holistically be genuinely contrasted to Gambian scenario where tyranny thrived over a period for 22 years & counting; Turkey is in the “advance world” (Europe) where the majority are ‘literates’ who know their constitutional rights whilst majority peasantry population are ‘unschooled’ in Gambia, barely knowing anything about their constitutional statutory provisions which is why we still have tyranny thriving but on very thin line until successful termination sooner…

    In South Africa, Burkina Faso, etc for examples, the masses strived in struggles against murderous tyrannies unabated with consequential costly sacrifices over the periods until successful….

    In the Gambia alternatively, we have mercenary agents & elements who infiltrated the struggle masquerading as opposition politicians whilst supping with the kanilai KILLER DEVIL in the dark; this is why one like Halifa who some unsuspecting citizens look up to for civic awareness can distort facts misrepresenting the constitution for whatsoever reasons, to discourage the massive outpouring demonstrations into the streets which are unfavorable to his selfish interests & not on genuine liberation struggle purposely…

    The murder of Steve Biko in South Africa for example prompted more bloodied demonstrations with further loss of lives but didn’t bring instant freedom straight away; the same can be said about Burkina & many other places who all struggled to get to where they are today; the same goes for Gambia too as we’ll certainly have ours some day, come rain or shine…

    How can politicians called for “mass rallies” like Kamalo indicates when genuine opposition politicians struggle against all odds to pass huddles to hold political meetings without tyrannical molestations from the restrictive illegal permissions to time of meetings taking place when aprc are at liberty having unrestricted meetings anywhere anytime without permits…?

    The truth will set us free, as the genuine liberation committed Gambians can’t be blessed enough to have the selfless patriotic UDP leadership leading us all at the forefront of the liberation struggle, until successful accomplishment; Insha Allah…

    Long live the Gambia…

    • Look bro…I’m really not in the mood for all that stuff..As at now, I haven’t accused you of lying yet, so why the presumption..? I only asked for the evidence, and if you made the same accusation before without any response from me, then trust me, I didn’t see it..I must have missed it completely, otherwise, I would have asked for the evidence.

      I will allow you time to get home, access your computer and produce the evidence..No problem at all…

  9. Bax , if people provide you evidence , you will still deny it . I have provided you so many evidences but you still denied . you have castigated the peaceful protesters many times here ranging from poorly organized mass protest , detractors , and to your call of their efforts as a threat to national threat. You are indeed a political hypocrite and you usual provide fake sympathy . You always accused people of misunderstanding you. may be you have dementia or memory problem

    • The evidence of your levels is quite obvious and that is the problem…No disrespect meant…The fact that you continue to treat my views, and that of others, as reprentative of official PDOIS policies, despite my clear indications that I am not associated with the party, speaks volumes about the calibre of people we are dealing with here..

  10. Kamalo

    The issues in Turkey instead of your attempted twist of tales, have indeed confirmed that there’s ONLY one single power of (or in) a State; the so-called state “power” which are privileges otherwise accorded to those opportune & privileged to be servants in decision making such as executive (president etc) constitutionally DOESN’T exist in the “real” (advanced) world; the constitution is absolutely clear who the power belong, just as witnessed in Turkey recently; Halifa could have been honest enough to the people instead, most of whom looks up to him, if not for anything else but for civic & constitutional awareness as opposition leader; this DOESN’T permit Halifa &/ anybody else for the matter, to define constitutional statutory provisions rightly when in his individual &/ partisan favours, & twist (manipulate) others when not (&/ against favours)…

    Halifa isn’t expected to “bring down governments” unconstitutionally BUT he’s CONSTITUTIONALLY incumbent upon, demanded, required, committed to, expected & binding, to stand up to defend the people just like in his witches hunt protest, & anytime our lives are being trampled upon regardless of party, tribal, religious &/ social affiliations…

    The events of apartheid South Africa & recently in Burkina Faso exemplarily could all come to mind; of the resolved collective efforts of a people, the genuine citizens of conscience & the selfless politicians & civic leaderships in particular, committed to the cause of humanity ABOVE anything else; in that innocent lives would be lost in selfless sacrifices towards the betterment of humanity at large, against tyrannical transgression such as in the Gambia today….

    Otherwise what else for could Halifa gain from misrepresenting the constitution in this “our” collective struggle for liberation, incumbent upon us all as our undeniable birthrights if indeed committed to as falsely pretended evidently…???

  11. Janjanbureh

    Kamalo, you are joke. I just can never understand these PDOIS disciples. Why do they think that Gambians are fools. PDOIS is part of the problem and not the solution.

    • Janjanbureh, I disagree. Tell me why you think PDOIS is the problem, and I will tell you why I think the solution is PDOIS.

  12. Quote Bax Under Topic [How Ousman Sonko Insults Gambians – By M. Saidykhan 18 April 2016]

    Bax Comments – “…Politics is not a game, where one player can ignore his team mates and go for glory alone. Politics is serious, and when your opponent is one who has vowed to kill you and has demonstrated his readiness and propensity to kill before, confronting him without the numbers to overwhelm his evil forces, is to turn oneself into a “lamb to the slaughter”, because he will carry out his threats, if he does not feel threatened…”

    Assalaam Aalaiku Bax your request here; thank you.

    • Let me remind you what your quotation was:

      …’why did you insult Ebrima Solo Sandeng & the whole of Gambia for that matter, opining that he “asked to be slaughtered like a lamb”…..

      You accused me of a specific crime : insulting Ebrima Solo Sandeng and saying that I stated that he (Ebrima Solo Sandeng) asked to be slaughtered like a lamb…

      You have not produced any evidence to back up your claims that I insulted Solo Sandeng and said the things you alleged about him.

      The statement you produced is not referring to Solo Sandeng, but rather, a generalised statement expressing a truism anywhere..

      What you have done is dishonestly misuse my statement to serve your sinister purpose, by inserting “Ebrima Solo Sandeng”, where there was no Ebrima Solo Sandeng.

      If you understood my statement to be referring to any specific individual, then that is your problem; not mine…

      • Are lives gone ‘in vain’, and ‘wasted’, not slaughtered lives within the public environ? You must be thinking that the public debate is some kind of a law court where by one could be asked to produce evidence that @Bax do laugh in his hideous malice.

  13. Bax

    Halifa Sallah physically confronted & engaged the armed “security” forces & devilish elements on the witches hunt protest exercising his constitutional rights but you hypocritically applauded that as exemplary (which indeed was) but he never asked to be “lamb slaughtered” in your eyes; why should you believe Ebrima Solo Sandeng & the political reforms Nobles who only held banners & their voices asked to be lamb slaughtered which is an insult to Solo’s soul, those molested, kidnaped, raped, tortured & incarcerated as well as to every single Gambian of conscience; I’m pretty sure you won’t make this insulting comment if Halifa was the one tortured & killed instead, would you…???

  14. Bajaw…

    I don’t want to prolong this conversation and this will be my last post on the matter.

    What Halifa did and how he did it, is a red herring here, and I will not be distracted from my request for evidence. I asked you for evidence to proof your allegations against me and you failed to produce it..

    What you produced as evidence, actually strengthens my assertion that the problem we face with some of you guys, is your ignorance and levels of understanding, as well as, a willingness to concoct statements and attribute them to others…How was this done in your case..?

    In your allegations, you placed the words, {asked to be slaughtered like a lamb}, in quotation marks {” “}…Now, anybody who understands the function of quotation marks in English punctuation, will know that they are used to indicate the actual words spoken or written by a speaker or writer..

    So when you place the words, “asked to be slaughtered like a lamb” in quotation marks, what you are claiming is that you were quoting me verbatim: word for word…That was why in my initial reaction, I asked if you were sure that you were quoting me.

    The evidence you produced from my comment has shown that this wasn’t the case…You have, therefore, failed on that challenge.

    Since you have failed to even proof that you were quoting me, it must also follow that you have failed to proof that I insulted Solo Sandeng and the whole of Gambia…Not only that, but your concocted statement is transmitting the contents of your mind, because it has a meaning and connotation that is completely different from my statement..

    I wrote the statement : “a lamb to the slaughter”, which is an English idiom used in everyday language, and I don’t think anyone who understands it would feel insulted by its usuage….

    You concocted your own statement of, “asked to be slaughtered like a lamb” and tried to put this in my mouth, by placing it in quotation marks…

    My statement and your concocted one may share some common words, but they have completely different meanings, due to the additional words and the arrangement of the common ones..

    Your concocted statement is most probably, a genuine disclosure of your own state of mind, and does not in any way, shape or form represent what I said…

    That is the end of this matter for me.

    Assalamu Alaikum

  15. Bax

    The evidence speak for itself; everybody who have their minds in tact knows what statements say & means for real…

    Just take for example the very topic under which you irresponsibly made this despicable comment; where “Ousman Sonko Insults Gambians” by disrespectful words & acts at Ousainou’s home; the inverted commas you cling on to in kindergarten in your defence aren’t only restrictive to verbatim quotations only but into conation & inference if we must learn for improve wisdom in 21st century…

    You certainly won’t accept such derogatory expression &/ utterance from anyone else when Halifa exercised the same rights on the witches hunt saga & got tortured & killed in Solo’s stead, much more make a so-called “truism statements”…

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