When preparing an operational plan, a military commander usually conducts a holistic planning process that takes into account all possible factors that could affect the plan. During such a process, s/he develops several courses of actions (CoA) which are critically evaluated and then ranked from the best course of action to the worst course of action. Such meticulous planning and organizational tenacity contributes to making the military one of the most resilient and professional organizations on earth.
I am highly impressed with Dr. Touray’s manifesto, website and speeches/interviews which have all the hallmarks of military professionalism. This lady will not only make a formidable Commander-in-Chief but she can give many a military commanders a tough challenge in their own domain.
As a command and staff college graduate, I found myself instinctively looking for Dr. Touray’s CoA (action plans) because in my opinion, her mission to become Commander-in-Chief is not only similar but it is as important as any military operation/strategy.
The aim of this post is to share my evaluation of her two CoA and to highlight my concern that there is a need for a third course of action if only Jammeh is to be easily defeated in December. I believe that her current plans will not survive the political storm of the coming ten weeks.
Dr. Touray’s first and best course of action is for all the opposition leaders to endorse, support and rally behind her as the sole candidate to contest against Jammeh. She believes that her independent and neutral candidature would serve as the perfect platform to galvanize our fragmented opposition to form a coalition. Undoubtedly, this is a great plan which will work with total success but only if all our opposition leaders accept her proposition. Even if only one of the main opposition parties fails to endorse her, the plan will fail.
After a careful analysis of all the conflicting positions of our opposition leaders with regards to coalition formation, my prediction is that not even one of the opposition parties on the ground will endorse her. This assertion is not premised on pessimism or any intent to cause disunity but rather it is based on a sense of pragmatism. There are a number of reasons why they would not endorse her including the same reasons why they were not able to agree on a single candidate to lead them for the past 20 years.
Now to her second course of action. In a recent interview, Dr. Touray hinted that if she fails to obtain the endorsement of the opposition parties, she would contest the election independently alongside any other participating candidate; the same position held by most of the opposition.
In my opinion, this course of action will have serious repercussions not only on Dr. Touray’s new political career but also on the presidential election in general. If Dr. Touray contests alongside such formidable political parties as the APRC, GDC, PDOIS, UDP and the others, the outcomes can only be catastrophic.
One possible outcome is that these political giants will crush her so badly that she may never recover to participate in any future elections again. In fact, I would advise that she assembles a group of doctors, nurses, ambulances and even fire fighters close to her when the results are being announced. There is no way Dr. Touray can beat Jammeh or Kandeh in a multi-candidate presidential contest.
Even a great performance by Dr. Touray in such a race will be inadvertently harmful to the overall efforts to restore democracy in our country. This is because the majorities of Dr. Touray’s supporters are coming from the old opposition parties and if this trend continues all the way to the presidential election, then our old opposition parties would be worse off than the previous election. As a result, they would go into the parliamentary elections in a state of demoralization and weakness thereby giving an advantage to the winning party to also win a majority in the National Assembly.
In this regards therefore, Dr. Touray needs to come up with another course of action in case the opposition parties fail to endorse her. For her to insist on participating in the election without a coalition will only help Jammeh to win the elections with a margin of 1% like Ali Bongo in Gabon.
My recommendation is that if Dr. Touray fails to have the endorsement of all the opposition by the end of October, she should suspending her campaign and then endorse the candidate with the best prospect of defeating Jammeh. And in my humble opinion, the only candidate who is most likely to defeat Jammeh this year is none other than the person described by Uncle Sidi Sanneh as the “New Sheriff in Town” or Boy Pulloh from Sareh Birom in Jimara.
In conclusion, I have absolutely no doubt that Jammeh will score less than 30% in the polls. So if Dr. Touray endorses and supports Mama Kandeh, Jammeh will surely be gone. Dr. Touray can always bounce back as a presidential candidate in 2021 in a position of advantage, strength and experience just like Hilary Clinton.
Long live the Republic of The Gambia, long live our harmonious co-existence!!!