I must hasten to say that I utterly disagree with some of Mr. Burama FL Jammeh’s comments, analysis and above all, the comparison he had made on today’s political land scape in The Gambia to that of Sir Dawda Jawara’s PPP and Yahya Jammeh’s AFPRC/APRC eras. The fact that the majority of the Gambian population support UDP and its leadership should in no way justify that we are on the verge of building a 3rd “State-Party” as alluded to by Burama FL Jammeh. The inception of UDP is unlike both PPP and APRC because how they get to power is far different. What transpired in the inner circle of PPP and APRC governments will not transpire in a UDP-led government. May God forbid that from happening. You have to look at the structures of these political parties and see the uniqueness of UDP. Unlike PPP and APRC, UDP has been the only political party with a rooted grassroot connection. UDP is and has been the party of the people and not the party of the elites as was in the case of PPP. UDP is answerable to the electorate who are well aware of their political and democratic rights. PPP’s structure ledlto the creation of elites within its ranks. These elites later became what I will call political cannibals who virtually ”eat each other” as well as engaged in what I will called ”Rat Race”. Knowing well what took place in the first and second Republics and what UDP endue during 22 years of the Jammeh dictatorship, I find it difficult to believe that UDP will be a ”State Party”. If only South Africa’s governing ANC [African National Congress] can be seen as ”State Party” then I can assure you that UDP will be a ”State Party”. These parties (UDP and ANC) are known for standing against injustice meted out to ordinary people in very difficult moments in their history. Each struggling to build a just society for all, irrespective of your status, culture or ethnicity.
APRC’s rule was a dictatorship, a very brutal one indeed. In that sense it was undemocratic because the people have no say on how they should be ruled. During the PPP era political awarness was limited to the few privileged which eventually paved the way for blatant corruption on a vast scale to balloon. In the end, Sir Dawda and PPP lost control of all State apparatus. There was no accountability or probity both during the PPP and APRC governments, even though we were politically free under Jawara’s regime. The elitism Mr. Jammeh is referring to within the former PPP government will never be seen within UDP because both the leadership and the grassroot members will never endorse such a behaviour. Allowing elitism within UDP is tantamount to self suicide for the party because it will not be accepted by UDP grassroot. It is not top down controlled party.
Mr. Burama FL Jammeh’ article on Kairo News on May 28th is nothing short of sensation. I couldn’t make any sense out of his fear of UDP or should I say his hate for UDP and its leader Hon. Ousainou Darboe. It is no secret the author Mr. Jammeh is no fan of the UDP and Ousainou Darboe hence the lack of objectivity in his article. UDP becomes what it is today thanks to what the party has done for the people of The Gambia. The election seasons we have in our country are prescribed in our constitution. What is wrong with UDP conquering the parliamentary and local government elections which conducted in free and elections. The bottom line here is that the likes of Mr. Burama FL Jammeh want to portray UDP as one party State which is far-fetched. The fact that UDP is in aa coalitio and not controlling its own majority government you hear this claims of building a 3rd State-Party which is based on hypothetical assumptions and accusations calculated to tarnish the image of UDP.
What Mr. Burama failed to mention or take into account in his article is that both PPP and APRC have never been in the opposition prior to ascending to power. That is a huge difference Mr. Burama missed or neglected to consider in his narrative of political events from the heydays of UP (United Party) to APRC. If today’s opposition are in disarray and tattered, UDP must not be blamed for that. That is simply the choice of the Gambian people because they feel that UDP will deliver and can deliver.
In Sweden, the Social democrats once ruled that Scandinavian nation for almost forty years uninterrupted and in the process built a world class Social Welfare which is an envy of the world. Sweden today has eight different political parties. Has Sweden been seen or called a State-Party when the social democrats single-handedly monopolized power for forty years? The answer is NO. The samething can be said about Singapore, another country which the rest of the world envy.
To sum up, I want to debunk Mr. Burama FL Jammeh’s notion that UDP is on the verge of being a 3rd State-Party. However, if the Gambian people wish and decide through democratic means that UDP is their right choice to do the job why not. Does that make The Gambia a one party State? No.
It is everyone’s democratic right not to like UDP, or Hon. Ousainou Darboe but let us be candid to ourselves and country and give true version of events. Gone are the days when our so-called intellectuals will freely write and say whatever they desire without being challenged.
As a Gambian, if Mr. Jammeh feels that we do not have a viable opposition on the ground which is healthy in any democracy, then the door is widely open for him to challenge the dominance of UDP in Gambian politics. Let Burama Jammeh enter politics if he is definitely worried.
MayMay Bless The Gambia and her people!