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The Spotlight: The Scramble for the Gambia 2016; Part XI – Walk in Parallels!!

By Yero Jallow

So here we are again Citizens, trapped in-between the rock and the hard place. From our Islamic teachings, Prophet Yunus PBUH (Jonah) after casting the lots, on trial from his Lord, was trapped in three seals – the darkness of the whale’s stomach, the darkness of the waters, and the folds of the night. Thank God and the power of supplication that Yunus was saved on all of the trials.

The rest of Gambia’s opposition party leaders with the exception of GDC, are headed to the primaries on Sunday October 30th 2016. The primaries will be based on estimated 70 voters from each of the following parties; GPDP (Gomez), PDOIS (Sallah), Independent (Touray), PPP (OJ), NRP (Bah), UDP (Barrow), GMC (Fatty), and NCP (Bojang). Out of these political parties, only PDOIS, NRP, NCP, UDP, and the Independent are fielding presidential candidates. The rest will act as “swing” votes to balance against the loyal party supporters voting on the day, and as a result, their roles are very crucial, almost safe to say the determinant in tomorrow’s primaries. It is hoped that those selected by their individual parties to vote will truly vote their conscience. Hopefully, by 5pm GMT, the results of Gambia’s primaries will ply social media and break as news on media outlets the world over.

As we do the politics, just a humble advice again, to walk in parallels continually, to save further grace from what I call the ‘blame and blade game.’ Politics by its nature is so dirty, as it involves a lot of fantasy, bad blood, and also true advocacy. There is no need to cry over milk lost on bare sand, as it will not be recovered come rain come shine, though some vital lessons should have offered from divisive and intolerant politics. It is as if the ghosts of the previous and latter efforts to unite still haunts. Where there is injected mistrust, divisiveness, selectiveness in terms of favorites, and politics of interest, it further wrecks down the bonds of society, and robs us the opportunity for unity and good leadership, and further threatens continuity under the dictatorship. Ours is so bad that even the praying angels above couldn't have saved us, and that is sad and unfortunate. There are still some opportunities that can be explored to see total unity, and that will be my desired standpoint. Now against nomination and elections, it is still possible for a miracle to happen by some bouncing luck, though the chances are slimming by the second. In a simple majority contest, every vote counts.

It is still a need to appeal to both GOFER and GDC to come up with a plan B strategy after plan A failed; some merger that will ensure one unified force against the incumbent Jammeh on December 1st 2016. The truth remains a three-way race is not in Gambia’s favor, and this song is old, true, yet still it will be continually echoed in chorus, at least from my standpoint. I am by all disclosures bothered and not totally satisfied by the lack of one unified force. As demonstration of democracy and political pluralism, it would have been nice to have all these political parties even contest, but our situation with the 22-year old dictatorship, requires a different formula all together, for the same reason that a three-way race itches the hearts of all genuine citizens interested in seeing Jammeh defeated.

Walking in parallels is exactly where we should all be at; contributing positively in time, resources, finances, and strategy. Interested parties subscribed to organizations and/or their local communities can handle things in parallels, in simplicity, whatever works for the interested parties, in manners that appeals to them individually and/or collectively, walking the talk, adding meaning and value to the struggle. Agreeing to disagree is acceptable and walking in parallels is the middle ground, to demonstrate further unity and true love for country. Everyone should work on raising the bar higher with humility and no one should accept to be treated as a second class citizen. The only exception to the golden rule treatment are those that violated the treaty in the golden rule.

On a high note, without being speculative on the candidates, the possible outcomes, and any likely electoral flaws tomorrow, I am crossing my fingers and wishing Gambia’s opposition successful primaries tomorrow and hopefully a merger with GDC will explored to ensure a win this coming Presidential election, so thread carefully just knowing that there is a common enemy in Jammeh. Best of luck!! (Amen).

Hopefully time will permit to touch on the IEC on the next engagement part. Thank you fellow citizens!


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