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Thursday, May 23, 2024

The blame game…

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With Aisha Jallow

If there was a World Cup in blame game, I am certain that The Gambia would win.

It is very interesting to follow the political debate in the media and to see where one after another is praising themselves at the same time as they are blaming someone else. Whenever I read this kind of statements, I come to think of a Swedish politician called Jimmie Åkesson.

He is the leader of Sweden democrats, a party that has one main issue on their agenda: they dislike foreigners and wish to throw them out from Sweden as soon as possible. This party has been in the opposition for several years, but unfortunately, they are now part of the leading majority.

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The members of that party are struggling with being able to behave in a civilised manner. They are so used to their own constant complaints about everything, so it is hard for them to find a new way to act. They have suddenly found that they must adjust to the democratic system, and that is not fun…for them. Whenever the party leader is questioned about anything in particular, you will see him making big eyes and trying to look innocent. His eyebrows are lifted and his look is like: “What? What have I done? What have we done? It was not us! It was someone else and they did worse!” The behaviour is childlike and embarrassing to see, just as childlike and embarrassing as to watch another set of the Gambian blame game.

A PDOIS supporter, Mr Foday Sisawo, has accused the UDP leader Ousainu Darboe for being the cause of The Gambia going downhill. Mr Sisawo has been digging up old garbage from 2016, dusted it off and made it as new again. Things that happened 7 years ago are in fresh memory as it seems and should not be forgotten, according to Mr Sisawo. I must admit that I had to read Mr Sisawo’s statements several times, as I didn’t follow his reasoning. It was like watching his mind jump from stone to stone, not knowing if he would fall or make it. Scary and fascinating at the same time. Mr Sisawo is giving one example after another on what he feels is wrong, and I wonder if he thought this through before he spoke to a reporter about it? It must have been hard for the reporter to put all these lose ends together and try to create an article from it.

Mr Sisawo began with telling a third person in this drama, Mr Lamin Demba, that he is wrong. Mr Demba is the campaign manager of the National Unity Party. Mr Demba had said that president Barrow is the one to blame for the downfall of The Gambia. Mr Sisawo said: “Naa, man, you are wrong! You are so wrong, man!” Try to read/hear this statement with a Jamaican accent, just for fun. The topic for this essay is not that fun, so let us try to amuse ourselves a little when we can. Have you begun to understand why I wrote that it is like watching Mr Sisawo’s mind jumping from stone to stone? There are a lot of stones in this story and we have not reached the end yet!

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Everything actually began with Mr Demba saying that it was president Barrow we can accuse for the bad times in The Gambia and then Mr Sisawo had to jump in and tell his mind instead. Are you with me so far? This is confusing, I know!

Lamin Demba is calling on Gambians to turn out and vote for the opposition candidates, saying wins for President Barrow’s NPP will sink the country in a deeper hole. Reacting to Mr Demba’s comments Foday Sisawo said as following:

”The campaign manager of NUP, Mr Demba, said the country is hard and people are hungry. I want to tell him that all these problems emanate from Ousainu Darboe, the leader of the UDP. He is the cause of the damage that the country is facing currently.”

To continue his statements, Mr Sisawo told that:

“Mr Demba said that if Gambians vote for NPP candidates the country will go from the frying pan to the fire. I am also saying that electing UDP candidates would be two times worse than electing NPP candidates.”

It is amazing to see how Mr Sisawo goes out to defend president Barrow and his inability to lead the country in the right direction. Sure, Mr Sisawo was a member of the Coalition 2016, but he is not an NPP member, he is a member of PDOIS. This is making me even more confused, because what reason does Mr Sisawo have to defend president Barrow? Are they buddies, or did Mr Sisawo suddenly get an irresistible urge to speak his mind even if no-one asked for his opinion?

Mr Darboe doesn’t run the country, so why is he blamed for the hardships The Gambia is facing? According to Foday Sisawo the problem is that Ousainu Darboe never had the interest of the public. He never supported any agreements that were in the interest of the country and everything was only about himself and the UDP. According to Mr Sisawo, Ousainu Darboe refused to agree with the coalition plans in 2016 and that is when things began to go wrong. Mr Sisawo says that Ousainu Darboe at first supported Barrow for five years, but after he had been removed from his position as vice president Darboe advised Barrow to step down after three years.

So, Ousainu Darboe is the cause of the suffering today, not president Barrow and his minions. This is Foday Sisawo’s opinion, not mine. Mr Sisawo said he is not a supporter of the NPP, and cannot be a NPP supporter, but he feels his duty as a responsible citizen to speak out and tell the truth. Wow! I can almost see the halo around Mr Sisawo’s head and the choir of angels singing to his praise. Mr Sisawo denies that president Barrow is ignoring the hardships the citizens of The Gambia are facing. How much was he paid to say that? What improvements have you seen in the country since 2017? Some new roads that are so badly built that they will not last the next raining season, that and a bunch of buses is what we can point out so far.

People are still hungry, the unemployment is still high, the hospitals are still under-equipped, women still die at childbirth. The food prices are too high, the prices on fuel are too high. School teachers are underpaid and still they are supposed to bring up new generations of citizens that are supposed to make the country thrive.

The corruption that president Barrow promised to eradicate is even higher now than before. I can’t find any reason to sing Barrow’s praise, can you?

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