By Maxs Jarju
Dear Dr Assan Jallow,
It is indeed disappointing for the second time to read your article which is characterized by bias with the intention to propagate false narrative for President Adama Barrow’s re-election campaign in order to deceive the Gambian people to vote for him in next election. My first disappointment was about your previous article with defensive argument that supported Mr Amat Bah’s tribal vitriol which was condemned across the political spectrum with an exception to President Adama Barrow and National People Party who are working to advance tribal divide in the country. The statements below at the time was attributed to you in defense of Mr Bah who attacked UDP supporters and classified them as “rats”
while falsely argued that Fulas in the Gambia will be not safe under UDP administration and therefore called on fellow Fulas to vote for Adama Barrow in this coming election. You tribally argued that:
“ I am not defending Honorable Bah on his statement. However, there is truth to his statement and that the science of facts demands that men and women of conscience reason and start a debate on this critical issue to understand the historical genesis behind the stigmatization and marginalization against the Fula tribe all geared to advance national unity and healing, amid our fractured and damaged democracy”.
Subsequently, I asked the questions below but you have never replied to these legitimate questions at the time .
What historical evidence existed in The Gambia in the past or currently what evidence do you have to suggest that Fulas are discriminated or marginalized since our independence? Since the theme of your article was discrimination , marginalization and stigmatization. I have asked the above question for you to provide answers to Gambian people in your next reply since you did not provide any evidence in your initial article.
Your recent article with the title “ President Adama Barrrow will win December 4th Presidential election” has similar bias and unsubstantiated claims. It is interesting to note that in your article you are arguing against yourself in many of the statements you have made in favor of Mr Barrow. Here are the key points of your claims:
1: “Based on the incumbency model, President Barrow will be reelected. According to this model, voters gravitate to incumbents based on prevailing circumstances as they have garnered greater attention and recognition than their opponents. It is a known fact that people vote based on tribe, patronage, and regionalism where a political base is critical and any political party or independent candidate without a strong political base cannot be a strong contender and they will be disgraced with few votes in tenths or hundreds, if possible, based on tribes, patronage, and familial relationships which places them in the obvious streams of political coma when recovery and resuscitation will be too difficult to bear in the next cycle of elections”.
Here you are arguing against yourself in the subsequent paragraphs below:
“Additionally, incumbents are harder to unseat since they have more campaign finance and government resources at their disposal. Historically, the power of incumbency had been tested, as we have seen otherwise new waves of populism and possible discomfort that led to incumbents being unseated in elections both in Africa and the West” .
Therefore, it is nonsensical to argue that incumbency will help Mr Barrow to win the next election since you have argued that “new waves of populism and possible discomfort led to incumbents being unseated in elections both in Africa and the West”. The incumbency criteria cannot be used as a good reference to indicate the outcomes of next election because elections throughout the world have now indicated that incumbent Presidents can be defeated as you have indicated above . The Gambia is an excellent example to dismiss this election modeling criteria. Thus based on your statements above , it is also not factual to claim that President Barrow will win next election . National People’s party did not have any political base in the country because this is the first time NPP will participate in national election . What is clear is that UDP not only have a well structured political foundation and significant political based across the country but also more recognizable with resilience supporters who put the country first in the past quarter century. The evidences has been the sacrifices made by UDP supporters during 22 years of military dictatorship. The claim that people vote based on tribal affiliation is partially truthful because former President Jammeh won questionable elections despite coming from minority Jola tribe . In the United States, President Obama won 2008 and 2012 presidential elections with significant margin despite the color of his skin ( Black ) when black population is less than fifteen percent (15%) . Lawyer Ousainu Darboe has better chance of being elected as far as tribal affiliation voting pattern is concerned because he is from majority Mandinkas tribe. Mr Barrow constant attack on Mandinkas tribe and his campaign promoting tribalism in the country is not helping him because majority Gambian are aware of the fact that he is promoting tribalism in the country. Mr Barrow’s and his supporters political rhetorics are significant factors which will encourage tribal voting pattern in this crucial election. It must be understood that Mandinkas Majority is the king maker in the Gambian politics because if the majority Mandinkas votes for any candidate that person would be president of the country. This is evidence by mandinka consisting of 45% of the population. The tribal relationships has not improved under President Adama Barrow and Gambians are more divided today than ever before. President Barrow would have better chance if he had united the country since his victory in the last election but he became chief divider during the last five years and he continues to follow the footsteps of former President Yaya Jammeh.
2. . In comparison to the contesting candidates, Barrow appeals to a broader political base of fervent followers and supporters. The reason for this can be credited to his indisputable leadership charisma derived from his innate talent for facilitating conversations with audiences owing to his evident sense of humility, respect, good listening abilities, demeanor, candor, and acumen. This has made him the darling of many people who trust and believe he is the best candidate among the challengers. Therefore, his reelection bid will be largely driven by the attributes listed above.
Come on Dr Jallow , you know President Barrow cannot even express himself in any meaningful way. He is the least educated among all the candidates. In comparison to lawyer Ousainu Darboe, you claimed that Lawyer Darboe has “ ineffective poor communication strategies and the inability to hold a conversation or understand one’s audience in many of his public announcements”. Are you really serious? You are so bias that any intelligent and honest person would know you are not objective in your assessment of Mr Darbo’s qualifications, leadership and communication skills. Hon Darboe is a successful legal practitioner and seasoned politician who stood against the most corrupt and brutal dictator that ever live in the west Africa. Here you are with complete implicit bias and intellectual dishonesty trying to paint him as poor communicator. Hon Lawyer Darboe have won many high profile legal cases including political motivated prosecutions which could have led to death sentence of the people he helped to be freed . Example in the aftermath of 1981 abortive coup led by KUkoi Samba Sanyang , lawyer Ousainu Darboe successfully represented Sherrife Mustapha Dibba and others who are falsely accused of being part of the coup. In the court room he is an intellectual genius and compassionate for victims , and in politics he is law abiding with visionary leadership values . He has over forty years of legal practice and 25 years of political leadership experience with remarkable achievements. He has been tested and proven to be a honest , compassionate and visionary leader compare to Mr Barrow who served as a rent collector for people with questionable wealth, worked as a security guard , no advance degree and still learning on the job despite being President for five years.
3. “In light of Jammeh’s recent remarks regarding the NPP-APRC alliance, President Barrow’s popularity has increased and his support base has grown. Hence, it appears that Jammeh’s move is a blessing in disguise for Barrow as it has been exposed through the politically motivated grapevine that there was no established communication between Barrow and Jammeh, let alone any possible amnesty for the former president. This illustrated that Barrow was not in bed with Jammeh and revealed that the groups of misfits have a profound and deeply ingrained hatred of Barrow as a person”
You need to educate yourself about what Fabakary Tombong Jatta said about Jammeh’s with regard to the APRC and NPP alliance. Jammeh was fully aware of the Alliance deal making at the expense of poor victims and Gambian people. Both APRC and NPP leaders were disgraced by Jammeh’s denunciation of this fraud alliance. APRC is on the way to complete destruction while NPP and President Barrow are humiliated in the eyes of Gambian people. The former President Jammeh is a smart criminal while Mr Barrow is ignorant and corrupt leader.
5. “The polarized political climate where partisan and identity politics has become the new currency, thus overshadowing the politics of conversation on issue-based to the altar of hate, insults, and division will drift in a competitive advantage for Barrow with strategic leverage for his NPP camp garnering votes from camps of all the presidential hopefuls. This is because many have seen him and his NPP as the most desirable place to gravitate than in the opposition parties, where there is noticeable infighting and hijacked internal democracy”.
You need to stop peddling lies here because the only political party where there is noticeable “infighting and hijacked internal democracy” is NPP . It is so bad that President Barrow has to intervene to make peace among various camps and this was evidenced in Freedom Newspaper publication . You have to be honest so that people can give you respect and appreciate your writing based on factual evidence presentation. Here is the link to dispute your false claim:
6. “The opposition has failed to work with the government of Barrow in all spheres of development, particularly when disaster wreaks havoc on the country and the people are signs of evidential truths indicating a noticeable unwillingness from the opposition with the intent to stifle growth and undermine the government’s efforts in national development”.
Clearly the above quotation is from the former dictator Yahya Jammeh’s play book where the oppositions are classified as the enemies of the country. A very silly and dictatorial strategy to blame the oppositions for the failure of the government. This is another intellectual dishonesty at highest level . When the opposition leaders were calling for social distancing and evidenced-based guidelines to curb COVID-19 pandemic in the country, President Barrow was busy on political campaign. In fact most of political leaders are on the records condemning President Barrow’s campaign and ineffective strategy to minimize the impact of the pandemic.
7. Darboe despite representing one of the most formidable opposition parties appeals to a narrow political base. The reason for this shift in dynamics is a result of his recent attacks on the Serahules and the Fulas, which further decimated his prospects of winning any possible election in The Gambia. What this implies is that Darboe continues to demonstrate a questionable leadership capability of whether he will become a president of all tribes or not as in him there is a missing trait of a unifier, which hanged his chances of becoming the next president in the woods. The resultant effects of this are due to his weakness generated through ineffective poor communication strategies and the inability to hold a conversation or understand one’s audience in many of his public announcements. That is a minus point that drives one in ending in the slot of being boxed with excessive voter apathy and rejection.
Interesting to note, Darboe has a credibility and trust issue as he was accused of tax evasion which alone cast a question of doubt in his leadership whether he will honor the payment of taxes in his administration if Gambian gives him the chance of becoming the next president.
He is accused of being the mastermind that destroyed and frustrated the reforms agenda of Coalition 2016 as he pursued partisan politics and hijacked the Coalition 2016 government by installing and hiring his party militants and surrogates into government positions as a form of compensation and not playing to the rules of meritocracy, ethics, and professionalism in government employment. This alone also presses his leadership capability that he will continue that trend if given the chance of becoming Gambia’s next president.
As a tribal political writer, you have demonstrated your implicit bias to make up allegations against Hon Darboe by suggesting that he attacked Sarahule and Fulas . You have defended Mr Amat Bah’s tribal vitriol which promotes identity politics but you are now criticizing Mr Darboe’s statements as an attack on Sarahule and Fulas . You should stop your tribal bias and call a spade a spade .
Hon Darboe’s personal life and family background is an indication of diversity and this is why he is always advocating for peace and Justice for all Gambians . It is hypocritical to blame Mr Darboe for the failure of coalition agenda when President Barrow is constitutionally mandated to lead our country. It is also double standard to blame Darboe while political hypocrites never have a problem for Barrow to recycle Jammeh’s enablers in the government who are responsible for the current mess in our country.
As far as Darboe’s tax issue is concerned he has settled political motivated tax arrears with the objective to prevent his presidency . Hon Darboe has legal rights to challenge Mama Sighateh’s political motivated commission and this was why he challenged the legality of the commission and its findings against him . As a Democrat and true believer of rule of law, he settled his taxes liability and he is on verge to be nominated as United Democratic Party Presidential Candidate. There is no constitutional provision that could prevent his nomination. Those who are using the termination of employment as the former Vice President Darboe as a pretext to prevent his nomination simply did not understand the constitution.
Based on this simple understanding, lets move on to what the 1997 constitution states about public service in Chapter XI. Section 166 of the constitution states:
(1) subject an Act of the National Assembly, the public service of The Gambia shall comprise the civil service as established immediately before this constitution comes into force and the offices declared elsewhere in this constitution to be offices in the public service.
(4) In this constitution, an office in the public service does not include:-
(a) the office of President, Vice President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Secretary of State or a member of the National Assembly.
From the above constitutional provision 4(a), It clearly shows that Vice President is not in public service which means our National Assembly members and Vice President are not civil servants The constitution proves who is civil servant in this case. It was this reason that Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s was given victory as a result of ill-advised and ignorance political motivated overturned of her National Assembly membership .
On the lighter note I do not know which university you graduated from with your PhD but I would encourage you to visit your alumni writing center so that you could present objective, credible, and scholarly evidenced-based paper to make a clear and convincing case on why President Adama Barrow deserve a second term.