Letter: Response to Fatoumata Tambajang on the Coalition’s meeting

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Dear editor,

Since 2017, I have been a vociferous opponent of the way the Coalition, which, under Adama Barrow, deceptively maneuvered to help entrench itself in power.

I have, on several occasions, given reasons why Coalition governments, such as the one in Gambia, are inherently and notoriously unstable, and, therefore, a risk to the security of the state.

Gambians should’ve listened, since back in 2014, why a post-Yahya Jammeh Coalition must be short in duration, with a limited agenda that focuses exclusively on strengthening institutions for rapid return to multiparty elections and party rule.

Nothing more. The tragedy, over the past couple of years, is that everyone has become an expert in governance, thus landing us in the deep trouble we are now trying to crawl out of.

In the diaspora, some of us have resolved to basically ignore what’s going on, and hope 2021 can’t come soon enough.

As Coalition members decided today to allow the fragmented Coalition two more years to wrap up, some of us had already made that decision weeks ago.

I have to add that there is no credible rationale the Coalition can present to support their today’s decision.

I have to remind everyone again, that first of all, it was a big mistake for Adama Barrow to prepare a 5-years development plan, the NDP. It should have never been an agenda for a transitional Coalition.

Second, I have to remind Mrs Tambajang, who is simply reechoing Adama Barrow’s lame excuse that the transitional Coalition government’s planned programs, articulated as the NDP, have to be completed before any change of government can happen.

That is a lame excuse being propagated by Adama Barrow as a way to prolong his stay in power.

Like a goddamn lie, Barrow hopes that if he repeats it long enough, it will be believable. Across the globe, governments routinely change mid-stream, always inheriting incomplete public projects.

The only project that was necessary to complete was drafting a new Constitution in order to rapidly move Gambia to multiparty elections and party rule, but the CRC established to do that, has been dragging its feet for nearly two years.

It shouldn’t have taken more than six goddamn months to complete a Constitution, including the referendum. As I have repeated over and over again, the US Constitution was drafted in under four damn months.

Finally, in advancing fairness in the 2021 elections, in a draft document prepared for a post-Yahya Jammeh transition, in 2014, it was clearly indicated that whoever became the Coalition leader, MUST be banned from contesting in multiparty elections at the end of the Coalition transitional period, which is now pushed to 2021.

This is designed mainly to disallow the advantage of incumbency, thus create a level playing field, for all parties, in the post-Coalition elections. Evidently, in the diaspora, we feel hurt and utterly disrespected.

I mean, we started the fight to remove Yahya Jammeh 24 years ago, and to see those we in the diaspora fought hard to dislodge from power, come back to inhabit the Coalition government, and run the Coalition to the ground, is a gut-wrenching blow to the stomach, and a total disregard for everything we so assiduously fought for, for damn 22 years.

Mathew K Jallow
USA