(JollofNews) – Well the election circus has truly started again in the Gambia. It’s like a British spring when all the yellow daffodils bloom and the trees hang out their greenery. It’s yellow versus green.
So what’s fresh this time around? The short answer is not much except the old boys have got older and due pretty soon to draw their pensions. Much is written online about Yahya Jammeh with nothing very complimentary from the Diaspora media to commend his enduring entitlement to the keys of the Statehouse.
In fact, I would go so far to say that not many commentators really know how Mr Jammeh operates his tight control on the nation, though many try to second-guess his every move. This “mystic” created by the media about Jammeh only serves to create illusions of his magical invincibility, like a Serrekunda world champion wrestler.
Jammeh revels in this and increases its attraction at every opportunity. Love him or loathe him, you have to admit he is Africa’s luckiest leader. In my experience, I will take luck over ability any time. For you can be a talented lawyer or a highly acclaimed political author, but if the dice is not rolling in your favour, education counts for nothing in politics.
One thing you must admire Yahya Jammeh for is his contribution made to career opportunities grasped with both hands. Since he walked into the Statehouse in July 1994, all manner of would be opportunists have tried unsuccessfully to replace him. This propagated the illusion that any Gambian could become president. But those who tried to follow Mr Jammeh’s route by force to the top has cost many dearly. So His Excellency must be given his due respect for defeating all comers to his crown for more than 20 years.
I don’t think the opposition have much to celebrate this time around. This notion that electoral reform will cure all the past election defeats to create the necessary voting landslide is just pure fantasy and wishful thinking. The cardinal sin of marketing is to attack your opponent while offering no rational alternative to a life without Jammeh. In this scenario, the devil you know is always preferable to the angel you don’t know. In any case, the African is guided by an attraction to strong leaders with enduring strong personalities and Jammeh is miles ahead in this department and always has been.
I recall a young boy stopped me in the street one day near Banjul City Council, complete with satchel and school books slung over his back. As we walked along the street, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up. He answered boldly: “I am the next president of Gambia.”
When I asked him how he would defeat a strong and fierce leader like Mr Jammeh” the young boy looked at me and replied:”You will know when I arrive.”
That lad is now in his 20s. Not much longer now I feel.