My head is spinning and I don’t know in which end I should begin this article. The whole situation in The Gambia is a mess. It seems like the election bug has bitten everyone and injected some venom that has affected the common sense. Some of those affected were not famous for being equipped with a great portion of common sense even before, so the effect of this electoral bug bite is worse on others. As I find it hard to know where to begin, I just pick something up from this mess and try to sort it out. Ok, so some days ago President Barrow was warning the leader of GDC, Mamma Kandeh, to stop inviting the former president, Yahya Jammeh, to speak by phone in GDC meetings. Fair enough, I find it crazy and insulting to the victims of the dictator. Mamma Kandeh doesn’t seem to have anything else in focus than to grab power, no matter the means.
This is a cut from the article I am refering to:
”President Barrow further advised the GDC entourage to respect the law. ‘This country is governed by laws. Mamma Kandeh should carry on with his campaign and abide by the laws of the country. If he breaks the law, the law will deal with him. I am a peaceful president and I want peace in this country’”
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! Barrow is stating that ”this country is governed by laws”, but it seems as the laws are voluntary depending on who is to follow them. It doesn’t seem as President Barrow and his government are keen on abiding by the laws in all times.
Look at what has happened to Nenneh Freda Gomez and her co-worker Lamin Sey who have been in detention for a bogus charge. Nenneh Fredah Gomez and Lamin Sey are the country representatives of Global HOMM (Global Hearts of Medical Mission). They have been unlawfully detained, intimidated and harrassed. Their ”crime”? They went to see the conditions of the property that belongs to HOMM, the property that once was given to them by the former government and then taken back. The case was tried in court and the verdict said that the property belongs to HOMM. End of story!
Wishfull thinking, the story doesn’t end there, because Jammeh used the property for his Green Boys, and then it has been used by the GPF. Twice Nenneh Freda and Lamin Sey have gone to see the conditions of the property, and twice they have been bothered by the police. I know the police officers follow orders, but where do the orders come from? They wouldn’t tell, only that the orders were coming from someone at the top. There is a court verdict telling that the property belongs to HOMM, but why bother about that tiny detail when you are someone at ”the top”?
There has been a press release stating that HOMM as an organization doesn’t exist anymore and that Nenneh Freda has been lying. The press release was made by the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Justice. Nenneh Freda Gomez is a representative of Global HOMM, she is not the organization. The problem is that the land where the Global HOMM has its property is sold to a Senegalese businessman. The property is attractive and he is promised to be able to build a fancy hotel there. The aim is to get this hotel ready before the OIC Summit, which is planned for 2022. This will bring a big feather in Barrow’s hat, and make his ego matching the size.
President Barrow doesn’t care which measures that are taken to prepare for the OIC Summit. Was there a monkey park in the way for a 5-star hotel? Chop it down and who cares about some monkeys anyway? New roads are promised so we can give easy access to the travelers from the airport to the luxurious hotels. Are there some houses in the way of the roads? Who cares? Tear them down and force people to move somewhere else. The houses look bad and the people living there are poor and dirty. We can’t show that to our honourable guests, can we? Harass some innocent people from a foreign organization? Damn it, they should know better to get in the way for someone in ”the top”!
The expression: getting one’s hands dirty normally means that someone is not afraid of hard work. In our case it means that someone doesn’t mind putting others in deep s**t, but the problem with s**t is that it stains. We can combine our first expression with another: ”when the s**t hits the fan”. The fan will blow it back on those who threw it, so I am eager to see the results of the coming presidential election. There are several candidates that don’t seem to bother to be stained by the brown nature product. NPP and GDC, two peas in a pod, so hungry for power so they didn’t mind mixing up with the APRC.
So what about the UDP? I know that Ousainu Darboe is almost considered a national saint, but we have a lot of former APRC members there too. Why are they there? Who can trust these people? Please, Mr Darboe, I had higher regards for you, but this is making me disappointed. According to a survey, the numbers are good for the UDP at the moment, but looking at you makes me worried. You are very old, you look tired and poorly, are you really up for this battle? Five years mandate period, when you could relax and enjoy being retired? Who is there to take over when you are not fit anymore? This is the problem with most of the political parties in The Gambia. They are based on one person and when that person is not fit anymore, there is no-one else who can take over.
The last part I wish to speak about in the ”hot mess” is the IEC and their unwillingness to accept the CA, Citizens’ Alliance, and their flag bearer Dr Ismaila Ceesay as another presidential candidate. The IEC came up with some story about not enough names on the list of the Banjul area. Was someone ”on the top” twisting their arms too? It has been clear from the first moment that Dr Ismaila Ceesay is a person of dignity who, together with the party he is representing, is a keen fighter against corruption. Knowing this, the thought of perhaps losing all these sweet sources of income, is paining some people of influence. The CA is not a personality cult, it is not based on one person only, it is based on freedom fighters and people whose only agenda is to improve the lives of all citizens of The Gambia. #NeverAgain is a motto that the CA takes seriously.