Why is Essa Faal losing his cool?
As we enter the final stretch of the election campaign I think anxiety and desperation is hitting the nerves of some of the contenders. I listen to Halifa Sallah of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism and I can see he is often losing his cool because he has been speaking to Gambian electorate for donkey’s years yet not many have warmed up to him. This is his last shot at the big prize and judging by conventional wisdom, he stands little chance of being elected president this weekend. He said he will no longer contest the presidency if he loses so 2021 is as good as his final goodbye, that is unless he does a wah waheet like he did twenty years ago when he said he would not contest again if he lost the election but lost yet…
But the one candidate who more than anyone else seems to show signs of nerves in this “squeaky bum time” (apologies to former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson), through his actions and utterances is independent candidate Essa Faal.
Like a spoilt child who does not get his promised candy, Faal whines, complains and cries about everything. His latest cry about Barrow sending marabouts to follow him is as stupid as it can get. If Barrow is to send marabouts after anyone it would most likely be United Democratic Party’s Ousainu Darboe or Gambia Democratic Party’s Mamma Kandeh. Essa Faal and his so-called Turn Around movement represent no serious threat to Barrow even in Faal’s supposed political base of Banjul.
Essa Faal made a series of spectacular miscalculations. He should not have thrown his hat in the ring even before the report of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission was completed and handed over to the government. He should have waited and continued with building his brand and may be, contest the National Assembly election in 2022 and given how he fared, he could contest the 2026 presidential election.
In politics, timing is everything. Even his open call of an opposition coalition against Adama Barrow has failed to gain traction.
I am telling Essa Faal that he should stop complaining and has no one to blame but himself. He wanted to take Gambians for a ride by using his fame from the TRRC as a springboard to catapult him to the presidency but he has failed.
Momodou ‘Ndah’ Ceesay
Chickens coming home to roost for Barrow
This election on 4th December 2021 will be a case of chickens coming home to roost for President Adama Barrow of the National People’s Party. President Barrow had a golden opportunity to change The Gambia when Gambians in their hundreds of thousands turned out to vote for him on 1st December 2016.
He had the goodwill of the majority of Gambians as well as the members of the international community. But instead of focusing on a transitional programme and becoming a consequential and transformative leader, he decided that staying in power should be his number one business.
That logic informs all his decisions. That was why he gave all powers to the UDP and when he could not get the party to back him for the 2021 election, he abandoned them and kicked out Ousainu Darboe, Amadou Sanneh and Lamin Dibba from his cabinet.
It was the reason why he appointed very incompetent people to key positions in his government. It was the reason why he surrounded himself with advisers who have no education, no wisdom or experience like old and sickly Dembo By Force Bojang of Bakau, Dodou Sannoh, 9-day minister Seedy Njie, Lamin Cham and even appointed a total clown Henry whatever is his surname, as minister! It was the reason he took foreign Senegalese soldiers as his personal protection guards at State House.
It was also the reason that he made a pact with APRC and even visited the family of the exiled autocrat in his home village of Kanilai while totally ignoring the hundreds of victims of Yahya Jammeh’s brutality!
I have very little sympathy for Adama Barrow and I believe this Saturday will be a case of the proverbial chickens coming home to roost for him. The Gambia deserves better.
Demba ‘Nyancho’ Sanneh
Sayerr Jobe Avenue