By Lamin Gano
Since I wrote my first blog post on 26 Feb 2016, a lot of people have questioned my intent and reason for blogging on Gambian politics and security. Some even went as far as to pretend to be mind-readers and they fabricated some weird claims like I am still working for Jammeh and that my agenda is to cause opposition disunity.
There is absolutely no negative intentions behind my writings. I naturally enjoy writing and the idea of this blog is simply a result of my 2016 new year resolution. The night of 31 Dec 2015 found me in one of the most peaceful countries in the world (Canada) and as I absorbed the peace and tranquility around me, I could not control my tears as I thought of the pathetic situation in which my country is languishing in mainly due to the ineptitude, mismanagement and poor leadership of President Jammeh.
And as 2016 is our presidential election year, I made a resolution that I will contribute to the best of my ability and through cash or kind to the electoral process in order for us to achieve a peaceful political change through the ballot box. The idea of a blog was one of such efforts which is the least that I can contribute to give back to our country and people who gave me everything and made me who I am.
Considering the possible negative consequences of speaking up against Jammeh, I made this resolution from a deep sense of patriotism and love for my country and it was based on my conviction that Yahya Jammeh is no longer serving the interest of the Gambia and her people and for him to continue in power after 2016 will be a major disaster for the country.
On that same new year’s eve, I also had this strong believe that Yahya Jammeh will not get 30% of the votes in the Dec polls. At that time however, Solo Sandeng had not gone to the West Field Junction to strike the first and most devastating blow against Jammeh’s regime by sacrificing his own precious life for The Gambia.
At that time, Lawyer Darboe and the UDP Executive members had not taken to the streets and sacrificed their freedom thereby giving impetus to the downward spiral and inevitable death of the Second Republic.
At that time, Jammeh had not gone out on a nation-wide tour of insults, declaration of genocide and promise of hell against Gambians thereby earning for himself nothing but the wrath, dissatisfaction and disenchantment of every rational and peace loving citizen.
At that time, there was no Mama Kandeh crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country causing irreparable damage and disarray to the APRC support base.
At that time, Dr. Isatou Touray and her firebrand team where not out in the country with such a ferocious determination to sweep the country clean of Jammeh and the APRC with their brooms.
And perhaps most important of all, our tradition old opposition parties were still divided and weak at that time and there was no Adama Barrow, there was no convention and there was no coalition standard bearer.
As a result of all these new developments in addition to the numerous other wrongful deeds and rightful omissions done by Jammeh, I am obliged to changed my prediction about the election results. I totally believe that Yayha Jammeh will have only two votes in the coming elections which will come from only himself and the First Lady.
Not even a single Jolla person (including my grandmother Ajaratou Asombi Bojang) will be voting for Jammeh in Dec. This is because the Jollas (excluding Jammeh), are the most hard-working, contented, sincere, honest, straightforward and peaceful group of people in the entire Senegambia region. And since there is a possibility that Jammeh may destroy these qualities of the Jollas by trying to use them to commit genocide against their friends, neighbours, loved ones, compatriots and fellow human beings, my Jolla cousins will be the first people to go to the polls on 01 Dec to vote out Jammeh.
In my opinion therefore, it really does not matter whether it is one opposition candidate or a thousand of them who contest against Jammeh. Jammeh will lose these elections big time and there is no marabout or Jinns who can change that.
Based on this deduction therefore, I have made a few decisions with regards to my blogging and Facebook activities. Henceforth, my writings will be dedicated to our gallant men and women in uniform. As much as possible, I will focus mostly on issues relating to the military vis-à-vis the forthcoming elections. I have neither forgotten nor was I bluffing when I said that I have 22 reasons why we need a new Commander-in- Chief for our Armed Forces.
My second decision is that I will never again criticize any member of our opposition leaders. And most important of all, I will neither criticize the National Convention of Opposition Parties nor its new leader Honourable Adama Barrow. There are a number of reasons for this decision one of which is that most of my in-laws are on the coalition side of the political divide and therefore it will be too risky to step on the toes of my mbitangs (in-laws). My beautiful Nyancho wife (Sanneh Ballama Anna Kungballing Fing) and the happiness of my marriage is simply far more precious to me than who becomes our next president. In this regard therefore, I hereby congratulate Honourable Adama Barrow and if he is the best person to lead us into a Third Republic, may Allah grant him all the protection and success.
However, based on my assessments of the various political and security dynamics on the ground, I believe that the most suitable person for President of the Third Republic and Commander-in-Chief of The Gambia Armed Forces is Honourable Mama Kandeh. In my opinion, Kandeh does not only stand the best chance of defeating Jammeh, but he is the most well-juxtaposed to win the trust/confidence of the civil servants, security personnel and the APRC stalwarts. It should be recalled that 72% of the 2011 electorates voted for the APRC and since none of them will be voting for Jammeh this year, this group of voters is the majority group in this year’s election. This group is crucial in defeating Jammeh as well as the continuity and well-being of the State.
Perhaps the most important reason for Kandeh as a presidential choice is the need for the maintenance of the enviable peace and stability of our country. Autocratic presidents like Jammeh who have committed human right violations usually does not hand over power peacefully if they believe that their personal safety is threatened. They would rather go down and out like Gaddafi or Gbagbo and in the process taking along more innocent lives. Mama Kandeh has made a commitment to protect the constitutional rights and privileges of Jammeh and therefore Gambia is most likely to have a peaceful political transition with a Kandeh victory.
As a person who abhors violence and advocates for unity, peace and stability, I therefore hereby declare my total endorsement and support for Honourable Mama Kandeh. In the same vein, I hereby call on each and every member of our armed and security services, their families, friends, relatives and well wishers to deny Jammeh their votes and instead to vote for Mama Kandeh. Most important of all, I hereby urge every person in security uniform to stand in solidarity with the people of the Gambia on 02 Dec when Jammeh’s defeat is announced.
In conclusion, I would like to appeal to my band of critics on social media to please respect my freedom of choice and to exercise restraint in their personal attacks. There is barely a month to the elections and and I need to focus all my energy and firepower on Jammeh for disregarding my advice for him not to participate in this year’s election as well as to engage with my friends, colleagues and second family of the security services.
Finally, I have niether grudges nor any hard feelings against anyone and therefore any criticisms or wrong things that I said against anyone (especially some of our opposition leaders) was done in good faith without any intention to hurt or ridicule anyone. Nonetheless, I hereby apologize to everyone who has been offended by my writings. Please forgive me.
Long live the Republic of The Gambia, long live our peaceful and harmonious co-existence.
Posted on October 31, 2016