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GAMBIA: IN 2016 AFRICA SHOKED THE WORLD, GAMBIA’S DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION VIA THE BALLOT WAS AGAIN REPEATED IN SENEGAL IN 2024: PART 1

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A lot has been said by Gambians in jubilation of the Senegalese victory, but I want to share my lessons from this victory. I have followed the developments in Senegal and PASTEF’s activism trying to understand if we have missed something as Gambians. What has PASTEF done that we have not done in Gambia? Highlights of some of the landmark events in Senegal during the PASTEF struggle to change the government of Macky Sall. Political Containment mission of PASTEF started when Macky Sall, The Former President saw Ousmane Sonko as a threat and a possible replacement of him by Senegalese people.

Discussions among Gambians is rife and there are two things that I would like to clarify: “we need a young leader” and “the Youth should lead the country”. The second is that we need the type of PASTEF in The Gambia.

Firstly, I want to start with the need to have youth leaders or young people leading the country. Gambia has never been ruled by old people, the oldest President to assume office is President Barrow who came into power at 51yrs. President Jawara was aged 41yrs, Dictator Jammeh aged 29yrs when they assumed office So, to say that it’s time we have young leaders is a misconception and lack of knowledge of our political history. Gambia has been ruled by young people for all these decades and the worst rule we have in the history of the Gambia so far was under the leadership of the youngest of them all.So, the debate on young leadership is irrelevant to the Gambia. What we need is a Patriotic Leader, a leader who believes in the country and its people and puts them first .

Secondly, in 2016 Gambians after 22years of murder, killings, rapes, abuse, torture rose up and defied dictatorship ushering in a new a democratic government, but it did not live long. This victory was stolen from us because President Barrow and the Coalition team eliminated each other, and the ones left with President Barrow were eliminated by the APRC. President Barrow then handed over the victory back to APRC on a silver platter with bells and whistles.
Indeed in 2016 Gambia shocked the world in removing a dictator through the ballot box. We failed to secure the vote. Winning was not enough. We should have ensures that the nations interest is at the heart of the new Government’s agenda.

Thirdly, the following is being touted , “we need for a type of PASTEF organization in The Gambia”. PASTEF is built around an Ideology and Civic Engagement and in Gambia we had the same with PDOIS and UDP. Those of us who grew up during the Jarawa era saw PDOIS with a strong Ideology and Civic Engagement where many of us have drawn lots of learning and lessons. On the Other hand, we have seen the emergence of UDP with an Ideology and Civic Engagement during Dictator Jammeh’s era which inspired many of us at that time.

Now the question is, what happened with PDOIS’s Ideology and Civic Engagement during President Jarawa’s era. Is it that the following to name a few Coach-Pasamba Jow, Alpha Robinson , Saihou Ndow, Pa Ndow, Salieu Sarr, Jabou Joh, Kah Malik, Saihou Jagne, Musa Ndow’s etc generation could not move this Ideology and Civic Engagement to the next level? Where did PDOIS leave its Civic Engagement? Are Gambians not receptive of the idealogy? Is it the message , delivery or are the recipients refusing to engage because of other factors

What happened to UDP’s Ideology and Civic Engagement adopted during Dictator Jammeh’s era. It is that the Karamba Touray, Yanks Darboe, Bamba Mass, Mboge Saidykhan, Joey Goswell Ebrima Dibba, Pata PJ, Nata Mass’s generation again to name a few could not move this Ideology and Civic Engagement to the next level? Where did UDP leave its Ideology?

We had “PASTEF “ in the Gambia long before PASTEF, but we lost them in the process. 2016 was a victory but it has also taken away a very important part of each party. Is PDOIS and UDP willing to join forces and usher us into a New Gambia? Or will they stay in their separate ways? …………….

In Part 2 , I’ll be looking at the lessons learnt from the Diomaye coalition victory.

RevisitingOurLegacy

By Ndey Jorbateh

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