The Coalition-2016 is the “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN” of The Gambia…They want to individually “RULE or RUIN.”
PART 3(B)/3 (SB Sabally´s Cocktail of Multi-Facts): Drink from it…and you´ll feel “Not Bitter But Better.”Feeling and mere figments of the imagination are no substitute for facts and truth. How much better to be a beacon of truth rather than an instigator of condemnation.
(1) Unmanageable “Split in the UDP”.
The political party, UDP is in the spotlight. And I will call the “Split in the UDP,” a political war: “UDP on UDP”: H.E. “Darboe´s loyalty cult” and H.E. “Barrow´s loyalty cult” – Political god-father against (his)political prodigal son…“ (In 2018), @ Faraba Bantang; although H.E. President Barrow is yet to formally declare his hand in the Presidential race – (then) was talking only on the surface (“Garru-walleh” alluding) about “anybody can aspire for the presidency…” and warned; (I borrow from the Holy-Bible) “Watch out for false prophets (I add, “insincere & selfish politicians”). ´They come to you in sheep´s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. “By their fruits you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:15). (My opinion then, was) – H.E. Barrow has to be very cautious about his possible political move if he were to declare openly his hand in the next presidential race, because H.E. Ousainou Darboe is closely in the darkness; a short, dark and heavy political shadow that H.E. Barrow cannot easily disentangle himself from. “A man´s enemies will be the members of his own household.” (Matthew 12:36). However, would the appointment of H.E. Ousainou Darboe to the Vice President position enough to seal a political deal between the duo so that H.E. Barrow can succeed himself while still maintaining H.E. Ousainou Darboe as his second man? Politics is dirty and treacherous, especially if aligned along tribal lines.” The whole Gambian administrative political problem is nothing, but a needless split in the UDP leadership: simply, between H.E. Ousainou Darboe and H.E. Adama Barrow (each) vying for the presidency. The “root of the problem,” any genuine observer will conclude, was and still is “the fight /vying for the presidential “flagbearer” position in the UDP party: “Split in the UDP”/“UDP on UDP”.
It is important to note that the so-called “New” Gambia Coalition 2016 government created was not the result of strong popular currents of nationalist sentiments but of Partisan Tribalism Political wars. The new “Draft 2020” constitution was a vision of the PTP (tailored constitution from UDP and GMC); it included the position of UDP hegemony, designed with H.E. Ousainou Darboe specifically in mind (for the next Presidency on or after the Saturday 04th December 2021…). One major reason why it was booted out of the acceptance line into the dustbin…
On a Coalition 2016 “independent” ticket, H.E. President Adama Barrow won a great show of support and admirations upon winning the elections over H.E. Yahya Jammeh in 2016/17. On the Powers of Clemency, the president first pardoned and released his political god-father UDP Ousainou Darboe and other UDP big wigs (then serving a jail term) from the prisons. Many have said; “If H.E. President Barrow had not pardoned them; H.E. Ousainou Darboe and team would have still been languishing in Mile II prisons today.” And Hon. OJ confirmed it when he said (03.2017); “Without the coalition, Ousainou Darboe, would have been in jail up till now. That’s the naked truth.” However, The Supreme God decided otherwise. He (H.E. Barrow) pardoned and released them, also appointed (a compensation for their sufferings as they always sing…) them and him (Darboe) to a position as his Hon. Foreign Minister (MOFA), and later elevated him to the second highest position in the government as the H.E. Vice President of the country, replacing my wife, H.E. Adjaratou Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang. “Blood is thicker than water.” (Since then, H.E. Barrow is not in my good books. He needs to appease me with a Caftan! But no ´grey´ or ´yellow´ colours (of NPP and UDP). He dismissed my wife; thereby denying me the pleasure of answering the name “SB, the VP´s husband.” Now I am called, “Former VP-SB, the Former VP´s husband.”And more painful; our home is now called; “Two Former VPs´ Home.” Like the Nigerians say; “This man (PORG Barrow) is really wicked wooo.” (But) I seriously suspected a ´foul played´ from then Hon. Ousainou Darboe´s UDP camp… As a result, I gave away all my clothes with anything ´yellow.´ And I stopped shaking hands and also riding white horses – (party symbols of UDP and NPP (dis-)respectively). (Out of frustration!). Thank God, wooo, Corona is helping me: “No Hand-Shaking!” I am not laughing wooo!) My suspicion became true: Hon. Ousainou Darboe became the H.E. Vice President. The UDP saw it as a right(eous) step in the right(eous) direction. They translated this to mean; “H.E. Ousainou will and must succeed H.E. Barrow after 3 years…” And it cannot escape your ears, when they drummed everywhere that; “H.E. Ousainou Darboe is The Gambia´s Nelson Mandela – Prisoner to Presiden(t)cy.” Mandela had a mission to dismantle Apartheid…and not to die in power. And he proved that; he served only one term and gracefully retired from active politics. The younger generation took over the baton of the party and leadership of the country. What a selfless serving soul! Baba Madiba, May the Lord grant you eternal resting peace in your new abode. Amen.
Some call it a “Good Riddance” – The Dismissal of Darboe and co.
The UDP was almost At The Gates Of State House Power but (they) could not reach the Main Goal.Nevertheless, it turned out that the dismissal, which shifted all fronts and split all loyalties, was an ´ambition´-match entirely between Barrow and Darboe. (Courtesy: Standard Newspaper, online; 29.12.20 by Omar Bah) – Darboe said: “… But when Barrow wanted to achieve his ´ambition´ by hijacking the UDP to endorse him as flag bearer again, we said no, we will not have that…, …Barrow wanted to hijack the UDP, they started conspiring with him to undermine UDP. We felt that we cannot keep such people in the party. We cannot have divided loyalty…” This is an indicator of the inevitable whirlwind; all the time making it clear, this was the build-up to the “dismissal” (of the UDP remnants in government). Now the fight goes on with a fierceness, a ruthlessness, such as Gambia has never before seen or experienced. The UDP unmasking its own masquerade in public: Barrow and Darboe at each other´s throat… The basis of the(ir) struggle is hatred for everything and everyone that is “opposed to their one and only one Darboe being the president.” They harboured their veneration for Darboe is too great for them to allow those (Barrow and NPP) whom they now consider to politically destroy to stay in the SH. Some say, “Barrow is Gambia´s God-sent, like Darboe himself described it, “Barrow is Gambia´s Moses…” No, Barrow is Gambia´s ADaniel! On the other hand, Barrow did not come like a thief in the night. He was carefully picked, chosen and presented, voted and elected for the job. At the beginning, the UDP in total had unreservedly supported H.E. Barrow… This support (for H.E. Barrow) has since dwindled or fizzled out completely after “dismissing, UDP´s H.E. Ousainou Darboe” and the UDP big wigs from the government´s higher positions on 12 October 2019. Nonetheless, this move does not disqualify the government from still being the same Coalition 2016 government. Since then, politically, all hell political broke loose… The UDP saw it as a wrong step in the wrong direction. They translated this to mean; “H.E. Ousainou will no more succeed H.E. Barrow after 3 years…” This can be called the final straw that broke the political camel´s back. It is the “Split in the UDP”. And I will call it, a political war: “UDP on UDP” – Political god-father against (his) political prodigal son…. “Shame is worse than death.” There is some good evidence that the 3-Year-Jotna movement (3YJ) was a brain-child of the UDP… The 3YJ Movement/Crusade was set in motion… (I will write on that; a different article, Ins-Shaa-Allah!). The 3YJ – They planned a powerful and insidious attack under the guise of “peaceful demonstration” in an attempt “to forcefully dislodge”(in their own words; “smoke Barrow out of the SH”). It was the UDP-3YJ´s prerogative to determine when President Barrow-led government´s “time was up”. They mounted and intensified their propaganda to make their campaign the noisiest and wildest of all the political battles Gambia has ever witnessed. The Social Media Patforms – Whatsapp messages were frightening and threatening… The populace was to be terrified and the Barrow camp be cowed by preliminary measures involving thunderous attacks etc. upon leaders of the Barrow camp and government, assaults upon vital government installations and some public buildings. They said, “to vanquish the Barrow camp once and for all, we must have full control of the State House.” It is important to recall that inside The Gambia, these people aim is to insist that the problems facing The Gambian people owe solely to one man and his government: H.E. Adama Barrow (ADaniel). They had anticipated that President Barrow would be told in no uncertain terms his time was up. They expected the International Communities to tell him he should not seek re-election. It was said and sang in some corners that the UDP-Darboe-wing was going to use its muscle (3YJ) to forcefully bring H.E. President Barrow down. But the threats and demonstrations came and went, leaving President Barrow even more decided and stronger. He told the nation, “I swore twice by the Holy Qur’an, in Dakar and in The Gambia, to defend and act according to the national Constitution. Under these circumstances, I cannot accord the Coalition Agreement preference over the Constitution.” President Barrow and his team´s (Breakaway Baby BB- NPP) principled stance on “In any Genuine Democracy the Constitution is the Supreme Law” is to be admired.
Thought precedes action like lightening thunder. After the “Good Riddance” of Darboe, a mass desertion to the Barrow camp began. Many of them were all political opportunists. Once again, the axiom was proved that in insincere political revolutionary times principles are cheap, and perfidy, calculation, and fear (for one´s position) reign supreme.
After victory over Yaya Jammeh, PORG Barrow preferred to enter the SH not as a conqueror but as a sort of unifying leader. In our political ambitions and wishful daydreams; looking unto the end of the 3 years agreement; we ´thought´ we´ve already heard H.E. President Barrow whispering into our political sleepy ears his abdication message that “I became a politician against my will. For me politics is only a means to an end. There are people who think that I would find it very hard someday to be no longer active as I am now. Not at all! It would be the best day of my life when I drop out of political life and leave all the worries, the troubles and the vexation behind me. Party politics´ leadership comes and goes. What remains are the values of culture alone.” And he gave the clear bombshell message; “…even 10 years is not enough…”
Many persons accused Barrow of having “brought disunion and dissention into the ranks of UDP through (his) power madness and personal ambition for the presidency.” One cannot but accept this truth. The Gambians can adjudicate on this dispute. Barrow failed to relinquish power as promised at the end of the Coalition´s agreed 3 years. Nevertheless, it is the Coalition-2016 itself that failed the Gambians: See “Standard: “Almost all Coalition parties agreed to Barrow´s 5 years”-14 March 2019.” And Hon. OJ´s statement confirmed it when he said it… (03.2017).
And courageous and determined H.E. President Barrow against all odds, expectations and threats from the other UDP camp has formed and officially registered his own vibrant political party, the (NPP – National Peoples´ Party). He is expected to contest in the Saturday 04thDecember 2021 presidential and parliamentary elections. What if he wins again? Prepare yourself! There is no intention to replicate what others have already said. The aim here is to reflect on the results and the controversies that surround what should be done to what end, now and in the future.
UDP´s Alieu said; “Gambian politicians should not allow the (President) H.E. Barrow regime to reinvent, regenerate, and succeed itself in 2021 elections. If this happens, it will mean the H.E. Barrow regime rules for another 10-15 years. This must be stopped by any means necessary. Gambians no longer accept H.E. Barrow’s grandstanding as a so-called nation unifier, now turned politician. We now accept him for what he is. A despot who has become a negation of the values and principles of the UDP and the Coalition 2016 and good leadership, a dictator in the making who fools Gambians and denies them basic human rights and economic opportunities. He betrayed lawyer Darboe. He betrayed all of us – UDP.” So what is it that the people of the UDP want? It is my submission that at the core of the UDP crisis are issues of good leadership, good governance, and legitimacy.
This combination of commitment to truth and compassion for people is the hallmark of everyone who, like the late Sadibou Hydara, reflects the mind and heart of a Good Leader and sincere sticky friend. He was much loved and a blessing to everyone who met him. Few hours before Captain Sheriffo Sadibou HYDARA departed us in this world, he had reminded me with; “How deep does it wound you when others despise your labour of love? Don´t despair- It´s then you must view them with Spirit-filled eyes and love your offenders with prayers.” And Jesus words, “PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SPITEFULLY USE YOU” (Mathew. 5:44). PORG H.E. ADaniel Barrow should follow this teachings and example in late Sadibou Hydara.
It’s always important to know about the 16th US President, H.E. Abraham Lincoln, and today, in our Gambia, it is very urgent. As Lincoln said in his “House Divided” speech, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.” The house divided, the incitement of demagogues, appeals to anti-immigrant nativism and racism, a reactionary Supreme Court, a dysfunctional presidency, and the breakup of the old parties—all of these Lincoln confronted in his rise to the presidency. H.E. Abraham Lincoln once said to an America divided, that “your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the government, unless you be allowed to construe and ´enforce the Constitution as you please,´ on all points in dispute between you and us.” These words of warning are relevant today. To The Gambian, – “Take your work seriously, and not yourself.” You will Rule or Ruin in all events. You have a choice. I’m reminding you/them of your/their duty to think about your/their choice in a way that’s consistent with your/their clear conscience and the Constitution. Malignant envy, translated into action, seeks to destroy the happiness or the material or spiritual good enjoyed by other people.
H.E. President Adama Barrow is a man of determination and a historical figure who had come as president at a time of “great challenges and uncertainties” as well as major changes in this country. I hope Gambia will continue to advance on a path of genuine “all-inclusive”reform and greater prosperity under his watch. A confident and jubilant NPP Demba said, “The election (he means 2021) is over. Adama Barrow is president. The same as in 2016 when he was elected, he was elected and whether we liked it or not, it was over.”
I really want to concentrate on that which I can do better than others: Telling the Truth. “Don’t ask what your country wants to do for you, but what you can do for your country?” We have to realise that we have to turn things around; God was to be the “One who makes things happen.” Be the change you want to see. All Gambian citizens, young and old, men and women, in or not in politics, in or outside the Gambia, should or must be realistic visioners. We must dream of new positive things for our country and we should be ready to expand our brains and brawns to realise our dream. A good citizen should take his/her country positively to somewhere new, better, and more fulfilling. Thus, if you want to be an effective citizen, learn to visualise positive change and do what´s needed to make it happen.
We have so much more to gain by dropping our unnecessary grudges and misplaced anger and extending a hand of genuine unity. Let us unite the Nation, the Tribes and the Political Minds. We all should be able to say with the Jola Old-Pa, “The Gambia is ours – all of us.”
“We should turn the page and get back to work.” (Fullani saying)“Sago hawtube laana,” – Those in the same boat have the same wish. As citizens of the Gambia, we need each other. The Apostle Paul told the Believers in Phillippi to “Stand fast in one spirit” and to help one another as they faced adversity (Phil. 1:27; 2:3-4). Gambians-We too are to join arms and hearts, offering encouragement and hope in our struggles. Work together: “If you want to make peace with an enemy, one must work with that enemy and that enemy becomes your partner,” (Nelson Mandela – South African anti-apartheid activist and politician, 1994-99 president, Nobel Peace Prize (1918-2013), from his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” (1994). There is a need for immediate reconciling of a genuine nature, that sincere working together for common causes – our common good. Let us bring H.Es. Uncle “Mandela” Ousainou Darboe and Brother “ADaniel” PORG Adama Barrow to reconcile their ´personal´ political differences for The Gambia´s sake. They simply need to understand each other without sacrificing their individual party politics – that nurture of presidential ambitions. The Gambia is bigger than each one of us. The Gambians will certainly decide who will be their next president…
We may not know when a fellow Gambian is being tossed around by the Partisan Tribalism Politic´s (PTP) strong winds of adversity. But we do know this: When we stand together, we´re better able to withstand the PTP´s storm. Tribal cohesion, a foundation stone for peace and security is actually in the national security interest of the Gambia. We join our hearts and hands together, faithful to the National Constitution´s command; we hold each other to Gambia´s standards—All that truth and genuine love demand! The Fullani proverb tells us; “Pooli wo kawritan de iida,” Unless birds come together, a flying-noise is not heard. We are stronger when we stand together. Finally, We want all and every Gambian to know that, “Gambia, we already have. Now what we need is “ Gambians’ unity.”
The APRC has positives sides too. Talk about them. And let Gambians decide. President Barrow needs serious help to build on APRC-Yaya Jammeh’s successes; all the good things he was doing. President Barrow needs to help to bring The Gambia back from the moribund state. Now it’s his turn to nurture the country’s fledgling institutions by taking on its coercive, corrupt and insincere political culture. The Gambia should be an important example of what sustainable peace means in practice. Our hope of a better country depends on sustained peace. Peace thrives in a climate of honour, truth and mutual respect. Development is never possible without peace. We should all be proud of the Coalition-2016’s achievement: winning the election against Yaya Jammeh´s APRC. But that’s not the end-station in the journey of our nation to the promised land (Better Gambia).
„For The Gambia Our HomeLand…- Let us all make it our bounden duty to help make the President Barrow-led Coalition-2016´s NDP (National Development Plan 2018-2021) a reality rather than letting it be „only pious phrases“ on paper. Reading it on paper cannot make it bear the intended fruits. The president appealed, “I call upon all Gambians to make this NDP their plan, to seriously interrogate themselves on how best they might contribute to its realization and most importantly to hold us to account when we fall short, in a constructive and positive spirit of nation building. I am convinced that the courage and determination shown by Gambians in defeating tyranny and oppression can be successfully harnessed to also help us overcome our challenges and ensure that together we fully realize the vision and goal of this National Development Plan. ” The NDP can only be realisable if we all “Teesitoo”(tighten belts) stand sincerely together and „we pledge our firm allegiance,…our promise we renew; … To The Gambia Ever True!“
Good Government: All humanity needs Equal Rights, Justice and Perfect Peace. So, naturally, every citizen shows great concern for what makes good government.Insincere politicians and PTP – We hate your attitudes because we are concerned about our Gambia, Gambia for all of us. How are we going to achieve what we want? It is our submission that national interest should take precedence over narrow and selfish interests. The Gambia needs a government with a right value; one that will steer the Ship of State – “a safe voyage through the turbulent sea of dangerous Partisan Tribalism Politics PTP”
“We must build a more transparent Gambia for our future generations. Remember, we did not inherit this country for ourselves; rather, it is a trust we must bequeath to our children!”(June 1, 2018, Musa Bah is author of several books and teacher of English Language at Nusrat Senior Secondary School. He writes under the pen name, Tha Scribbler Bah.)
Root of all Evil:
“I have found the root of all the trouble to be the neglect of prayer. The first renewal in the society must begin with prayer.” – (Mother Teresa – born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, Albanian-born Indian nun and order’s founder, Nobel Peace Prize 1979 (1910-1997).
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is error, truth.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
(Courtesy: French Peace Prayer – first published in the magazine “La Clochette” 1912).
As we bid farewell to 2020, let us remember the good times along with the bad. And pray for sunnier days in 2021 Happy New Year. Hope this year is filled with love, laughter and light.
May success knock on our Nation´s door this year. May all our joys multiply. May we find joy and love and light in this New Year 2021. May 2021 bring us success and good health. Happy New Year 2021.
WHEN GOD FORGIVES, IT’S TIME FOR US TO FORGET.
“We make it all “A TIME TO FORGET: Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” The end of one year and the dawning of a new one provides an excellent opportunity to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. We can’t forget our past, of course, but we don’t have to live in it. Any good we may have done is from God, so we can only be thankful. When we confess our shortcomings, they are buried in the deepest sea. Let’s not keep dredging them up. IF YOU KEEP LOOKING BACK, YOU CAN’T MAKE ANY MEANINGFUL PROGRESS.
“We have passed through one more year. One more long stage in the journey of life, with its ascents and descents and dust and mud and rocks and thorns and burdens that wear the shoulders, is done. The old year is dead. Roll it away. Let it go. God, in His providence, has brought us out of it. It is gone;…its evil is gone; its good remains. The evil has perished, and the good survives. Those who know the Almighty Allah as their Maula (Creator, Lord, Helper, Guardian, Friend, Patron, Supporter, Provider, and Protector) can let go of the past and move ahead with assurance because Allah provides forgiveness and hope. Having confessed their shortcomings, “forgetting those things which are behind,” they can confidently face the future, “reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Remembering God’s Mercy and forgetting past mistakes will make entering the New Year a time of joyous anticipation.
“Yes, we can leave the shortcomings and failures of this past year behind us, accept His forgiveness, and press on to higher ground. As far as our shortcomings are concerned, we can make the beginning of the New Year a time to forget.
“Look not back on yesterday
So full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God’s way—
All shortcomings confessed you must forget.
We can´t change our yesterdays,
but we can change our tomorrows.
NEVER LET A DARK PAST CLOUD A BRIGHT FUTURE.”
May Allah Grant us all an Honourable Mention of Truth on the Tongue (HMTT). Amen!
Kassa Kunda Village,
The views expressed in this article are my own and do or may not necessarily reflect your stance. “If you don’t like my story, write your own” ― Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
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Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. Nobody can hurt me without my permission. We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.