The failure of the Gambia Democratic Congress’ to sign a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at selecting a single opposition on December 1st presidential election has not gone down well with many Gambians. One of the concerned Gambians who argued that the GDC must join the Coalition boat is Yero Jallow, a committed jounlisted cum activist. In this letter published below, Mr. Jallow thinks no party should go astray this time around when the Gambia’s crisis has reached a tipping point.
Letter to the GDC: Matter of Gambia’s Opposition Unity
I write to you as a concern citizen, to engage you on a matter at hand, relating to efforts to unite Gambia’s opposition for the forthcoming Presidential elections slated for December 1st 2016.
I followed that on Friday October 14th 2016, the GDC withheld signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as issued on the Press Release, based on mistrust, method of selecting a flag bearer, and that your suggestion of “an open primary” was not considered by GOFER (Courtesy of GDC’s Deputy Leader, Mr. Yusupha Jaiteh, 10/14/2016, Gainako and Diasporium).
I also followed previous and subsequent interviews on Freedom Radio, Gainako, and Fatu Radio conducted with Mr. Jaiteh and GDC Diaspora Group. As I am writing this letter, I also have the Press Release issued by GDC’s party Secretary, Essa Jallow, before me for review. In your interviews with Freedom, GDC argues that it is appealing to the APRC supporters, and so far capable of taking away 36% from the APRC base and predicated that the GDC will pull at least 50% of the overall votes in the Presidential elections. Exciting right! I do not question your gauge method, however I would like to caution that, these numbers could be in fact tricky, and there is just that chance that your number analysis might be misleading for a conclusion.
If I understand your other query on radio, the “swing” votes from the GMC, PPP, and GPDP are of concern because according to Mr. Jaiteh, there is some shady deal to favor some, at the disadvantage of others. I also followed that you are asking for an open primaries as a result of the swing votes above. Agreeably that the 10 people per party per region is too small statistical data for electability test, however time is of essence, and a lot of funding will be needed to conduct a nationwide primary. In my view, none of the processes is flawless. In this case, it is the lesser of the two evils.
We all know that the Gambia comes first. The nation lost its virginity in July of 1994 through the military overthrow; since then we are clawed to tyranny. Some citizens are languishing in jail, others dead, and too many people victimized. The stakes are too high. This opportunity must be utilized. There is no single opposition that can defeat the incumbent Jammeh. The only way it can be done is a unified coalition. That requires all of us to compromise and agree to a process and way forward, going by the majority’s verdict on October 14th where all your other colleagues voted for the 10 people per party per region, I therefore ask the GDC to reconsider, as each of these party leaders, is by far a representation of their followers.
History is in the making. There is a lot more for citizens in a liberated Gambia. Any genuine Gambian must stand tall to be counted in our efforts to liberate the Gambia from the clutches of tyranny. It was the great Madiba of South Africa who once said, “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” In every contest, there must be a leader and a follower. There cannot be two head bulls in the herd; one must lead and it will be in successions of leadership, for obvious reasons. Besides the GDC have nothing to lose at all; as our liberation effort must be concerted. To insist on being chosen as a leader will pose problems, and not at all a good sign, from either the GDC or any other political party. The Gambia is bigger than any one party and/or individual.
I humbly call on the GDC Flag bearer, its Executive leadership, and followers, to reconsider and get back to the coalition efforts and contest the primaries slated for October 30th 2016. Whatever the outcome is, take it, and there is still chance to address your raised concerns on the irregularities. You all should be proud to do this, as it will save us from a three way race, and we all know a three way race favors only Jammeh. On that note, I thank you for giving this letter the urgency it deserve, and I know I am not too small that I cannot be listened to, and you will not be too big that you can’t listen to my expressed concern.
A Concern Citizen.
This letter, without any doubt, is a very sensible call to reason. The selection process agreed is not the best nor required if we have had a normal political dispensation. The coming of the opposition together with a blueprint for unity is a Novum in Gambia’s political culture. The 14th Oct. accord, if you like, has broken the long cultivated calculus that we are unable to agree. That our ethnic make-up is such that our bonds are so fragile that we will be permanently at loggerheads. This agreement, by its own virtue, dismissed that notion.
I think it is not about succumbing to anyone political party or groups. Any process is susceptible to fraud. However, it is important that all players endorse a pragmatic process and give it a credibility.
The UDP , like GDC or PDOIS, have many reasons to question the wisdom of their voting power to par with those of the smaller entities. I believe that this concern is legitimate but there is also an opportunity in that modus operandi. The smaller parties are not par se “dream teams” and are equally not of the same ideology. So their delegates will not be able to conspire to influence the outcome of the selection. In the contrary, I even believe that by integrating them in the process, these parties will be motivated to vote for a winning formula.
Its not all lost for our country with guys like you around Yero. Thank you for that sobering thoughts.
As I have said in my previous article titled ” why GDC leader can’t be trusted “, mama kandeh is an extension of current political dispensation by every measure and standards . Mama is not in politics to liberate Gambians because he refused to talk about core problem of jammeh’s regime , which is human rights violations. Mama kandeh do not care about corruption and mismanagement . In all his political rhetoric , he refused to talks about all the wrongs and crimes committed by Jammeh and his regime. Mama is doing exactly what Jammeh has done when he newly came to power , that is his politics is simply based on lies and deception. Here is why , mama and his surrogates claimed that they are the most popular party in The Gambia which is complete lie . Even pdois is more popular than GDC because pdois has been writing letters and leadership showed commitment in their own rights to highlight disappearance in their newspaper and also show interest in alliance or coalition in the past and present. GDC leadership is engaging in tribal politics just like Jammeh has been engaging in tribal politics. Majority of GDC advocates and supporters in diaspora are Fulani people. Gambians must desist from such backward political process if we want to progress . I believe that mama will never be part of coalition since he is doing jammeh’s bidding . Mama can’t be trusted.
Commendably articulated Yero Jallow; the Gambia must matter to all GENUINE committed comrades engaged in TRUTHFUL unconditional liberation of Gambia first above anything else…
I read, sometime back, in one of Lamin Gano’s articles where he stated GDC’s blatant stance on going it all their way or nothing; in either all others oppositions must join behind the GDC flag bearer OR “…nobody except God only can stop GDC from contesting on their own…”; so this GDC manipulative calculated manoeuvres pretentiously aren’t of any surprises at all; otherwise their flimsy alleged “influence of the other” so-called “small-parties” ISN’T restrictively against them ALONE but EQUALLY poses the same to ALL other parties involved IF being the case…
Everybody, (as can’t be over-emphasized over & over again) must remember the Gambia is BIGGER & GREATER than ANYONE of us singularly, individually & EVEN ALL OF US COLLECTIVELY put TOGETHER…
History is INDELIBLY on record INFINITELY; I hope & pray there can come some flexibility on the sides of GDC to timely take their rightful place amongst the collective Opposition fraternity to a consensus compromise to unified front against, AUTOCRATIC TYRANNICAL murders of the DEVILISH kanilai IDOLATROUS FIEFDOM…
Long live the Gambia…
What did I say before. Jammeh will be there a billion years.
Gambian people are their own worse enemies. They will never come together to form a coalition because everyone is greedy and selfish.
You think Jammeh should be there this long if we are united, and unselfish.
I hate Jammeh but I will support him because I am not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel.
I don’t want my village to be denied of all government programs.
Your reasoning is not sound. Gambians near and far have and are disowning this pretenders disguising as leaders of our country. Blaming us for being held hostaged is at best an insult. At worst it is a means to cast Gambians as undeserving of humane treatment, thus legitimising the wanton inhibition on our liberty and progress respectively.
If you are interested in the restoration of sanity, as you imply to be , you would also contribute your quota in bringing unity and moreover took note of the recent opposition accord paving the way for a unity candidate for the upcoming election.
The refusal of GDC to be part of the opposition umbrella, is not a game changer. They were part of the incumbency not so long ago and the large determined opposition folks do not count them yet as any different from the status quo. So there participating might even split the vote share of Mr.Kandeh’s former party.
What is required, in my view, is genuine election. I am confident that if genuine election is held, with expected opposition convention successfully held, this menace is soon history. An opposition unity is not only about winning this election. It is about to speak with one voice during the pre and post election period.
As to your worries about development being held from your area. Let me ask you which part of the country or village you come from?
I hope you are aware that national redemption is not about area. The repercussions of a bad leadership catches up on all areas regardless of the development that was created or achieved under bad leadership. The developments wrought under bad leadership are not sustainable. Libya and Gbagbo’s Ivory Coast are vivid examples of such naiveness as well as complacency.
A billion years rings omnipotence and omniscience, characteristics, that should rightfully be attributed to God Allah almighty alone, especially in an autocratically proclaimed Islamic republic with a leader and Quran. I urge you @JalangBandeh to visit Nasa on google, instead of the Quran. This will help you to understand the fact that even those who have acquired technolgy to puctured their way out to space for us to be able to be doing what we are doing now, have a little idea what a billion years means to the evolution of human beings and their habit in the cosmos.
You can see how some of us are still confused being gluttons and sycophants, with regards to our faiths in religions and progressive societal know hows. It is even typic of some of our cultural and traditional standards to pretend to be joking or being humorous when indeed one is not. For instance, a typical glutton who have the intention to extort and such your blood all his life span is talking about a billion years to make you laugh.
The evident coldblooded nature of certain citizen’s mindsets is an obstacle well rooted in the way of the Gambia’s resolve of it’s status quo. It is difficult for laymen like me to put this philosophically simple and straight but what I want to say is; wisdom cannot be indoctrinated to me thus I am permanently self-tasked in seeking to find it. Didn’t Charles taylor promised the sub-region war in time to come…..? Learning the evil from the evil wish of that warmonger is one example why and how Africans do learn backwards. Some times they do advise you, look!, ‘you can’t change the Gambia. Who are you to think you can change something in the Gambia or the people. This is how collective wisdom lacks.