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Monday, April 22, 2024

On the National Assembly elections: An opportunity to end Barrow flation

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By Momodou Sabally

Ours is a boat without paddles; call it an aeroplane without direction. A ship heading for the iceberg while President Barrow is getting more and more intoxicated with power.

The essence of democracy is the balance of powers: an effective mechanism of checks and balances for overall sanity and effectiveness.

It is common knowledge that the term “democracy” is derived from the Greek words “demos,” which means “people”, and “Kratos” which means “strength, power”. Therefore, power belongs to the people.. “Moreover, the democratic system of a country is a product of the free will of the people as a whole, where every individual is free to make political choices that suit his interests.”

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President Barrow and his National People’s Party (NPP) stand to counter all of these principles because Barrow wants to be your absolute master. I know you will not want that to happen because the old saying is true: “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!”

As if the preponderance of evidence (partly corroborated by the European Union is not bad enough) that the December presidential election was not fair, Barrow and his NPP are now taking further steps to steal the people’s franchise by using supposedly legal road blocks to cancel the power of the people to choose their own representatives.

It is quite clear to everyone that Barrow and his NPP clearly campaigned against the implementation of the Janneh Commission report during the December election to the extent that their own information minister called on me to leave the UDP because a UDP government would implement the Janneh Commission report and that would harm me. Minister Ebrima Sillah made these remarks during an NPP rally in Foni.

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Their cherry-picking of that commission’s report in terms of what to implement from it; and who to spare and employ in Cabinet is a clear testimony that this government does not believe in justice and fair play.

Now that they have connived with the IEC to use that same Janneh Commission to strip me and the electorate of Busumbala Constituency of our rights to vote and be voted for, we all need to speak with one voice and show Barrow and his turncoat NAM the red card. The fact that Barrow and his accomplices used ‘the law’ to stop me from contesting does not make it the right thing; as Dr. Sulayman Njie posits in his essay “Momodou Sabally: Let the People of Busumbala Decide, Man”: “It’s very possible that the decision to deny him of his birthright — the right to run for office — is legal, but just because something is legal doesn’t make it right or even democratic.”

Indeed “There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.” as the revolutionary Philosopher Charles Montesquieu asserted in his treatise, “The Spirit of the Laws”.

By using the Janneh Commission report as a political weapon and ignoring the Faraba Banta Commission report, President Barrow has clearly demonstrated that he is not interested in justice, rule of law, and fair play. The fundamental question we must ask ourselves is this: would we sit down and not vote; or worse still vote for the NPP to have a majority in our law-making body?

Therefore, I am calling on all voters of Busumbala Constituency to come out with full force on April 9, and vote out Barrow’s candidate Saikouba Jarju.

A National Assembly candidate who sold his soul to the devil does not deserve to be re-elected into that esteemed office.

Barrow knows that my presence in the National Assembly would shine a bright searchlight on his corrupt administration and that is why he abused the legal process to stop me from contesting this election.

He knows that his auctioning of our sovereignty to other counties; his daylight robbery of our tax money in the national budget and his aiding and abetting of organized crime in this country would come to an end if I become elected as National Assembly Member.

He knows that all the social and institutional ills he is spreading in this country would suffer a deadly blow if the people of Busumbala Constituency are allowed the opportunity to vote for me; and that is why he used the IEC as a willing accomplice to truncate my bid to represent you in the National Assembly.

If Adama Barrow actually believed in fair play; and if he respected the right of the voters to choose their own representative, why did he prevent the voters from exercising their democratic rights to vote for their own representative?

My good fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of the nation’s political powerhouse, Busumbala Constituency, please come out in your numbers on April 9 and vote massively to deny the NPP’s Saikouba Jarju the opportunity to return to that sacred House after selling himself to Adama Barrow for a monthly allowance of D10, 000.

By voting out this NPP incumbent from the National Assembly, you would have taken one more powerful step in curing the worst sickness of our society, #Barrowflation: the worsening of the ills of our society like inflation, corruption, deportation, drug trafficking, high crime rates and insecurity.

It is a documented fact that our country is now a major gateway, and destination, for hard drugs like cocaine. Barrow’s involvement in the Casamance war has made our country unstable to the point that the IEC was contemplating postponing elections in that area for security reasons.

With our current high unemployment rates and impending deportation of youths from Europe, The Gambia is a potential recruitment base and target for terrorist groups like Al Qaeda in the Maghreb.

A vote for the opposition, and against the Barrow cabal, in this election would be a vote to secure our local peace and global stability. A strong National Assembly to check and control the executive will help cleanse our nation and preserve brand Gambia as a bastion of peace, security and stability.

May Allah grant us the “freedom and peace each day” that we pray for. “Let justice guide our actions towards the common good.”

God bless The Gambia.

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