Not Going To Elections Is To Give Jammeh Another Five Years To Torture Us, Imprison Us And Dismiss Us Without Benefits
People are not on the same level information and the majority of citizens on the ground react only to major events taking place locally.
Lately Jammeh’s madness against the civil service and the opposition militants has profoundly affected and changed the conscience and behavior of the local population in their large majority. Some are terribly disgusted about the torture atrocities meted out on innocent and armless demonstrators and are ready to vote against Jammeh to end the horrible tortures.
Family members and extended family members are disgusted about the rampant wishful dismissals and arrest of civil servants who end up loosing all their job benefits. They are worried about the future of these breadwinners in the immediate future specially given the precarious and non-existent job opportunities in the Gambia. Will all the above new grudges of the population against Jammeh translate into more vote sanction against Jammeh? The answer is a logical yes.
Given the interwoven relationship of Gambian families, those members who used to support or vote for Jammeh will think twice at the polling booth before casting their votes. Jammeh’s open hate monger against our Mandingo people will make them re-think their position come December elections. One can fairly close this chapter as being a sure sanction vote against Jammeh.
Now add the above sentiments to those of the hundreds of thousand opposition Gambians who voted against Jammeh in the 2011 elections, certainly this combination could be a deadly blow against Jammeh. Given all these new facts we are in a position to hope that the coming elections will make a profound difference. Time will tell.
The common sense in any elections is that people will not be forced to vote for candidate X or Y. When one enters the polling booth alone, only his or her conscience determines where his loyalty lies. This is the only time that the voter becomes a sovereign citizen free to secretly choose his or her leader.
The anti-election campaigners argue that no elections have ever remove dictators. My argument against these campaigners is that on the spot counting will go a long way in reducing vote fraud count. This is the first time in the Gambia that on the spot counting is part of our electoral laws this should ensure accurate counting of the vote cast which is essential in any credible voting process.
They will still argue that foreign voters are menace in our vote process. Here I agree with them but will counter argue that these foreign voters cannot be the majority voters in our elections. Whiles the number cannot be verified; we believe they will not constitute more than 20% of the total registered voters. Therefor 80% of authentic Gambians voters will tilt the balance of probabilities. There is hope that the majority of Gambians will sanction vote against Jammeh come December 2016.
The anti-election campaigners also argue that if the opposition parties don’t field one candidate, they will loose against Jammeh. My counter argument against this notion is that if UDP and GDC come together, they will win Jammeh. UDP has considerably increased its capital sympathy since April 2016. This has translated into more sympathizers ready to vote for the party. GDC has definitely split the APRC party and has drawn a lot of disgruntled and disgusted members of the APRC party. GDC being a young party has also attracted a lot of youths on the ground. Indeed they have also attracted a lot people from the Fula community.
Whether we like to discuss it or not tribal sentiments are still a reality in the Gambia.
Yaya Jammeh has lost lot esteem since the April 2016 brutalities and the upcoming elections will be a major blow on him and his last hardened and diehard sycophants. The major threat against Jammeh is that Gambians are horrified and disgusted by the tortures that he carry out when ever people are arrested. No one likes to be tortured. People are not scared to be arrested or go to jail but not one wants to feel the horrors of torture. A lot of Gambian will vote against torture come December 2016.
Gambians simply have enough of being tortured. Torture is alien in the first republic and has now become the most dreaded act of Jammeh’s regime. The Gambia being one large family now feels that torture of family members is the single most abhorred element in Jammeh’s regime. Everyone is talking bad about torture in town and most will vote against Jammeh for his love torture.
Finally anti-campaigners argue that going to election with Jammeh tantamount to legitimizing his regime. My counter argument is that if we let Jammeh go to election against a bogus party or candidate and wins, the international community will endorse him to our detriment.
We have seen it recently in Niger when the opposition boycotted the second round voting while they stood a good chance of changing the incumbent who could not make it in the first round of voting. The Gambia will suffer the same fate if we boycott the elections.
What else? We know the army will not overthrow Jammeh and the security apparatus will be used to mercilessly crush any armless civil uprising. Is it fair for us to sit in our comfort zones and ask others to take the street and get beaten, arrested and tortured to death as seen in April 2016?
We are now left only with two solutions to remove Jammeh, either we vote him out massively and take up arms and fight tooth for tooth, eye for eye.
I rest my case.
Written By A Concerned Gambian