BREVITY OJ on UnityBy Suntou Touray

Dida Halake Asks, “was OJ Jallow not playing by the rule in Gambian opposition Unity efforts 20 years down the line?”  The former Agriculture Minister of the deposed PPP government made a rallying cry for Gambian opposition to unite in a recent gathering in America.

However, what baffles Dida Halake and many observers is the timing of the Unity call. OJ Jallow is credited by many youths of Serrekunda for helping them travel to Europe and America, and by that past benevolence, OJ Jallow chose the diaspora (U.K and America) to conduct sensitisation meetings in recent weeks. However, in the Gambia itself, the PPP is a major burden no one want to be associated with readily.

The PPP is invincible and lacking mass following for the past 20 years, yet OJ Jallow spearheaded a Diaspora series of meeting, calling it, “reviving the PPP and bringing it back to prominence again.”

In the same vain, former PPP Vice President BB Darboe who have been based in U.K for 17 years in exile indirectly responded to critics of the PPP by saying the “PPP is neither dead nor buried“. The coming out of BB Darboe has also baffled some. BB Darboe has never called for any PPP meeting openly, in his 17 years residence in U.K, and OJ and BB are different political players and personality wise, polls apart. How will the new marriage of convenience be sustained, observers ask?

However, the PPP’s first monumental huddle is to get their once upon a time respect back. The AFPRC and the APRC has for twenty years blamed the PPP for rampant corruption and economic mismanagement with the elites sharing the country’s meager resources. The assets commission also added to the many compounded blames level at the PPP by seizing many properties of the PPP’s former big wigs.

Young Gambians are woken daily by the attacks on the PPP. For the PPP to get any credibility, it most start with admitting some serious faults and then adequately apologizing to Gambians for the failure to create a society in 30 years that is able to defend itself against tyranny. The main task in the revival efforts will be going back to villagers, who have no connection to the PPP 20 years on.

The PPP government in their own way, killed trade unions, student unions and tangible opposition in a civilized political maneuvering. The PPP’s meddling with the army resulted in a former police officer, Gendermerie officer and later GNA officer Yahya Jammeh, an unknown quantity, a riff raff and ragamuffin semi-illiterate to hijack the 1994 coup and engaging in the most audacious dictatorship our sub-region has never experience.

The gross negligence of the PPP is the main causes of the current state of affairs. The unfair wealth distribution, the conceptualization of elitism and the lack of focus on institution building made Yahya Jammeh survive the first months of the coup. The PPP is dead and buried by all accounts, however, with miracle ‘water from the heavens‘, it may be revived. However, the party has no presence in the Gambia, but the country’s politics being what it is, we have to pretend that, the PPP exists. Twenty years on, OJ Jallow is calling for Unity..This message speaks volume.



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