A tale of two rallies…

Since the withdrawal of UDP and NRP from NADD, the dynamics of opposition politics have changed. While the UDP/NRP alliance forge ahead with a semi campaign by organizing rallies around the greater Banjul area and attacking the record of Yahya Jammeh and his APRC cohorts, NADD through the utterances of Lamin Waa Juwara has become obsessed with it’s erstwhile members. Case in point is the following story that appears in the point newspaper about a rally held by the UDP/NRP alliance:

“Days of APRC Numbered”
Monday 13th March 2006

By Abba A.S Gibba, A Nyockeh & A. Njie

NRP’s Hamat Bah has told a political gathering in Serekunda Central that the days of the APRC are numbered. He added that the writings are on the wall that come October, President Jammeh would be democratically dislodged to give way to what he called a human-centred government.

Bah lamented that considering the size of Serekunda and its population as well as capacity to generate revenue, the town should not be left without streetlights, suitable cemeteries, consistent water supply, garage among many other woes. He said the APRC administration is a failed system, urging the electorate of Serekunda Central to deny Jammeh and his party their votes for a better Gambia for all.

He accused Jammeh of wastefully spending the state resources at the detriment of the Gambian people.

Meanwhile, also addressing a rally in Brufut, Bah called on Jammeh to recall other officials of the deposed PPP administration to national duty. To Bah, this was overdue as in his own words Jammeh and his government are in dire need of salvation.

He acknowleged that it was good and equally timely that Jammeh appointed Lamin Kiti Jabang ‘because Jabang was experienced and effective’. Bah said there exist lots of Kiti Jabang’s calibre who the president should not be ashamed of recalling to active national duty.

Compare that with the utterances of Mr. Juwara at a NADD rally as reported by point:

As politicians Warm-up for 2006 Elections
Juwara Lambasts UDP
Monday 13th March 2006

By Alhagie Mbye

As political titans in the country start stretching their muscles in the build-up to the forthcoming presidential elections, a firebrand politician cum executive member of NADD has lambasted the United Democratic Party (UDP) for pulling out of NADD, saying that the reason advanced by the UDP leader was frivolous and baseless.

Lamin Waa Juwara told supporters at a rally recently held in Brikama that there was no mistrust within NADD members.“ Why would the UDP jump out from the alliance on the grounds that there was mistrust within NADD members? That is not true and can never be true,” the NDAM leader fumed.

“ There is no element of mistrust within NADD. Even if there was such mistrust, in my view it does not warrant pulling out single-handedly.”

The Niamina Dankunku ex-parliamentarian in the deposed PPP regime therefore expressed the need for Ousainou Darboe to return to NADD, saying: “ Those asking him to quit are enemies to him and NADD’s cause.”

For the seasoned opposition politician, the purpose of forming an alliance is to effect a change of government in the forthcoming presidential elections.

Mr Juwara stated: “ We affirm our commitment to this cause, and if that pledge is made, could someone think of being a renegade at such crucial points just for the mere seeking of position? Politics is more than a mere pursuing of personal interest at the expense of the whole nation. On the contrary, it is the pursuit of collective interest at the expense of personal interests.”

“NADD’s cause is a national cause,” Juwara told supporters at the rally.
That the UDP holds the majority in the country is unrealistic, said Mr Juwara, arguing that if the UDP holds a majority they would have booted out the Jammeh administration in the past presidential elections.

One would think that if the common opponent is APRC, Juwara will be well served criticizing their record than obsessing with what the other opposition alliance is up to. The UDP is not the party in power. The APRC is the party that is running the Gambia into the ground.

Juwara of all people should understand that the fight to take back the Gambia is a long-term goal. There will be many defeats. Getting sultry and vindictive every time some one broke ranks isn’t going to cut it. Taking potshots at the UDP every opportunity he had is not going to help in any future reconcilliation efforts.


4 Responses to A tale of two rallies…

  1. Cynthia says:

    The UDP sounds like they are going to join the APRC. Juwara to me is just setting the record straight. It sounds like he is saying Darboe is lying about the reason to pull out. In other words, Darboe integrity is at stake. People do this all the time in politics. I don’t see this as obsessing. If he had done that to me, I would be doing the same thing. It is healthy to clear the air then one can move on. However, no matter what happens, it is clear Darboe is setting up himself to join whomever will be in charge. Like most people in this situation who speculate, I think Darboe thinks the APRC is going to win.

  2. ousman ceesay says:

    The UDP joining the APRC? That is a new one. I don’t see that happening. Setting the record straight huh? Waa should have told his audience how nefarious he was during the close door executive meetings. He divulge confidential info from those meetings in his efforts to undermine the credibility of Darbo. Where is the trust if some one keeps yapping to outsiders about behind the scenes negotiations.Darbo is not an idiot. If he thinks that the APRC is going to win, why is he going through all of this? This man could live a lucrative life by any standards. No? He is putting all that on the line saying to himself ” am not going to win but this is fun”.

  3. Cynthia says:

    I don’t think that he is saying this is fun. I also never saw the point to withdraw from a government because your opponent is a crook and you don’t agree with his crookedness. There are crooks everywhere in politics and people on both sides still engage each other. Just look at the U.S. This is what I see Darboe setting himself up for. If one analyze past elections, one can say with a certain amount of accuracy that Darboe will lose this time too and I think Darboe knows this. As a result, from his statements, he is going to engage this government. . And since I’m speculating based on what Darboe said, this may not reflect reality. Only time will separate reality from fantasy.

  4. ousman ceesay says:

    If you know the system is flawed, and you stick with it for unity’s sake, you can’t complain after the fact. I am not happy with what has become of NADD, but I will not castigate Darbo for getting out of an arrangement he doesn’t want to be a part of. In the spirit of free speech, you are right to point out that Waa can say whatever he wants about Darbo and the UDP/NRP alliance. The gist of my post is not whether he is entitle to do that. Off course he is. What I am alluding to is his perchance to attack his erstwhile comrades as if they are in government.Will Darbo win the next elections? Not with a splintered opposition. NADD doesn’t stand a chance either. That is why people like Kemesseng are calling on the opposition to refrain from attacking each other. There is plenty of time for an alliance. Attacking the character of people ( as waa is doing) will not augur well for a reconcilliation.

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