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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Has he lost his marbles?

Has he lost his marbles?

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Have you heard the children’s story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf? I will give you a short summary of the story.

Old mother pig sent her three little pigs out in the world to seek their fortunes. The pigs ended up in a nice village and decided to stay there. The pigs began to build one house each. The first pig was lazy and built his house with straw. The second pig was a little bit industrious so he built his house with sticks. When these two houses were ready, Little Pig 1 and Little Pig 2 felt satisfied with their work. Little Pig Pig 3 was of the hard-working type, so he built his house with bricks. It took a while, but the finished house became nice and sturdy.

The Big Bad Wolf sneaked into the village and saw the houses of the three little pigs. He went to the first house made of straw, felt the smell of the pig inside and asked the pig to open the door. The pig refused so the Big Bad Wolf shouted:

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”I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow the house down.”

Said and done, the Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed and blew the house down. The first pig managed to flee and took refuge in the second pig’s house. That house was made of sticks, but the result of the Big Bad Wolf’s huffing and puffing was the same. The greedy wolf thought he would have a nice meal, but the two pigs managed to flee. They took refuge in the third pig’s house which was made of bricks. The Big Bad Wolf threatened to blow that house down too, but the house was sturdy.

The Big Bad Wolf climbed up the roof and fell down the chimney in his attempt to catch some pork for lunch. His victims became his superiors and the Big Bad Wolf burned his paws severely in the raging fire in the stove.

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Why am I telling you a children’s story? Because these old stories are not only entertaining, they also end with lessons learned. The Big Bad Wolf was greedy, he didn’t mind the means as long as he could get what he wanted. The story ended with the wolf getting nothing but misery and burnt paws. The lesson learnt is that sooner or later, greed will lead to misery and you lose it all. Let us leave this children’s story, but speak about the lesson learnt.

Recently, there has been a lot of commotion surrounding the Independent Electoral Commission and its Chief Electoral Officer, Samboujang Njie. The Big Bad Wolf…oops…sorry…Mr Njie I mean, is huffing and puffing in his attempt to refuse the CA, Citizens’ Alliance, and its flag -bearer Dr Ismaila Ceesay to take part in the presidential election this year.

Samboujang Njie has acted with arrogance and didn’t even follow due procedure to inform the CA that there were not enough names on the list for the Banjul area. The law says that every political party is allowed to get a ”heads up ” so they can add whatever document is required. The IEC, ruled by Samboujang Njie, ignored that so the CA and Dr Ismaila Ceesay didn’t know anything until they heard about it at the press conference on November 6th.

Imagine the shock of expecting the best and suddenly facing the worst! The CA had enough names on their list, but Samboujang Njie and the whole IEC lost their marbles! They came up with a bogus story, forcing the CA to go to court to get justice.

Five years have gone since the last election, and what has the IEC done during that time, but to receive a million dalasis from each political party in The Gambia and to make a huge blunder considering which company should be awarded the voter cards and the registration of the votes? Gambians in the Diaspora can’t vote because it is still impossible to vote online. Come on! We still use marbles in The Gambia! This is old fashioned and impractical, but we are forced to use that system once again because the IEC screwed up!

The contract was given to a company outside The Gambia, a company that we couldn’t control but the process was controlled by the IEC and Samboujang Njie as the front figure.

When found out that the company responsible for the voter cards and the database for the registration was bankrupt, Mr Njie huffed and puffed again to blow the blame on someone else but himself. His prestige means more than following laws and regulations. When called out, he panics and becomes the picture boy for the psychological term – projection. This means that you try to hide your own problems by causing problems for others. It is like a smokescreen; you can’t see what is behind the smoke, and the smoke hurts your eyes so much so that it becomes your only concern.

The high court decided that the IEC had wronged the CA and that Dr Ismaila Ceesay should be allowed to take part in the presidential election. New names were presented for the IEC, and even more names than before, but the IEC refused to accept the names. The IEC is not following their own laws, and they defied the verdict of the high court. The chairman of the IEC, Mr Alieu Momarr Njai, is 87 years old. He is far too old to be the chairman of such an important institution as the IEC. Poor Mr Njai is so tired he falls asleep during the meeting the representatives of the CA had with the IEC. So why keep Mr Njai in this position? Because he is easy to control, of course! The others can decide whatever they want, as long as this poor old man can keep on napping.

Samboujang Njie holds his one-man show and no one in the IEC seems to be able to offer resistance. Arrogance will always come back to bite you in the behind. For far too many years the IEC has been in control over the procedures surrounding the elections, but the CA is not taking it. The CA has changed the political landscape and is demanding justice and a fair election.

The CA has gone to court again and by the time this article is published, we might have heard the verdict from the high court.

Samboujang Njie is prepared to huff and puff to tear the house down because he refuses to admit his mistakes. Has he for one second considered the consequences of his actions?

The CA has done nothing wrong, instead Dr Ceesay and his people have followed all procedures and remained calm and dignified in the meantime. There are enough of shouting and ranting politicians in The Gambia and the CA is showing that there is a new and better way to handle serious business. The CA has promised to fight corruption, and the fight has already begun. It is about time that someone is challenging the high and mighty IEC. Samboujang Njie has lost his marbles in so many ways. Let us allow him to leave the political scene to go and search for them, while the CA is showing how modern day politics is working.

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