Facts first, the constitution empowers every citizens to elect and be elected irrespective of their gender, profession, ethnicity, religion etc.

Yesterday i wrote an article on Freedom Newspaper arguing that we don’t need a glut of political parties in The Gambia as it won’t bring a healthy political system but that doesn’t mean people won’t register their parties if they express the desire to do so as it is a constitutional right.

Recently a female aspirant Fatoumata Rahman Coker made her intention known publicly that she want to register her political party and vie for political office and to my dismay and disappointment, Gambians, especially men descended on social media to throw insults at her from all angles.This is unacceptable and regrettable.

Remember she just made it known to us that she wants to register her political party and nothing else. We haven’t seen her party logo, color, manifesto and her ultimate reasons for the formation of the political party.

But our dirty mysogynistic men were quick to condemned her and some even went upto the extent of alleging that she’s a prostitute.My fellow Gambians who are you to judge someone.Who are to say that she can’t formed her own political party?

What are your reasons? Is it because she is a woman, single with no husband? Is it because she had a dark past? Is it because she don’t have any political experience? Is it because she is poor and financially handicapped?
If these are your reasons, then let me give you some lectures for free.

To start with those of you saying that she has a dark past behind her i will start with home to remind that our current Mayoress of Banjul faces similar criticisms during her campaign but that doesn’t deter her from pursuing her political ambition and what happened, she stayed strong, resist intimidation and won the battle among men. Who knows what she did 20 years, well that i can’t tell and not interested to know. But she was abled to campaign vigorously and convinced the people that she can do it as a woman.

Lets go back history in one of the world’s most powerful and biggest democracy – USA. We all know the US president is the most powerful person on earth. Some Former and current US presidents had a dark past. For example, Franklin Pierce who was elected into office as an alcoholic, Former president Zachary Taylor when he was nominated as leader of the Whig Party couldn’t even afford to pay for his postage stamp,James Buchanan (1857-1861) served as US president while unmarried, President Andrew Johnson has never been to school, Harry S. Truman was a dropout and many more.

Now let’s take a look at Donald Trump – He’s a racist, uneducated, has no political experience, he slept with prostitutes, was caught on video tape saying ‘’I grab women by the pussy “ but yet the Americans people elected him into office. They never looked at his past or his character but what he is capable of doing for the country was the reason they elected him. He sold his political manifesto to the American and they buy it.

My Gambian brothers and sisters, Why are you condemning Fatoumata Rahman Coker while we’ve already had people running political parties some of who were allegedly drug peddlers.How are these people better than Fatoumata Rahman Coker.What significance are they playing as politicians in their respective political parties. Have you ever questioned their means of living, profession, past etc? Are they perfect? No.
Who was Adama Barrow before he was elected flagbearer of the Coalition and did you question his educational background, profession, past, political experience when he was nominated? No because he is man and not a woman or maybe he’s one of you. Whatever your reasons, I believe that you can’t give me one tangible reasons why the aforesaid are any better.

Let’s graduate from pettiness, hypocrisy, bigotry and Misogyny and start respecting each others differences as Mufti Menk preached some few weeks ago. Let’s respect people’s choices,opinions, and how they choose to run their lives.
The past US midterm elections should be a lesson to the world that we can have different views, reasonings and we can choose to be who we want to be but at the end of the day everyone wants to see a better America and that’s the model we should emulate in The Gambia if we are serious about progress and aligning ourselves with the civilized nations.

Most of the people criticizing Fatoumata Rahman doesn’t even know, just from the hearsay that she’s is a female and a “Semester ‘’ they jumped to conclusions. This is unacceptable and we are urging every progressive minded Gambian to refrain from such despicable and discriminatory insinuations. She is a Gambian, physically and mentally fit to vie for any political office if she meets the constitutional requirements.

If you think she’s not the ideal one, there are other political parties you can always align with even though some of these parties are just by name and we have records of these party leaders and it’s not good at all.

Let’s respect our women and stop the unnecessary bullying and intimidation.For how many decades we’ve been having male dominated politicians and what difference did they make since independence? Zero.

I won’t conclude here that she can be a good politician but let’s stop judging people based on their background or profession? We’ve learned from history that others did it despite all odds why not today?

What we should be asking is her parties symbol and manifesto and not make some silly tantrums on social media.
I hope we can learn from others and emulate other progressive nations.

Wassalam.

Bulli Sowe