“If you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far go together” African Proverb
The late Alhagie Bubacarr Baldeh a noble son of Basse served his country with distinction. He was dynamic and was one of the most promising patriotic Gambians who made you feel belong and proud of being a Gambian. Mr. Baldeh like many other Gambians was forced into exile in Dakar Senegal. Despite the privilege life he has lived in Dakar the late Honorable Buba Baldeh continued to fight for restoration of Democracy in the Gambia. He suddenly died in Senegal few miles away from his native land. Every nation is proud to honor its noble sons and daughters but Hon Baldeh, his family and the people of Basse and the Gambia were deprived of paying their last respect to this noble son. Yahya Jammeh, a man who only cares about himself and this worldly materials denied Buba’s dead body from being transported back to Basse for honorable burial and peaceful resting next to his Father and Mother. This was the most dishonorable thing any human being can do to another citizen. What threat is a dead body? Who gets into a fight with someone and even if that person dies you still keep the anger and hate against that citizen. Only a hateful human being with a dark soul with no religious values has such tendencies..
Hon Mama Kandeh leader of the GDC who was brought up and mentored by Hon Baldeh from his childhood was reportedly angry about Jammeh’s denial of Buba’s honorable burial in his home town of Basse Mansajang. Mr. Kandeh’s entrance into the political scene would have received a blessing from the late Honorable Baldeh. He would have been proud to see a son of Basse and someone he mentored and brought up rise up and aspire to lead his nation. There cannot be anything more honorable than Mama Kandeh listening to his mentor in his grave counseling him to put Gambia first. But Mama Kandeh will make a deadly mistake as Hon. Baldeh would have counselled – should he go against the wishes of his own parents, mentors and extended family – that is to put country first before self, before fame and certainly not ever give in to murderous monster who had no regards for human life.
In fact, Mama Kandeh and the GDC which is his own creation must look beyond the anger of disrespect that was orchestrated against Alhagie Bubacarr Baldeh and the people of Basse. He should look at the hundreds if not thousands of Gambians who have perished in the hands of Yahya Jammeh and his brutal thugs. He should think about all the mothers and fathers who have suffered under Jammeh’s watch for doing nothing but exercising their rights as citizens. What Mama Kandeh and his Diaspora surrogates need to look at is who and what Yahya Jammeh is made up. Who did he surround himself with and what has been the fate of those people. They must understand that Yahya Jammeh will betray even the Allah that created him and the mother who brought him into this world if he has an agreement with them all due to power and greed.
Mama Kandeh for the sake of this editorial may be a genuine contender of the Presidency – meaning he may simply aspire to become leader of the Gambia and therefore made his own money to register a party. Let’s give him the benefits of the doubt! But what is even more troubling about the GDC is the people surrounding Mama Kandeh. Many of the people in the GDC executive are “former APRC grassroot mobilizers” according to Modou Cham GDC youth leader. What does this mean to the ordinary Gambian and what should it mean to Mama Kandeh and GDC.. It should simply mean that the very people who help Yahya Jammeh destroy Gambia for 22 years are jumping ship and looking for a safe harbor. These were the very people who the late Baba Jobe and the July 22nd movement trained to become a militant force for Yahya Jammeh. They systematically infiltrated Gambian society and destroyed the basic fabrics of our peaceful society. They orchestrated kidnappings, murder, corruption and disappearances without trace. Many have smelled the rat and inevitable down fall of Yahya Jammeh and are therefore looking for an escape route to continue their corruption practices. These so called grassroot mobilizers cannot be trusted and they will sell any citizen to the devil for money and fame including Mama Kandeh!
If Mama Kandeh is in fact as smart as he sounds on the campaign trail then he must open his eyes wide and see the plot in front of him. Many people accused GDC of being engineered by Jammeh because of the people surrounding Mama Kandeh. Though there is no evidence yet to be produced by anybody labeling these accusations, the saying that if it smells like a rate, looks like a rate then it must be a rate gives a degree of credibility to the accusation. GDC and Mama Kandeh have accepted that no single political party can defeat Jammeh because of his control of state machinery and his hate and despise for democracy, and if they insist on contesting the elections without joining the opposition, then they have validated the opponents claims. The excuse that GDC was not included in GOFER – a committee set up by existing political parties prior to the formation of GDC and without them asking to join, simply does not hold water. If GDC understands what Democratic representation means then they won’t be reasonably objecting to selecting their 70 delegates and contest for the nomination of the leadership as agreed by all other opposition parties. It is unreasonable and myopic for GDC to call for an open primaries where members of the APRC could be bribed to vote for the weak candidate they want to contest against Jammeh. This open primaries demand by GDC is the closest evidence to support claims that Yahya Jammeh wants a divided opposition and as a result is rooting for GDC to refuse to join the convention.
Gainako’s clear warning to Mama Kandeh and GDC is to see the writings on the wall. Yahya Jammeh and his group of material minded folks will sacrifice you – Mama Kandeh in a blink of the eye and will not only humiliate you but plot to conspire against you but possibly jail you for a long extended period of time. Yahya Jammeh is a terrible power hungry demon and he found willing partners among Gambians who have no emotional connection to the rest of the country. All they care about is money they can pocket. So Mama Kandeh and your reasonable surrogates, Gambia’s future lies in your hands too. Your cooperation or lack thereof will determine your future and the future of our country. You cannot be an island, you certainly cannot hold the country hostage by given Jammeh a fifth term. And we must assure you GDC if you are blinded by the crowds, by the euphoria and the jubilant crowds around you, think again. Remember that all opposition parties have shown similar if not larger crowds in the campaign trail. This is a sign that Gambians are ready for change, but a change that must come through unity. So a word for the wise is enough.. Respond to what would have been the wise counsel of Honorable Baldeh, and the call of the Gambian people to join the rest of the opposition to defeat Jammeh, restore level playing field in the Gambia and guarantee freedom and rights of all citizens. Then your path to political future would be an open ended route. Should you fail to heed this calls for unity, then brace yourself for a rough right and the highest disappointment that awaits you!