NADD…now what?

This thread at Gambia-Talk is reminiscent of the opinions that are been express on Gambian forums about the NADD flag bearer issue. What bug me about all of this is how privy to the discussions are these commentators? Do they have a dog in the fight? Is there a coordinated hatchet job directed at Ousainou Darbo. The negative campaigning directed at the UDP leader needs to stop. People need to chill and give the negotiations on the ground a chance to succeed. Isn’t that part of the democratic culture that NADD is formed to usher in? I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Saine and hope that he will not go on the limb for an unsubstantiated rumor. He must have been told what he wrote by someone in the know and now if he will be kind enough to enlighten the rest of us.

This is not the Time for Darboe to Break-away Under a UDP- banner

The ongoing political furor over Omar Jallow’s (OJ) selection as the presidential candidate for the 2006 presidential elections and not Ousainou Darboe by NADD’s Executive can not be contested on grounds of OJ’s electability. This is a flawed argument that undermines the very democratic process that the Mou sought to engender and agreed to by all parties. Flawed as the Mou is, Darboe and all the presidential-candidate aspirants accepted the ground rules heading into the meeting that selected OJ.

To use arguments based on previous election results or the UDP being the single largest opposition political party has little or no relevance to the decision already rendered by NADD’s executive. Why must the rules now be contested or changed just because Darboe was not favored? Why must we second-guess the process and the thinking behind each executive member’s decision? If the truth be told, Darboe has no choice but to support the process that selected OJ, regardless of his reservations about the process itself or possibly the candidate, if any. If Darboe had been selected, I would have defended and supported his candidature despite what OJ or anyone else may say. To do otherwise would be sheer hypocrisy. To date, the Mou remains the best document for the current coalition. It took months of tedious negotiations to arrive at its painstaking details. Furthermore, Darboe tried in 1996 and 2001 and could not dislodge Jammeh. It is time for another candidate to give it a try. This is partly because the political landscapes of 2001 and 2006 are very different and the latter may require a different strategy and candidate. In my humble opinion, Darboe’s professional and personal temperament may not be suited to counter Jammeh’s brutish threats and venomous attacks. His personal and professional skills would serve The Gambia best, in my view, in a post-Jammeh ear in 2011 as a presidential candidate and possibly president.

What is needed now is someone like OJ to confront Jammeh head-on as decided by NADD’s Executive, in spite of the reservations others or I may have about his candidature. And, like many of you, I harbor many. Therefore, the issue of OJ’s political baggage can not be overlooked, nor anyone’s for that matter. He served the PPP for well over a decade as parliamentary secretary and minister. Yet, unlike most of his other PPP colleagues after the coup, he has been unflinching in his opposition to Jammeh and has paid dearly for it; so has Ousainou, Halifa, Waa and the other leaders who also have their own limitations. If Ousainou were chosen the issue of baggage would inevitably come up as well. This is not the time, nor the place, however, to spell out Ousainou’s or OJ’s. Additionally, this is not the time for Darboe to break away under a UDP banner to contest the presidency as it could aid Jammeh in his re-election bid. If Darboe is truly committed to ridding the country of Jammeh, which I believe he does, he must forego his short-term interests and putative gains as a presidential candidate in 2006 for the larger national good. After all, NADD’s Executive chose OJ cognizant of Darboe’s standing as head of the largest opposition party.

I humbly urge Darboe, the UDP Executive, advisors and supporters to rally behind OJ as he was duly selected by NADD’s Executive. To do less is to subvert the very democratic process they all claim to uphold and wish to see in a post-Jammeh era. If NADD unravels into its constituent political parties so could the effort to oust Jammeh. Another five years of Jammeh, possibly ten is too painful to ponder.

Abdoulaye Saine Hamilton,
Ohio, USA

Dr. Saine,
You said this “I humbly urge Darboe, the UDP Executive, advisors and supporters to rally behind OJ as he was duly selected by NADD’s Executive.” Can you please tell us how was OJ duly elected by NADD executives. Did they go from nomination to actually voting to select a flagbearer among the contestants? If yes, when? I await your response. Thank
you. Take care.


I am glad that you finally could not any longer conceive it deep in your throat . This is the day some of us have waited for.To hear from the horse’s own mouth after we first heard about the project that you,OJ , James and the so-called Ohio group have initiated long ago. It did not come as a suprise to me. What is however suprising to me is the extend to which you are willing to compromise your neutrality and professionalism to join the semi-litrates in painting a picture which never existed in the first place. May be you will be generous enough to educate us about the executive committee that endorsed OJ’s nomination. Certainly, not NADD’s executive committee. It is an open secret that this is the same strategy OJ employed in 2001, purposely to ostracise his perceived rivals. Secondly, the events leading this wild nonsense of OJ’S nomination is not also a secret to you. How you could ignore all these and joined the fray of intellectual charlatans is indeed beyond me. I simply cannot decipher it! But at the cul-de-sac, we will meet. For the Gambia , our homeland.

Musa Sanneh

Banka & Musa: I hope the good doc Saine will share with us what he is privy to.

Folks: I will take this opportunity to celebrate that the very democrarcy we all wanted is almost here. As we find ourselves engage in the democratic process, it is good for all of us to remember that this is the kind of Gambia we would all like to see. Inasmuch, we all
disagree with Pa Nderry’s professionalism or editorial tilt, we need the Pa Nderry Mbyes or the democracy we would all like to see flourish in the Gambia. Undoubtedly, equally the need for the criticism level against him by public opinion, in a weird way; there is hope for the Gambia we all would like to see.

Caution! As for all of us supporting different parties or personalities within NADD, it is ok to feel angry, betrayed or even disgusted with the process. Let us all continue to have our differences, and engage in an honest, constructive, and even contentious debate sometimes. But at the end of the day, we will have to rally around a selected leader of NADD, even if it is someone that we have our doubts with. The big question is what prices each and everyone of us willing to pay to give democracy a chance, and bring about the final exit of Dictator Jammeh. We all want democracy, well here we have it – it is not that pretty.

Thanks Musa Jeng


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