Sometimes you wonder why pettiness has eaten into the brains of some Gambians to the extent that they thread on Yahya Jammeh’s disgusting path. His tribal political path is a no-go area that has no place in our politics.
Despite the diverse nature of our political parties, you still hear some shallow minded Gambians associating opposition parties to a particular tribe. Like Yahya Jammeh, you often hear them calling the United Democratic Party a Mandinka party, despite its deputy leader being a Wolof and you have Gambians of all tribes at the helm. The same breed of Gambians have now turned their daggers at the leader of Gambia Democracy Congress, Mamma Kandeh. Instead of challenging him on his party’s programs, policies or record, these Gambians see his ethnicity, which must not be the case. Of course, each of us belongs to a particular tribe or culture, which in itself is a strength that must be explored. Our strength will only come to light when our diverse people unite around pursuing our collective interest. We must not see each other as Fulas or Mandinkas but Gambians. Our Gambianess must supercede all other things. Period! There is no tribal party in the Gambia, and having tribal majority in any party does not make it a Fula or Mandinka party. For Gambians to make a headway, they must ditch backward thinking. They need to grow so they can live with the reality that there is nothing wrong with associating yourself with people of the same language or culture. This does not translate hatred. Why should Fulas’ endorsement of Mamma Kandeh be associated with tribal politics? If we allow this ugly trend we will soon start labelling non Fulas who endorse Kandeh as self-haters. Once we succeed in sowing seeds of discord, we will lose our Gambian identify which can ultimately lead to bad blood. Let’s not see the ethnicity in our politics, which bears the hallmark of self-defeat. Such a situation helps only the Chief Tribalist Yahya Jammeh, a leader who swore to protect all Gambians, yet he pointed his guns at Mandinkas.
Come on folk, our collective task should be how to defeat a man who has singlehandedly highjacked everything Gambian. Jammeh decides who should live or die.
Mamma Kandeh is a Gambian who is constitutionally qualified to lead a political party. Let’s therefore give him the space to wrap up his tour before challenging him on his political beliefs or ideologies. Like the late Gambian doyen broadcaster Baboucarr Gaye succintly put it: “allow him to die first before burying him.”