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This was a note I wrote on my FaceBook page.
The advent of social networks have done wonders in bringing people together. Long lost friends, classmates and yes relatives are suddenly a search away. The internet has been around for decades, but the proliferation of social networking sites like this one (Facebook) have up the ante in connecting individuals. I have been blogging for years on blogspot. I have a niche following of political junkies who read my rants and musing on everything from technology to mostly contemporary politics. One issue I have never dealt with is the history of the vilage of my birth, especially its founding. This is a topic I intend to write about in detail on my blog in the very near future.
Why the sudden interest some may asked. That is where the advent of social networks and the power they possess in disseminating messages be they true or in most cases not so true comes into play. I have come across a blog posting on the founding of saba that parroted an old lie that has been perpetrated for eons. Here is a link to the posting in question (The author of the blog send me an email on 1/23/2011 to say he is deleting his blog. Sorry for the broken link folks).
Saba wasn't found by Madiba Singhateh. I know that is a bold statement for some folks born and raise in that village. But the facts will support my suppositions when I lay them out in the blog post I am working on. Opinions are entitlememnts, but no one is entiltle to their own facts. The photos displayed on the blog post I reference above tell a different story. I am not sure if the author is clueless or trying his hands at revisionism. Hint...the first house belongs to someone other than his purported founder. The first Gate sat on land owned by the owner of the first get the drift. Saba, like most African villages has no written history. Most of its history is folklorist and embellished. However there are landmarks that are agreed opon regarding there significance to the founding of the village. This is where fact base analysis come in handy. I am not interested in what your grand mama told you if it is directly contradicting a known fact.
Stay tune folks ... the subtle bigotry that has been the norm in Saba will be laid to bare. Yes Bigotry. Saba is a very bigoted community. It is all so subtle, but the under current is brutal.

The photo above is that of Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho: two honorable ladies, who made a career of fighting for women's right in a male dominated society. They have until a few days ago been engaging their countrymen to to put a stop to some harmful practices undertaken in that society such female circumcision. Along the way, they have gather some powerful enemies, but they persevere. That is until they were arrested and detained at the Gambia's notorious mile two prisons on trumped theft charges.

Their arrest is a smokescreen on the larger socio-political dynamic taking root in the Gambia. The imprisonment without due process is the norm in Yahya Jammeh's Gambia. They have become the latest victims to this madness that has engulf our nation since July 1994. Our people cower in fear while their fellow citizens are brutally subjected to in humane treatments. Nations deserve their leaders and the Gambia is no exception. Gambians are not bystanders in this tragedy, they are active participants, aiding, abating and yes meting out inhumane treatments to prop up a dictatorship.

The comedy of tragedy extends to the religious leadership as well. In civil and human rights crusades around the world, religious leaders take an active role in freeing oppressed masses. From the abolitionist movement to the civil rights struggle in the United States, religious leaders have been at the forefront. The Gambia's religious leaders have failed tragically in this arena. The Supreme Islamic Council have very recently dictate that a fellow imam refrain from preaching to the flock; because, well he is hurting their little feelings. Our Christian brethren, though not involve in any out right censorship that I know of, are missing in the fight against the infringement of rights that is a daily occurrence in their immediacy.

Yahya is who he is because Gambians have become fearful of their own shadows. A lot of Gambians aid this buffoon's ego trip and hurt a lot of innocent people along the way. The larger population has a cynical world view. It is never about them until one of their relatives is picked up and mistreated. The adage "injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere" has never been a mantle in our society. It is these two ladies today, it will be somebody's brother tomorrow, until we shed the fear and confront the cancer before it metastasized to a terminal stage. Then all bets are off.

This blog post is made in response to a posting made on Bantaba by Demba Baldeh ...Link
History, they say is prologue. But that doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't learn from it to make adjustments for the better. Opposition supporters have come to terms that a united front is our best shot at competing in any meaningful way against an entrenched dictatorship. What seems to be the sticking point is the modalities needed to bring about such a unity. To come up with the modalities requires acknowledging the differences that bridge the parties. To this end,the points Demba enumerated are germane to the discussion. They are the most thorny issues in this unity quest. We keep mouthing off about unity, but when confronted with the mechanism to achieving such a feat, we get cold feet and withdraw into our corners.

It is my opinion that the parties should form an alliance lead by the largest opposition party with the following understanding between the parties:

1. Formation of a coalition government lasting five years
2. Electoral and constitutional reform during the coalition governments' term
3. Parties to the alliance maintain their identity and freedom to organize during the term of the coalition
4. Members of the coalition government will not contest subsequent presidential elections
5. Coalition government members can endorse candidates for subsequent presidential elections (free speech and association).
6. Mobilize mass public campaigns to educate the population in their rights and duties as citizens (parties can do this as well).

These are some of the things that could help bridge the gap. I submit that the parties have smarter people in charge of their affairs than yours truly. Furthermore, I am not breaking any new grounds here. I have heard variances of these points made by numerous people. Pragmatism dictates that we give up something to gain some.The Gambia needs her opposition children to be pragmatic for her sake.

I am pressured for time these days, but I read through a lot of mail courtesy of my membership to the two largest Gambian mailing lists. The clarion call from most of the participants is a united opposition ala NADD to contest the 2011 presidential elections. I am not a pessimist, but I will venture a prediction that, the opposition coming together as they did with that NADD formation isn't going to happen this time around. If this (opposition parties coming together) is their only chance at defeating professor Jammeh, they might as well call it a day. There is very little pragmatism in the opposition leadership to allow for a united front.

Proponents of unity harp endlessly about unity, but are short on specifics. The mechanisms needed to get these guys to come together is always an elusive one. Until folks are willing to look beyond their own biases, a united front will not happen and Jammeh will cruise to victory with all the impending baggage that entails for the nation.

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