To challenge Goloh and have a fighting chance, the opposition parties came together and formed a coalition. A Memorandum of Understanding was drafted and willing parties signed on. This was their only factual chance, and it worked! Goloh was defeated and sent packing. The freedom clouds rolled in and they ranged from dark grey to light grey, with fifty other shades in between.
Freedom is a must and grey is the colour. But under the clouds of freedom, the MoU was unraveling, fast too! There were rumours and accusations regarding cabinet appointments, and the noise kept getting louder. And yes, as usual, Halifa Sallah held a press conference and hit the online radio circuit to clear the air. In typical Gambian style, the press conference set off an online storm instead. There was more darkness than light, and things kept escalating. With the MoU virtually scrapped and party surrogates running wild online, it became apparent that a “post-victory conference” was necessary, not to ease the tension, but to balance the scales a little bit. After all, UDP is the biggest party in the entire wide world. This, my friends, is what necessitated the Post-Victory Conference July 2017. Momodou Sabally was selected to be the moderator extraordinaire.
Momodou Sabally: Ladies and gentlemen of the great people of The Gambia, I am the moderator of this conference. My name is Honourable Momodou Sabally. I was your best Presidential Affairs minister under our hero, Jammeh. Due to my intelligence and being the Pen of The Gambia, I have managed to wriggle my way into the current government and hence my role in being the MC of this august body. I have Champion DJ Lamin Cham on sounds and the dancers on the stage to my left are some of the other APRC rejects trying to join in this new government led by Suku Singhateh. Congratulations to Fatim Badjie and the honorable sister in New York. Masanneh Kinteh will make sure everyone is safe. Champion Sound, hit me with music!
Halifa Sallah: Hold it right there. This is a conference and not a musical jamboree. President Jammeh is no longer here! Before we get started, as usual, I am the coordinator and the most powerful one here. Please make sure all the blinds are closed because President Barrow is not here and we don’t want him peeking and not saying anything as usual!
Mai Fatty: Barrow can peek all he wants! What is your issue Halifa? I am in charge of the internal security of this US$55 million conference hall. I say when the blinds are to close or not. Not you!
Halifa: Anyway, like I was saying, according to our Memorandum of Understanding and the provisions of our Constitution that I helped draft and convince doubters on…oh sorry, this is a conference on the way forward. Sorry I digressed. I had the age limit on my mind.
All the political parties and their various leaders feel aggrieved by some issues and we thought we should meet to hash them out. This relates to our online presence and the personalities involved. Therefore, we have agreed that we will be swapping some of our surrogates for better equilibrium. The uproar online keeps snowballing and the scales keep tipping. We have here Pata Saidykhan, Fangbondi Jatawuleng, Foday Jawla, Bamba Mass and Lamin Jammeh otherwise known as Baddibu Mansa. They represent the UDP a.k.a. Coalition Defence League. We also have Modou Nyang, Sulayman Bokarr Bah, Papa Ousman Lowe and Modou Nyang.
They represent the ideals of PDOIS. The GDC is ably represented by Saihou Mballow, Ebou Jallow, Lamin Gano and MC Cham. The APRC has no one here because they insist they can’t take any decisions in the absence of President Jammeh. Hamat Bah doesn’t trust anyone else representing NRP in this conference and so he is representing himself. Henry Gomez and Mai Fatty have no one else in their parties beside themselves so they will be speaking as a team.
The PDOIS therefore proposes to adopt Pata PJ Saidykhan as a PDOIS member. Pata is the most charismatic of the bunch, a chicken wing lover, lives in Nebraska where he is the only Gambian and he wears an oversized cap. Pata also sports an earring and speaks with an American twang. Not only is he enigmatic, he actually presents his arguments in a sensible manner. Oh and here is the coolest part, rumour has it that he licks his new tennis shoes before he wears them; how spectacular is that? We know he is ripe for plucking and will be welcomed in PDOIS. We will give the UDP Sulayman Bokarr Bah and take Pata. Mr Sabally, PDOIS formally requests to take Pata from the UDP!
Momodou Sabally: Well UDP, you guys have power. Please notice how I run this conference and I want to know how you feel when it’s all said and done. I have a leadership academy and we are accepting donations. We teach the Science of Sycophancy. Anyway, UDP what do you say?
Ousainou: Mr Fatty, where is Pata from?
Mai Fatty: I believe he is from Jarra but you know some of the Saidykhans also live in Sanjally Kanikunda. But let’s go with Jarra.
Ousainou: What about that guy dancing in the corner in the all-yellow outfit with the haphazard haircut?
Mai: Oh that’s Foday Jawla, sir. I have a dossier on him right here.
Ousainou: Halifa, will you accept Foday Jawla? I heard he is a thorn that is on a continuous prowl of the Internet looking for the word “government” or UDP. He is unrelenting and quite an intellectual. You will not have a more active and impudent warrior. He lives in a basement in Germany that’s equipped with a strong wi-fi connection and is online 21 hours a day.
Ousainou whispers to Mai: What is wrong with Foday? Does he ever get tired of dancing and singing to himself? Or is there something wrong with him?
Mai: He is just an enthusiastic supporter of yours, sir, but I heard that he is also missing two French fries to make a complete happy meal as they say in Nebraska. Pata taught me that…hehehe.
Ousainou: Halifa, Foday is all yours if you will give us Momodou Nyang.
Halifa: I’ve invested too much in Nyang. I can’t swap him for a dancer. You can have Momodou Nyan and not Nyang but I want Pata!
Sabally: Mr. Bah, do you have anything to say? I noticed that you are staring at the window and seem to be zoned out.
Hamat: Oh, sorry! Look, I don’t have much to say. My dream was to be a minister and I’m happy how things turned out. I’m in the cabinet now and waiting for the churai gonga to start smoking. My main focus is to make sure there is no “hemosexualism” in The Gambia and to bring back the ‘backway’ boys to marry as many of our single women as they can. By the way, the salad we ate in Saudi Arabia was extremely delicious, still licking my lips. I wonder what type of salad dressing they had on it. Mr. Sabally, can you not ask me any other questions please? I don’t want to say much and jinx myself. Thanks
Sabally: Ok sir! You can continue gazing at the window. Mr Henry Gomez, we are yet to hear from you. Do you want to chime in before we proceed any further?
Henry: Gambia, forlen tek President Adama Barrow? Fii! Fii fii fii! Suma boysi Germany yee, forlen tek President Adama Barrow? Fii! Fii fii fii! Cheppeh yee yen nak? Fii! Fii fii fii! Ken munut si anything, anything anything. Yes man! Champion Sound, hit me with music!
Halifa: Hold it right there! I have already said this; we are here for a conference, not a musical jamboree. Mr Sabally, can you please expel Champion Sound so that we can focus and have a productive conference? I am afraid someone is going ask them to hit them with music again.
Sabally: Mr Sallah, I am certain Champion Sound got the message now and will not honour the request of those asking. But before we proceed, it has just registered that OJ and PPP are not in attendance. Does anyone know what the issue is there?
Ousainou: Rumour has it that NRP “punked” PPP and took their blue flag, and PPP is pink now. So I guess OJ is too embarrassed to come marching in here waving a pink flag!
Mai: Mr Darboe, I didn’t know you had such a wicked sense of humour, sir. And I can’t believe you know about the term “punked.” Where did you learn that term?
Ousainou: I am on Facebook and WhatsApp, remember? And besides, I hail from Niani and we have a brutal sense of humour there. I don’t joke much, but when I do, it’s on fire…hehehe.
Halifa: Mr Sabally, can we get back to our order of business please?
Sabally: Yes we may, Mr Sallah.
Halifa: PDIOS rejects Mr Darboe’s offer for Foday Jawla! I just received a text message alerting me that people are blocking Foday Jawla online in droves; and if that is indeed true, he may not be useful to us regardless of his 21 hours a day online presence. My phone does not have Internet capability, but I have a 1980 Macintosh computer at home and will dial up the Internet to confirm when I get home. In any event, we reject Mr. Derbies’ offer! Mr Darboe, we are willing to offer UDP Sulayman Bokarr Bah in exchange for Pata, and this offer is firm.
Sabally: Mr Darboe, any objections to Mr Sallah’s counter offer?
Ousainou: Listen, Mr Sallah, UDP will not release Pata to any of our political rivals in a billion years and that’s written in stone. He is a “ride and die” lieutenant. However, we are willing to trade Bamba Serign Khadimu Rasul Mass for Sulayman Bokarr Bah.
Halifa: Bamba who? I am told that he has been messing up my name and dragging my “white haftan” in the streets of Facebook and I do not appreciate such behaviour from him. My “white haftan” is supreme like the Constitution and should be respected. My Nokia cellphone is game but my “white haftan” is not!
To be continued: