In Many countries and democracies around the world when national elections are over the winner celebrates whiles the loser concedes defeat and congradulates the winner. This is no difference in the recent Gambia Mayoral and Loca Area Council elections. Some candidates were pragmatic enough to lift the phone and congradulate their opponents and even promised their full support. This is democracy at its best. This is what politics is all about. It is the choice of the electorate to decide what direction they want the country to be ruled. As hard as it is for some people to grasp this fact, this is what happens in a true democracy where the losing side has to make some soul searching into why things went wrong. A post election analysis is normally what is conducted.
It is very disturbing but not so worrying that some insignificant elememts outside the Gambia cannot come to terms with the fact that Banjulians voted for their candidate of choice despite the statitics or cause some UDP and Rohey Malick Lowe enemies are trying to come up with. UDP cannot just afford to lose Banjul and the KMC or the greater Banjul area as it is known. That will be devastating and the consequences would be untold for the party and every sensible and politically minded UDP member clearly know the implications of the losses. Hence all differences were put on the shelf and the interest of the party then supersedes all other interest. What then happens is no shock to UDP but instead to its opponents.
Rohey Malick Lowe was suppose to be the under dog in this Mayoral election in Banjul. Despite relentless personal attacks on her and her family, she was able to politic with decency and stay on message that she could pull a win through unity, respect and understanding. Her message became so appealing that she ended up emerging victorious in a race jammed with opponents. What a surprise for a candidate dubbed underdog to sweep the polls in Banjul. No one else — not even the incumbent Mayor Abdoulie Bah and much-touted Lizzie — was able to do. In the end, the people of Banjul elected the city’s first Mayoress in office. Politics is about numbers, and numbers were on the side of Rohey Malick Lowe and UDP side . Politics is also about interest, trust, sound stratigy and more importantly delivery. Whoever delivers the best gets the best.
Our country has gone through an election era never seen since post independent Gambia. Never before have we witnessed a more leveled playing field in our elections: complete free media, open political debates and nonviolent political campaign. Having access to our political leaders was never easy moreso questioning them. Some of these were made possible due to the political maturity of our current leaders. These leaders were able to come together despite the antagonism between them in an inter party conference to set standards for an atmosphere of peace and tranquility to be observed between parties and their supporters during elections. This is something never seen before and we have to thank our new found democracy for that. Yes, sometimes emotions run high and even out of control, but in a democracy every matured adult is responsible for his or her own actions. Since december of 2016 the political landscape of the Gambia has change for good and we saw things that we could just dream of during the first and second republic.
The canditates that were victorious in these elections especially the UDP candidates should be aware that their victory was not self made. Your victory was made possible by dedicated and hard working grass root UDP men, women and youths. There should in no way be business as usual otherwise the verdict from these vital electorates will be very very hash come another election. You have been elected to do a work and work you should do.
To the opponents of UDP, let them be reminded that it h never been easy to be in opposition during Yahya Jammeh era. The situation is totally different in Adama Barrow’s Gambia. Ask Hon. Ousainou Darboe the man who had almost lost everything to politics, including his accumulated wealth and freedom just to shepherd his flock in a territory of predators. The election victories of UDP since 2016 to 2018 elections are not mere gift from the electorate to the party but the fruits of dedicated 22 years of bloody hard work. On that tough and bumpy road to success there were many huddles. The party endured everything: cold-blood murders, incarcerations, rapes, totures, disappearances, and involuntary self exile.
Therefore, Gambians are very conscious of there saviour from the york of inhumane brutality from APRC and Yahya Jammeh. When they were yearning for political freedom it was UDP that was with them and paid the toughest and ultimate price.
Now, when elections are behind us what all patriotic Gambians should do is to accept the reality on the ground by putting politics aside for a moment and encourage nation building rather than bulldozing a nation. Until next political season, let us throw out political towel, hold our leaders accountable and work with them for a better Gambia for all.
Remember this! WE HAVE ONE GAMBIA FOR US AND EVEN FOR GENERATIONS YET TO COME. God Bless the Gambia. Thank you.