By Sulayman Jeng
THE WAY FORWARD
My post “NOT EVERY SPEECH IS PRESIDENTIAL” generated mixed reactions from my readership. Whilst many concurred with my opinion, others disagreed. Legit. That is democracy. We all cannot agree on a particular theme at the same time. What I find ruffling is the partiality in our party politics. Once you declared support for a particular party and its leader, you have mortgaged your rights to express any point that contradicts either the party and/or leadership. That is toxic and undemocratic. In fact it is said when everyone thinks alike then nobody is thinking. Therefore, there must be some who will, despite all odds, always be honest and open. As such, they will endeavour to dissuade their party and its leadership from anything that courts disrepute. We must not cheer and clap for everything said or done by our party and leader. As humans, we are prone to err. So when such occurs, let us point it out, learn its lessons to better ourselves going forward.
NPP and UDP party leaders must understand it does not help either of them engaging in mud slinging. Darboe in a press conference has said A against Barrow so Barrow must also say B against Darboe in a press briefing. Childish. We are in an electioneering period, voters want to know what is there for them when they vote for you. How will their taxes be managed and utilised? Will their health and well-being improve? Education, agriculture and sanitation are some of the key issues Gambians want to hear from you but not Barrow this and Darboe that. Here I am reminded sometimes one has to eat his words, chew his ego, swallow his pride and accept his mistakes. It is not defeat. It is been matured.
Can’t both of you see how divided Gambia is lately due to your political pettiness like two truants scrambling over a fragile toy? Help us defuse the political tension threatening to consume all of us instead bad mouthing each other. How do you intend to reduce the national debt deficit? Will our wives and sisters continue to die at child birth? What about our ever growing traffic congestion? Road safety, affordable living standards, access and affordable water and electricity should be key theme of your conferences.
But again, we the supporters need to help our leaders refocus on the essential. Advised honestly on matters that are important to electorates. Leadership is not just about the leader or what we can milk from them. It is what the leadership says and does in not only unifying the people but upgrading their condition.