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The Point Newspaper has the following story posted on their web site:

As rumours continue to mill round town regarding a leadership “crisis” in the ranks of NADD, the Alliance’s Co-ordinator, Hon. Halifa Sallah, has elucidated that one would not be correct to refer to the state of affairs in NADD as a crisis. For Hon. Sallah, crisis emerges in an organisation when the contradictions between members become irreconcilable.

“I can state without any hesitation that NADD has not reached such a state. For your information, the Brikama rally was not specifically organised to introduce NADD’s flag-bearer,” NADD co-ordinator said in an interview with this paper.

“The public meeting was scheduled as a part of the programme for the commemoration of the first anniversary of NADD’s existence. Rumours however spread rapidly that NADD’s flag-bearer would be introduced at the rally. Consequently, thousands of people intended to come to the meeting to witness the
event,” he added.

According to him, NADD would have in fact held a press conference to present the flag-bearer to the public before the Brikama rally.

“Unfortunately, we could not reach a conclusion when we first met to select a flag-bearer by nominations. The health condition of a member of the executive gave rise to postponement of the next scheduled date for decision – making,” Hon. Sallah also the National Assembly member for Serekunda Central said. He explained that since information regarding the failure to reach a consensus had
spread, some members of the executive felt that what people would hold to be paramount at the rally is the naming of a flag-bearer.

“They therefore suggested for a postponement so as to prevent a betrayal of the expectation of the public,” he posited.

Which begs the question what is Dr. Saine talking about when he wrote:

The ongoing political furor over Omar Jallow’s (OJ) selection as the presidential candidate for the 2006 presidential elections and not Ousainou Darboe by NADD’s Executive can not be contested on grounds of OJ’s electability.

Because according to the coordinator for NADD (Halifa Sallah) no such thing happened. Here is the money quote from that story:

“Unfortunately, we could not reach a conclusion when we first met to select a flag-bearer by nominations. The health condition of a member of the executive gave rise to postponement of the next scheduled date for decision – making,”

Ok bear with me for a second while I try to understand what Mr. Sallah meant when he said "we could not reach a conclusion". I Got it. Phew that was hard to figure out. But smart readers out there already figured that out. Which brings me to another point that is itching me: what motivates Dr. Saine to write such an erroneous piece? That I can't answer, but he has reveal the hand he is dealing with in this endeavor. The rest of us yearning for an orderly resolution to this selection process better wake up and take a stand.

This thread at Gambia-Talk is reminiscent of the opinions that are been express on Gambian forums about the NADD flag bearer issue. What bug me about all of this is how privy to the discussions are these commentators? Do they have a dog in the fight? Is there a coordinated hatchet job directed at Ousainou Darbo. The negative campaigning directed at the UDP leader needs to stop. People need to chill and give the negotiations on the ground a chance to succeed. Isn’t that part of the democratic culture that NADD is formed to usher in? I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Saine and hope that he will not go on the limb for an unsubstantiated rumor. He must have been told what he wrote by someone in the know and now if he will be kind enough to enlighten the rest of us.

This is not the Time for Darboe to Break-away Under a UDP- banner
The ongoing political furor over Omar Jallow’s (OJ) selection as the presidential candidate for the 2006 presidential elections and not Ousainou Darboe by NADD’s Executive can not be contested on grounds of OJ’s electability. This is a flawed argument that undermines the very democratic process that the Mou sought to engender and agreed to by all parties. Flawed as the Mou is, Darboe and all the presidential-candidate aspirants accepted the ground rules heading into the meeting that selected OJ.

To use arguments based on previous election results or the UDP being the single largest opposition political party has little or no relevance to the decision already rendered by NADD’s executive. Why must the rules now be contested or changed just because Darboe was not favored? Why must we second-guess the process and the thinking behind each executive member’s decision? If the truth be told, Darboe has no choice but to support the process that selected OJ, regardless of his reservations about the process itself or possibly the candidate, if any. If Darboe had been selected, I would have defended and supported his candidature despite what OJ or anyone else may say. To do otherwise would be sheer hypocrisy. To date, the Mou remains the best document for the current coalition. It took months of tedious negotiations to arrive at its painstaking details. Furthermore, Darboe tried in 1996 and 2001 and could not dislodge Jammeh. It is time for another candidate to give it a try. This is partly because the political landscapes of 2001 and 2006 are very different and the latter may require a different strategy and candidate. In my humble opinion, Darboe’s professional and personal temperament may not be suited to counter Jammeh’s brutish threats and venomous attacks. His personal and professional skills would serve The Gambia best, in my view, in a post-Jammeh ear in 2011 as a presidential candidate and possibly president.
What is needed now is someone like OJ to confront Jammeh head-on as decided by NADD’s Executive, in spite of the reservations others or I may have about his candidature. And, like many of you, I harbor many. Therefore, the issue of OJ’s political baggage can not be overlooked, nor anyone’s for that matter. He served the PPP for well over a decade as parliamentary secretary and minister. Yet, unlike most of his other PPP colleagues after the coup, he has been unflinching in his opposition to Jammeh and has paid dearly for it; so has Ousainou, Halifa, Waa and the other leaders who also have their own limitations. If Ousainou were chosen the issue of baggage would inevitably come up as well. This is not the time, nor the place, however, to spell out Ousainou’s or OJ’s. Additionally, this is not the time for Darboe to break away under a UDP banner to contest the presidency as it could aid Jammeh in his re-election bid. If Darboe is truly committed to ridding the country of Jammeh, which I believe he does, he must forego his short-term interests and putative gains as a presidential candidate in 2006 for the larger national good. After all, NADD’s Executive chose OJ cognizant of Darboe’s standing as head of the largest opposition party.

I humbly urge Darboe, the UDP Executive, advisors and supporters to rally behind OJ as he was duly selected by NADD’s Executive. To do less is to subvert the very democratic process they all claim to uphold and wish to see in a post-Jammeh era. If NADD unravels into its constituent political parties so could the effort to oust Jammeh. Another five years of Jammeh, possibly ten is too painful to ponder.

Abdoulaye Saine Hamilton,
Ohio, USA

Dr. Saine,
You said this "I humbly urge Darboe, the UDP Executive, advisors and supporters to rally behind OJ as he was duly selected by NADD’s Executive." Can you please tell us how was OJ duly elected by NADD executives. Did they go from nomination to actually voting to select a flagbearer among the contestants? If yes, when? I await your response. Thank
you. Take care.


I am glad that you finally could not any longer conceive it deep in your throat . This is the day some of us have waited for.To hear from the horse's own mouth after we first heard about the project that you,OJ , James and the so-called Ohio group have initiated long ago. It did not come as a suprise to me. What is however suprising to me is the extend to which you are willing to compromise your neutrality and professionalism to join the semi-litrates in painting a picture which never existed in the first place. May be you will be generous enough to educate us about the executive committee that endorsed OJ's nomination. Certainly, not NADD's executive committee. It is an open secret that this is the same strategy OJ employed in 2001, purposely to ostracise his perceived rivals. Secondly, the events leading this wild nonsense of OJ'S nomination is not also a secret to you. How you could ignore all these and joined the fray of intellectual charlatans is indeed beyond me. I simply cannot decipher it! But at the cul-de-sac, we will meet. For the Gambia , our homeland.

Musa Sanneh

Banka & Musa: I hope the good doc Saine will share with us what he is privy to.
Folks: I will take this opportunity to celebrate that the very democrarcy we all wanted is almost here. As we find ourselves engage in the democratic process, it is good for all of us to remember that this is the kind of Gambia we would all like to see. Inasmuch, we all
disagree with Pa Nderry’s professionalism or editorial tilt, we need the Pa Nderry Mbyes or the democracy we would all like to see flourish in the Gambia. Undoubtedly, equally the need for the criticism level against him by public opinion, in a weird way; there is hope for the Gambia we all would like to see.

Caution! As for all of us supporting different parties or personalities within NADD, it is ok to feel angry, betrayed or even disgusted with the process. Let us all continue to have our differences, and engage in an honest, constructive, and even contentious debate sometimes. But at the end of the day, we will have to rally around a selected leader of NADD, even if it is someone that we have our doubts with. The big question is what prices each and everyone of us willing to pay to give democracy a chance, and bring about the final exit of Dictator Jammeh. We all want democracy, well here we have it – it is not that pretty.

Thanks Musa Jeng

This reporter spoke to Sam Sarr of the Foroyaa news paper an executive member of the opposition coalition who was in the midst of the selection process to throw light on what transpired and the state of the leadership nominations. Mr. Sarr clarified that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of the coalition required the executive (12 members) to select a flag-bearer. According to him, the executive met to carryout the mandate of selecting the flag-bearer. Three members were nominated, Omar Jallow, Halifa Sallah (party coordinator), and
Ousainou Darboe. Halifa Sallah turned down his nomination on grounds of safeguarding the integrity of the selection process. Lawyer Darboe too withdrew his nomination following Halifa's declining of the nudge.

So let me get this straight...three candidates were nominated, two withdrew their nominations and a vote on the third candidate never happen. If my comprehension is right then where in the world did the authors of this piece get their information from when they wrote this?
Earlier, lawyer Darboe, was proposed by Mr.Yahya Jallow, UDP'S, Deputy, but had no one to second him. Ms.Amie Sillah, of the PDOIS, nominated Mr.Halifa Sallah, NADD coordinator. Like Jallow, Sallah, too was seconded. However, our source said that Halifa in a gesture of magnanimity declined his nomination, which automatically propelled OJ, to the front.

Because according Sam Sarr's account of the events no such thing transpired. Read on:
Mr. Sarr went on to clarify that it was untrue that Darboe was the one who objected OJ's nomination in order to consult his party members. In contrast, executive members unanimously agreed it was appropriate at that juncture to call off the selection process to take time to sleep over their decision making process and return to tackle the issue on another date. "No final decisions were made during that meeting, it was just nominations and nothing more", lamented Mr. Sarr.
According Mr. Sarr feedback the party is receiving hinted that the nomination of OJ, a former minister in the PPP government did not settle well with many NADD supporters within and outside the country. He went on to say that the executive have no choice but to take into consideration the wishes and aspirations of the people. "It is our hope that when we meet again on the issue, we will reach a consensus on a salable candidate for the people. If the executive cannot agree on a candidate, then the process has to the handed to the people as required by the MOU", concluded Sam.
I will take Sam Sarr's word over Kebba Jallows on this issue anytime. Who is the Nadd Executive that Kebba Jallow is refering to here:
Reacting to the story, Kebba Jallow, former KMC Chairman, confirmed our story and said he had been in constant touch with the NADD leadership on the nomination. "This is an encouraging step for NADD to take this decisive initiative to move forward,"said Mr. Jallow

Which begs the question: is there a concerted hatchet job directed at Ousainou Darbo? Why was he singled out by these folks as the only holdout when Sam Sarr is telling us that the man in fact withdrew his nomination to lead the coalition? He has been called all sorts of names since the publication of this article. I think it is time for every one not intimately involve in the decision making process to take a chill pill, calm down and let the process take its course. Publishing unsubstantiated and hatchet jobs that throws a negative light on some one who could end up leading the coalition is not the smartest thing to do if you have the interest of that entity at heart.

It looks like the much anticipated unveiling of NADD's flag bearer has been put on ice. The purported rally that was slated to take place in Brikama for this purpose has been postponed as well until further notice. The reason? Well they are still ironing out certain massaging egos. But I digress.

However if you believe what Pa Nderry is reporting here and here then UDP and by extension it's secretary general Ousainou Darbo are the only hold outs.

Personally, I have no clue what is transpiring on the ground, but I took solace in the press release sent out by STGDP and reproduced below:

For Immediate Release
Friday, January 20, 2006

The Political Liaison for STGDP, Mr. Maila Touray, and the PublicRelations Officer, Ms. Sigga Jagne, yesterday, Thursday, January 19, 2006,spoke to the Coordinator of NADD, the Honorable Halifah Sallah, regardingthe current status of NADD’s Flag Bearer selection process.

Honorable Sallah stated that NADD, using the procedures mandated within the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as agreed upon by all the five political
parties comprising NADD, is indeed in the beginning stages of selecting a Flag Bearer. He reiterated the importance of the stages in the process of selecting a Flag Bearer and that NADD is going through these stages as required.

Mr. Sallah categorically reaffirmed that all parties and individuals that formed the basis of NADD are fully participating in the selection process.He further reiterated that NADD is strong and intact, as ever, and continues to maintain a strong support from Gambians on the ground, andall over the world.

The NADD executive will reconvene to continue the selection process
asmandated in the MOU. An official statement will be released by NADD assoon as
the selection process is finalized and a Flag Bearer is chosen.

The STGDP hereby appeals to all Gambians and friends in and outside Gambia to continue to support and strengthen our confidence in the democratic process as manifested by the NADD leadership all these years. We want to assure all that STGDP will do anything possible to continue to remind the NADD leadership of the position of Gambians and friends especially those in the Diaspora.The STGDP Political Liaison and Public Relations Officer will continue to communicate with the NADD executive, and share the information garnered from them with the rest of the Gambians and friends within the Diaspora.

Musa JengInterim Chairman
Save The Gambia Democracy Project (STGDP)

Democracy is messy and getting five different ambitions to come to a consensus no matter how noble the cause might be is not an easy task. A little patience on the side of those of us out of this delicate decision making process is in order. I blog, you decide.

Reports reaching The Point intimate that the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD) has concluded arrangements to name its flag-bearer this Saturday. The flag-bearer will serve as a running-mate of president Jammeh in this year’s presidential elections. According to sources, NADD will hold a mass political rally in Brikama wherein the flag-bearer is expected to be announced.

A NADD source told this paper that the rally is expected to draw opposition supporters and sympathisers from across the country. “This will mark another watershed in the history of the opposition
alliance,” the source concluded.

This development will put to rest the rumor going around that NADD is in disarray, provided Point's source is not pulling a fast one on them. I did some conjecturing myself last friday when I wrote:
Could it be that NADD's executive settled on Ousainou Darbo and Waa Juwara objected. These two fellows have fallen out over tactics and it is conceivable that after what transpired between them after the last presidential election, that Waa will argue against the leadership of Darbo on the grounds that he will acquiesce when the going gets tough. And believe me folks it only get tougher from here on.

However, supporters of Nadd ( I count myself among them) will be thrill at this prospect. We can spend the next nine months strategizing and implementing those strategies to take our country back from the grips of tyranny that is Yahya Jammeh.

Across the United States today people are celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A day for great speeches and marches to commemorate the life and work of a great American. Former vice president Al Gore gave a great speech is a transcript of his speech.

But one of the greatest speeches delivered by Dr. King himself on August 28, 1963 is worth a revisit:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the
greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a
great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

You can read and listen to the rest of this speech at Americablog

Cry Baby

Mrs. Alito pitched a staged fit during Senator Graham's questioning and left the hearing room in tears so that Wolf Blitzer could complain about how evil those nasty Democrats are with their hard kweschins ( oops I mean questions). Let the woman cry her eyes out. I don’t give a hoot about her crocodile tears. It is the future of jurisprudence in the United States and the effect it will have on the lives of millions of American that is at stake with this nomination. She is not getting any brownie points for that. I am not swayed nor do I have any sympathy for her. Heck…what is supposedly her plight? That Democrats are mean to little old sammy. Give me a break. Now on to the husband.

I think it's been pretty well established that Alito will say anything to get a job, including Supreme Court Justice, and the truth be damned. I think, this nomination is going to be pretty much a party-line vote, and there will be a lot of pressure to filibuster. If Joe Lieberman of all people will not rule out a filibuster then the gang of fourteen will split on this one. And if that crooked weasel Bill Frist wants to try and invoke the nuclear option let him try. I'm not sure he could pull it off in the first place, and if he does, Harry Reid should procedurally shut down the Senate. It is time to call the Republicans bluff.

As I watch the confirmation hearing of Sam Alito on C-span, I think it would be nice if the Democrats were to gridlock the Senate whether the Republicans used the nuclear option or not. Hell with it - no more legislation until the Culture Of Corruption gets cleaned up. Declare an ethics emergency (or a corruption conundrum) and just slam on the brakes. Hmmm.

I'm tired of all this... FISA is black letter law and if Alito feels the executive is right in pulling a "Dirty Harry" then let him have the balls to stand up say so and pray Democrats have the balls to call him on it. The man has no integrity. His whole career is based on saying whatever it takes to get a damn job. His choking up in claiming that no one is above the law sickened me. Only made worse by the possibility that he actually feels that the executive has such power in the role of commander in chief. I've always felt the original vote to give Bush sweeping powers after 9/11 was the dumbest thing since they gave Tupac the gun in "Juice". To me strict constructionists like Scalia and Thomas can afford to be lazy thanks to past courts having the fortitude to stand up for those that were not able to embrace "America's promise". Thanks to courts that stood up in Brown vs. board of education and other cases judges like Alito, Scalia, and Thomas can show up on C-Span running their mouths about strict constructionism.

Well, having Alito booted would certainly give the Conservative Right an opportunity to play their favorite role: aggrieved victim. And abortion has played a favorite fund-raising and get-out-the-vote role for them for the past decades -- why would they want to end that game now? But I digress.

I am still very wary of the Beltway Democrats, though. Any day I expect Lieberman to come out with a rant against anyone opposing Alito. Or maybe Biden calling him "old buddy." The last few years have left me with no faith in the Democratic leadership to oppose the Republicans with anything like a forceful argument.

The folks at Firedoglake are doing a great run down on the hearings

Shhhhhh - it's a big secret... but the suspense is killing folks. The Point Newspaper joined the ranks of those waiting impatiently for NADD to name their flagbearer. The following appeared on the point yesterday. Sorry the link isn't active at this juncture. Will link up when available. Link

Has NADD Named its Flagbearer?
Thursday 5th January 2006
Someone hinted us yesterday that the opposition, National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD), has just named their flagbearer following nationwide samples of opinion. Is that so? What a good news if all comes to light! Our source further informed us that the selection didn't go without some itches. We were told that one executive member is not in support of the chosen flagbearer.Could the leadership tell us who the flagbearer is to avoid rumorr mongering?We are anxious to know, as it is vital to know ones presidential aspirant or would be leader, for many reasons. Anyway, we are impatiently waiting to see who the person is.
Could it be that NADD's executive settled on Ousainou Darbo and Waa Juwara objected. These two fellows have fallen out over tactics and it is conceivable that after what transpired between them after the last presidential election, that Waa will argue against the leadership of Darbo on the grounds that he will acquiesce when the going gets tough. And believe me folks it only get tougher from here on.

I am only conjecturing at this point. And before somebody jump on my case for rumor mongering, hold your guns. I am not a journalist. I don't confuse "linking" with "reporting." Nor do I confuse punditry with reporting, opinion with fact, and have never claimed to be a reporter. This is an opinion weblog and it should be seen and read as such.

The phenomenon of Sycophancy is one thing that can't be attributed to the dictatorial whims of Yahya Jemus. If anything new sycophants have taken over since the overthrew of Doctor Jawara's government.

Click here to listen to the 1992 PPP congress that took place in MansaKonko. Jawara offered to resign at the end of his tenure at this congress. But the sycophants took to the mike to predict gloom and doom if he should do anything like that. Two years later "soldiers with a difference" took over and the rest like they say is history. One element that hasn’t change in Gambian politics is Sycophancy.

If only the Gambian electorate can borrow a page from Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Where he lamented:

You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags-that is loyalty of unreason, it is pure animal; it belongs to monarchy, was invented by monarchy; let monarchy keep it. I was from Connecticut, whose Constitution declares 'that all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their benefit; and that they have at all times an undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of government in such a manner as they may think expedient.

That may never happen, but can a brother dream atleast? The audio is presented by freegambia and raki web radio. You need real audio to listen to the audio. You can download a free copy here if you don't have one.

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