20 November 2011

Gambia:Ten reasons Gambians must vote for Ousainou Darboe

By Mathew K Jallow

Barely two months ago, Yahya Jammeh told one of his minions to ask Moses Richards to write a letter of apology to him and beg for mercy. Yahya Jammeh was faced with one of two alternatives; to either free Moses Richards from Mile 2 Prisons, or face the full wrath of the Gambia Bar Association’s threat of strike action at the judiciary. Moses Richard’s apology letter, which Jammeh asked for, was meant to give him an excuse to free Mr. Richards and not seem like he capitulated to the Gambia Bar Association demands. 

Now again, it is déjà vous all over. Last week, Yahya Jammeh told his mother to ask him to go on what he calls a “thank-you” tour of the country, but rather than tell her son privately, Mrs. Asombo Bojang curiously went to the media to broadcast her message. Here again Yahya Jammeh needed an excuse to eat his words and not look like the liar he is, after he told Gambians in a rather rudely and insultingly manner some months ago that he would not campaign for re-election this year. It all boils down to one thing; despite his mad tirades and public blusters, Yahya Jammeh is a weak wreck.  

Yahya Jammeh will give in under the slightest internal pressure because he knows the military and security forces will side with the people in the case of a showdown, and are in fact waiting for an excuse to help the civilian population get rid of Yahya Jammeh once and for all.Equally important still, politically, he is in trouble and his reckless tirades against the Mandinka majority are predicated on the fear that the Mandinkas will coalesce around Mr. Darboe and help give him an easy victory in the polls. How I wish he is right. The fact that in the recent past, countless opposition parties in Africa have done what seemed so impossible; defeated incumbent regimes, many of which had been in power for decades, is not lost on Yahya Jammeh. And unlike previous elections, this year, the Gambian electorate is very animated and alive to what is at stake this year and we can only hope they will not give in to fear and the pressures of  Yahya Jammeh’s “chiefs and so-called governors.”  

Fellow countrymen and women, the more than 400,000 registered voters, who did not cast their ballots in 2006, have a patriotic obligation to go to the polls this year and vote for UDP’s Ousainou Darboe. This year, I have broken ranks with my party leader Hamat Bah at the NRP to support Ousainou Darboe because he has a better chance of unseating Yahya Jammeh. Nearly two months ago, I was engaged in discussions with Ousainou Darboe, Omar Jallow (OJ) and Hamat Bah to help bring them together, but Hamat Bah’s demand to be the coalition’s choice for the presidential candidacy was irrational and unacceptable. The end result is that in my support for Ousainou Darboe, I chose practical common sense over tribe, friendship and party affiliation. I am calling on all Gambians to do the same. For those who do not know the Ousainou Darboe I grew up and went to high school with; the Ousainou Darboe raised in a Wollof-Catholic family by the late United Party leader, Pierre S Njie; the Ousainou Darboe married to two wives none of who is a Mandinka; one being Wollof, and the other an Aku; the Ousainou Darboe who himself raised a Fula girl in his household to adulthood; and the Ousainou Darboe whose United Democratic Party leaders consists largely of Fulas, Wollofs and Akus; and not Mandinkas as his opponents maliciously often insinuate, is the best and most qualified man vying for the presidency of our country in these elections. I have complete faith in his ability to administer our government in an effective manner, but above all, reunite all Gambians again as one family, irrespective of tribe, religion or political 
affiliation. As a Fula, I am appealing to all Fulas across the country, especially the Fula Kundankees to put aside the temptation of tribal affinity and vote for Ousainou Darboe. The Fulas, Mandinkas and Wollofs in particular must speak with one voice and vote for UDP’s Darboe. I call on Gambians to vote for UDP’s Ousainou Darboe for the following reasons. 

As a man born in the heart of Fulladou, Ousainou Darboe does not subscribe to the delusional notion that Mandinkas own The Gambia as many older Mandinkas have insinuated in the past, so minority tribes; in particular the Fulas and Wollof, will not have that to enrage and anger them.As Head of State, Ousainou Darboe will ensure the rights of the minority tribes are protected.An Ousainou Darboe government will be represented by every Gambian tribe; not just the majority Mandinka he belongs to as Yahya Jammeh has done with his Jola tribe.

Ousainou Darboe is well educated and understands government more than Yahya Jammeh who has not education or an understanding of government and how to govern effectively.Unlike Yahya Jammeh, Ousainou Darboe will have a plentiful and ready supply of well educated Gambians both at home and abroad who will help to rebuild our country from Yahya Jammeh’s ruinous reign.Under Ousainou Darboe, true democracy will flourish, tourism will return much stronger that it had ever been, investments will flow in from Europe and America to create employment opportunities for our youth and Gambians with knowledge and expertise from every tribe will runs the country.

Under Ousainou Darboe, the presence of a completely free media will accelerate the diffusion of information and knowledge so Gambians at home don’t continue to remain ignorant as they have been the past seventeen years. The nature of Ousainou Darboe’s character and personality will ensure that no single tribe is marginalized and there is a level playing field for every Gambian to achieve their dreams.Ousainou Darboe is one of the nicest persons Gambians will have an opportunity to know, a man who smiles easily but can be tough if needs be.

With Ousainou Darboe as Head of State, arrests, detentions and imprisonments of innocent citizens will come to an END; murders, executions and tortures will STOP; the fear, intimidation and ceasure of citizen property by those in uniform will end; and Gambians will once again be free to criticize their government, go about their business without the hassles of police, military and security check point everywhere. In short, under Ousainou Darboe the younger generation will for the first time taste what is like to be BORN FREE in your own country.

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