I am glad that sanity has finally prevailed.
I would like to infinitely thank our fathers, mothers, uncles, brothers and sisters for a job well done. They said all sorts of things against you; that you are not educated; that you are “tribal” which is an insult in all forms of its meaning; that they are the intellectuals; that they are the experts; that they are better positioned to define your destiny than yourselves.
However, from the word go it is obvious that you always know what you want and what is good for the Gambia and Gambians in general. You fought against occupation of colonial masters; you ensured that your voices are respected both in the country’s independence election and in the republican referendum.
The worst happened to you in Yahya Jammeh’s regime… openly insulted not to mention various derogatory remarks. There were people who connived with Yahya Jammeh to impose a constitution on you which obviously violates your fundamental human rights. And what happened? They presented themselves as the so-called constitutional experts. They said you have your party’s interest and not the Gambia’s interest. But you are the masters of your own destiny and no one can be your experts. They do not want to hear, learn or accept realities. So you must continue to be on the watch. Thank you. I have always believed in YOU and you have not disappointed me!
To drink from a well to quench your thirst, and then turn around to curse the builders for the imperfections of the well, is not the signs of a sincere person.
Such is the characteristics of a very selfish and ungrateful person, especially when they have been mute during the construction period of the well.
Bax, i am sorry but that analogy suit you very well because if you could remember, you are here on the record to dismiss the efforts of those who were constructing the well for everyone to drink . You called their efforts distraction and that they were threat to peace and stability of the country. You must also remember that you applauded jammeh’s security services for their diligent efforts at the time to stop peaceful protesters. This is just a reminder and for all of us to pay special attention to those who built or construct the well . How about those people like you who said that the well shouldn’t be constructed because the builders were trouble makers and they are distractors ? Just think about that for a moment.
#Bax, this is a sensational commentary. I read it several times and the more I read it the more I embrace the message and see different meanings to it all. It is short but has deep meanings. So I cannot see the sort of analogy you want to come up with here. What #Morro said is simple and easy to understand.
Thank you #Morro
@Morro I cannot add anything to what you have said. It is concise and short. Things are now very clear to all in Gambia. So let us see what the winners will do for the country in the National Assembly. I am personally happy that almost all the major parties are represented there. What I cannot understand is why Kebba Yoro got only 2 votes in Janjanbureh? Can someone please explain this to me? I think people of Janjanbureh should reflect on that.
@Bax I have been seeing Morro’s contributions here for a very long time now. So it is not accurate that he/she has been mute. Probably you have not been liking his comments. After all people have different ways to contribute and not to come out in the open making pronouncements in online radios as others feel comfortable doing. I have in fact responded to his/her comments a number of times.
@Bax but I am not surprised. What you are doing is what losers do (laughed). “They do not want to hear, learn or accept realities.” See you in the evening when I close from work.
Pamodou B. You misunderstand me. I wasn’t referring to Morro for being mute during the construction period. I will explain in my response to Maxs.
Thanks for engagement.
Quote: “There were people who connived with Yahya Jammeh to impose a constitution on you which obviously violates your fundamental human rights. And what happened? They presented themselves as the so-called constitutional experts. ”
Max, the reference to the “imposition of a constitution” on “you”, connivance with Yaya Jammeh and the self presentation as “constitutional experts” is probably not lost on you, but if it did, then I will point it out to you that this writer was referring to the referrandum that ushered in multiparty contest in 1996.
In Morro’s view, as expressed above, some people connived with Yaya Jammeh to impose a constitution on “you”….(the subject of this “you” is actually very interesting, but that’s beside the point). This is not a new charge. It is a charge levelled against the PDOIS Leadership for campaigning for a “YES” vote in the referrandum.
In 1994, we had the AFPRC Junta as head of government; the constitution was suspended and government was run by Decrees. The international community had placed sanctions on the Gambia and the country itself, internally, was tense. We needed to get out of that situation and into a situation that would usher in a political environment that allows multiparty contest and a move towards democratic governance, or at least, one that is acceptable to our development partners, so that sanctions would be eased.
PDOIS understood the political dynamics very much at the time and campaigned for a “Yes” vote, believing that the NAMS, once elected, would bring the constitution up to democratic standards. The Gambian electorate voted “Yes” for the constitution, but unfortunately, voted NAMS who failed the nation.
Morro supports UDP and Ousainou Darboe, but faults Halifa Sallah and PDOIS for supporting a “Yes” vote.
Here’s where my observations/analogy is relevant.
1. It is the same constitution that the groups of people who formed the UDP relied on to create and register a party;
2. It is the same constitution that Lawyer Darboe relied on to register and contest the 1996 Presidential Election and all other subsequent elections, until he got disqualified by age;
3. It is the same constitution that the UDP (the party that Morro supports) relied on to sponsor candidates to the NA elections, who relied on the same constitution to enjoy the benefits of being a NAM;
This constitution (the well) was imperfect, but that did not stop Morro’s party, whose members level this charge against PDOIS, from relying on it to pursue and achieve their political aims. (drinking from the well). The analogy to a man who drinks from a well, only to criticise the builders for the imperfections of the well, could not be more apt.
PDOIS stood up and campaigned for a “Yes” vote because they believed in it. Where were those who did not believe in the draft constitution ? Why didn’t they get up and campaign for a “No” vote. So Pamodou B., these are the ones who were mute. Ousainou Darboe, we are told, defended Jawara’s ministers, but what has that got to do with the political process ? He did a wonderful job, no doubt, but that was his profession and line of work. It’s got nothing to do with the politics and political struggle to restore our democracy in the country during the AFPRC era.
In fact, we are told that even after the resumption of party politics, Ousainou Darboe still needs some convincing to accept the leadership of the already formed and possibly, registered UDP party. We are talking about a UDP victory today because we had an imperfect constitution in 1996. So it is truly a sign of insincerity for those who are enjoying the fruits of our political evolution today, to curse those who supported the instruments which set that process in motion, some 22 years ago. This is the essence of my analogy.
“To drink from a well to quench your thirst, only to curse the builders for the imperfections of the well, is a sign of insincerity. “
Bax, I have missed these comments. Interesting points raised by Max, Pamodou B and Tijan Drame.
I am surprised that you (Bax) take my statement to be referring to PDOIS. I did not see anywhere where I mentioned PDOIS. Nonetheless, I would like to make a couple of points clear amongst lots of issues you mentioned in your comments.
Your justification of PDOIS campaigning for a “Yes” in the 1996 constitution referendum is simply incomprehensible. For your information UDP’s participation in Gambian politics under a constitution riddled with inconsistencies and provisions of human rights violations is in no way an endorsement or acceptance of that constitution.
Almost all the African countries fought for their independence (peacefully or through arms struggle) under constitutions which violates their rights in all respects. Gambia is one of those that pursued peaceful means to gain independence. When the ANC contested in South Africa’s elections following the release of late Nelson Mandela, it was under an Apartheid constitution which I do not need to talk about. When Mandela was travelling to USA he could not travel their as an ANC member and for that matter alternative arrangements had to be made for him to facilitate his trip to the US following his release from prison. This is because the US regards ANC as a terrorist organisation and until today the ANC is a terrorist organisation in the US.
Our forefather’s participation in politics to gain independence does not mean acceptance or endorsement of the constitutions in those days. In fact it is the contrary. Nelson Mandela participating in South African politics does not mean acceptance of the Apartheid constitution. In fact it is the contrary. Mandela not travelling as an ANC member to the US does not mean acceptance or endorsement of the US categorisation of ANC as a terrorist organisation. In fact it is the contrary. So for that matter I want to put to you that UDP’s participation in Gambian politics does not indicate their acceptance or endorsement of the flawed constitution. Regardless of the difficult environment UDP was struggling to get rid of a dictatorship and a barbaric regime through democratic and peaceful means. So you cannot translate that to mean their acceptance of the regime and its instruments of repression.
I now hope that PDOIS and its supporters will now stop advancing these sorts of excuses to justify their support for the 1997 constitution. There can be no justification for PDOIS’ cooperation with AFPRC/APRC other than the 1997 constitution.
@Max: “. You called their efforts distraction and that they were threat to peace and stability of the country.”
You have distorted and misrepresented my views so much and for long, that I had to come back to put things in their proper perspective.
Yes Max, I did say the demonstrations were a distraction from the parties’ preparations for the 2016 Presidential elections. I am not sure about saying anything relating to threat to peace and stability, but I do remember saying that the state had the duty to enforce law and order.
Why were the demonstrations a distraction?
Simple, because political activities had to be completed suspended at a time when other parties, who had already identified their Presidential candidates, were getting into campaign gear. Political activities did not resume until after the trial. Everyone was occupied by that trial.
How wasn’t that a distraction from preparations for 2016 Presidential elections. That’s the proper angle to understand my opinion; not the foolish insinuations you continuously concoct.
Does saying that the state has the duty to enforce law and order mean the same as supporting the actions of the security? Come on Max, stop this devilish behaviour. I did not support the brutal, violent approach of the security, but unless you want to live in a chaotic society, you must agree that the state must enforce law and order.
By the way, wasn’t it you who stated that ANY PARTY THAT TOOK PART IN THE ELECTIONS WITHOUT ELECTORAL REFORM WAS AN AGENT OF DICTATORSHIP, soon after PDOIS announced the selection of their Presidential candidate? Of course, UDP hasn’t done so at the time, so you took a shot at PDOIS. Wonder whether you still stand by that statement, because all parties later followed PDOIS and showed their readiness to participate in the elections.
Bax , do you remember my position ” all options are on the table ” as far as jammeh was in power . This was why I fully supported ECOWAS Military intervention even in the last hour to flush him out while your leadership was prepared to commit suicide in their desire to meet jammeh at state house to discuss the transition process. Thanks to brilliant thinking of some leaders , the suicide mission was averted and today we have fully installed government in The Gambia.
Of course, you are on record here to dismiss the efforts of peaceful protesters and you went further to applaud the jammeh’s regime security forces intervention to ensure that peace and stability remained in The Gambia. We do have the transcripts of that discussion on the record and if you deny it, I will pull it up in order to keep you honest. Your main concern at the time was about the peace and stability. In fact if you could remember I even told you ” to shut up ” in one of your commentaries and you threatened to quit for awhile but your in-law, Dida intervened and admonished you that maxs was right at the time . So please do not let me pull up the transcripts because it was embarrassing to see how you affectionately advocated for the peace and stability of the country while you hatefully dismissed the efforts of peaceful protesters.
Please pull up all the exchanges. It will help to put the issues into perspective.
I suggested to quit for a bit because sensible discussion wasn’t possible.
Yourself and my in law misunderstood my use of the phrase “emotional nature” of the incident, to mean that I meant the demonstrators acted according to their emotions, whilst what I actually meant was that the reaction of the forum was too emotionally charged to have a sensible discussion.
You can pull as much as you want from those exchanges.
Whether you like it or not, whether it is under the Jammeh regime or not, the state always has the duty to maintain law & order (where the laws being enforced are passed by our reps), but that must be in accordance with legal and proportional actions.
Again, you should pull out the conversation where I actually applauded the actions of the security. I demand that you do.
I told you before that you are the sort of individual who has no independent position. You only wait for UDP to take a position before you align yourself with that.
You were opposed to elections before reform and viewed those preparing for it as agents of dictatorship, because UDP did not indicate their readiness at the time. Now that they also took part without any reforms, it (elections without reforms) now fits into your “all options on the table”.
I may actually have drawn your attention to that very slogan when you were criticising PDOIS for preparing for elections and you must have tried to explain yourself away. It will be good to pull up those exchanges too.
Bax , I think you need to agree with me that calling peaceful protest as distraction was the worst mistake you can make politically at the time . Since you acknowledged your own words I don’t think it is necessary to produce the exchange.
There are few events I want to remind you about which played significant contributions to demise of jammeh’s regime. They are peaceful protest, jammeh’s tribal vitriol and the kidnapping of children in The Gambia prior to election. Peaceful protest was significant and it was never a distraction but a constitutional rights of citizens. This is why it was very wrong for you to state that it was a distraction. Life have been lost and people were tortured then for you to turn around and called such situation a distraction was very unfortunate and lack of respect for the rights of your fellow citizens.
Bax , I was never opposed to election and It was this reason that I called on opposition parties to form a coalition or party led alliance. So my position was ” all options are the table “. I supported even sniper attack to get rid of jammeh . My thinking was that he was a dangerous man who needed to be eliminated. I think I can said for sure that what I believed and knew about jammeh was right because without military intervention he would still be sitting in statehouse. Election alone did not removed him from power, that is known to everyone.
1. You did not have to mention PDOIS for the connection to be made by keen observers. Your last statement, relating to PDOIS cooperation with AFPRC/APRC, actually proved me right.
2. UDP could not have endorsed the flawed (draft) constitution that was “imposed” on “you” because it (UDP) wasn’t around. UDP only came into being when the battle to return the country to multiparty contest was won.
3. Mandela and ANC did not agree to partake in multiparty elections because they endorsed the whole Apartheid Constitution, but they were pragmatic enough to recognise that it was sufficient to begin the political process of change towards a more inclusive system of government.
4. PDOIS did not campaign for a “Yes” vote in 1996 because they endorsed the whole of the 1996/97 constitution, but they were pragmatic enough to see that it was sufficient, even in that flawed state, to begin the process of the return to multiparty contest and democracy.
5. If you excused UDP for utilising the flawed constitution to pursue their political aim for change, you should be fair and excuse PDOIS for campaigning for a “Yes” vote in 1994 for the same reasons. Why the double standards ?
6. The recorded verdict of history is that the PDOIS Leadership stood up and fought for the restoration of our rights as the sovereign citizens of The Gambia, from whom the mandate and consent to rule must be sought, at a time when many politicians and prominent citizens either took “political holiday”, were cowed into submission or didn’t show any interest.
It is obvious that you are just rambling.
Whether UDP came into existence before or after is irrelevant. What is important is that they have always pointed out the inconsistencies and flawed provisions in the constitution. It is known to the whole world that ANC neither recognised nor accepted the sufficiency of the Apartheid constitution. That’s what they were sent into exile for, killed and sent into prison to mention a few of the numerous barbaric crimes committed by the Apartheid regime. Just as the crimes committed by Yahya Jammeh.
Thanks for reiterating PDOIS’ role in the establishment of the flawed constitution. No wonder we have been in this constitutional quagmire.
From what you have said now I am convinced you are simply rambling.
Morro , I believe that among many good reasons why it took so long to remove jammeh from power was because PDOIS never acknowledged and recognized that there was dictatorship in The Gambia. Halifa refused to acknowledge the dictatorship and the dictator. UDP never had dancing partner who truly understood how to dance . PDOIS was busy writing unsolicited advisory letters to the dictator while they refused to call him what he was a brutal dictator. Jammeh was a progeny of PDOIS leadership political ideology which was why they never criticized him personally about his political decisions. All their criticism were generalized which can be applicable to any given country . It was online media reports which truly exposed jammeh and criticized him . Before the election, foroyaa newspaper dispelled the child kidnap stories when the propaganda was going on to help the population to disown jammeh regime . That information warfare was very effective as it brought the country to near standstill because no serious classes took place across the country. That was the Turning point . Online media truly played the most important role to get rid of jammeh . PDOIS by all indications helped in constitutional entrenchment of dictatorship from the beginning to the end .
You are right Max.
These observations are what all genuine observers are talking about.
People cannot recall when they (PDOIS) pointed out the atrocities to him (Yahya) but instead kept on writing letters and talking about issues on the surface or using general terms; saying things that everyone knows.
Like I stated Morro, whether you call it rambling or not, I have recounted the recorded verdict of history and there is nothing you can do to change it.
If your claim is that the UDP did not endorse the constitution that was voted for at the referendum, then their creation is relevant because that will expose any attempts to deceive people here, so that those who weren’t around will know the truth.
Again, I will repeat it. PDOIS Leadership knew that we needed a legal instrument, called constitution, to begin the process of moving Gambia from that heightened period of uncertainty, to a more stable and internationally accepted period of multiparty contest and democratic governance. The old constitution was suspended by the military government and they showed no intention of reinstating it. No one was calling for its reinstatement, anyway.
And if we had voted “No” and rejected that draft constitution, the process would just have been prolonged. Or are you among those who are claiming today that the military would have handed to an interim civilian government and gone back to barracks ?
And I will repeat my question again. Where were the people that claimed today, to be against the (draft) constitution yesterday ? Why didn’t they get up and campaign for a “No” vote ?
Morro, you guys need to get off your high horses and show a bit of humility. If UDP pointed out a hundred inconsistencies and flawed provisions in the constitution, PDOIS has shown THREE TIMES MORE.
Why would the ANC agree to take part in the constitutional process in South Africa, if they weren’t convinced that the section of the Apartheid era constitution that dealt with elections for that period, was sufficient to begin the process of democratic change ? Does that mean they accepted the WHOLE constitution as sufficient ? Of course, not.
PDOIS campaigning for a “Yes” vote at the referendum doesn’t mean that they accepted the entirety of the draft constitution, but they recognised that it was sufficient to begin the process of change. If you can’t see and understand that, then I’ve made a terrible mistake about you.
I have nothing to hide and I will say it as I see it. Loss of life is always unfortunate and regrettable, but it must never deter us from speaking the truth.
There is no need to prolong this discussion, but just to pursue this point:
You made it clear that any party that contested elections without reforms, was an agent of dictatorship. Didn’t you know about your “all options on the table”, when you made that statement, soon after PDOIS announced their presidential candidate?
Why didn’t you see that move to prepare for elections, as an added element to your “all options on the table” slogan. You criticised the decision because UDP had suspended selection of their presidential candidate due to the quagmire they were in.
When the trial was over and the UDP began to prepare for elections, by inviting applications for presidential candidates and eventually selected Adama Barrow, you did not level the same criticism against them, did you ? There was still no electoral reform.
Why didn’t you call UDP an agent of dictatorship for preparing to take part in elections before reforms, just like you did with PDOIS, when they announced their presidential candidate ?
Instead, you shifted your attention towards Halifa and PDOIS and became a rabid critic of whatever they did or say, even when their preferred non partisan option became the “magic” formular for the opposition, and you are still at it, even blaming them for the total collapse of the UDP proposed and supported Tactical Alliance.
And you have the nerves to call yourself, “Independent”? Please, stop abusing the word.
Is everything surrounding the impasse known to us ? Absolutely not. There is still a lot that happened behind the scenes that we don’t know. So we couldn’t say for definite that Jamneh would not have stepped down without the military intervention. He was bragging and giving the impression that he was in total control and had the loyalty of the troops, but Jammeh always brags. The reality might have been something else. Time will be the judge.
The only agent of military dictatorship at the time I have indicated and continue to say was PDOIS. I have never said that any political party which participated in election was an agent of dictatorship. So please don’t make allegations here. By the way , did you see Halifa Sallah’s complain about three years coalition agreement?
February 25, 2016 at 7:13 AM
Without coalition and electoral reform , any party which contest in this election is tantamount to legitimize dictatorship and such efforts are futile action.”
Bax , thank you very much for bringing the transcript of my statement. As you can see I emphasized at the time that ” without coalition and electoral reforms any party which contest this election is tantamount to legitimize dictatorship and such efforts are futile action “.
This statement indicate that I emphasized both the importance of coalition and electoral reforms for any effective electoral victory. I went further to indicate that any party which contest the election is tantamount to legitimize dictatorship because I believe that no individual party can Win the election without electoral reforms or coalition . I am 100% right about that . President Barrow won because of coalition even though we don’t have electoral reform. You can see that I was a very strong advocate for coalition and electoral reforms which was why I fought very hard to ensure that we achieved victory. I am vindicated because we had a coalition which helped us to victory.
Now look at your statement below and tell readers whether your allegation is the same as my statements above .
Bax’s allegation: max said -Any party that took part in the election without electoral reform was an agent of dictatorship ” .
My statement: “Without coalition and electoral reform, any party which contest in this election is tantamount to legitimize dictatorship and such efforts are futile actions ” .
Bax , you have distorted my comments to suit your narrow agenda here . My statement is totally different from the allegation you made about my position. I think you need to take personal responsibility for distortion of my statements or false claims. If you deny the accuracy of my statements then you believe that any party could have won the election without coalition or electoral reform which is not a true statement. Therefore I give you a F grade for misleading ,misinformation and misrepresentation of my view and position .
If you didn’t say that I distorted and misrepresented your position, I would not have come back. Are you really serious that I misrepresented your view here.
Your view was very clear. You said that unless (coalition and) reforms happen, any party that participated in the elections was legitimizing dictatorship. Isn’t that (legitimizing dictatorship) the same as “Agent of dictatorship?”. So, I DID NOT distort your view on that. I just stated your opinion without using the same words.
Let me recap what I stated again. When PDOIS reached a certain stage of their pre-election preparations, you attacked them for being agents of dictatorship, but when UDP reached the same stage, under the same political conditions, you were completely mute. For an “independent analyst”, such a behaviour is concerning.
You made me laugh now by claiming that you have been vindicated. Really Maxs, when and how have you been vindicated ? Tell me please.
As far as I know, no reforms took place, so you could not have been vindicated on that position.
The coalition that was eventually formed did not vindicate you either, because it was not the format you supported. Yes, it was a coalition alright, but there are significant differences between this coalition and what you supported all along.
1. You supported a party led coalition. (this wasn’t party led)
2. You supported automatic recognition of UDP Leader as flag bearer. (this coalition elected flag bearer)
3. You supported use of UDP party colour and symbols. (this coalition created its own colour and symbol, not associated with any party).
4. You supported the incorporation of the reform agenda of the “smaller” parties into a broader UDP reform agenda (this coalition has agreed to undertake a common reform agenda…Well, that was, until a spanner was put in the works)
So please I beg, don’t try to pull wool over our eyes.
Bax , come on you are not serious. So you are implying that I did not support the coalition because it was not the format I like to see even though I was a strong advocate and supporter of the coalition. I will not bother to engage you on this topic because you have employed your favorite word “Distraction” to deviate from taking personal responsibility for allegations. How about thousand of citizens who supported and voted for President Barrow but they believe in UDP led alliance instead of independent led coalition? I think you are just making noise now. Don’t you know that politics is all about compromise. I think your argument is now a futile one .
You need to acknowledge that you misrepresented my view and positions. At least you should own your mistake.