I could not stand the temptation not to respond to Ousainou Mbenga´s article on Freedom Newspaper dated October 26th, 2017 titled Gambia: No Agenda Can Remain Hidden Forever. United Democratic Party Hegemony Declared!
I disagree fully with Ousainou Mbenga on his description of the Gambia`s UDP (United Democratic Party) as Hegemony and with a hidden agenda. This to my view is an unfair description and obvious effort on the side of Ousainou Mbenga to misled the Gambian population. Since its initial beginning, the UDP has never and will never ever contemplate on harbouring a hidden agenda against the Gambian people and certainly the party is never a Hegemony in the context of Ousainou Mbenga. What Ousainou Mbenga failed to tell his readers and the Gambian people is that there is Hegemony per se and there is Cultural Hegemony. The concept hegemony and especially cultural hegemony, which to my view, Ousainou Mbenga is confusingly pointing to, has been used by Marxist Antomio Gramci as a theory on how the governing party maintains its power on the oppressed.
Fellow honest Gambians, is this really happening in today´s Gambia? Certainly not. I believe Ousainou Mbenga´s comments are very serious, disturbing and misleading. It is clear without a minimum of doubt that Ousainou Mbenga perceives UDP´s position today in the Gambia as a political party oppressing the Gambian population. That is exactly what he meant by his quotation labeling UDP as Hegemony. Yes, Ousainou Mbenga has all rights to disagree or dislike the policies of the UDP, but to label the party as hegemony (cultural hegemony) is very unfair and a calculated ploy to discredit the UDP as a party.
Someone saying or mentioning at a New York Town Hall meeting that “this is a UDP government” should not in any way be taken literally unless one heard it from H.E. President Adama Barrow or Foreign Minister Honorable Ousainou Darboe. To my knowledge and to many honest Gambians, neither President Barrow nor Ousainou Darboe has ever uttered a sentence where they mentioned UDP as the government of the new Gambia. It has always been a coalition government from this two gentlemen whenever they talk about the current government.
A UDP government will surely come to be in the Gambia in the nearest future but not yet, and there is no rush to that. Right now what we should call for is nation building. I want Ousainou Mbenga to stop fooling himself because what makes him a Gambian is his tribe. Whether he acknowledges it or not, he is born to a tribe first and then a Gambian second. This is what makes us all unique as Gambians. Our tribes are our identities and our identities are our tribes. In the Gambia, tribe has never been our problem or our obstacle but those who can´t accept us or accept our tribes are our problem. This is where Ousainou Mbenga fits in. Don’t switch labels. The New Gambia needs genuine revolutionary transformation but not the one Ousainou Mbenga and his groups are calling for. The people know exactly what you mean by that Ousainou Mbenga, and for your information the Gambian people will not buy it. The Gambian people, and I mean the majority of the population, are today enjoying the fruits of the change and transformation they have courageously fought for. Period.