How To Overcome Gambia’s Dictatorial Environment

JammehThe complacency from 1992 to 1994 is well documented and written about, and I think yours [Bax’s] is a further enrichment to that laudable literature. I fully agree with your portrayal of events and the fatal failings of those entrusted with the state power. This blame lies squarely at the doorstep of deposed President Jawara and his crew.

The realities of today are different. We are undergoing a tumultuous episode of our nationhood and the sacrifices of men and women to save us continue. The question before us today, to me, is not about devising a perfect 3rd Republic. I think that the existing parties and their seasoned heads are capable of ushering us into a 3rd Republic, in which we can start the work of rebuilding the institutions that have been relegated to rubber stamps. Namely the judiciary, legislative, executive and the media.

I think the environment is not at hand to create a perfect coalition because a dictatorship controls and manipulate the moves and intents of different political parties in such a way that they are perpetually in a state of misunderstanding. Since 1994, this tactic has being modus operandi of this regime to cling onto power.

The question we need to ask is how to overcome this dictatorial environment.

  1. Social capital competences of our seasoned politicians. That means TRUST among the leading figures. Hamat Bah, Halifa Sallah, Ousainou Darboe, Omar Amadou Jallow, Mama Kandeh and as we speak Dr. Touray. They must be able to trust that if one of them is president tomorrow, he will not kill his erstwhile fellows in the opposition. We know that in selection processes for job not only the technical capabilities are considered, but most importantly the social competence and background of the job seeker is sought. It is easy to read hate in someone and I think none of the above men and women display such characteristics of hidden vengeance.

2. Honestly close ranks in times of grave crackdown on one among us. The death of Solo and the incarceration of Darboe is a means of a dictator to preserve his power. It must be seen through that lens and nothing else. Otherwise he quickly use the lacklustre of the others to further play delaying tactics. The response of the other parties cannot be wait and see how the whole exercise unfold but take visible action in confronting the impunity. This is lacking on the part of PDOIS, NRP, PPP and lately GDC.

Finally, I believe that the environment for free and fair election is not at hand in the Gambia and a coalition is not equipped enough to take on the repressive regime. You can’t tell UDP to support you but you are not willing to die when the need arises. Any one party planning to lead the coalition must be ready for casualties among it’s top leadership because the regime will go every length to remain in power in order to cover up their atrocities.




  1. Seedy Gassama

    I disagree with the author that the parties he named did not standby UDP. All the parties condemned the killing and arrest of UDP officials and that is all they could do.

  2. A simple and straight forward point of reasoning that PDOIS folks keep beating the bush about. This is the good short phrase Mr. Kinteh, ‘the realities of today are different’. Learning from the 1st republic at this stage and point in time of the national resolve denotes bitterness and a desire of revenge for whatever experience the ‘past’ in the Gambia, might have taught to those concerned.

    • Have you ever sat in a history classroom, where you learnt about the transatlantic slave trade, for example …?

      Did your presence in the classroom and experience of slavery at the that time, “denote bitterness and a desire for revenge ?”

      Bitterness and a desire for revenge may be what the past evokes in you, but you should not make the mistake of thinking that it is true for everyone…

      We don’t all learn from the past because we are bitter and want revenge, even those concerned. That is simply not true..

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