D-Day for NADD

The controversy as to whether the opposition National Alliance for Democracy and Development NADD has finally split or not will be decided at an executive meeting to be held on Sunday.

According to a highly placed source, Sunday’s meeting is a very important one, because it is out of this meeting that the leadership will make final decisions concerning various issues on the current political impasse apparently road-blocking the Alliance.

The meeting which is expected to be attended by the UDP leadership will according to our sources discuss at length, issues affecting the leadership especially as they relate to the forthcoming elections and to future administrative and political arrangements. It is very possible that we will come out with a final decision so that we can all set to work, our source posited. It would be recalled that the leader of the United Democratic party, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, told journalists a fortnight ago that he had broken ranks with the alliance for what he termed distrust among them. The UDP has since formed a new alliance with Hamat Bahs National Reconciliation Party (NRP) in line with their immediate and long-term political goals.

It would also be recalled that the NADD Coordinator, Mr Halifa Sallah, had indicated that the NADD was intact despite rumours to the contrary. Meanwhile the programmed meeting of the UDP/NRP alliance is expected to hold at Sinchu Alhaji Village tomorrow. … the Point

These are tumultuous times for the Gambian opposition. The fault lines in NADD have been exposed and the subsequent withdrawal of messrs Darbo and Bah isn’t helping matters. Hindsight is twenty-twenty and with that in mind critics can say that NADD was destined for this eventuality. NADD come to think of it, is based on a policy of hope. We hope that by coming together and opposing the dictator, we stand a better chance of defeating him, we hope that the leaders of the various opposition parties will leave their ambitions, egos and petty jealousies at the door for the good of the nation, we hope that this is in fact what was happening behind the scenes, we hope until this month when it dawn on most of us that ‘the audacity of hope’ (as Barack Obama alluded to in his democratic convention speech of 2004) is what the Gambian opposition is clinging on.

So what do we do? For starters, we should be realist. We ought to realize that NADD without its two large constituent parties stood little or no chance of deposing Yahya no matter how noble their programs are. Gambians don’t vote on issues, they vote for personalities. This is the ugly truth. The UDP/NRP coalition could get as much as 35% of the electorate easy, but defeating Yahya ain’t happening that way either. The only viable solution is to shoot for a party led coalition whereby the smaller parties that presently constitute NADD will put their weight behind the UDP/NRP alliance. Do I see that happening? No, if you judge by the vitriol taking place on Gambian forums. But that is expected and frankly it doesn’t matter either. The decisions are made on the ground and these decision makers are very smart and politically astute to gauge the cliff they are heading for if everyone took an obtuse stance.

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