When people are determined and ready they can dislodge tyrants from power. Yes, unbearable social conditions call for radical reactions from those affected particularly if the powers that be wouldn’t budge. It happens in Ghana, Burkina Faso and even in our neighboring Senegal.
In the Gambia though the miseries and violations are rather similar, only worst the question is not about the power that happens to be, the Jammeh autocracy, but the leaders of the mass organizations bent on overthrowing that autocracy for nearly twenty years now. For about sixteen years now it has been realized that unless the parties opposed to the virulent autocracy are able to get their acts and parties together they may not be able to get rid of the kleptocratic one-man tutelage under which the country has been bleeding and continues to bleed. Years of pleas from the Gambian people have not been able to get the leaders of the various parties to put together their groups and acts in order to shove the mad autocracy away to the garbage of history it really belongs. It seems the leaders of the various parties have merely appeared as if they were listening only to let the pleas pass through unheeded.
It has been really frustrating to those genuinely concerned Gambians but this Enough is Enough proposals we hope all stake holders can sit down and unite around one agenda to dislodge Jammeh from power. And things indeed need to change, and quickly so The Jammeh autocracy is indeed driving our country into the drains. All the sectors of the economy are in the red, heading towards the irrecoverable. The Jammeh regime fails to even admit this much less ready to look for remedies. Instead of looking for remedies, it is looking for ways to distract us from the issue; divide us against each other and mislead us towards national disintegration.
Already the voices out to divide us are being heard within the on-line Papers, social media and the cyber opposition. This year, 2016, we have seen the renewal of the National Convention Party, NCP, an old First Republican party and the GDC, the Gambia Democratic Congress, a new party. What these parties have in common is that both were registered and formed this year 2016 and the main players for both parties, Hon. Ma Janko Samusa and Hon. Mama Kandeh were both, until recently, members of the Jammeh’s APRC party, who now claim they are no longer members of that party and are part of the political opposition.
Having been just reminded of Yahya Jammeh’s thoroughly Machiavellian nature with the example of his machinations against former Chief of Defense Staff, Lang Tombong Tamba, by the Enough is Enough press release, it would be an act either of criminal negligence or pitiful naivety to accept either Hon. Samusa or Hon. Kandeh as genuine members of the political opposition without prior rigorous scrutiny.
What made the two gentlemen see the light and when exactly did this happen. What exactly did they see in the APRC that made them left the party? What policies of the government or principles of the party turned them against the party and when exactly did this happen? Where and when did any of them ever voiced any opposition to any, policy or statement of the APRC party or government? Where were Samusa and Kandeh when 14 students were shot to death in April of 2000, when in 2004 Deyda Hydara , two years later Ebrima Manneh was murdered then K aniba kanyi of UDP , when in 2006 Daba Marena and five others were murdered, when Gamtel and Gamcel were sold out in secrecy to a group of Lebanese cartel of criminals, when Nawec was given out to Muhamed Barsi, when Rambo was sold out to a visiting Kuwaiti delegation,And most recently peaceful demonstrators were tortured and Solo sandeng was murdered etc, etc? What in the records of the country or the pedigree of the two individuals that shows that Hon. Samusa and Hon. Kandeh have ever raised any voice against all these and many other countless misdeeds by the APRC party and government?
No such evidence has been made available to the Gambian public. But while there is no evidence available to show that Hon. Samusa and Hon. Kandeh have ever raised their voices against the Jammeh atrocities but so also is there any evidence to show that the two politicians, Hon. Samusa and Hon. Kandeh, are the Gambian dictator’s henchmen.
This is why the Kaironews appreciates the quality of the Enough is Enough press release. It is not making any categorical statement against either Hon. Samusa or Hon. Kandeh. It is not claiming to be sure that both guys are Jammeh’s men because they have not provided enough evidence to back up such a claim, but it would be a disservice to the nation to allow the men and their parties to be freely stamped as ¨opposition parties when they really are not.
In fact there is a greater danger of allowing pro-Jammeh forces to pose as part of the Gambian political opposition than mistaking either Samusa or Kandeh as pro-Jammeh elements than oppositionists. Mistaking them as Jammeh opponenents when they are his supporters will help perpetuating his murderous regime for another five years while the other way round will make us lose the opportunity of having two potential brilliant state leaders.
But with this alternative here being proposed by Concerned Citizens, we can look for a alternative as president for one year while we sort out who is who and what is what before finally deciding.
If suspicions of conspiracy theories are right that Jammeh first looked for Samusa to revive the NCP and then, got Kandeh to play the tribal card for him, then we are even more convinced that the proposal by Concern citizens can out-smart the Gambian Machiavelli.
There is currently a rising tide of pro-Kandeh opinion that is blaming Mandinka-speaking Gambians for being too ethnocentric and thinking that the next president must hail from within them. This is definitely unrealistic if not luxuriously anti-Mandinka.
After all, Jammeh has threatened to massacre them all, and how many Gambian Political, Religious or Community leader of non-Mandinka belonging has come out to speak against that. Neither Kandeh nor Samusa are yet to come out to speak against this. Other Gambians can comfortably dismiss it as ¨empty threats but Mandinka-speaking Gambians and all sincerepeople the world over have to take it seriously if they are worth their salt.
Let us debate with the aim of finally coming together to take back our nation. Let us criticize the document vigorously but let us come up with concrete alternatives. Let us debate with respect and harmony if we are to get anywhere.