If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

      Sohna Sallah chairs DUGA/Twitter photo

Some of my fellow Gambian citizens can be very peculiar at times. Flip-flopping is becoming a usual occurrence in their lives to the extent that maintaining their integrity and credibility have become shaky. They cannot simply stand their ground. Their case fits within a common English proverb that says “if you can´t beat them join them.” It seems some hazy groups and individuals in the diaspora started to understand this proverb recently, which led to the turnabout of Democratic Union of Gambian Activists (DUGA) and some other individuals insincerely embracing the disputed Barrow Youth Movement for Development. What is amazing is that these groups and individuals have never been sympathetic supporters of this administration since its inception. Why the change of heart now. DUGA’s leader Ousainou Mbenga for obvious reasons best known to him but known to many other Gambians, chose not to represent DUGA on the ground when some of their members met with the Vice President Aja Fatoumata Tambajang. It wasn’t long ago when the same DUGA and Ousainou Mbenga were lashing out on the Barrow government namely Mr. Ousainou Darboe and the vice president herself Aja Fatoumata Tambajang. The question that many keep asking is, whether DUGA is sincere in their accepting the Vice President’s earlier call in for nation building in the United States. Is their action a ploy to gain influence for DUGA through the back channel? If DUGA is sincere in their claim of being apolitical activist group interested conducting civic education, they should be given the benefit of  doubt to prove themselves. We know where DUGA comes from which tells us a lot about their agenda. In essence, we get a clue of their future behaviour especially now that they are in the Gambian soil. What a system change in a new Gambia!

DUGA has only one goal: that is to undermine the Barrow government. The group members are at pains in seeing United Democractic Party at the helm of affairs. We are yet to hear a single word from Ousainou Mbenga about DUGA’s change of of heart.

The Gambia belongs to all of us despite our divergence of views on things, which means we should all take the credit if the government succeeds. We should equally take the blame if the contrary happens. We all have a stake here; we have to behave like responsible citizens and work hard to build a nation where generations  yet unborn can be proud of. A government is like a relay athletic where you run and then pass the baton to another until the last person gets it. Government comes and goes. Today we have President Adama Barrow but it can be Kalilou Njie, Badara Gomez, Ya-Fatou Manneh tomorrow. Who knows? What is obvious is that someone has to build a solid foundation for others to build on and continue. This is exactly what President Barrow is doing? I am amazed that our so-called academics and intellectuals failed to understand this simple logic of governance.
My advice to the leaders of DUGA, especially Ousainou Mbenga and other sceptical individuals, is to hold their divergence views and exercise them with responsibility, sincerity. Be genuine for the good of the nation, stop the bickering and cease playing tribal cards which is detrimental to our society.

I will applaud DUGA’s change of heart only if it is a genuine one and I hope they are not going to behave like wolves in sheep’s clothing. Time is not only on our side but it will tell whether DUGA’s words will be tra.

Alhagi Touray
Stockholm, Sweden


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