By Abdoulie John
President Adama Barrow’s Coalition partners agreed on a three-year transition period that has left the Gambian leader’s fate in limbo. President Barrow swore to rule the Gambia for a five-year mandate, which is in line with the constitution. The question that is left unanswered is whether President Barrow will flow with the constitution or the Coalition partnership agreement. Even Barrow finds himself trapped, which is why he has thrown the ball into the people’s court. By going either way, Mr. Barrow will not escape blame. He wants the very Gambians who elected him into office on December 1st to decide his fate.
“It is left to Gambians to answer the question,” Adama Barrow said when asked whether he would step down at the end of the transition period. It is an answer that leaves some journalists at last week’s news conference with a taste of dissatisfaction.
In the run up to December 2016 Presidential elections, opposition parties adopted a coalition manifesto outlining a three-year transition period to fix ousted President Yahya Jammeh’s mess before calling for a levelled playing general elections. Some interest groups urge President Barrow to abide by the October 17, 2016 Coalition agreement. Under this agreement, the Head of State should call for fresh polls after creating “a levelled playing field.”
President Barrow has enjoyed and continues to enjoy high public ratings but his latest utterance has already sparked mixed reactions.
Like anything Gambian, the presidential term quagmire has become trending on social media. “It is in the best interest of the Gambia for President Adama Barrow to serve for 5 years as constituted than serve for 3 years as gently agreed upon under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),” a committed Gambian diasporan activist Alhagie Sowe wrote on his Facebook wall. “I was at first in support of honouring the MOU but after considering the risks and uncertainties it may harbour, I have now come to terms that it was just a vehicle we needed to get us to where we are today and that’s where it should stop.”
Sweden-based activist disagreed with Sowe’s take. Benny Ek-Williamsson wants political parties to take seriously an agreement that has cemented a strong collaboration between political parties that collectively sent dictator Jammeh packing. “But I trust they will solve this in a way that will be good,” he said.
……..[I have now come to terms that it was just a vehicle to get us to where we are today and that’s where it should stop]-??? God of his mercy! Coming across such a remark makes me tend to believe the layman’s saying of many grandfathers and great grandfathers that politics is a game of hypocrisy at best or at least at moments like this in ours’ process. It is amazing to see how fellow citizens could demonstrate be this cynically smart kinds at a fragile point in time of the Gambia’s democratisation process. How can the coalition’s agreements be deemed unconstitutional when indeed it was those agreements that helped to stand them on firm grounds to oust the terrible despotic regime of 22years?? What to some means, “constitutional”? If anyone thinks it is to flip through pages to refer to something in that ‘book’, in order to be able to dictate a method for rightful governance of a civil society…., my suggestion is definitely NO. Our actions, words or even our intentions may be constitutional or unconstitutional even if they may not be categorically stipulated in the book of constitution. The constitution in my layman’s point of view is a guide to good reasoning but not our very senses of reasoning. Someone’s got to come back to his senses and I must admit I’ll be glad even if that one has to be me myself.
May GOD help this government in all their good efforts and shed light in our hearts as fellow citizens of the Gambia.
It is unthinkable to think that our own very literates will come out here to champion the dusting of our constitution for a mare agreement between heads of political parties without reasoning on its implications. What will happen to our law makers in the national assembly who were voted on a five year term by the electorates? How is President Barrow going to tell half of our population that went to the polls on a five year term? Are we going to suspend and extend the term of our local government officials because we want to respect the MOU signed by the parties? Are Gambians going to cherry pick parts of the constitution and leave the rest for the MOU? I can go on and on without mentioning the financial waste involved.
President Barrow swore to the constitution that mandated him for a five year term and that must be respected over the so call MOU tailored by some selfish elements whose hunger for presidency cannot be cured without plunging our country into oblivion. The Gambia had suffered enough from Mr impossible (Halifa Sallah) for too long now and its about time we face him and speak the truth to him. Gambians want to rebuild our economy and the broken society before we waste our merger resources on meaningless elections. Period.
Fabou,you would have never stepped your foot in The Gambia if not for the efforts of Halifa and others. Was Barrow not aware of all what you are advancing as reasons not to honour the agreement that brought him to power at the time he signed that MOU? Typical UDP style of doing things, no wonder PDOIS refused to join the UDP in a coalition without any conditionality. You know you were lying when you said Gambians have suffered enough from Halifa, in fact it is the very opposite and this is why he was voted by the University of The Gambia STUDENT UNION as the POLITICIAN of THE YEAR.Anybody who knows you, knows that you have always been a UDP activist but that just stops at the VOUS and never on any political platform. If you today have the audacity and the effrontery to stand at a political platform and spew your nonsense on our respectable political leaders, it is thanks to Halifa and not any of your party executive who were languishing in jail.
Bamba, it is sickening to see you dishonestly spewed your ignorance and total disregard to the contribution made by Mr Fabou Sanneh who is remarkably one of the most important political strategists and supporters of diaspora political activism. Without diaspora UDP political activism, Gambia would still be in dictatorship. UDP political activists like Mr Sanneh are key to coalition victories in both presidential and parliamentary elections. Mr Sanneh’s selfless contributions has led to liberation of country from 22 years of military dictatorship. In the past 22 years, When Halifa Sallah refused to meet with the diaspora to find out the best way to remove the dictator, Mr Sanneh was in forefront of that fight . Halifa Sallah with all his rhetoric, never have any respect for diaspora whose efforts led to the removal of the dictator. Mr Sanneh’s love for the country and her citizens has always been part of who he is , a man with impeccable character who fought for the common interest of Gambian people since day one when jammeh illegally took power while Mr Sallah pioneered, advocated and supported the draft constitution which served as a instrument to entrench jammeh in power for 22 long years. People like Mr Sanneh , could have enjoyed their American dream and focused on their families but they have invested so much more resources, time and energy to enlighten Gambian people about military dictatorship which Halifa Sallah never wanted to admit or recognize.
Today , thousands of fellow citizens can return to the country thanks to the efforts of tireless individuals like Fabou Sanneh and others .
I hope you withdraw your ignorance comments about his remarkable contributions to liberate our country from military dictatorship.
”Today, thousands of fellow citizens can return to the country thanks to the efforts of tireless individuals like Fabou Sanneh and others .”
Max, How did that happen on 1st December 2016 minus the contribution of Halifa Sallah? The undeniable answer is zero.
To refuse to accept that will only saw how dishonest and ungrateful people can sometimes be.
Max Jones for you to assume that the change of government was as a result of the exclusive efforts of the the UDP diaspora activism,shows how untruthful.disingenous, and disrespectful you are to the efforts our political leaders who formed the coalition government. For how long has the UDP diaspora activism being ongoing without any effect on the rule by Yaya Jammeh? Fabou’s involvement was just to cement his asylum in the US and nothing else as he was not on any gainful employment in The Gambia. He was just receiving a pittance at MRC on periodic bases and thanks to Yaya Jammeh’s bad governance he left to the US as an asylee through that UDP false attestation document that led the present finance minister in trouble.Listen to your lies that Fabou fought for the common interest of Gambians since day one when Jammeh illegally took over power, when Fabou could not complete his High School Education because of he was expelled for his political activism against the PPP government. This is no disrespect to Fabou as a person, as he was a very brilliant and outstanding student and would have been amongst the finest Gambian intellectual if not for his obstinacy during his formative years. He was also a very honest and truthful person and greatly admired by his colleagues, neighbors and family, but over the years pride and arrogance is gradually eroding these qualities in him to the extent that he will stand at a political platform emphasising his meaningless ‘NYANCHOISM’ What is as clear as noon is that there was a coalitionwhen the UDP executive were in jail and the said coalition disintegrated when the UDP executive came out from jail.
Bamba, please once again I would like to emphasize that I am not Max Jones. Max Jones writes on Facebook and I have been writing on various media where my articles and comments were published.
Bamba listen to yourself in your statements below:
“Listen to your lies that Fabou fought for the common interest of Gambians since day one when Jammeh illegally took over power, when Fabou could not complete his High School Education because of he was expelled for his political activism against the PPP government. This is no disrespect to Fabou as a person, as he was a very brilliant and outstanding student and would have been amongst the finest Gambian intellectual if not for his obstinacy during his formative years. He was also a very honest and truthful person and greatly admired by his colleagues, neighbors and family, but over the years pride and arrogance is gradually eroding these qualities in him to the extent that he will stand at a political platform emphasising his meaningless ‘NYANCHOISM’ What is as clear as noon is that there was a coalitionwhen the UDP executive were in jail and the said coalition disintegrated when the UDP executive came out from jail”.
Bamba, in the above statements, you clearly indicated that Mr Fabou Sanneh was expelled from high school because of his political activism against the PPP government. Was that political activism not for the common interest of Gambian people? Yes it was for the common interest of people , Mr Fabou fought for common interest of the people and he was expelled , therefore you clearly lied to accuse me of being dishonest or untruthful . In your statements above , you even praised Mr Fabou for his honesty and truthfulness but at the same time made disparaging remarks about him . What a dishonest way to portray someone who was a victim of both ppp and APRC according to your statements. Even though you have expressed how brilliant Mr Fabou Sanneh was but you went further to dismiss his brilliant and intelligent because in your myopic mind , he lack high degree , therefore he is not among the intellectuals in present day Gambia. This tell me , you lack wisdom and knowledge to know who is intellectual. Tell me among so the called intellectuals in The Gambia, who protested against military dictatorship when Solo krummah and solo Sanderg protested for electoral reforms? For your information, solo krummah , Lang marong and others who had the wisdom and foresight to fight for common interest of Gambian people were not intellectuals of your descriptions but these are patriots with great minds who love their country more than so many people with highest degree who dishonestly helped Yaya Jammeh to ruin our country. There are other intellectuals of your descriptions who cowardly were silenced just to save their jobs and business interest. Fabou Sanneh was and is an intellectual with wisdom who has always been interested to contribute postively in the lives of ordinary people. He has demonstrated that during ppp regime and APRC regime. Being a Nyanchoism is being proud who he is , he is proud of his culture and heritage . I am very very proud of my culture and heritage. probably , you have no culture to be proud of which is why you do not like Mr Sanneh to display his pride about his roots and heritage. Everyone should be proud of who he is if you really love yourself, culture , heritage and where you come from. I am thousands miles from The Gambia but I am a proud indigenous Gambian who has deep rooted family connections and historical ties to the country. I will encourage you to learn about yourself and be proud of yourself. A man without a culture or heritage is virtually a beast.
Max Jones and i will insist to call you as Max Jones as featured by Bamba Mass on facebook to take-on the intellectual heavyweight Hon. Halifa Sallah. Sometimes i wonder whether it is necessary to dignify your trash with a respond but hence it is public holiday and i am being ‘idle’, i will give it a try.You did not answer my salient question and you proceeded to defend Fabou out of for lack of better words, sheer arrogance.I wouldn’t blame you any further because i am familiar of the type you are.I will not comment on Fabou any longer because of the respect i have for him and hence he decided to maintain silence.You asked me a question as to whether Fabou’s political activism was not for the common interest of all Gambians and you proceeded to answer the question.Only the great orator ROY SAWH can give you a fitting description.You refer to Fabou as an intellectual, you should have defined an intellectual and ask Fabou whether he fits in that equation.Solo Sandeng R.I.P, Solo Kurama R.I.P and Lamin Marong R.I.P were only using electoral reform as a facade but their miscalculated purpose and intention was for Darboe to qualify as a presidential candidate nothing more nothing less and this why they did not choose a successor to him at their congress.What is the relevance and importance of being a NYANCHO? Why he did not take on Yaya Jammeh head-on?,…Ah sorry i said i was not going to comment against him. Max Jone what is of importance and relevance is captured at the tail-end of your trash.That is to be proud of being an indigenous Gambian.Where were the NYANCHOS when Babili said Mandinka is not a tribe? The only NYANCHOS who reacted were cyber warriors.
Bamba , if you ask Yaya Jammeh whether he regretted his insults about mandinkas, he will tell you outright he did . Jammeh realized that before his defeat and exile in Guinea . If any president in the future do the same, mandinkas majority along with other tribes will send him exile. Therefore, you need to reflect on your question about why nyachos did not react when Jameh was disrespectful to Gambians. Gambians including nyanchos took care of Jammeh’s nonsense.
Coming back to Intellectualism, I consider intellectual as someone with wisdom and knowledge to look at common interest of the people in order to advance their economic, political and social status. Fabou has the intellect to examine the past problems of our country and became aware of the fact that through political activism we can bring meaningful change that would improve political, economic and social status of The Gambian people. In The Gambia and diaspora, people like Mr Fabou have critical minds who truly understand the problem of the people. I understand that your concept about intellectual is about those with phd or masters degree but you failed to remind yourself, some of those highest degree holders are not intellectuals who can contribute to improve the lives of ordinary people. We have thousands of so called intellectuals without critical mind or intellect to think about intervention strategies to improve the lives of the citizens. This is why many so called African intellectuals lacks the capacity and capabilities or critical minds to come up with intervention models whether it is economic, social and political model to improve the lives of citizenry. I would encourage you to think whether Fabou fit in the definition of intellectual I described above.
It is nothing but a figment of Fabou’s imagination to say that Gambians are tired of Hon Sallah.
Hon Sallah is the politician and public figure in most demand today than any one. He is the most sought after politician to grace public ocassions, whether educational, religious or political.
And the public’s appreciation of his efforts can be seen in the number of awards he has received from bodies and groups that are not connected to his party.
Hon Sallah may not be the politician who receives the most votes at elections, but he is undoubtedly, the most influential and the most sought after public official in The Gambia today.
It is simply not true for anyone to claim that the people are tired of him. The records clearly indicate otherwise.
Quote: ““It is left to Gambians to answer the question,” Adama Barrow said when asked whether he would step down at the end of the transition period.”
To be blatantly honest, this statement is frighteningly familiar to Gambians in the struggle, and for many, the memories it evokes are NOT pleasant ones. I mean, how many times did we hear Yaya Jammeh evade and deflect questions about one issue or the other, by uttering the same or similar statements?
I think many Gambians and friends of the Gambia will be right to view President Barrow’s refusal to speak forthright about his intentions on his term of office, as a matter for concern. He should come out and indicate whether he intends to serve his full Constitutional term of 5 years or, only the agreed term of 3 years. That is the least we should expect from a President voted on the promise of change from the old.
Of equal concern to us should also be the reaction of the UDP members and supporters to those who ask this legitimate question, and the view of Fabou expressed here, is generally reflective of attitudes among the membership and supporters of that party on this issue.
The tendency to make the MOU, a document negotiated and signed by no less than seven independent entities/individuals, as the property of Halifa Sallah, and then insinuate selfish intentions and God knows what else on the gentleman for the document, is simply dumbfounding, to put it mildly.
It is just unbelievable what some Gambians have become within a short period. It makes one wonder many, many things. What an insult to those who spent countless days and incalculable amount of resources to formulate, negotiate, agree and sign the document!
The truth of the matter is, a Transition Governance Programme has been negotiated, agreed upon and signed by members of Coalition 2016, and no level of distractions will divert our attentions from it. You should ALL beware of that fact.
The incessant and unfair attacks and insinuations against Mr Sallah and PDOIS, particularly in relation to President Barrow’s term of office, are not only unnecessary and unjustified, but are a complete distortion of the reality on the ground.
Mr Sallah has indicated quite clearly that the MOU is a “gentleman’s agreement” which cannot supersede the Constitution and that if President Barrow wishes to serve his full five year term, the matter will be laid to rest, as far as PDOIS is concerned. The tapes are still available on Youtube.
If people strongly believe that President Barrow should serve his full term, then they should prevail on him to come out and say so now. And if anyone thinks that adhering to the MOU has got serious security, logistics and financial implications for our country, then there is an even greater responsibility on them to pursue President Barrow until he announces that he will serve 5 years.
According to Fabou…
”President Barrow swore to the constitution that mandated him for a five year term and that must be respected over the so-called MOU tailor made by some selfish elements whose hunger for presidency cannot be cured without plunging our country into oblivion. The Gambia had suffered enough from Mr Impossible (Halifa Sallah) for far too long and it’s about time we face him and speak the truth to him. Gambians want to rebuild their economy and the broken society instead of wasting their meager resources on meaningless elections. Period!”
I have been wondering whether these are the words of the Fabou I know; the one described by Mr Bamba as the UDP political activist or militant who was at one time working at MRC. If it was the same Fabou Sanneh then no wonder why we have to endure the tyranny of Yahya Jammeh for 22 long years. It has a lot to do with the honesty and sincerity of most of those in the struggle to end his tyranny.
For the Fabou I know whom I have to put heads together to come up with a proposal for an opposition alliance which we presented to all the party leaders before 2011 presidential election to say that ”Gambia has suffered enough from Mr Impossible (Halifa Sallah) for too long now and it’s about time we face him and speak the truth to him” is something I could not comprehend.
The Fabou I know sat and discussed with Mr Sallah for almost an hour after the presentation of our proposal which is not much different from the one he now refer to as the so-called MOU tailor made by some selfish elements whose hunger for presidency cannot be cured without plunging our country into oblivion. Is it not the same method of an alliance which put end to our suffering in December 2016? Fabou knows quite well that Mr Sallah has accepted our proposal without any reservation. But what about his godfather Mr ousainou Darboe who rejected our proposal in its entirety which led him [Fabou] to remark that if he thinks our proposal did not make sense to him then he should throw it in a dustbin and come up with one that can bring the opposition unity we are yearning for to put an end to the tyranny? Now how did we suffer from Mr Sallah and what makes him impossible? He has agreed to the proposal you presented him which you claimed at the time that only a self seeking leader will reject while your godfather Mr Darboe rejected in its entirety.
Please let us be honest Fabou for the sake of our country and people.
”Bamba , if you ask Yaya Jammeh whether he regretted his insults about mandinkas, he will tell you outright he did . Jammeh realized that before his defeat and exile in Guinea . If any president in the future do the same, mandinkas majority along with other tribes will send him exile”.
Max.. 2016 was not the first time Jammeh acted rudely by insulting the Mandinkas and even other tribes including his own. He did it before that but why was he not sent to exile then ?
Fabaks, jammeh has crossed the redline when he not only insulted mandinkas but he also called for their deportation and extermination from the country. That was the turning point and the beginning of the end of his dictatorial regime.
Concerning your statements on diaspora political activism, you must acknowledge that without diaspora political activism, economic support and information warfare, Jammmeh would still be in statehouse. Remember that in all these years of military dictatorship, Halifa never visited the diaspora whenever he was invited except one time . His antagonistic attitude has led to little support he gets from diaspora and the Gambian people.
Hello Max Jones, can you come again? Poor network. I don’t get a bit of what you are trying to explain
Max, What was my statements on the diaspora political activism ?
Of course, I Fabaks always acknowledged the contribution of those in the diaspora in our struggle against the tyranny in our country. They did contribute immensely even in trying to bring unity between the opposition parties in order to end the regime but all of them end in failure. The only one that came close to achieving the desired goal was the NADD arrangement which also end up in failure not because of the antagonistic attitude of Halifa Sallah and his party but the shire betrayal of your godfather Mr Ousainou Darboe and his party.
The truth of the matter is that the turning point and the beginning of the end of Jammeh’s regime was not when he insulted the Mandinkas and as you claim called for their deportation and extermination from the country, but it was when the political parties came together and put aside their individual party interests on the basis of a workable alliance model [ which was said to have not been tasted anywhere before and therefore could not work ] and stick to it without any betrayal from any side. That was the turning point in our struggle to uproot the tyrannical regime in our country, Max
Aha!!! On the whole this Fabou had once sat with Halifa Sallah to discuss about politics and yet did not have the honesty and decency to tell the readership the truth but instead giving misleading statements about who is Halifa.How i wish Jammeh returns so that the Gambia can be safe from the presence of these ungrateful figures who will plunge this country into a more dictatorial regime that anyone can imagine.I am now becoming to come to terms with why PDOIS shunned ministerial appointments in this government.’DU DEM”. Apart from freedom of speech Gambians have not benefited an iota of progress from this regime and are going to bed worst than Jammeh’s era.Meanwhile political parties are denied permits to hold political rallies which was the cry of the UDP and had almost become a song in Gambian politics people are detained beyond the constitutional requirement. How wonders shall never end. The UDP dominate both the Executive and the Parliament and are keeping mute about these happenings.
Bamba said ” How i wish Jammeh returns so that the Gambia can be safe from the presence of these ungrateful figures who will plunge this country into a more dictatorial regime that anyone can imagine”.
From the above statement, if Jammeh had killed your loved ones you won’t have wished him to return to The Gambia. If he has confiscated your assets or business , I am sure you won’t wished his return to the country. You don’t care about human rights violations that occurred during military dictatorship. Shame on you.
For your information, Jammeh will never return as a freeman. You can continue to make your idiotic statements but the Gambian people have decided to send him into exile where he belong .