Opposition leaders/figures in the Gambia think that by keeping their mouths shut or releasing vague condemnation of a faux pas of a coup cooked up by Yahya Jammeh and his hired goons will earn them some brownie points. Furthermore letting Gambians see the debacle that is Yahya Jammeh’s rule in all its glory will earn them dramatic gains come October. But alas no. They are sadly mistaken. The dictator smell fear and is going for the jugular starting with that coerced ten thousand solidarity march.
The corrosive cynics in Gambian opposition land keep whispering in the ears of our purported opposition figures to take the high road and not get into an altercation with what one Gambian commentator going by the pseudo “ bulfalleh” called “Doof” (meaning psychotic or crazy person), that taking a strong stance will only earn them the wrath of the moron that is Yahya Jammeh. So they (the opposition) release press statements but generally remain silent about gross human rights abuses dealt to the alleged coup plotters that continues to this day. Instead of calling for the constitutional rights against self-incrimination of the alleged coup plotters while they are paraded on national television incriminating themselves under duress, our learned opposition parties send out press releases condemning an event they have no evidence even happened.
What is responsible for such a lackluster performance amongst a group of people vying to bring democracy and the rule of law to the Gambia? Why are they silent and not demanding that the government respect the rights of defendants? Fear some one told me is the culprit. What else? Because these guys (opposition leaders) are savvy enough to know that silence in a political scene doesn’t motivate your supporters. Gambians understand long ago that Yahya doesn’t know crap about governance, but what they have not seen is backbone from the opposition camp. Every time they have a chance at scoring a touchdown, (using a football metaphor), they punt the ball.
Meanwhile, Yahya sensing the fear continues to ruthlessly imprison and torture people at mile two prisons. Disappearances and rumors of summary executions of Gambians continue to dominate our society since the announcement of the alleged coup, reminiscent of the November 1994 event. This would have been the shining moment for a credible opposition force. Demanding the treatment of Gambians humanely no matter the grievousness of their alleged crime should be the mantra of the opposition not joining a press release galore castigating an event the circumstances of which is dubious at best.
We have an opposition leadership that is scared of offending the government and by extension never inspire or motivate their supporters. Yahya Jammeh knows this and that is why he does what he does. Recent events in Nepal shows that a committed and steadfast opposition leadership can make a monarch shake in his boots and reverse his callousness just by inspiring and motivating a population that is tired of been victimized. But Gambian opposition leaders are simply for lack of a better metaphor afraid. And that has to change and soon for the sake of our country.