We feel obliged to respond to Mr. Jobarteh’s request to not select a flag bearer instead to follow the leadership of Dr. Isatou Touray, an independent candidate for president. We in the UDP feel that Mr. Jobarteh as a citizen of the Gambia has every right to support any political party, however, he does not have the right to call on the UDP not to name a flag bearer for their party. As a result, we feel entitled to address some of the points he raised in his letter address to the leadership of UDP.
We feel naturally difficult to stomach the arrogance that Mr. Madi Jobarteh dared come up with in his letter saying: “I wish to humbly suggest that UDP should not identify any candidate instead to rally behind Isatou.” He went on further to write that, “By rallying behind Isatou, by default UDP will, therefore, put pressure on PDOIS, NRP and GDC to comply otherwise each of them will risk being on the wrong side of history. This definitely shows that Mr. Jobarteh’s image of himself, Dr. Touray’s exploits and his own venture in this matter are each by itself quite delusional if not entirely quixotic. Look at this, “UDP needs to approach Isatou to agree on an agenda for the coalition and the unity government in terms of distribution of cabinet positions and the duration of her government. She has already set herself for the full term. This should not be contentious if you cannot get her reduce it to 3 years. We are in an abnormal situation and therefore there is no point to insist on issues that are not life-threatening such as between 3 and 5 years.” So, according to Mr. Jobarteh, it is the UDP that needs to approach Isatou and not the other way round. Who does he think is Isatou who must expect a twenty-year-old political party, to approach her, a single individual who had all the time from being politically shy to suddenly feeling politically inspired? Is that not enough reason to be questionable? No, Jobarteh went on further. Does this not suggest sheer political opportunism by Madi on behalf of Dr. Isatou? No, it does not seem so to Mr. Jobarteh, for he continues.
He wrote “UDP must realize that at this moment the release of Ousainou and colleagues in jail and justice for the killings and torture of your party members must be UDP’s foremost preoccupation. But this is more difficult to do, if not impossible so long as Jammeh is in power. Thus, UDP must be bluntly analytical and strategic in seeking to facilitate a regime change in order to save its members in jail. The party can do this by leading from behind and therefore dominate or control the environment. At this moment the only way the party can do this is to forge an alliance with Isatou for the election. Thus, the issue is how does UDP use all its efforts to bring all the parties to support Isatou and save the nation.” Why does Mr. Jobarteh think supporting Dr. Touray is the only way of saving our country. Who is Dr. Touray to make supporting her so crucial in the struggle to save the nation? Common sense would have taught Mr. Jobarteh that ever since the inception of UDP in 1996, it has been in the forefront of the struggle to salvage our country from the clutches of Jammeh’s tyranny and political decadence.
It’s an axiom that Dr. Touray and her GAMCOTRAP group have contributed a lot in the fight against the traditional practice of female genital cutting, but that is not the be all and the end all of the women’s condition in the Gambia.
Taking it to be a matter of games, in fact, a game of cards, Mr. Jobarteh wrote: “It is clear that the other parties will not stand behind UDP, and the idea of primaries proposed by PDOIS is untenable. Thus what these parties will not concede to UDP or each other, they may be forced by circumstances to concede to Isatou provided UDP knows quite well how to play its card.” So from this, it looks like Mr. Madi Jobarteh is calling on the support for Dr. Touray’s presidential bid as a matter of convenience! First, the UDP should support Isatou if they want their imprisoned leadership out and alive, and now also, they should do it as a matter of convenience. What rabid opportunism! To press this point, further Jobarteh wrote, “Failure to do this, I think we will potentially see Jammeh win the election, and therefore the release of Darboe and Co will rest on his whims and caprices. The longer it takes for that to happen also endangers the lives of these inmates given their old age and state of health and conditions in prison”. Politics is a game of win or lose, however, there is no guarantee that backing Dr. Touray would mean victory for the opposition. It seems that Mr. Jobarteh is trying so hard to create discord between political parties in the Gambia. How do you know that other parties will not stand behind UDP? Mr. Jobarteh should understand that not all is gloom in the horizon. The various opposition parties have held series of meetings geared towards forming a united front against Jammeh. We don’t foresee any party taking a back seat in this trying times when the survival of our Nation is at stake .
Then Mr. Madi wrote, “Thus for me; there is no value for UDP to identify a candidate because, in any case, it is not going to get a coalition behind it. If it does not get that, it means we are going to have at least 5 candidates – UDP, Isatou, Halifa, Hamat, and Mama. This is the right recipe for Jammeh victory. UDP must forestall this scenario from taking place.” But without Dr. Isatou Touray it was a scenario of four against Jammeh, now with her it has become a more complicated five rivaling opposing candidates. If Madi was so concerned why didn’t he talk her out of trying to further complicate matters by standing as an independent candidate without first talking to the established opposition parties to let them sponsor her candidacy? Why?
In his final paragraph, Mr. Madi Jobarteh advises the UDP leadership lower all emotions, and think out of the box like they were in a box. How laughable, how arrogant and disrespectful!
I think Mr. Jobarteh should understand that the UDP was not formed to get its members out of Yahya Jammeh’s jails but to ultimately free the whole of the Gambian nation from Yahya Jammeh’s capricious reign of terror. Scores of UDP’s supporters, including fallen heroes like Seedia Sanyang, Butay Boy, Kaniba Kanyi, the Two Solos and many, many more, have laid down their lives for the struggle to get back our country. They cannot be forgotten just because of the opportunistic words of so-called civil society activists like Madi Jobarteh, who as cowards try to pretend that being in NGOs means they should not be in politics. They must be made to know that all the NGO issues are political issues. To be politically partisan is one thing but to be political is another. The struggle against a fascistic, tribalistic autocracy of the Jammeh-type is one for all, including all the NGOs. So Dr. Touray’s venture into politics is not what you present it to be.
Fellow countrywomen and men, let us chart out a viable roadmap without bogging ourselves down to empty rhetoric and intellectual masturbation. Let us debate with the aim of finally coming together to take back our nation. Let us debate with respect and harmony.
This response cannot be attributed to the UDP, without any authentication by the party…
A response from the UDP should be authenticated with a signature and office of the appropriate official..
I hope the heading is corrected..
Is this refutation from Madam Secka herself? The signature conclusion does not bear her name or that of UDP. I am curious before joining the ring.
Mr. Jobateh , I’ll not dare telling you what to do with this response. But if I was you I would not waste time trying to clearify your position because not only people know what your intentions are, but also understand the substance of your argument . I am so disappointed.
I do not believe this is written by UDP. Can’t be.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ALL-KNOWING save The Gambia 2016!
I agree with Max
The expression is very poor in terms of principles. It looks like a handy work of Yaya Jammeh.
Here is my Edition epic to:
UDP’s Response to Madi Jorbateh’s Letter which was aim for the UDP Interim Secretary General and Party Leader Aji Yam Secka
As an obligation within inspirational for commitment and for being the voice of the oppressed Gambians, we the UDP felt in itself, explicitly important and well gratify in responding to Mr. Jobarteh’s ‘request to not select a flag bearer. And instead, just follow or rally behind the leadership of Dr. Isatou Touray’s Independent candidacy for or as presidential contestant’ in the upcoming elections.
In so doing also, we the UDP at Gambians’ cooperativeness for what must remain viable at all cost and in seeing that their God given rights of freedom of expression is undisturbed, have since felt that Mr. Jobarteh as a citizen Gambian obviously has every right to support any political party of his desire and choice.
Nonetheless of within found of his political points of argument, he does not necessarily have to try forcing or calling on the UDP not to name a flag bearer for their party with one of his eyes closed. As a result, I believe we are also entitled to address some of the points he raised in his letter addressed to the leadership of the UDP.
I began by saying that, naturally we felt it bad and agitating to digest some of the ill-considerations used by Mr. Madi Jobarteh in his letter. But we took it as within the norms of being emotionally motivated without enough consideration as he said: “I would like to humbly propose and suggest to you that, UDP of your competent leadership does not necessarily have to identify any candidate at the stage as should instead grape the obvious opportunity and rally behind Madam Isatou’s leadership. As by rallying behind Aishatou’s candidacy as president and by default (free of charge) UDP will therefore put pressure on opposition partied of like the PDOIS, NRP and GDC to comply and nurture the opportunity instead of risk of being on the wrong side of history”.
Mr. Jobarteh is well motivated indeed to see a different political environment in readiness to govern Gambians with true difference comes after the December elections, but he have only failed to resist his emotions getting better of him as Madam Touray’s exploitation and venturing into politics have only just began. That by itself and alone should have also let Mr Jobarteh consider well before penning his views and concerns over the matters he have since raised in his letter to us and as things could also but automatically trigger of being taken as delusional somehow and if not entirely believed by all those who might not be in same trend with drift.
My reasons for pointing out that Mr Jobarteh could simply be misleading himself and to others is because he also said; “UDP needs to approach Madam Aishatou to agree on points and on agendas for a coalition and for what should bring about a unifying government position without many fronts to its core, in terms of distribution of sectors or cabinet locations during such governing body of the country. She has already set herself for the full term. This should not be contentious if you cannot get her reduce it to 3 years. We are in an abnormal situation and therefore there is no point to insist on issues that are not life-threatening such as between 3 and 5 years.”
Mr. Jobarteh acting alone as a go beetweener who so full of insincerity and without even being offered the position by UDP says a lot about his unnecessary believes of insisting that we must approach Aishatou instead of the other way round. Madm Aishatou’s academic achievements might be so relevant to Mr Jobarteh but he must not expect a twenty-year-old political party of the like the UDP of ours to approach an inexperience independent candidate (who had all the time being politically afraid and quite to confront APRC’s tyranity and for over 20 years despite of her Academics results) without being careful. If anything, why didn’t He question the reason to Madam Touray’s sudden felt of politically inspired after many years of isolating people in the hands of Yaya Jammeh’s dictatorship if she not only trying to grape an opportunity hence of Ousainou Darbor’s apparent imprisonment have now given her such a choice LOL?
If not sheer political opportunism by Madi Jobarteh doing the dirty of the devil of our encounter upon his letter to UDP on behalf of Madam Aishatou Touray, then why does he have to say that; “UDP must realize that at this moment the release of Ousainou Darbore and colleagues in jail and justice for the killings and torture of your party members must be UDP’s foremost preoccupation. But this is more difficult to do, if not impossible so long as Jammeh is in power. Thus, UDP must be bluntly be analytical and strategically seeking to facilitate a regime change in order to save its members in jail. The party can do this by leading from behind and therefore dominate or control the environment. At this moment the only way the party can do this is to forge an alliance with Aishatou for the election. Thus, the issue is how UDP uses all its efforts to bring all the parties to support Aishatou and save the nation.”
Why does Mr. Jobarteh does even think that supporting Dr. Touray is the only way out of APRC’s oppression and saving our country, is another question that would keep be bewildering the minds of many who does not share his views. But for him to keep bringing into minds that supporting Aishatou Touray is so crucial in the struggle to save the nation, is not going down well with common sense as the truth of Mr Jobarteh being delusional is also the case of apparently. While with further efforts of setting Madam Aishatou Touray as utterly only but also special in this occasion, Mr. Jobarteh have kicked himself on his own odd part by not realising that, ever since of the launching of UDP in 1996, it has been in the forefront of the struggle to salvage our country from the clutches of Jammeh’s tyranny and political decadence and to date.
It’s an axiom that Dr. Touray and her GAMCOTRAP group have contributed into the fight against the traditional practice of female genital cutting, but things should have not simply ends there as it’s not to be all it should means our citizenry givings and understanding difference in politics or the end of all and for women’s condition in the Gambia.
HAVE YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
IT’S YAYA JAMMEH’S WAYS OF TRYING TO WIDEN HIS DIVID AND RULE GAMBIA
Why the anger and profanity for just calling on the UDP and other opposition parties to rally behind one opposition candidate? Some so called Activists are an embarrassment to the noble course of liberating Gambia from dictatorship. I also hope UDP as a party is not endorsing this position from one of its top activist.
I think mr jobarteh has made a mistake when he called udp not to nominate their presidential candidate. There are so many Gambians with PhDs who didn’t care about The Gambia . Majority of dishonest citizens who prostituted our meager resources are intellectuals . Majority of them helped Jammeh to entrench himself in power . Dr jobarteh is well qualify to be president and she has advocated for rights of women and girls in The Gambia especially in the fight against FGM but there are other countless human rights violations in the country which she has never talk about . Dr Touray should first align herself with udp in order to have any chance of being an independent candidate . Her surrogates must understand that udp has been fighting for rule of law , democracy and constitutionalism since day one and udp is the number one victim of this regime. Udp has the most important political capital should there be an independent candidate . Beside Dr Touray has never been tested as far as politics is concerned . Her late entry into politics is a good if only she Play her card well and she must realize the udp is a force to be reckon with . I like to see her partnership with udp leadership to ensure that there is a change in our country
Although I have warned Alkali Conteh earlier about loose talk against perceived opponents of UDP, I still cannot come to terms that this is coming from him. Anybody with a modicum of life experience, not to mention political experience, will not come up with such. And I will not accept the lame excuse that this is his personal opinion and not representative of UDP. He has accepted to hold a role for the UDP and this comes with serious consequences. Why can’t Conteh leave a responsibility like this to Ebrima Sillah who has the requisite skills to handle sensitive public relation matters. If Alkali is truly interested in promoting the UDP and in ending the dictatorial rule we now have, he has to do the decent thing and withdraw this letter as well as apologise to both Mr Jobarteh and UDP.
Madi Jobarteh engaged the UDP in a very rude manner TELLING the party leadership and the thousands of followers to abandon everything they had worked for Gambia all these years and be blind followers of someone else. How arrogant and disrespectful!!!
If this response is not the right and fitting one I doubt what is. The UDP has her wings stretched and where the home front does not come in if needed the Diaspora will address. And please understand that the Almighty Allah will never save the Gambia as long as we remained the bigoted hypocrites that for far too long don’t want to accept what is right. There are selfish people among us and its about time we start calling out people. We cant get out of the mess we are in by cuddling up to those who only see it as their way or nothing else.
Where did he say that? He suggested for UDP to consider leading from behind this time as a change of strategy and how did that equate to abandoning everything they have worked for? Already UDP’s sterling job for our country has borne fruit for us ordinary citizens and Jammeh cannot take that away. Why do you people think that the only way UDP can be instrumental as change agent is through nominating a presidential candidate. By insisting on that line of action, some of you have started shooting yourselves on the feet as you are beginning to shut the door to another avenue through which we can defeat dictatorship and thereby extending our suffering. Dr Touray’s entrance in the race is a logical conclusion to several years of lack of harmony within the opposition movement. You people have to understand that the predicament that UDP leadership faces is a national tragedy that hurts ordinary citizens as much as it hurts UDP supporters.
Mr jawneh , I think it is too early to conclude that Dr Touray’s “entrance in the race is logical conclusion to several years of lack of harmony within the opposition movement” . As far as we all know there is no indication of that conclusion since she didn’t embark on any initiative publicly which has united the opposition parties since she announced her candidacy and secondly there is no indication that she has the total support of all the oppositions . Dr Touray is a single person who need others in order to make any progress . It is too naive to rush to conclusion that she is the savior when she has been silently shy away from politics in the last 22 years . We are all excited about her qualifications and the experience she has but we must remember that she is a living witness to horrible human rights violations and constitutional prostitution which is so prevalent in our country . I do welcome her entrance in the race and I sense if she play her cards well , she could serve as a compromise and unifying agent in this moment of our political history .
UDP is the agent of change in all this because they are the only one which has broken down the fear factor by standing up to the tyrant and his terror machine . We shouldn’t have memory impairment about the role they played while Dr Touray and others celebrities politicians like mama kandeh were busying dining with the dictator at statehouse and other places. UDP is not facing any predicament which is tragedy because udp made the decision to fight for Gambian people since day one . UDP has lost its members in the process just like other liberation Organizations around the world have lost members in their fight for freedom. They need to be commended and appreciated. In fact it is clear ignorance for any one who truly understand the liberation struggle to call on major political party not to nominate its leader when that party has been consistently fighting for rule of law , democracy and justice . In South Africa , ANC was instrumental in the liberation of the country and that was why they nominated Neldon Mandela to lead the party when he was released from prison . Why are Gambians so dishonest and never want to accept the truth and common sense ? Why do you think that Dr Touray can be a savior when others have tried all these years without success ? Don’t be deceive by her qualifications or gender ? If Dr Touray want to be a leader , she must first align herself with leadership of udp and other parties which has been fighting for change all these years . It is the same reason I have indicated that her success to become coalition leader defends on her relationship with udp leadership . In all this , udp has the biggest influence , political capital and structural and logistics capabilities . If udp give her the support then she lead the coalition.
Balang , you are right that it is hypocrisy and dishonesty which is why we cannot Make any progress . The nasty character I hate about some Gambians is the sense of betrayal, dishonesty and lack of principle in whatever they do. We are truly a honest people we would rally behind a party and leadership which has been fighting for us all these years. UDP is a pragmatic party which is they have an idea of independent candidate in their road map for 2016 election if party led coalition fail but no one can impose any person on udp no matter how qualify he or she is .
Dawda is a confused indocrinated disciple who cannot think for himself . So don’t mind him .
No Dodou he said more than that and please find yourself a copy of his letter he sent to UDP. I thought he started well when he approached privately accordingly but when he tries showing off by bringing the conversation to the public forum even before he gets into any serious conversation with them, that’s the turnoff for many. If the term “you people” meant we the citizens who want to add our views to the discourse at the same time supportive of having a better Gambia either through UDP or any other party, we feel proud. Just like Madi and yourself – a great man I am citizen and have every right to counter, agree, or disagree with Madi. UDP has set out very clear objectives and has laid clear emphasis on the need to come together either through a party led or Independent. I am sure you listened to Adama himself today re-echoing that view. We stand behind them and will follow to whatever destiny good for Gambia. Unless you are a non-believer of democracy, I suggest you don’t see me aiding in the incapacitation of the UDP foot. My regards for the Dr. is great and if the UDP decides to have her lead, I will cry my hearts out and support even financially. But what I am worried about is the surrogates of the Good Dr. TELLING people to join her instead of working with her to identify a candidate which can possibly be her.
Your expression “And please understand that the Almighty Allah will never save the Gambia as long as we remained the bigoted hypocrites that for far too long don’t want to accept what is right.” appear to be unclear, vague, murky and ridiculous partisanship politics!
What are you insinuating? Who “remained the bigoted hypocrites that for far too long don’t want to accept what is right.”? Also difficult to get your point on “what is right”; as we (citizenry each individually entitled to opinion), are expressing and brainstorming to chart course of the nation through elections?
Have you considered complicated nature of existential threats, array of political issues and challenges for opposition front, critical trying times to uproot or topple dictator Jammeh/APRC regime?
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ALL-KNOWING save The Gambia 2016!
I am more of a follower of the unfolding political events in the Gambia recently. I can’t go any profound into its debates now. For that been he case, I may not know what exactly is right but I know for sure something proposed sometime ago during the opposition negotiations for a coalition/united…, was not just terribly wrong but also shameful to propose in any sane coalition/ united fronts’ efforts in a critical time to throw dictatorship in the bin and that is; allocating equal number of voters to candidates. Their can’t be a bigger notion of hypocrisy in the national resolve than the latter. Whoever was the author of such a blueprint………?
Usually I do not enter into this type of debate but seeing Madi Jobarteh’s well -intentioned letter being misconstrued in this manner I can’t help but point out my disappointment. Mr Jobarteh has always brought out wonderful analyses aimed at sensitizing Gambians on ways to bring about political change. Our opposition parties, UDP, NRP, PDOIS, GDC and Dr Touray should put their egos in check and find a way to come together so as to stand a chance in the December polls.
The issue of contest between (amongst) the opposition parties (themselves) in the Gambia DOESN’T exist at the moment; since July 1994 to date it’s one barbaric criminality & murder by kanilai IDOL WORSHIPPING SADIST after another; someone whom we can harmonize ourselves over, unify & mobilise against to get rid off politically…???
It’s TIME to salvage reclaim the country by December before late; the opposition party leaderships must embrace for the winning formula by all means whichever way possible; we owe it to ourselves, our future generations & humanity at large, as in all decent societies world over; we all know Gambia deserves better than what obtains for the past 22 years…
I believe real fair election contests for ALL Gambian political parties can only be observed in a democratic Gambia space, beyond the salvation from the current CHAOTIC MADNESS & MURDER of innocent human beings; where all politicians will contest each other in levelled political field; we can all continue to engage in share of ideas to better Gambia to prosperity for humanity…
What matters presently is how to pull together harmoniously into collective consensus; the opposition leaderships should be ready to iron out any differences for a WINNING FORMULA in whichever way possible; to pave the way to unified front in a SINGLE CANDIDATE to combine all opposition votes for chance to win the mantle of state back from MURDEROUS yaya jammeh BANDITRY CRIMINALITIES which plagued Gambia catastrophically since July 1994…
We are almost there; Insha Allah; Long live the Gambia…
The quoted comments were in response to a previous contributor Dawda. Allah will not help those who refused to help themselves. And please do not see it as partisan. Dawda I am sensing a reincarnation of the NADD debacle in the making and I am worried what it could lead us. I shall say no further only will let you absorb it yet go visit the archives and pull up info on how NADD collapse.
The ALL-KNOWING will only help those who are ready to help themselves..
Those who brought NADD down seized upon a loop hole in the MOU to get away with their acts..
You can be rest assured that if we are going to have another all party agreement, there won’t be any loop holes in the ensuing MOU or whatever they call the agreements, and those who betray our collective endeavour thereafter, will be exposed for all to see.
Note Baboucarr Bojang’s comments published in Freedom Newspaper 15 September 2016 which states that;
“Gambia: The IPC flag bearer selection committee is putting the cart before the horse
For a candidate’s nomination be accepted at the IEC, that person must produce 5000 registered voter’s cards with signatures from each region of the Gambia. It is an electoral law requirement that Dr. Touray MUST first fulfill before official acceptance at the IEC. Therefore for Dr. Touray to be considered as a potential opposition flag bearer nominee, she MUST first fulfill the above requirement by law.
Secondly, Dr. Touray, MUST embark on a countrywide political tour in order for us to assess her popularity amongst the Gambian electoral voters. We must first ascertain that she can bring people to her meetings before selecting her as a potential flag bearer. The reason being no party can FORCE its members, militants or sympathizers to vote by FORCE for a particular candidate. We are not in slavery days. People are FREE to vote for whom they want. No one OWNS the people, no political party owns the people. Only free will can make people vote for candidate X, Y or Z.
One MUST bear in mind this fundamental freedom of the people in mind when selecting a flag bearer.
My advice to IPC is not fall on illegality or unpopularity when selecting a flag bearer.
Thank you for your attention.
Written By Baboucarr Bojang.”
Dawda , why can’t you use your brain and think for yourself . You are always pasting other people’s ideas as if you have no brain cells to think for yourself . It is this reason I always consider you and fellow pdois supporters as ” indocrinated disciples ” . You lack independent thinking . Mr Bojang made his independent thinking , you should learn to think for yourself and tell us your own ideas rather than pasting what foroyaa or Halifa write . I guess in your education , you must be very good at coping what others have done . Since you joined this forum , all you do is to copy and paste someone’s ideas . The comment section was designed to share personal ideas or thoughts but once in while you can make reference to what others have said about the topic under discussion . It becomes a foolish practice to always copy and paste other people’s ideas .
“Do not shoot the messenger!”
Am obliged (due to dire political situation and existential threat of nation requiring decisiveness of opposition towards December 2016 elections) to share any relevant information to be noted or require attention in discourse for critical analysis of issues. This article concerns the Independent candidacy of Dr. Isatou Touray being addressed here and are relevant comments of a concern citizen; for consideration.
Focus on the issues please!
Thank you Dawda for reproducing Baboucar Bojang’s article here. You have done a great service to the community, as not everyone can visit all sites.
Obviously, some will object to your strategy because it exposes their falsehoods and selfish determination to profit from the terrible situation we find ourselves in today…
Mr Bojang’s article contains truth which might be uncomfortable for some because it exposes their shallowness and bankruptcy of ideas..
Their feeble attempts to caricature their opponents only shows their true character: a character trait we are all too familiar with, because we have dealt with it for over 20 good years.
Thank you again and keep up the good work.
The Consensus Flag Bearer will have the backing & be sold to Gambians all over the country by the various political parties & individuals collectively; so the person won’t have such nomination impediments feared….
Once the person is agreed upon, the formal sensitization of the peasantry population can begin in earnest; any deliberate manipulative dragging of feet to consensus is to our perilous disadvantages individually & collectively…
If there can’t be a party lead agreement, by any of the political parties, there should be independent lead of a sort by anyways possible that should work out for us…
The time is NOW & CAN’T be missed for the sake of our collective predicaments alleviation…
Long live the Gambia…
My dear Bajaw, the Primary option is the most viable method of selection. It is the fairest and most convincing method that can be acceptable to the vast majority of people. It is also the most credible way in which no one will blame anyone afterwards.
In terms of resources, i do not forsee much difficulty in financing such a venture. Single parties have been financing their own Caravan tours across this small country. PDOIS has its Caravan tour of the Western region with a bus and several transports for several weeks and are still doing so.
Look, the enthusiasm that would be generated by the process of Primaries across the country will be so huge that nominators who should participate in it would take it upon themselves to come to the regional venues to cast their ballot. The method of voting that was done in 2011 Convention was much more credible and fair than the elections conducted by the IEC. Everything was transparent and nobody has questioned the way it was conducted.
If there are candidates who could not have the 5000 nominators, such candidates should be fair to themselves and to the people and simply give way to other contestants. Many polling booths can be open for the voting process to be swift and smooth.
Hand picking someone who is not popular with the people can be disappointing at the end and with failure those who did it would bear the brunt of the blame. But with credible process, even if there is failure no one will blame anyone because everyone will see that all that was needed to be done was done.
With the Primaries, everyone is accomodated, whether you call yourself Party-Led, Independent Led or what have you. That’s why it is the most fair method to apply in our contest.
There is no Time Constraint, it can be done within a week because a day can be allocated for each region to do it.If it is the convention type, it can be done in one day. So ther is no excuse at all.
What is the stumbling block to progress regarding coalition building is the lack of sincerity among the stakeholders who are the political elites. With sincerity and commitment to the public interest, no one would object to primaries which gives Democracy a chance and can propel the citizenry to affirm their ownership of country and power to chart their own destiny.
Alhaji Yerro Ba
It’s healthy that we’ve all seen the need to salvage the country but how do so politically hinges on our collective consensus, which “find we MUST” or PERISH together as a community…
If the various opposition parties were to integrate in political marriage/s, to serve together in governments, one can always continue to argue merits or demerits in favour or against the primary &/ party-lead options; our current situation is EMERGENCY; for our collective resolve to rescue the Gambia State taken bondage by a LUNATIC MURDEROUS MANIAC…
Whilst the merits in your arguments, it’s unfair & unheard-of for a primary on equal nomination between a merger of political parties all of whom varies in following; where the majority party must have equal share of voters, etc; the major parties too in the supposed coalition would want their numerical strength been acknowledged, respected & reckon with…???
Since the political party leaders won’t see to eyes, over the very same arguments for consensus, the independent neutral figure must be embraced (secondarily &/ alternative) to unify the Gambia fraternity committed to liberation of Gambia FIRST with the ONLY limited time now (left) available…
It’s short sighted assumption if anybody should insinuate or infer that Dr Isatou Touray “can’t” raise nomination in the country on her own accord; anybody, including Isatou herself, aspiring to contest an election would have done all those contingent studies amongst others necessary; Dr Isatou Touray is well-known in parts of Gambia far more than most of us assume due to her participatory grassroots engagements to improve & better human lives to prosper, improve & elevate humanity…
The independent candidate can lead a transitional period where the constitution can be rewritten for referendum; truth & reconciliation commissioned & redressed, etc; political playing field levelled for the various opposition parties to contest one another in divergence of ideas; by end of the independent flag bearer’s term, the various opposition leaders are at liberty to contest each other excluding the transitional ruler who must be barred from the first contesting election for the third republic…
However, transitional ruler must be allowed to subsequently contest in other elections again as to the dictates of the constitution if s/he desires…
Yerro, if we are to do justice to our cause we have to ALL be PREPARED to give bit of FLEXIBILITY, to CONGREGATE TOGETHER to reclaim the motherland from decadence…
Long live the Gambia…
The issue at hand is not only selecting one but how to do it in the most credible manner so that we come out victorious. Your mind is focused on just having anyone person to lead without giving thought to other important details.
Supposed the leaders just close their eyes and select someone just to have one and that person turns out not to be popular with the people and they fail. What would you say?
I bet you the cyber warriors would come back again to castigate the leaders you have pushed to just select one element.
One reason behind the idea of selecting one through Primaries in my view is not only to have one person but to have someone who can win from all sides and in which case he/she will be considered the unifier of all sides as to give a clue that he/she can win from the APRC side as well. That person is the winning candidate for the opposition.
The other reason I believe is, it is the most credible and democratic method which will be applauded nationally and internationally and no one in his right man will blame anyone for failure since it is done in the right way.
Let us not run away from Primaries by those unenlightened statements such as “we did not see it anywhere.’ You are already told that it was done in Venezuela during both the presidential and Parliamentary elections. As an analyst, you should make it your duty to know how it was done there. It was done in Nigeria, our own region, find out how it was done there. It was done in the Gambia in 2011 in a more simpler Convention type and it would have succeeded if all the stakeholders were involved.
I am not blaming anyone or party for not accepting it for it is their right not to do so, but we should not say it cannot be done. It can be done if the will is there.
The problem about the Gambia is that the political elites themselves are not clear about issues and how to solve them and they do not seem to be interested to do so. They are just focused on their interests without having in mind the best way to achieve them.
Suppose the leaders just hand pick Isatou and she turned out not being popular, who would take the blame? Isatou herself should be interested to find out whether she is popular within the broad spectrum of the Gambian populace. This exercise would have been a good test to do so before plunging into an adventure. What makes anyone think Isatou can just come and be more accepted by a strata of people than all the players she found in the field? I am not saying that cannot be done but I am saying we need to find out. Serving a few circumcisers across the country does not in any way indicate that one would receive endorsements from all quarters.
If I were a participant in the talks I would be very enthusiastic to be a part of this popular Primaries to first know my standing before plunging myself in an adventure, failure in which could be disastrous and disappointing since the Gambian people are now very tired in my view.
Barjaw, our situation is unique and we must address it as such. We are dealing with a very difficult environment which therefore requires fresh thinking. Imagine beating a dictator who continually tells the people that he would not step down even if he is defeated in an election. What would we do in that kind of situation should exercise everyone one’s mind. We need a strong character who is well prepared psychologically, intellectually and even physically and has the experience and wherewithal to withstand all whether of pressure but also aufait with international protocols relating to crisis management mechanisms. We must convince each other on merits rather than on sentiments which are not the monopoly of anyone.
You articulate well in your arguments, but you also got to be prepared to see & accept merits equally in your dearly needed collation partners’ arguments too; to strike a balance for compromise achievement; to liberate our souls out of a common predicament; which left us with the independent candidate option evidently; the various opposition parties will always have the democratic options to contest one another freely in a democratic Gambia after liberation; what’s important is how to achieve that change peacefully; whosoever is chosen as the neutral independent collation flag bearer will have to be supported, complimented & backed by all opposition parties & individuals interested in the cause to avert the looming catastrophic strife in the Gambia if we fail & squander the political opportunity; with all the sincere genuine collective efforts together, whosoever is chosen can only garner the same effects as to our collective political strength at the time, & nothing more or less…
The cyber warrior title is flattery; I consider myself dedication (ONLY) to better humanity as my own; to best of ability; I’m very prone to fallibility as human, in my efforts to contribute my quota to serve humanity we all belong; in that we must accept to step on each other’s toes along, in debates & search of ideas to alleviate our collective suffering…
I argue that it’s enough with specific various partisan endeavours all along over the periods to no avail in the past; together we can make it with collective dedication…
Long live the Gambia…
Bajaw, I am of the opinion that my party PDOIS is not rigid when it comes to coalition building and selecting one person. I know that their problem is, who is that one person who can make us win. It is easy for you to sit there and say Dr so and so. But can she do it? This is why she was called to meet with other leaders and convince them that she has the popularity and can win us the presidency. If they are convinced they will surely give her a chance.
But you know what, I am told that she did not even bother to attend the meeting and did not send any representative but only observers who had no authority to speak on her behalf and defend her strategy.
Look, this arrangement cannot be done without discussion and debate and those who cannot even articulate or are not ready to articulate their position regarding a simple process like coalition building cannot convince me that they can run a government better than Jammeh, even if they are given the opportunity, Sorry to say. We should focus our minds to something more credible so that we are not indicted or condemned by history.
Yes Yerro, your fear is necessary as well as anyone else’s; we certainly can’t afford to get this wrong again otherwise we are heading for sort of doom as a people beyond December…
It’s healthy that at least some forms of interactive engagements are happening between the opposition leaderships lately, towards a sort or form of collation consensus building; albeit we should’ve been beyond engagement level, & at heightened campaigns by now, had the leaderships agree unanimously earlier on unified front…
We are told there’s the second round of talks again this week, hopefully all parties & individual stakeholders will all engage in discussions this time around, to iron out differences & consolidate for unanimous consensus flag bearer…
Anybody in any of the opposition camps should encourage our various leaderships to modify & adapt to temporary consensus achievement for our collective liberation determining the future destiny first at all costs…
There’s hope for the future; whilst we dedicate our every strength & breathe towards liberation accomplishment; Insha Allah…
Long live the Gambia…
Bajaw, I’m happy that we have engaged in constructive discussion which is very fruitful at this stage of our political evolution. Thats how it should be as compatriots with the same objective. We PDOIS supporters are doing everything we can to encourage our leaders to compromise but such compromise should not make them to lose sight of the core values that go along with change. We have been struggling for far too long and we are also aware that the struggle does not stop at just changing a bad regime. What will replace the bad regime and its aftermath should as well preoccupy our minds. As you said if we all urge our leaders to forgo their deep desire to become leaders; ie, not to say that they must be the flagbearer at all cost, but to put their fate behind the people without whom one cannot win an election, then we are heading towards the right direction.
The second thing Bajaw is, we should not at this stage be initiating small unnecessary fights among ourselves because that is a panacea for defeat before we even start.
Thanks a lot.
Indeed Yerro, all we ask our noble political leaders is, please strike a compromise in anyway possible; the formula is WINNING at all costs; it doesn’t matter how we do it, with whosoever amongst them chosen; for the URGENT sake of liberation FIRST; for rules of law, justice & sanity to prevail at helm of affairs of State…
You quoted Venezuela, Nigeria, as samples for your primaries selection approach opinion to a consensus flag bearer but those governments were interested to govern together in some sort of marriages on political interests; we must not forget the facts that both Venezuela & Nigeria too weren’t in any forms of urgent emergency of political anarchy like in Gambia’s case Currently….
Our opposition leaders, contrarily today aren’t interested in solid political marriages together; each of them are governments in waiting in their “own rights” PENDING on who amongst them have the best of ideas to better improve Gambia at the material time; BUT it MUST be born in mind it’s LIBERATION FIRST before anything else…???
In which we are confronted with the urgent emergency to rescue the Gambia before the pending civil strife that looms over our heads collectively as a nation community IF not averted PROMPTLY as POSSIBLE…
Whilst those countries can risk their trial & errors; Gambians had our trials before for the past 22 years so CAN’T afford an error this time around; the other opposition partners have suggested their own approaches to flag bearer selection with tangent merits which PDOIS too opposes; thence the need for the independent lead flag bearer as the only alternative who is neutral to lead a transitional government for a period to be agreed upon amongst the leadership memorandum…
You will be surprised to know that facially Dr Isatou Touray is known & identifiable by various local indigenous residents in all parts of the country due to her physical interactive participatory engagements criss-crossing the country than to most of the current political leaders who are known but by names only & can’t be identified casually all over the country should they travel on their own without the political wagon of followers…
Yes as a people “condemned” to destiny together, we MUST compromise to salvage the Gambia FIRST; it doesn’t matter how we do it; we just must get it RIGHT this time around…
Long live the Gambia…