By Sainey Darboe
In what constitutes a clearly desperate and poorly executed attempt at image-laundering, UDP recently put out a documentary on the life and times of its perennial candidate, Ousainu Darboe.
A trained eye is left deeply shocked that UDP honchos think reputation-enhancement has been achieved with such an effort shorn of candour, imagination, freshness and creative mastery.
I watched the documentary and what I gleaned beyond the uncritical acclaim is a missed opportunity for UDP to achieve purchase on the public mind with their policies and a stated ambition to do better for the country
Instead of leaving it to viewers to decide for themselves whether he is a legend or not; the documentary makers who are pellucidly no supreme geniuses cheaply declared him one without properly submitting him for extreme vetting.
Significant aspects of his later contributions to Gambia’s political evolution as well as his part in the current mess we find ourselves in have been grossly overlooked.
Adama Barrow, in his current iteration, is a creation of Ousainu Darboe who emboldened him to tear up the 3-year transition consensus and seek self-perpetuation in the service of his political ambitions.
Darboe’s calculation for scuppering the momentum of protests for Adama Barrow to quit after three years was to set the stage for himself to take over. But his scheme failed in spectacular fashion; and the relationship between father and son soured creating an internecine political atmosphere.
The documentary conveniently ignored the fact that Darboe invited Jammeh enablers into the system by championing the appointment of former speaker Abdoulie Bojang as ambassador, among other catastrophic high-profile hiring decisions.
What’s even more galling is the callous indifference to the plight of people who went to prison with Darboe. Unable to afford required medical treatment abroad, six of Darboe’s fellow inmates have succumbed.
It took a public appeal and online fund raising for Nogoi Njie to be able to seek life-saving treatment abroad. In bitterness at being left in the cold after sacrificing their lives in prison with Darboe while he relentlessly worked on his personal political ambition to their detriment, many switched allegiance to Barrow.
Darboe’s deafening silence in the face of Chinese devastation of the environment in Gunjur while openly accepting political contributions from their Gambian partner Alagie Conteh is telling on what sort of leader he will be. There is no evidence to refute the assumption Darboe is seeking the presidency more for what it means for him than what he could do for The Gambia.
This is an awful attempt at presenting a fundamentally flawed human being as the solution to our problem. If UDP can’t competently produce a documentary on their undeservedly deified leader, I’m afraid they can’t be trusted to run a complex country like Gambia with its complex array of challenges.
Note well: Next time UDP geniuses want to make a documentary, they should come to me bucolic and open-mouthed and I shall teach them till I have nothing more to teach them. It’s my fervent hope I extracted a laugher with that, except UDP folks can always be counted on to be extremely humourless.