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Pata Saidykhan
We have registered political parties who cannot show you 4 bureaus in their name talk less of a fully functional Executive. They have in the past 5 years held NO political event. As a matter of fact, they’ve ONLY Registered their Parties or declared their Independent Candidature. Their only engagement is Newspaper or Online platform INTERVIEWS.
Essa M. Faal, who only two weeks ago officially declared his interest in running for office has in his two weeks done more meaningful engagements than them. He is seen around the country, addressing Gambians in rallies. He’s shown seriousness and willingness to INVEST time and resources into this bid to offer an alternative and secure a mandate.
A serious people would recognize these two situations of lazy, uncommitted bystanders and spectators, and those who understand and appreciate the task at hand, and doing something about it.
A more serious people who are not ringing a false alarm and showing fake concern of the Incumbent Adama Barrow securing a second term, would take an honest stand and call things out for what they are.
Here’s a fact we all ought to acknowledge and accept: WHAT HAPPENED IN DECEMBER 2016 that led to the deposing of JAMMEH is NEVER HAPPENING AGAIN. OK, I take that back.  It’s  NOT HAPPENING in DECEMBER 2021. Parties and individuals who have no serious institutions and constituents are Not twisting any arms to have similar arrangements just to secure a seat in Govt as we did in 2016. It’s silly and very unfair. Under three months to the elections and you’re yet to pick a stone yet we’re having people telling us NO SINGLE PARTY CAN WIN AGAINST BARROW SO WE MUST FORM A COALITION.
If a Single party cannot win against an incumbent, 100 Parties coalescing Cannot because it’s not the Parties agreeing to come together that wins. It’s the PEOPLE VOTING. If that many people are certain that Barrow does not have what it takes, they need not split votes voting for Pata and his party of uncles and classmates who showed no interest and commitment beyond registration and online interviews.
I’m not averse to Coalitions. I’m allergic and intolerant to dishonest and unreasonable arrangements. All around the world, Coalitions are staple variables in democratic processes but they are built on standards, best tested practices and sensible arrangements. The unnatural trial we had in 2016 where a UDP or NRP was compelled come to a table with a GPDP as equals and going to Primaries was an accepted blasphemy necessitated by rare circumstance that happened nowhere else. It helped serve a purpose of uprooting the dictatorship but left us with a more complicated mess than envisioned. The person charged to lead that uprooting is hellbent on planting and giving that murderous system a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with no care for possibility of catching COVID-21 and beyond. Similar political matrimony is not immune to similar fate.
I am aware that there shouldn’t be room for arrogance or complacency, but it’s neither of the two if we’re honest and do things rights. An ARNM, NUG, GAP, Banky or Kurang has no business negotiating a Coalition arrangement with established parties. And no serious and well meaning Gambian should vote for Barrow or stay home only because serious parties refused to entertain an idea of an needless union. These parties need to go JOIN PARTIES they believe their ideas and vision are more or relatively aligned with.
The choice in December is at a Y-Junction and one of those roads is occupied by President Barrow. You can continue to drive along that road or take a more serious alternative. And I’d pitch that you take the alternative offered by the UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY under a more serious leadership with pragmatic programs, enough human capital and capacity to turn things around. With a leadership and membership that has never forsaken the Gambia and her people at no point in time. Are the party and leadership perfect? Certainly No, but they definitely are the closest to perfection. A stellar evidence of that is evident in their elected representatives in Local Government offices of regional Municipalities and Area Council. Hold them to account by those records, those of the principals for their time in Cabinet and read their programs and put all these up against other parties. That’s a fair and reasonable measurement.
In a democracy, we should not be afraid and tired of changing elected representatives. Barrow came short, he needs to replaced. If Darboe is given mandate and he falls short, let’s vote him out and replace him with Kumba. That’s what enriches a democratic culture:  OPTIONS and good faith trials, until we get a better one.

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