By Melville Robertson Roberts
We either practice Democracy as it is or discard it and practice our own system of governance patterned according to our belief and value system and what we understand as a people and country.
The Right to association is a fundamental constitutional right that is equally guaranteed under the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia. The APRC and the NPP as a political entity have absolute constitutional rights to align with whomever they wish both singularlyand collectively.
I believe that if there are any genuine objections, it would have been for the protest of critical and pivotal ministerial positions being given to individuals who served the former government of President Jammeh who was labeled a dictator and ran a dictatorship government. You cannot have an individual who served as Minister of state robustly defend the fight and struggle of the so called dictatorship and then have that same individual now selling the agenda of a seemingly new democracy in one breath. What has changed? Did this individual encounter Christ on his way to Damascus and is now a “born again”?
The fight against any association and the hatred for Jammeh and the APRC and any objections therein should have manifested itself in 2016 and early 2017 but if it was okay to work with an individual who sold Jammeh’s agenda and sought his interests passionately and even refer to him as your colleague minister and or your colleague in government how can you then now begin to frown against an alliance with a party militant who, maybe, only saw former President Jammeh in pictures but never met him in real life. What then is your value as a human being?
If Ebrima Sillah and Sankareh can work amicably with Tangara and Mamburay who they spent the latter part of their lives fighting against and even refer to each other as colleague Ministers and brothers who then now can authoritatively stand to frown upon an APRC- NPP alliance?
If former Vice President Tambajang and former Vice President Darboe can embrace Hon. Tangara who passionately sold Jammehs agenda to the outside world how can you detest the coming together of two individuals who only supported a cause but was not part of its governance structure.
The rank of a Foreign Minister bears greater responsibility in International Law than that of even the Vice presidency. If Dr. Tangara can sell Barrows interest to the world after selling and defending Jammeh’s interest to the world, who you once referred to as the worst dictator, and you accept this, then you choose now to frown upon an political alliance of APRC and NPP, you are sick in the head and need mental evaluation.
Every political party in The Gambia will welcome any defection of APRC militants to its fold unconditionally and with absolute joy and glee. What then is the difference when collectively an entire body of militants in the name of the APRC party decides to form an alliance with another party?
Political Parties must survive. The basis of every one of these institutions is to win an election and get a chance in taking the helm of governance. A lawyer who has never won a case in court cannot be deemed to be an erudite lawyer. A doctor who has never performed any medical work cannot be deemed to be an acclaimed physician. An architect whose drawings have not been tested cannot boldly say am the best. Thus, a politician that has never handled the mantle of leadership cannot beat his chest to say am the best irrespective of how long you have been in politics or have headed a political party.
The aim is to take control of the governance structure of the nation and thereby roll out your agenda and ideas of how to make it a more progressive and prosperous nation. This is the fundamental objective of every politician.
Therefore the reason why parties sell their manifestos and go on campaigns is not to win over its members and supporters; they are already part and parcel of the party. The aim therfore is to win political souls, be it APRC, UDP, NPP XYZ or WQQ. It does not matter. Millions are spent to win and attract souls who can then translate their support into votes to usher politicians into the corridors of powers and position of leadership of the country. You need the votes of APRC militants so don’t pretend as if you don’t because that will be false.
Stop calling APRC militants supporting their beliefs for former President Jammeh spineless and evil. You support your thieving father and mother who are stealing government funds to fund your lifestyle. You support your cousin who embezzled millions because he or she is family and family will stand by family. You support your son who married a white woman and swindle her off her life savings to take you to mecca and build you a house in Brusubi. You support and pray for your daughter who had no gainful employment but goes out every night and returns with chicken and chips. You support your son who traveled through the back way and within a year built mansions and sent luxury cars to Gambia. You call it ” suma dorm teki na”.
What moral yardstick do you have to call anyone who believes and supports President Jammeh evil? Live it yourself. It starts in your homes. It starts in your offices. It starts with you halting how you abusing your maids at home and treating them like slaves and even owing them their meager salaries.
Did Jammeh do it alone? As seen from the TRRC, if the records are anything to go by, that the murderers, rapists, thieves, idol worshippers and satanic worshipers were not President Jammeh alone. They were are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and neighbors. They were those we referred to as successful and productive sons of society.
Your energy is being misdirected and misplaced. If you wish not to see an NPP- APRC alliance, form your own alliances. Refuse to vote for the alliance if you may, but respect their constitutional right of association. That is the democray that you preach. That is what allows for the useless and senseless protests you embark on. The same democracy that gives you a right to talk a lot of trash, the same democracy that allows for you to hold up placards and even insult the President, is the same democracy that gives absolute right to any formation of whatever political alliance between APRC and NPP.
If you are not selfish, if you are not egocentric, if you are not hungry for power and position, form your own alliances. Give rings and exchange political vows, leave your father and mother and be joined in holy matrimony with whom you will and whom you wish for this is the democracy that you claimed to have fought for and sacrificed your life for. It does not matter if you are chosen to lead the alliance or not, if truly, yours is a sincere and honest fight to free the soul of Gambia from the clutches of hell, form your own and come together as a formidable force but one advise: respect the terms of your agreement and the basis of your alliance. It’s called INTEGRITY!
Live and allow others to live!