Our Salvation Lies In Compromise

Politics is all about convincing your aopponents to seek compromise to solve problems. Politicians who are unwilling to compromise not only cause political polarization which leads to insolvent of national problems but also defeat the whole purpose of representation of people’s common interests at the national level. The Gambia’s opposition leaders have failed to compromise to salvage our country from constant assaults from the Jammeh regime. Today, we have systematic human rights violations and economic deterioration which affect majority of our citizens. With this in the minds of politicians and ordinary citizens, this time around I believe there will be a compromise. Without a compromise, it will be disastrous for our country in the next five years to continue on deteriorating human rights violations, moral decadence and worsening economic conditions for the citizens. We cannot afford to have five more years of military dictatorship.

The recent nomination of United Democratic Party presidential candidate and selection of Dr. Isatou Touray as an independent presidential candidate have all signaled that there is a possibility of seeking a consensus and compromise candidate who will lead the nation into its first ever political change in the Second Republic. As an optimist, I believe for the sake and interest of our beloved country, our political leaders will do the right thing. After 22 years of trials and tribulations characterised with constant blame games, it is about that our citizens and leaders finally accepted the truth about brutal dictatorship and sought compromise to end the untold sufferings. I believe that UDP is a party of selfless people who put the interest of the country first before the personal leadership interest. This has been demonstrated in the leadership’s selfless sacrifices on behalf of Gambian people in recent peaceful protest which led to kidnapping and illegal incarceration of entire executive members and the party’s supporters. For over 20 years, United Democratic party has always shown to Gambian people that when there is call for national action towards democratic and constitutional rule, they answered to the needs and aspirations of Gambian people. This has been demonstrated in the party’s continuous efforts to highlight the economic deterioration and horrendous human rights violations in the Gambia both locally and internationally. The party also offers better policies to citizens. In the past year, UDP has adopted a strategy of grassroots campaign with the sole objective of eradicating fear and to empower citizenry in participatory democracy so that the regime of terror will be voted out in peaceful electoral process.

The nomination of Mr. Adama Barrow who is as diverse as the country itself is a compromise for the sake of unity, prosperity, peace and security of the country. This nomination, I believe has further signified the need to see more compromises among the opposition parties in seeking a consensus candidate who will serve the best interest of the country. In this defining moment of our history, a compromise among the opposition parties is the best way forward to save our country from civil war and tribal conflict. Already Dictator Jammeh has set the stage for possible tribal conflict. This has been evidenced by his continuous targeting of Mandinkas in many of his regime’s policies and political vitriol. The United Democratic Party being a pragmatic party which has its core principle in seeking to govern the country based on unity has shown the need to always look for compromise and cooperation among our diverse population and opposition parties. This is why Mr Barrow’s nomination is a step in the right direction.

In Mr Barrow’s acceptance speech, he has signaled to reach out to ”sister political parties” about the need to seek compromise to salvage the country from current military dictatorship.

I believe there are many good reasons which signifies that this year is a year of compromise among the opposition parties and various players to salvage the country from slipping into civil war. Among the most important reason which signifies that there will be a compromise is the nomination of non-Mandinka politician as UDP flag bearer . Mr Barrow’s nomination discredit critics who see falsely see UDP as Mandinka party. Mr Barrow is a reflection of Gambian society as anyone can relate to him and this is why his nomination is a compromise in itself. I believe that with Mr Barrow’s extension of an olive branch to sister opposition parties will serve as motivation factor for other political parties in return to seek compromise. As a keen follower of Gambia’s political situation and as a non member of UDP, I believe that Well before Mr Barrow’s nomination, UDP has been working on the need to have a compromise with other opposition parties. As a party of resilience and selfless people, a compromise has never been a dirty word for the party which prides itself for the Unity of citizens and justice for all.
The Second reason I believe there will be a compromise is Dr Touray’s entry into the race. This will not only create significant cooperation between UDP and Dr Touray but I also believe that there will help to have a compromise among all opposition parties in this difficult period of our country history in order to end 22 years of impunity, economic deterioration, corruption and lawlessness. Dr Touray has international recognition, local connections with women folks and she has been human right advocate for her entire life. Her candidacy can be a tremendous asset in partnership with other opposition parties to salvage our country from military dictatorship.

The most important reason I believe there will be a compromise is that Gambians are sicked and tired of dictatorship which has brought nothing other than untold sufferings across the country. Even the opposition leaders themselves are sicked and tired of dictatorship and they want to see the end of tyrannical government. The Gambia has reached a stage of slipping into total anarchy and heighten possible civil conflict, a compromise among the opposition leaders and non-partisan leader is the most important conflict prevention and strategical means of saving the country and her people from total destruction. A compromise is far more needed this year than ever before due to countless number of victims of political persecution, massive exodus of youths, poor economic performance and daily horrendous lawlessness due to violations of the constitution.

We have seen massive defection from APRC party which led to establishment of Gambia Democratic congress (GDC). Such a significant defection cause serious blow to APRC regime which has now embarked on witch hunt of some of the members of this newly political party. Supporters and leaders of GDC will likely seek to compromise with other opposition parties than to go back to former enemy who has nothing to offer but only terror and humiliation. Therefore, a compromise for the sake of the country is what will end the regime’s terrorism and human rights violations. Failure to compromise this year is a prescription for nation abyss and destruction of opportunities for future generations. It is time to compromise for the interest of everyone.




  1. This piece, in itself, is a compromise and I hope the spirit of compromise and pragmatism for the common good will prevail. Such writings are good and are catalyst for a better understanding between different standpoints. I hope, henceforth, we see more of such postings and people acting on our behalf be motivated to see reason instead of emotion, in order to deliver on the unison calling for United front of some sort.

    Well done Max!

    • Thank you very much kinteh. It is the time turn a new page . Our common enemy is Yaya Jammeh who has destroyed our country. We must compromise to salvage our country from brink of total collapse and destruction. I hope and pray that this year our country will finally get rid of military dictatorship. Now against the Election Day , we must seek compromise and cooperate so that tyrannical regime will be gone.

    • Be careful bro…Seems like an impostor here.. This cannot be the same Max I’m used to…The pro-UDP position is still there, but it’s the absence of the other side of Max, which raises my suspicions about an impostor..

      May be I am wrong, and I hope I am, because this Max deserves a tap on the back from me. “Tap,tap,tap”..

      This is what we need now…Well done..

  2. Thank you!!! Now you are talking like a democrat yearning for change through the ballot box. We should all at this crucial time forgo our egos and aspirations and sing the same song of compromise and unity to finally flush out this cancerous regime from The Gambia. We all know that compromise, unity and fielding a single opposition candidate is the only viable option to oust Jammeh. If the opposition parties fail to do that this time, then they would go into history as the biggest enablers of the Jammeh dictatorship and should be equally held accountable for atrocities perpetrated on Gambians by Jammeh. The Gambian people are ready for change and the ball is now in their court.

  3. Well stated Max; indeed salvation for our collective betterment as a people NECESSITATES compromise to finish the job politically; the Gambia CAN’T be the same, long as the kanilai MURDERER remains barbarically sadistic in charge at the helm of affairs of State…

    The Gambia have suffered MORE than enough for whatsoever ideological political differences may prevail between the various opposition parties & individuals to squander the opportunity…

    The Gambia is greater than any political party individually &/ ALL political parties & ANY / all individuals COMBINED; our COMMON (yaya) ENEMY is destroying our ONLY homeland for SELFISH PERSONAL aggrandizement to points of persecutions, kidnaps, women rapes, torture, maim, disappearances & cold blooded murderings of innocent human beings…

    Those directly experience yaya jammeh’s sadistic barbarities, as we (Gambians &humanity) all surfers if not indirectly, & those physically scarred & murdered have SAME equal rights to opinion on our affairs of State as to yaya the MURDERER itself…???

    The ballot box should be the perfect opportunity to grab to rid our innocent Gambia from the strife this CATASTROPHIC MISTAKE in a Cassamace kanilai afflicted DEVIL on human legs that accidentally besieged our country for past 22 years & counting is leading us to OR there must be another alternative IF not through the ballot box…

    Our politicians should realise our collective security & betterment in prosperity for the future ahead as a people is paramount & takes precedence which must motivate for all to disagree to agree to act in unison for unified assault to reclaim our decent homeland quickly before too late…

    Long live the Gambia…

  4. Good article on face value but with the dynamics and issues at play with Coalition building, rivalry and divided opposition what should UDP specifically do towards compromising these;

    1. To ditch its “Party-led” position ?
    2. Be part of UNITED NATIONAL FRONT (under same umbrella and Grande Coalition with other registered political parties as equal partners or common ground)?
    3. To float its leadership (flag bearer and Presidential Candidate under UDP ticket) for open contest, selection or nomination, seeking consensus and agreement and be ready to support any of both other opposition parties and Independent flag bearers that threw its hat on the Presidency ring to lead and implement a transitional programme?

    Let decorum prevail and we hear from writer of article Max to elaborate; without any smearing campaign and partisanship!

    • Note! In compromising these are main problems;

      1. Nature of the Coalition, Alliance and Unity?
      2. LEADERSHIP: selection of Flag bearer and Presidential Candidate for Coalition partners?
      3. Registration of the Presidential Candidate on nomination day (under “Party ticket” or “Independent common political platform”)?

    • Dawda , thank you very much for your various methods you highlighted . I must say that as udp supporter , I believe a party led coalition is the best option among the various options you stated . This is because udp has been consistently the largest opposition party with significant support base and structure throughout the country and diaspora. UDP has more logistics and structural capabilities than all other political parties. Throughout the country, udp is well known and connected to the people than other political party . These reasons makes it sensible, feasible and practical to go for party led coalition. Party led coalition is well tested and proven method which has been applied in many countries which had similar political situation like The Gambia . So for us to be able to compromise, we must first acknowledge the facts of our political situation, the method which has been tested and proven to be effective in many countries in order to salvage our country. In this udp led coalition, a working document which comprises of the inputs of all opposition parties and independent candidate has to be formulated. The idea of equal footing or representation in a negotiation is a great concept and I believe udp will be able to tolerate that and get the input of all key players. Honesty on the part of political leaders and urgency of compromise is far more needed now than never before.
      Nomination of mr Barrow has discredit critics who falsely claimed that udp is a Mandinka party despite the fact that It is well diverse and its leader currently is non-Mandinka. This could motivate others to support udp. So the popularity of political party and structural/ logistical support is very important for any electoral victory. GDC and Dr Touray did not have such logistics and structural capabilities like udp in The Gambia and diaspora. You must remember that diaspora play huge role in all this . If our leaders acknowledge this simple facts and put the interest of the country first then there will be electoral victory. Politics is like team sport , a team with the best structure and logistics usually make the best performance unless there is bad leadership at the team . Currently udp has better leadership who recognize the plight of The Gambian people and they have demonstrated the best leadership qualities in the most urgent need and difficult period in our country political history. They have sacrificed more than any one in this fight.

      The idea of united front or independent candidate are all great concepts but it can work out well if udp agree and other political parties recognize that without UDP support for united front or independent candidate, it is not going to be successful. So all these parties need each other which is why compromise is the key word to make any deal to select the single candidate. This has to be based on consensus but not a primary process as indicated by pdois. I think primary process is the dumbest proposal in all this political maneuvering considering the cost , political division and complete waste of time and resources it will cause.
      My second choice is the idea of independent / United front candidate which is why I indicated Dr Touray’s nomination can lead to compromise provided she has significant cooperation with UDP which is the main player as far as heavyweight support and logistical/ structural capabilities are concerned . This also has to be based on consensus agreement by our political leaders involving all political parties at negotiating table where udp must be given the leverage and significant political will to make best decision to support such an independent candidate / United front candidate. The inputs of all other political parties must be taken especially pdois policy of serving one five year term . All these methods has to involve compromise, honesty, selfless sacrifices and the urgent need to put the interest of the country first before personal interest of any leader. UDP must also realize that their sacrifice is not going to be in vain because they did it on behalf Gambians and grateful citizens will always recognize and appreciate that efforts . Politically, this can help to save the lives of UDP leadership who are illegally incarcerated at Mile two prison . Do this particular independent candidate or United front leader have the courage to be ready to sacrifice his/her life if there is unfortunate situation like udp leadership have sacrificed their lives for the country? This is why we need to chose a leader who is tested and ready to die on behalf of the country on day one but not leaders who show up with questionable resume like GDC leader .
      In all this , everyone has to compromise for the sake of our country.

  5. Thank you Bajaw and Bax , we have to compromise in order to find solutions to our national problems.
    Bax , I won’t mind you lol . I think our fight over the process of getting a coalition leader is coming to an end. There will be no primary election to select a candidate. I believe there will be a compromise and consensus candidate. So let us direct our energy and resources to expose and defeat the common enemy who lied to Gambian people that ” ten years in power is too much ” when he illegally violated our constitution and forcefully took power from the people.

    • I agree.. All eyes on the heartless, mindless squatter at State House…

      • Max, the compromise we seek must include all players such as those who call themselves biggest and those who are considered smallest and to allow our people to taste real democracy by giving the chance to choose the flagbearer of the opposition TO LOCATE THE INDIVIDUAL PERSON whether the selected person is from a party or no party and for him/her to stand under an Independent ticket to be fully supported by all players with resources, intellect, wisdom, credibility and all that is necessary to make us change our country. THIS IS THE COMPROMISE WE NEED.
        If that is the type of compromise you are talking about then I am with you all the way.