By Suntou Touray
As politics is a matter of fluid changes and difference of opinion. Some segments of Gambians get entangled with situations that requure dynamic observations and situation analysis. Since we jump in love, it becomes difficult to decipher the different kinds of situations. So is the hotly apportions of blame in the National Assembly electioneering. Before getting all the facts some online radios have already as usual opened up their microphones and started the one-sided bashing of their passive guilty party, not surprising UDP and Lawyer Ousainou Darboe. Before the election agenda became a common currency, the online media created a frenzy of anti-elections, but we remain committed to elections, all through to the convention when some came on board with the election agenda.
The absorption of criticism is what creates the template to have consummate democrats, correcting bogus ‘fake news’ and ‘sympathy votes’ base championing of the down trodden campaigners.
Who is it that gave themselves up as cannon fodder for the Gambia than the party and the people being harangued?
Such is politics, let the youths know, public opinion battle is different from reality and reality always wins at the end of the day.
We will brace ourselves up for many ‘fake news’ and lies in an attempt to sell out dogmatic renegade…we have given our all to the coalition and have enough members in the cabinet. We didn’t shun the cabinet in order to be oppositions stakeholders.
We didn’t feel ourselves too big or too good to associate with like-minded freedom fighters, hell we have over embrace unity and brotherhood to the extent, we are attacked for no justifiable cause and we will expect even more fierce fake news attacks in the days, months and years to come. It is all in the interest of promoting and breeding the new Gambian democratic culture…
The Yahya Jammeh style of one ear, one version of events decision making must cease to be part of the Gambian political debates and existence…even the learned brothers/sisters cannot seem to be holistic…One ear, one version of events should not be part of your long winded analysis only to come face to face with the truth later.
No one can force candidates even from the same party to give up contesting for another. The long history of independent candidates contesting in protest is glorious in the Gambia. To the extent, former Minister Sarjo Touray’s own brother Omar Touray from guess who ‘PDOIS’ stood against him in Sami. From Mbemba Tambedou to AK Touray, Buba Baldeh, Muhammed Magassi, Buba Aye Sanneh in our recent past.
The case for tactical alliance is more feasible since for candidates to resign from their party positions and abandon all contact with their base on political grounds is not practical on large scale.
Even if such is agreed, still disgruntled candidates can field themselves up as ‘Independent’ like it always happens. NAMs election is as local and constituency base as it can get. Let the grassroots choose their candidates and we jointly campaign for them. Be it party candidate or otherwise, the choice is for people to choose their local champion. Period.
Coalition is not a political party, and people are been deliberately mislead on that fact.
Suntou, now is not the time not to be blunt in your messages or statements. When I saw the article in Freedomnewspaper website I know it is not balanced. I also suspect some hidden agendas and cynicism behind actions and all the moves. There is political character assassination taking place.
Everybody would like to see a coalition. However, that is only possible when other parties show and demonstrate willingness to do so. When I read in thegambiaecho.com that PDOIS wants to contest for about 20 seats, I suspect that there is cynicism behind the move. In fact the initiative not to accept any ministerial position was the beginning of such cynical moves. Knowing who Halifa is let us forget about the issue of a coalition.
In the first place the party is one of the smallest of all the parties if not the smallest. If PDOIS takes 20 then nothing is definitely left for others. We must be very careful about Halifa. He has a very cynical personality with attributes of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Morrow: I very much doubt that you ever met Hon. Halifa Sallah, nor spent any time discussing or talking about any subject matter. Yet, you Certified and Deputised yourself as a Psychologist or Psychiatrist ready and able to diagnose those you oppose. There is a saying in these parts that is attributed to former President Lyndon B. Johnson, “any Jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a Carpenter to build it”. Hon. Halifa Sallah is the later, he is the Carpenter in the Coalition and therefore, Morrow, you know who they are. Be that as it may be, I pray for the Interest and Welfare of the Gambian people that Devine Intervention and Providence decends on UDP Party Leadership and Militants to Change for the Best. Without Halifa Sallah’s Honest, Able, Level headed, and Mature Disposition, ECOWAS and the Peace Loving Nature of the Gambian people during the Political impasse. As an individual, Hon. Sallah has done more for the Gambia without feeling entitled than most of the current UDP Leadership. Let’s give Credit where Credit is Due. Halifa Sallah’s Cool Mannerism and Introspective Disposition Saved the Our Country, the Gambia.
Mr Bonjang , your assessment of Mr Sallah is absolute bias for all the credit you have given him for recent political impasse and it is indeed cluelessness and lack of understanding of political and security implications of the situation. UDP’s contributions was what led to the coalition formation and its victory. Mr Sallah has done well as spokesman for the coalition but that doesn’t mean he is the only voice within the leadership.
The coalition is dead, the dream of a new Gambia is dead too.
We should put Gambia before any political party, the aim is to create a constitutional democracy; this is a transitional government.
Let them contest the national assembly elections as one team, after the amendments to the Constitution reflects the wishes of the people, at the end of their mandate; the coalition can be dissolve and whoever wishes to associate with any political party can do so without fear or retribution.
PDOIS wanting to contest 20 seats makes no sense at all, Mr Sallah keeps enlightening us about the constitution and what’s in line with the constitution, it’s time we separate our emotions from our reasoning abilities.
I have an issue with how you addressed the story you objected to in the Freedom website. It is your right, to use any platform you have, to defend the UDP and/or Lawyer Darboe, if you feel that criticism directed against him and his party is undeserved or that information being spread about them is incorrect or false.
What you should not do, is to use that same platform to spread your own falsehood and false allegations and innuendo against an opponent who probably has got nothing to do with the story that irritated you, in the first place. Your attack and allegations against PDOIS and Halifa is at best, unjustified, and at worst cowardly, because you are directing your irritation and anger against Freedom towards PDOIS and Halifa, who are absolutely INNOCENT of that crime.
Your reaction to the stories you claim to have read in Freedomnewspaper website and gambiaecho.com, has made you more guilty of cynicism and character assassination, than Freedomnewspaper, and here is why.
You have claimed to read stories about UDP and PDOIS in Freedomnewspaper and gambiaecho.com respectively and based on the information carried thereof, you have reached two different conclusions, though you haven’t given me any reasons to believe that you have made any efforts to verify the veracity of either story.
You claim to instantly recognise that the story carried by the Freedom paper was unbalanced, cynical and intended at character assassination, though you have not checked the veracity of the story, but you have absolutely no doubt that the story in gambiaecho.com was factual. This attitude clearly shows how biased you are here.
What made you conclude that the Freedom story is not true, but that the gambiaecho story is true, if I may ask ? What criteria did you use to reach such a conclusion ?
Then you claimed (about PDOIS) that “the initiative not to accept any ministerial position was the beginning of such cynical moves .” And this is where you stand accused of cynicism and charater assassination, for what is more cynical and more disingenuous than such a claim ? Don’t you know PDOIS’s position on privileged leadership: a leadership that grants itself all sorts and manner of privileges, as the one it replaced ? How long have you followed Gambia’s politics and political discourse?
By the way, I saw Hon.Mai Fatty arrive in what looks like a brand new 4×4 at the Police HQ. The same Mai Fatty who claimed that the kitty is empty. How about substituting the gas guzzling 4×4 with a moderate, small engine vehicle?
PDOIS’s rejection of pomp in office should be celebrated as the way forward for a small, inefficient and poorly resourced economy like ours. There is no cynicism in rejecting ministerial positions. On the contrary, it exposes liars who have spread the lies, during alliance formation efforts, that PDOIS was power hungry and wanted to dominate everything. You should all hang your heads in shame, rather than pop up with more lies and fabrications.
PDOIS wants to serve, but not at the expense of poor tax payers. Can you say that about everyone ? “The proof of the pudding is in the eating !” and time will be the best judge.
I have taken note of the comments in response to my comment above. In this follow-up comment I hope to respond to those comments particularly by Baks and Sidi N. Bojang but it is most importantly to emphasise and elaborate on what I have said above.
Starting with Sidi, it was not Halifa’s intervention or maturity that brought about ECOWAS’ intervention. It would have been a complete different outcome by now had they gone with Halifa’s advice. So if Halifa is saying that it was because of him that ECOWAS came in that is simply not true. In fact I doubt whether Halifa will ever say that. You also make reference to a saying by one President Lyndon B. Johnson. Gambians are very fond of quoting people whose comments/sayings are in relation to situations that are completely different to Gambia settings and circumstances. For me my analyses and critiques are based on Gambia’s prevailing circumstances. Even if I will make comparisons I make sure that it has socio-cultural and socio-economic similarities with The Gambia.
Baks, may I first of all state that I have not directed any comments at Mai Fatty. If Mai does similar acts I will without doubt criticise him. My profession requires me to be independent.
PDOIS’ rejection of positions which they have been yearning for since their creation cannot be celebrated. They joined the coalition to be part of the collation government so when they refused to be part of that government then something is not right. But I am not new to such scenarios. For people from certain sections of our population not to vie for political positions but instead target other positions where they will have greater influence on what goes around in government particularly with regards to resources movements and mobilisations is not new and such behaviours must come to an end now.
To say that PDOIS wants to serve but not at the expense of poor tax payers is simply not an excuse. There is an opportunity to serve those tax payers to improve their ways of life so to decline that offer cannot be excused.
On the other areas you (Baks) mentioned, I found it difficult to respond to most of them. It is not that they are sloppy but you could have put your points better. Nonetheless, let me reiterate what I have said. Freedomnewspaper’s article did not only lack balance but when I read it, it was clear that it had a source and was motivated from within the coalition particularly going by the way the article was written and structured. To say that I regard thegambiaecho’s article to be true is your statement as the author of the article was himself never talking with 100% certainty.
Halifa knows that he can never be a president in The Gambia through popular votes so he is trying all means to go through the “back doors.” If PDOIS gets 20 seats then literally they will have control over the Assembly. He has a very deceitful and cynical personality. What compounds things is his ASD attributes. Gambians must now know that pomposity is inversely proportional to being pragmatic, effective, efficient and productive. When he rejected to serve in Government I initially thought he is aware of the limitations of his skills and capabilities but there is in fact a lot more to it now. And we must be prepared to confront that head-on unless he reverses direction.
Response @Morro Touray..
To begin with, your observation that I could have expressed my views much clearer is noted, but I hope you will understand that some of us are not as proficient in the English language, as you are. So, my apologies.
It is important to understand that Cabinet is, simply put, a tool to assist the President to implement his/her policies in government. The President is the one mandated by the voters to use his/her ideas in government, to mobilise and manage our national resources to achieve our development goals. Cabinet only assists him/her to do this job.
Policy, on the other hand, is simply a transformation or formulation of those ideas and beliefs into a strategy of intent that will also serve as a guide towards realising our development aspirations (political, economic or social), according to the president’s beliefs.
President Barrow comes from a particular political background, with their own ideas and beliefs, and this will naturally form the bases of his policies and be reflected in how he (government) mobilises and manages the nation’s resources.
The Gambia’s political parties and political office aspirants can be divided into two groups: (1). Market oriented capitalist (2).The Socialist. (I am not arguing for the merits/demerits of either here; just stating a fact)
Anyone who follows Gambia’s politics knows that only PDOIS belong to the latter. Everyone else belongs to the former and hence, it is easy for them to work in cabinet. Additionally, PDOIS subscribes to a completely and often, diametrically opposed set of ideas and beliefs to the others, on how our resources should be mobilised and managed.
Viewed from this perspective, it becomes obvious that it will be unfair to the president and the cabinet for PDOIS to accept positions to implement ideas which they don’t agree with. I will give you examples as I progress.
I intend to respond to you by quoting the relevant view point and responding to it.
1. “Baks, may I first of all state that I have not directed any comments at Mai Fatty.”
Comment: I did not say you did. I made that observation to point to the fact that certain aspects of behaviour in government has not changed, and is unlikely to change. Mai Fatty stated that there was no money in the treasury. Doesn’t it make sense that officials should park the gas guzzling 4x4s and use cheaper run vehicles ?
I am certain a PDOIS president would shun such pomp and wastage of scarce state resources and this is one example to show why it is right that PDOIS excused itself from cabinet. Another example would be the huge cost of the inauguration or the notion of first family, etc. These are areas where PDOIS has a position different from the rest.
The late Thomas Sankara did it in Burkina Faso: sold off all expensive state vehicles and settled for the Renault 5, being the cheapest in that country at the time, and banned chauffeur driven officials. I think an executive that inherits a bankrupt treasury should do things differently from its predecessor.
2. “They joined the coalition to be part of the collation government so when they refused to be part of that government then something is not right.”
Comment: What is the bases of your claim above ? Can you show proof that PDOIS joined the coalition to be part of (the Executive arm of) the coalition government? (because that’s what we are talking about here. Let’s not confuse government with the Executive arm of government. It is stated that the 3 arms of GOVERNMENT are: the Executive; the Legislature (NA) and the Judiciary). So PDOIS would still be part of the coalition government if they serve as its National Assembly team.
Furthermore, there is no commitment as per the MOU signed by the alliance partners, for members to serve in the alliance cabinet. Rather, under “Cabinet composition”, it has a four point guideline, as follows:
“1. The Transitional Cabinet shall comprise not more than 19 Ministries.
2. Cabinet position(s) will be allocated in consultation with each signatory stakeholder in the CEC. (Coalition Executive Committee)
3. (c) All Presidential appointments and Removals shall be done in consultation with CEC.
4.( d) In the event of the removal of a Minister the President, will consult the signatory stakeholder affected for proposal before appointment of a replacement.”
3. “To say that I regard thegambiaecho’s article to be true is your statement as the author of the article was himself never talking with 100% certainty.”
Comment: You have treated the news story as a factual story and that is why you have reacted in the way you did. You even stating now that PDOIS plans to control the National Assembly so that Halifa can become president through the “back door”. If you didn’t believe that story to be factual, you wouldn’t be making such a claim.
I must say you have a unique ability by telling the source of a reporter’s information from the way he/she structures their news report.. Amazing feat indeed. You must be a psychic.
2nd response @Morro..
4. “To say that PDOIS wants to serve but not at the expense of poor tax payers is simply not an excuse. There is an opportunity to serve those tax payers to improve their ways of life so to decline that offer cannot be excused.”
Comment: You have completely misunderstood the system of governance we have in The Gambia. Our system provides a variety of avenues to serve the tax payers, without burdening them unnecessarily. PDOIS can still be of immense service to the nation outside of cabinet.
I have given you an example where the same minister who claimed that the treasury is empty, is using a high maintenance, gas guzzling 4×4, to make a short trip from Interior Ministry to Police HQ. There are cheaper alternatives.
On that ocassion, I would say that the service to the tax payers has incurred unnecessary expenses because the official wasn’t ready to forgo the comfort and prestige that many politicians and ordinary people associate with public office.
As far as I know, PDOIS is the only alliance partner that has officially shun such practices in public office and living up to that belief in President Barrow’s cabinet can be a source of conflict or displeasure within the cabinet, which could have negative impact on their performance.
For example, if a PDOIS cabinet member was to decline a chauffeur driven ministerial vehicle, as I am certain they will, wouldn’t this generate mixed feelings within the population, which could in turn, create conflict within cabinet ?
Nonetheless, PDOIS continues to offer their service to the tax payer without incurring extra expenses on the tax payer and one example is Halifa’s advisory role on governance to the president. Hence, it is erroneous to claim that PDOIS has “declined the opportunity to serve those tax payers to improve their ways of life.”
5. “Halifa knows that he can never be a president in The Gambia through popular votes so he is trying all means to go through the “back doors.” If PDOIS gets 20 seats then literally they will have control over the Assembly.”
Comment: I have struggled against the temptation to point out your ignorance, but I cannot avoid doing so here. Are you serious? How many seats are in the National Assembly? How could 20 seats control a National Assembly that has over 50 seats? Even if Halifa has 100% control of the National Assembly, how could that make him president ? Does the National Assembly elect president in the Gambia. The most he could do with control over the assembly is to impeach the President, but that wouldn’t automatically make him president. He still has to contest the popular vote to become president.
Unless you convingly explain how Halifa could be president through the “back door” by controlling the assembly, I will say that you have demonstrated incredible ignorance here.
I have just checked the Gambia Echo website to satisfy myself about the report you relied on to make your claims about PDOIS. The report merely cited “unimpeachable sources” within the Central Committee, but anyone can make such claims. It doesn’t make the claims true and therefore to make such unsubstantiated claims as you did, on the bases on that news report, does show what type of person you are.
And in case you missed it, the same report claimed that the rest of the names of the remaining PDOIS candidates will be provided within 12 hours. That publication was dated 23rd February 2017. It’s 5th March 2017 today and there is still no list of the remaining names. Makes you wonder whether the “unimpeachable sources” are really unimpeachable if they can’t supply the rest of the list more than a week after promising to do so.
6. In responding to Sidi N. about Halifa’s role to involve ECOWAS force, you stated the following:
” It would have been a complete different outcome by now had they gone with Halifa’s advice.”
Comment: I am assuming from the tone of your response, as well as from previous experience with a contributor in your league, that what you are implying here is that Halifa was not supportive of the military component of ECOWAS involvement. If I am right, then I will challenge you to dig as deep as you can in your archive ( there should be plenty material) to provide your proof.
I am asking you to do this because I know it is the first of many lies that started being spread against a man whose comportment, negotiation skills, consistency, humility, bravery and clarity was applauded by all who took interest in Gambia’s political impasse and followed the events closely. The reason these lies started being spread is that the new political environment has allowed many people to see the quality of the man and thus, he earn their respect and admiration, and some have felt threatened by this new reality.
We know whose alliance option would have kept Yaya Jammeh in power because he would have comfortably won the elections.
In relation to ECOWAS military intervention, Halifa is on record for saying that if Gambians failed to solve our problems, others will do so for us, alluding to the option of a military intervention or enforcement force, whatever one wants to call it, on the cards.
It should be known that the time for spreading falsehoods and getting away with it is over.
Bax your agreement doesn’t make sense “Viewed from this perspective, it becomes obvious that it will be unfair to the president and the cabinet for PDOIS to accept positions to implement ideas which they don’t agree with. I will give you examples as I progress”
why did PDOIS join the coalition? You cannot build a mosque and say I want to pray outside. why build the mosque in the first place.
to me if you like praying outside why build a mosque?
The coalition project for political change is not as simple as building/praying in a mosque, but if I go with your analogy, would a man who built a mosque be able to pray in the veranda of the mosque ? Would such a man have the same blessings as those who prayed in the mosque ?
Why did Halifa join the coalition can be answered if you ask a counter question: Why was the coalition necessary ? We all know the political situation that necessitated the coalition and the project is not complete until we accomplish the envisaged reforms. Almost all of the reforms will be legislated in the National Assembly and those who wish to serve the alliance project from there, are as essential as those in the cabinet, if not even more.
Ebrima, do not waste your time. Was it not Halifa who contested with Barrow and others. So is simply ridiculous to say that he did not want to be part of the coalition government. Had he won instead of Barrow what was he going to do? PDOIS’ mentality is unprecedentedly absurd! They look at everybody as ignorant fools when in actual fact they are sleepwalking.
Bax, as always I found it difficult to make sense of your comments. It is noisy and full of irrelevancies. But that is typical of PDOIS and their supporters. However, I will pick up a few things you mentioned.
Policies and National Assembly functions: you have demonstrated a twisted understanding of policies. Your statement on the functions of the NA is absurd. I do not need to go any further.
With regards to my competence to talk about what people write or do, that is what I do day-in-day-out. I have worked on far more complex issues that this very simple matter. As a research and behavioural scientist I can tell you that I can make conclusive analyses about what people write and in fact, for your information, with authority.
About your arithmetic on the National Assembly numbers, my 9 year old child asked me about the number of parties involved, I told him about 7. He did simple computations and concluded that if PDOIS takes 20 that will be 40%. And 30 seats shared between the 6 other parties will mean each will get 5%. So Bax, who has the majority?
He also asked me what was the raison d’être of PDOIS? Are they in politics to be in government or to be obstacles of progress? If PDOIS is not in politics to be in government then they better dissolve that ridiculous party.
On the areas of the independence celebrations, your analysis represent a typical back-warded view of economics by PDOIS. Please go and make simple enquiries as to what could have been the possible economic returns particularly in the areas in tourism, transport, food industry, communications, local and regional economies. But am not surprised. PDOIS’ back-warded economic concepts have not changed since they created that party. Even though the world has moved on, they are still talking about the same twisted economic concepts.
You also mentioned the central committee of the coalition…. thanks for mentioning that. On that note I hope Halifa has been making sure that he has been telling people if he is talking on behalf of the coalition, his party or on his own behalf. I am confident that the noises he is making around are not necessarily on behalf of the coalition but he has been pretending to be doing that.
Because of the simple analyses of my 9 year old child on your twisted views, I will never talk about this issue again with you. What he said and yours speak for themselves and Gambians are looking at them.