The executive secretary of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Baba Galleh Jallow has confirmed that he had considered running as an independent candidate in the December presidential election.
In a write-up titled ‘Never Again: The Manifesto of an Unlikely Candidate’ shared with The Standard, Dr Jallow wrote: “In recent days, social media has also been awash with rumours that I plan to run for president. One rumour, obviously unfounded, is that a colleague and I are planning on jointly forming a political party. But there is an element of truth to the rumour that I might be considering running for president this year. Some of my good Facebook friends have even posed the question directly to me and of course, I could only admit that there is some truth to the suggestion that I have thought of running for president this year. Over the past year or so, the idea has been suggested to me several times by friends and acquaintances. And it is true that I have given it some serious consideration. One of the reasons I gave the government early notice that I will be leaving the TRRC Secretariat at the end of July when the commission’s final report would have been submitted to the president is yes, to give myself space to search and apply for jobs, which I am doing, but yes to also give some serious thought to the possibility of contesting the 4th December election as an independent candidate.
“As at the time of writing these lines, however, it does not appear that I will run for president in 2021 due to a number of constraining circumstances beyond my control. Notwithstanding these constraining circumstances that make me an unlikely candidate for December 2021, I do have some very strong views on what I think the next president and the next government of The Gambia should focus on, and what I think is some reasonably good insight into the nature of the many chronic and growing challenges facing us as a nation and a society. I also think I have some reasonably feasible ideas on how we can manage and overcome some of the most acute of these challenges.”
But the distinguished former journalist and academic observed that like many Gambians he holds the belief that the country needs “some serious waking up” to do.
He explained: “The current socio-political and economic trajectories of the country are not promising and it is only a matter of time, if things do not improve for Gambian society, before they get out of hand. The troubling levels of poverty, crime, indiscipline, inefficiency, and general chaos we currently encounter in our urban areas do not bode well for the emergence of a healthy and a happy society. Increasingly, the seeds of discontent and therefore social conflict are being sown everywhere around us and the problems we have faced as a nation for decades continue to fester and to increase in severity. I share the view with many Gambians that it is high time that we do better for ourselves, our country and for our children and future generations. And I believe that yes we can do it!
“And so while I’m not sure circumstances will allow me to run for president this year, I still think it is useful that I share with the Gambian people the issues I would have advocated were I to run for president,” he asserted.
Read the full statement on Page 18.