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The Clearest Choice for Gambia in Election 2011

The Clearest Choice for Gambia in Election 2011

By former Magistrate Hon. Lamin J. Darbo
As the sun went down on the campaign period, and Gambia embraces the very eve of Election 2011, the clearest and most compelling choice for president on November 24 is Ousainu N Darboe (Ousainu) of the UDP and allied parties.
That Gambians are now full adherents of the political view that “enough is enough” is clear and palpable. And even whereas the government of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Doctor Yahya A J J Jammeh (the Professor) must have recognised this changing national mood as evidenced by recent reports of verbal attacks on Freedom Radio and its iconoclastic Editor-cum-presenter by higher echelon APRC stalwarts at campaign meetings, this  suggests the ‘no criticism’ mentality so endemic in the current establishment persists. Our nation cannot heal its deep wounds in that kind of governance climate, and genuine national healing is what we are in most need of.
The man for that task and for comprehensive national development in peace is Ousainu.
An accomplished Barrister and human rights advocate committed to a public space anchored in institutionalism and the rule of law, Ousainu has the wherewithal to usher in the requisite sanity imperative to averting the crisis of internal stability that stares Gambia in the face due mainly to the lawless propensities of the current government.
What is my evidence Ousainu will accord due fidelity to institutionalism and the rule of law?
In a two-hour dedicated conversation on political matters some two years ago in London, I asked Ousainu why he failed to grab one of the international opportunities that came his way over the years. In characteristic humility and consideration for others, he told me his leadership of the UDP caused untold suffering – arrests, detentions, disappearances, even death – for Gambian citizens. He will not walk away from those who suffered on his account in the difficult project of decapitating public lawlessness in Gambia.
I am also fully convinced that notwithstanding failure in attaining total opposition unity in this year’s presidential contest, Ousainu fulfilled his promise to reach out to other opposition leaders with a view to crafting a united front against the Professor this year.
With neither inclination nor capacity, Ousainu will not divide Gambia along any partisan lines. He will not arrest, detain, or incarcerate any citizen, or resident, of the Gambia outside the ambit of law. He will never torture, abduct, or disappear any citizen, or resident, of the Gambia. That is the development Gambia requires, the development that ensures our territorial integrity is not compromised by the cannibalism inherent in civil conflict.
I join my friend Yero (Dalton) Jallow of Gainako Online Newspaper and other neutrals who, with inspirational erudition, made a cogent case for a UDP-led united front against the APRC. Here I recall the pleas of Gambians like Mathew K Jallow, Momodou B Krubally, Prince Obrien Coker, Professor Abdoulie Saine, Foday Samateh, and others.
As you make your final calls tonight and tomorrow morning to those in homeland dearest with whom you have some influence, please remind them a vote other than for Ousainu will be a wasted vote on November 24.
By voting Ousainu, you and your family and friends are participating in the creation of a Gambia anchored not only in law and institutions, but a Gambia where the protection of human dignity is the highest practical value.
Ousainu N Darboe for president on November 24!
Long live the Gambia our homeland
Lamin J Darbo