Okay, let’s pause for a moment and try to understand or at least read between the lines here. It is important to note the context and get the gist of what’s happening. This whole promotion might have been planned well before the elections and it might have been coordinated with the army command, let’s factor that even if the timing might have been a little discomforting and perhaps questionable, it might have been calendared.
However, what I see is a very tense situation which might be a sign of mistrust between the top brace of the military and their outgoing CiC Jammeh. We know from sources that the army flatly refused Jammeh’s proposal of annulling the election results immediately he learnt of his defeat, we’ve also learnt the same military partook in pressuring him [Jammeh] to do a concession speech and on TV, we also learnt that he has been hunkered down at State House in Banjul immediately after declaring Barrow the winner with some sources even hinting that the army disarmed him and his close loyalists. We don’t know for sure, but maybe the army under the command of CDS Bargie is isolating him by putting him on some sort of confinement to see through peaceful and appropriate transfer of power to the President-elect Barrow and his incoming team.
In an instance where all the above is the likely scenario, there will be great distrust between CDS Bargie and State House including the chair of National Security Council (NSC) Isatou Njie-Saidy. Let’s remember, this presentation was done at her office at State House, Jammeh’s sanctuary in Banjul. I see CDS Bargie, taking precaution in case of any surprises and I believe he would have had his men flooded the ceremony just in case. Whatever your belief, his use of that many juju is a form of protection to him. I have never seen CDS Bargie this tense noticeable in his voice, this much armed and also this much prepared during past military ceremonies like the one we saw on GRTS today. I will understand this given what we’ve already heard, learnt and all the speculations going on. Let’s also understand the precarious and fragile nature our country is facing right now. I think, CDS Bargie is only the side of the Gambian people, this will come to light sometime.
Let’s also pay close attention to Bargie’s speech, he is putting the Gambia and her people, and even went further than that. We also know he went to the coalition rally twice and even paused for a photo with coalition supporters. To some, this sent a signal to them, but this would have been unthinkable in previous elections. For Jammeh’s hand-picked CDS to attend an opposition rally and even accept to have a photo with them! I would also like to point to a publication on The Point where CDS Bargie and IGP Sonko both pledged their allegiance to the Gambia people and the President-elect, again this was unthinkable.
While we may not know who is who in the military and what are the plans of Jammeh or CDS Bargie, we should exercise caution and especially how we perceive the military. We don’t want to alienate them if they are on our side. Let’s not trust but be very cautious and reserved with especially our choice of words.
Written Fanding P Njie