Opinion: APRC Protest & The Current State Of Gambian Politics.
APRC and its green strength have never been underestimated by any Gambian. Nonetheless, they have completed their protest peacefully and successfully.
They sent a serious message that should make all political critics and rivals to re-calibrate their opinions about the homecoming of Former President Sheikh Professor Dr Alhaji Yahya A J. J. Jammeh Babili Mansa.
The march was themed “JAMMEH MUST COME BACK – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”. It all went very well gathering a massive crowd despite the late issuance of a permit by the police HQ.
The news came in late at night after Party Deputy spokesperson Doudou Jah circulated a short statement.
“The Party wishes to inform all Media Houses and all APRC militants that finally a permit has been given from the office of the IGP.
Therefore, all are urged to be at the ground as early as 8:00 AM tomorrow Thursday, 16th January 2020 @ Sukuta/Jabang Highway Traffic light.
Thank you all.
Deputy Spokesperson & Party Secretary”.
The uncharacteristic delay of granting the permit later came to the centre stage as Interim Leader Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta opined that there could be many participants involved. The attempt was to deny the APRC a permit to conduct a peaceful protest march. He vows that the protest was going to take place anyway, within the confines of the law.
European Union (EU) and other interest groups were mentioned during an interview with the press.
“Calling on President Barrow to advise the EU commission in Banjul to stop interfering with internal political issues of the Gambia”.
A protest banner with a strong but simple message saying “EU, HANDS OFF GAMBIA” was unveiled.
Speaking from the rooftop of a lorry through a PA system, Deputy Interim Leader Hon. Ousman (Rambo) Jatta called on the attendees to stay calm and maintain the peace.
“We will not tolerate any form of abusive behaviour here, either verbal or physical. We will not entertain that. This is a peaceful party, but I know we’re not alone here. Anyone who tries to breach the peace will be restrained and handed over to the police”!
Rambo then advised the crowd to pay attention to Interim Leader Jatta, who releases the white pigeon into the air as a symbol of peace and harmony.
After that, Rambo then announced the program itinerary for the day.
The atmosphere was like a mega family festival with several thousand in attendance! Drumming, dancing and chanting patriotic songs everywhere.
Printed t-shirts of president Jammeh’s pictures and colourful traditional garments were worn.
A happy Interim Leader Rt. Hon Fabakary (Kekendo) Tombong Jatta could be seen among the people. He is well-regarded as a force for peace in the country. Under Jatta’s watch, The APRC is experiencing massive popularity and steady organic growth which many predict, if maintained could lead them into government at the coming election.
Many protesters were interviewed by journalists from various media organisations.
Speaking to reporters, FTJ pointed out that it was because of the former government’s robust developmental agenda that opened up many opportunities for Gambian people.
Quoting from a previous GM24 Gambia TV article:
“The purpose of this peaceful march was precisely because Barrow’s and his government failed to honour the agreement he had with Jammeh, ECOWAS, AU and the UN. All the 14 points of Joint Declaration published by the UN were contravened. The 14-point Joint Declaration may not be legally binding but it mirrored the written and coded constitution of The Republic of The Gambia. In effect, the Barrow government abrogated the constitution of The Gambia in terms of immunity given to serving and ex Gambian presidents, as well as treat stakeholders of the Joint Communique with disdain and utter disrespect. ECOWAS/AU will be wondering why Barrow did not observe the terms of the agreement and uphold the constitution he swore to defend”.
Procrastination by stakeholders and failure to take action.
The protest was announced only after the stakeholders failed to respond. APRC members made it known that efforts had been made to reach out to them several times but, they failed to respond. African Union should take the responsibility to settle this matter by ensuring the return of Jammeh and all his right to presidential Immunity as prescribed by the Gambian constitution.
At the end of the protest march, the petition was handed over to them respectively. The petition was drafted with all the above-said points.
Former Lord Mayor of KMC Yankuba Colley expressed his sincere gratitude to Babili Mansa, APRC party members, executives and all Gambians for their support. He also thanked the police and all security officers for their support and protection. Mayor Colley concluded by saying a big thank you to members of the media community before wishing everyone a safe journey home.
Critics and political opponents of the APRC could not be restrained from taking to social. Anti Jammeh comment and usual cliches are the current trending subject.
Special interest and pressure groups home and aboard have vowed to stage a counter-demo citing their objection to the APRC demo..
The January 16th APRC protest march was a very important event in the history of the Gambia.
The random conversations between reporters and protesters have revealed some interesting facts in the Gambian mindset.
NONLINEAR POLITICAL EXPERIMENT IN THE GAMBIA.
Nonlinear political systems refers to the system in which there is no specific political input that is likely to yield particular political results.
This is because the civil society which determines shapes of politics is composed of numerous groups that cannot be controlled with the use of a particular method.
For instance, the society consists of NGOs, religions, schools, clubs, bloggers activists, etc., all of which belongs to the category of civil groups, involuntarily making it impossible to govern how they are likely to operate.
Nonlinear system is opposed to the linear system where applications of a certain measure is likely to give predictable results. For example, restricting vehicular traffic from using public roads at a specific time on a particular day each month, while the whole population are ordered to perform environmental sanitation. Such a measure by the government is likely to yield results which make them predictable.
Despite nonlinear systems producing unpredictable results, they can also produce results that are completely opposite of what was expected.
8 political entities colluded towards the 2016 elections to ensure that they get Jammeh’s regime out of office.
Their plan worked and Adama Barrow was elected as the new president in a disputed election.
After forming a government, the new entities found it very hard to share power. Although after few months, the tension progressed and grew culminating in the sacking of many government officials who sidelined Barrow. The European Union reps in the country wrer alleged to be among those connected with some transaction woes that faced the coalition due to their desire to propagate their own motives.
However, Political Non-linearity is greatly manifested in the account of what happened in the switching of APRC government to that of a coalition in Gambia. An instance, when the coalition came together their assumption was that they would win the elections and rule the nation as one coalition. Right?
Winning the elections was one thing but the success they anticipated to get after winning the elections was not available.
Non-linearity shows itself here because there was nothing to show them such things would come to happen.
Also, Non-linearity in the case of Gambia appears in that the European Union has a hand in taking some decisions that took place before and after the then new coalition took power thereby influencing some unexpected outcomes.
Some of the current political drama can be attributed to the failure of EU to put the interests of the Gambian people first. Now, the European Union stand a chance to be accused of pushing its interests by interfering or meddling in local politics in order to fulfil their own agenda.
The coalition’s members did not anticipate that there could be such powers who would influence the decision making once they took charge.
The presence of the European Union was almost unpredictable translating to unprecedented circumstances after it came to become one of the players of the politics of the nation. The commission officials seem to openly dictate what steps or directions the Barrow government should take.
This occurrence could undermine trust between local political players and the EU representatives in the country. They are expected to be neutral operators should stay away from any form internal manipulation.
Therefore, at least in my opinion, chances are high that Gambia is being used as an experiment for nonlinear political science theories and gratification.
Those behind the scenes may target Gambian politicians who could be used as an experiment by coercing them to carrying out some administrative tasks, introducing unexpected political factors into the politics of the country, to see the response from both people and the system itself. 🙂
If the intention was to see if the unpredictability works, it worked in the Gambia.
Based on my assessment, The body language, mentality and behaviour of some APRC supports at the demo signifies a key element of this.
Regardless how abrupt a journalist questions them, they always confidently delivered synonymous answers. And this translates to both men and women, even those with limited or no education.
Among all the current political gatherings that took place in the Gambia, APRC supporters have projected an unique sense of unity as a team or organisation. I don’t know how they managed this but they must have a very effective chain of communication.
On the other hand The EU backed coalition members pose very strange and odd interactions within themselves and the population.
2.0 @GM24 TV