By Muhammed Jallow
In a political coalition or alliance there can never be equal partners because real power cannot be shared. The presidential and parliamentary elections are over. President Adama won Gambian voters’ permission to rule for another five years. In the parliamentary elections voters decided to burst the bubbles of political tricksters and liars that covered Barrow. His army of advisers, political council and National People’s Party (NPP) executives and chairpersons, pickup bluffers including grand alliance partners have all turned out to be out of touch with reality. APRC, the greedy and ever-hungry grand alliance partner is celebrating and planning its final state capture and takeover of Barrow’s government. Interesting times ahead in Gambian politics!
In 2016 the United Democratic Party (UDP) emerged as the dominant force that exploited President Barrow’s inexperience and hijacked the 2016 Coalition up to 2019. The Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) under Fabakary Tombong Jatta (FTJ) decided to beat UDP in the game of exploiting the inexperience and gullibility of Adama Barrow. Remember how in that famous Sukuta rally, President Barrow exposed the fast game FTJ and Seedy Njie played on Barrow’s innocent mind by inciting him to part ways with UDP as precondition for another game of betraying the betrayers. They are rewarded the positions of Speakers and Deputy Speakers for outsmarting UDP before and NPP now.
APRC used all the nasty tricks in dirty politics it learned from dictator Jammeh’s playbook to trap Barrow. In public APRC was feeding social media with false reports of Jammeh’s return from exile from 2017 to 2021, fake marginalisation of Foñi and continuous rejection of the 2016 presidential election to blackmail Barrow who was becoming tired of UDP’s arrogance and looking for new alliance partners. Except PDOIS which cares more about system change that UDP militants ridiculed, other Coalition 2016 partners like Hamat Bah, Henry Gomez, the PPP leaders and Dr. Isatou Touray were comfortable enjoying the privileges of their positions. Like the army of useless advisers and ‘stayhouse kabudu’ they have all been exploiting Adama Barrow’s innocence and inexperience like hungry wolves.
Realising that Gambians will vote for Barrow on December 4, 2021, APRC people changed course by shamelessly eating all the insults they were throwing on Barrow from 2016 to 2020 and joined him on the 2021 presidential campaign trail. Their former boss Yahya Jammeh regretted dealing with selfish people who made him feel like god but abandoned him when they became financially broke. Jammeh is not mad to rely on an amnesty from Barrow negotiated by APRC. They will sell him out to Senegal, the victims listed by TRRC, the Ghanaians and the Americans who have placed sanctions on him.
It is alarming that immediately after taking the Office of Speaker of the National Assembly Fabakary Tombojong Jatta said in an interview that he still believes that the 2016 election that brought his new boss President Barrow to power was stolen from Yahya Jammeh. This is a shocking early warning signal to Barrow to watch his back. Fabakary tried to minimise the damage during a meeting between NPP-ARPC Kanifing Municipality teams knowing that Barrow will be docile.
The election of April 9, 2022 was a godly opportunity for President Adama Barrow to separate sheep from wolves but looks like Barrow is ready to go to bed with more political wolves due to his perceived fear of UDP. The UDP is just a toothless bulldog just like the way APRC has been from 2016 up to the time that Barrow decided to rescue it from natural death in 2021.
The anger and shock of defeat at the National Assembly elections is pushing Barrow to make new fatal political mistakes that could lead to his failure. Barrow is laying all his political eggs in the basket of the cunning APRC which is happy to be resurrected by Barrow and it will exploit him to the last Dalais or position.
APRC loudmouths Basko Jaiteh, Doudou Jah and Rambo Jatta like promoting the fake impression that APRC is not interested in positions from President Barrow. In politics any coalition and alliance partner who keeps singing that he is she is not interested in government position is actually interested in every government position he or she can grab. APRC will never reject any position that President Barrow offers its members and supporters so Bakso and his expired friends should stop deceiving Barrow with the fake sermons. Gambians are not fools and are waiting with their votes. In Jeshwang and Bundung the people voted for their hardworking ward councillors to represent them at the National Assembly. They did not vote for APRC in reality.
Right now the National People’s Party (NPP) is in a weak position as President Barrow has the task of pressing the re-set button on his NPP structure, cabinet and senior government positions.
APRC should not abuse its luck by trying to chew Barrow’s head by making Barrow commit political suicide of surrendering key strategic positions of his government to hit. It will hunt them. Barrow will end like dictator Jammeh if he is falls in for APRC’s tricks and pretentions that it does not want positions from him. Now though Fabakary Tombong Jatta’s APRC can no more use Foni as bargaining chip for blackmailing Barrow.
President Barrow, please stop wasting your time on UDP. It is an opposition party that will naturally make noise. You are not in competition with UDP leaders and militants. They have already started campaigning for the forthcoming mayoral elections and you are busy giving away your government to APRC thinking that you will harm UDP. Bear in mind that UDP and APRC both have similar objective of fully controlling The Gambia.
Look closer within your grand alliance for betrayals, exploitations and booby traps. The more you waste your time trying to make UDP angry in public, the more your grand alliance partners like APRC exploit your anger. NPP executives have failed President Adama Barrow. If they don’t want APRC to finally take over the Barrow government and kick NPP out in a palace coup they should resign and allow NPP members elect new executives that can revive the party.
Hamat Bah should stop interfering in NPP internal matters and focus on his NRP. He is an alliance members and not an executive of NPP. His hate speech against independent candidates during the parliament election campaign caused damages to NPP’s reputation. Like other parts of The Gambia, the Upper River Region (URR) was on the verge of voting for more independent National Assembly Members as most of the selected URR candidates on NPP tickets were not the choice of the constituencies. Voters in URR respect President Barrow and for his words they voted the unpopular NPP candidates.
Voters from other parts of The Gambia penalised Barrow in the assembly election because heignored the reform agenda and was wasting national time on defanteh and garuwalleh politics together with former Jammeh enables and selfish remnants of Coalition 2016 who are his cheer leaders of failed policies. Gambians want a government that works. They don’t like a government that gossips.