Roughly five years following the unprecedented events of December 2016 that marked the collapse of 22 years dictatorship of former president, Alh Yahya A J J Jammeh, our nation is once again faced with the cumbersome task of going to the polls to elect a president. The 2016 departure of the X-Military leader turned-civilian autocrat, Jammeh, filled the Gambia’s then political atmosphere with an aura of hope and optimism as many Gambian looked forward to the Coalition 2016 backed President-elect, His Excellency Adama Barrow, to restore democracy and decorum, wipe the tears of the victims of Jammeh tyrannical rule and try to reconcile the nation. In effect, President elect Barrow was to lead an emergency government entrusted with the task of overseeing a Constitutional and Institutional reforms, transitional justice, reconciliation and uniting the nation towards a free and fair democratic transition.

Unfortunately, to the utter dismay of many Coalition 2016 supporters, their hopes and aspirations were dashed when President Barrow gradually became power drunk and intoxicated with the liquor of political muscle. His delusions of grandeur then made him brush-aside the Coalition 2016 promise and agenda, dedicating his attention to how to extend his tenure and to further entrench himself in power. Consequently, the President’s political ambitions became pretty-ugly as he started offloading some prominent members of his Coalition government and surrounded himself with people who are described as no good political opportunists, to the detriment of his Coalition partners. To add salt to injury, Barrow decided to form his own Political Party (the National People’s Party NPP), to contest the very elections that he was meant to oversee as the Coalition 2016 interim leader. Ironically, this audacity is a huge blow to the Gambian people’s struggle and the Coalition 2016 bandwagon that dislodged the Jammeh autocracy. Like a ‘’jump from frying pan into the fire’’ the Gambian people, especially the Jammeh victims grew in pain and heartache as their hope President Barrow, embarked on his frantic and dreadful flirting or dillydallying with his political ambitions, casting fear and doubts on the future of the new found democracy of the ‘’New-Gambia’’. It puts our democracy under threat and risk of sliding back into what I call neo-autocracy as he vowed to band all political activities.


However, under the canon of moral justice, it will be the fallacious logic of ignorance to suppose that Barrow who emerged from the auspices of the UDP, and entrusted with power can be allowed to then use that same borrowed power to impose himself on the Gambian people. Gambians are too clever to be taken for another ride after all what we went through as a nation. In his desperate bid to stay in office, President Barrow has self-inflected enough harm on his vaulting ambitions by recently hammering the final nail on his NPP political coffin when he formed a Coalition with Yahya Jammeh’s APRC. That is the most expensive flaw that will ultimately finish Barrow and all what he has been hell-bent on since breaching his promise to the Gambian people. Thankfully, genuine Gambian voters and diehard APRC member both understand the double standard in the president’s desperate agenda. Never again, can such a betrayal of our trust go with impunity while we stand and watch. Hence for democracy and the rule of law in the country, I urge Gambian voters to give the UDP a chance. It has long been fighting for our freedom and democracy, and it is a force to reckon with, thus, a felicitous way forward for democracy and better Gambia.

Alh Yahya Ceesay


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