It was a refreshing evening for many diaspora Gambians on Monday 1stFebruary 2016 when Gambia’s populist politician Omar Amadou Jallow who is the interim leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was interviewed on The Fatu Network on efforts being taken by Gambia’s opposition leaders to come together under one umbrella to challenge Dictator Yahya Jammeh in the 2016 general elections.
For months now many people both in the Gambia and in the diaspora have been wallowing in some kind of perplexity mainly because of mixed messages coming out from the opposition leaders in the Gambia regarding a grand coalition. Some members of the diaspora have even started calling for a plan B to challenge the dictatorship in the facing of continuing unwillingness by the party leaders to sit and discuss about a solution in dealing with the incumbent in the polls.
But appearing on The Fatu Network’s popular show as part of the dialogue series with political parties in the Gambia in preparation for the 2016 General Elections, populist politician Mr Omar Amadou Jallow (OJ) lifted the spirit of many listeners when he said that efforts are in motion to bring all the parties around the table for a serious discussion on the need for a united candidate wholly endorsed by all the opposition parties to serve as a flag bearer.
Mr Jallow said the opposition parties themselves have seen the need for this and that as far as he was concern, there is a high possibility for unity. Mr Jallow refused to be drawn into a blame game but rather urged the diaspora to remain positive about the ongoing efforts to opposition unity.
Mr Jallow said 22 years of brutality by the ruling party should be enough for even the doubters to start thinking about a tangible solution which is comprehensive enough to help Gambians out of the predicament they are found in. He called on fellow politicians to redouble their efforts “in building confidence among ourselves, among our supporters and among our advisers in seeing that 2016 is not a wasted opportunity in defeating dictatorship.”
Mr Jallow heavily criticized the President Yahya Jammeh for presiding over mountains of human rights abuses. He also challenged the President to tell Gambians how from a poor lieutenant in 1994 when he led the military coup, he has now claimed to be richer than the Gambian state. Mr Jallow said time has come for Gambians to put aside whatever difference they may have and concentrate on the bigger picture of strategizing to remove President Yahya Jammeh in the 2016 polls.
Mr Jallow made it clear that he has no leadership ambition and that all he wants is to see that the opposition unite under one umbrella. The PPP interim leader who said he was on mission at the time of the interview said immediately he returned, he would initiate a meeting for all the political parties to sit and discuss about the crucial issue of all party coalition against the incumbent.
Following Mr Jallow’s appearance on the Fatu Network, callers upon callers expressed their renewed hopes for a coalition involving all the opposition political parties. Some of the callers said Mr Jallow’s appearance has rekindled hopes that not all is lost and that a solution could be in the horizon.