Letters: On the UDP and its inexorable rise to supra-national dominance: Can’t cage us

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Dear editor,

A lot has happened since the planets-moving homecoming of the Secretary General and Party Leader of the United Democratic Party from his unprecedented, game-changing Diaspora tour some two months back.

With the adrenaline rush injected by the energetic Gambian diaspora that was touted, by incumbent Adama Barrow, as the lever for the uprooting of Yahya Jammeh from his coveted throne; the UDP has risen to a level of strength and popularity unmatched by any political party in our generation.

With this new-found energy and dominance has come unrestrained machinations (both endogenous and exogenous) trying to weaken the party.

But this party is blessed with a leadership that is well acquainted with the sinister machinations of political animals. The shrewd thinkers of the party did the needful by expelling 8 renegade National Assembly members who were quite overt in their intransigence in trying to undermine the party for the benefit of the UDP’s self-declared chief antagonist.

While some people thought this move unwise for the fact that no party should risk losing a single supporter talk less of National Assembly members; my take is that giving out zakat or tithes never dwindles wealth but actually strengthens your assets. The party is confident that if there should be a bye-election in any of the affected constituencies, the UDP candidates would win. But that occasion would not arise because the expelled NAMs know very well that they cannot risk resigning and calling for fresh elections to authenticate their mandate despite their empty rhetoric.

And then came the insults on the platform of the tax-financed Presidential Meet the People Tour; the response of the UDP’s leader was measured and commendable; he kept his cool and urged his supporters to remain calm and avoid reprisals. As if that tirade in front of the Head of State was not enough of a low, the party’s very own national President went on a name-calling spree in front of the Head of State on a platform financed by the national treasury.

Of course Dembo Bojang knew that his position as National President of the UDP was no longer tenable after his obnoxious remarks against the UDP Leader Lawyer Darboe. His resignation is not a surprise for any casual observer of the political scene. The man from Bakau has shown his worth and in the process he has validated the Honourbale Lawyer Ousainu Darboe as a man of true valour, dignity and honour.

We all knew that as at the time the UDP held their congress last year, Dembo Bojang’s loyalty was tilted in favour of President Barrow but Lawyer Darboe allowed the man he respectfully calls ‘kotokay’ to stay on as his party’s National President.

Darboe is not a fool; he is well rooted in the principle called ‘Foroyaa’ or ‘ngorr’. He didn’t want to be the offender in this matter of sacred importance so he remained patient. Those who know enough about Gambian culture and the values held sacred by the majority of voters will understand what value lies in the class and maturity displayed by Lawyer Darboe in this predictable low-energy drama hatched by Mr. Bojang.

Mr Bojang’s resignation as UDP National President today is quite banal in the eyes of genuine observers of Gambian Politics. He resigns from a party that is home to the best and brightest from his own lineage; and his political base, Bakau, remains a solid UDP stronghold. He goes to Camp Barrow alone and we bid him good bye with utmost respect. But the UDP stands stronger and much more resilient today with the departure of the weakest links in the party. Who wants a wolf in sheep’s clothing herding their sheep? Not even the unwise people of Kiang who are the infamous inheritors of the famed political airport would want moles to remain in their midst.

The race to State House continues with the Honourable Lawyer Ousainu Darboe driving his tried-and-tested yellow Ferrari in pole position. All eyes are set on the learned man from Niani Dobo, with jubilant crowds singing and clapping “allay fo n-saa jeh!”

Momodou Sabally
The Gambia’s Pen

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