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WINNERS and LOSERS 2023

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Abba Sanyang

Losers

PPP – An annus damna, or year of losses for the First Republic ruling party. Lost every election contested. And in OJ’s death, lost the one thing holding it together.

Mai Fatty – Despite telling The Standard that his party is neither dead nor comatose, Gambia Moral Congress is in de facto a party only in name. Has not won one sit in any election and in fact chooses not to participate in most, if not all of our plebiscites.

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Omar ‘Baitullah’ Sanneh – The man with the foulest mouth in The Gambia was picked up by Senegalese authorities near Bignona, Casamance on 10 June and charged with insulting Macky Sall and engaging in espionage. Languishing in preventive detention since.

Yahya Jammeh – As if his penchant for self-destruction knows no bounds, the former president split his party and with it, his remaining power and influence in the country he once ruled as a fiefdom.

Sheriffo Sonko – The sex-crazed Lothario chairman of Brikama Area Council was forced by his party not to seek a new mandate. He has since got a new job but not his reputation. Correction: good reputation.

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Ousman Bah – After the bluster and fluster of his early appointment, the tech minister found himself embroiled in a corruption scandal after his ministry gave a contract to the company owned by the Honourable Minister himself.

Ahmad Gitteh – Political loudmouth and self-styled ‘Honey Badger’ got a measly 6,718 votes compared to the 52,429 votes for the man he claimed to have defeated in his party’s primaries.

Dr Banja – A few days before the UDP anti-corruption demo, the fisheries PS was goaled for two years for taking a bribe from a Chinese investor.

Abba Sanyang – In a rare move, President Barrow removed the Lands minister for reported graft. Since then, the Sword of Damocles has been swinging over his head with threats of prosecution coming from the AG’s Chambers.

Ousainou Darboe – First it was his prodigal son. Now his own much-beloved commando and Friday mbahal eating chum has abandoned him for lusher pastures. It was personal. Surely a body blow even though he might not publicly admit so.

Minister Bakary Badjie – First was the per diem saga involving his wife; then the mayoral election loss. And after spending over D100 million in renovating the stadium, CAF declares it still unfit for its tourney. But Baks is our Baks and he is still smiling!

University of The Gambia – They denied it was a sex for grades scandal, but the tampering of grades at the nation’s top educational institution has left a blemish on its reputation.

AMRC – The sun has finally set on the ill-fated corporation that was set up in 1992 to manage the assets of the similarly ill-fated defunct Gambia Commercial & Development Bank.

Comedians – It has not been a happy year for the men who arrogated to themselves the task of making us laugh. They have been punched, thrown into mud and jailed by a humourless state.

National Assembly Members – However hard their spein-meisters may try to spin it, many Gambians regard the current members of the National Assembly as a bunch of greedy, self-serving men and women more devoted to lining their pockets than being true representatives of the people.

Social Media – A few years ago, the comedian Alhaji Bora, or was it his friend Muhammed, issued a plea to Mark Zuckerberg to remove The Gambia from Facebook because of the rabid anti-social exchanges on the popular medium. Indeed, Facebook, Twitter (what is X?) and more significantly TikTok, have become groundswells of insult-fest between UDP and NPP supporters; between so-called Sunni and Sufi clerics and their uncouth talibés; and between idle, pre-menopausal jekks in Europe and America. Very unedifying!

The Junglers – Although they are roaming the streets of The Gambia as freemen, the hunt for Jammeh’s Junglers euphemistically referred to as ‘The Patrol Team’ outside our borders is gathering pace with the trial and conviction of Bai Lowe in Germany and the indictment of Ousman Sonko and Michael Sang Correa in Switzerland and the US.

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