Alagi Yorro Jallow.
Fatoumatta: Once, and not so long ago, running for political office was comparatively simple. Politicians assembled their teams, announced their candidacies, and took to the campaign trail. Now, a president — and, of course, a book. President Barrow: The Making of a New Gambia: subtitled is made up of 17 solid chapters, filled with insightful information that is authentic and authoritative.
Oh, there must be a book. If a candidate has already published one, perhaps it is time for another. Books have become the telltale sign that someone in one office is serious about being published. Presidential publications mark the advent of an avalanche of political books because nothing quite says “beach read,” like learning about the early life or the current policies of your favorite politicians. Instead of a chicken in every pot, a crowded field of candidates hopes for a book on every nightstand. ‘President Barrow: ‘The Making of a New Gambia: The Book seeks to present to the reader President Adama Barrow his background and historic and meteoric rise to the zenith of political power in The Gambia. It does this while at the same time show-casing the dramatic circumstances that created the environment for his startling and remarkable rise. In other words, it chronicles the historical events that ushered the dawn of the renewed Gambia.
Five years, a flock of politicians cum writers including, but not limited to, Ebraima Manneh and Amadou Taal, Joseph Akagha, and Abdoulaye Touray authored a book on President Adama Barrow to educate readers (and potential voters) about his childhood influences and his visions for a far better tomorrow. ‘President Barrow: The Making of A New Gambia:’ It is the story of seven Political Party Leaders, one Independent Presidential Aspirant, who with the support of a strong and committed woman, took a valiant and self-sacrificing step to end Party fragmentation, joined their resources together to liberate their people from the clutches of tyranny and terror. The Book is similarly the odyssey of the docile and peace-loving people of the Gambia who decided to take their destiny into their own hands and salvage their future from the pain and terror of a dictatorship that has held them captive for more than two decades.
“It is a narrative about the value and merit of ‘Ubuntu’ defined by Taal and Manneh as the principle of solidarity and brotherliness among Africans and how Gambians succeeded in averting a looming genocide without the loss of a single human life.
The Book follows President Barrow from humble beginnings, his rise into politics, and the political situation and tension. The martyrdom of the late Solo Sandeng to the imprisonment of the entire executive of the United Democratic Party, which inevitably gave rise to the liaising and alliance of political parties giving birth to the coalition 2016.
It makes sense from the politicians’ standpoint. The media universe has become much more fractured than it used to be, politicians who want to reach a potentially significant audience in his exact words. Writing a book may seem appealing. Also, there is severe me-tooism. Since almost every president these days wants a book to keep up with their rivals.
What is less fathomable is why writers continue to acquire and produce these titles, many of which are, let us face it, as tedious as the campaign trail, lacking fresh insights or candor, carefully designed not to offend along the path to victory.
The volume is skillfully structured, mainly using profiles of key figures and institutions that form pillars of the hard-won battle for freedom and democracy. It is written in a high-level but straightforward erudite language. It is well researched, as demonstrated by the vast and wide-ranging references, allusions, extracts, and citations throughout the Book. The display of knowledge from all spheres of human experience and every part of the globe- Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Russia, Asia-is to say the least, exceedingly extraordinary and, no doubt, amplifies the immense value and superiority of the Book. It is basically what we have all borne witness to – the admirable, implausible, and relentless effort of the Gambian people to take back their country where their rights and freedom have been infringed and trampled upon for the past two decades and the Incredible wave of brotherhood and love of country that is an awe-inspiring phenomenon that every Gambian has demonstrated in their little way. Thus, giving rise to the New Gambia, New Era, New President, and newly restored Hope. The Book follows President Barrow from humble beginnings, his rise into politics, and the political situation and tension. The martyrdom of the late Solo Sandeng to the imprisonment of the entire executive of the United Democratic Party, which inevitably gave rise to the liaising and alliance of political parties giving birth to the coalition 2016. “The book further goes to narrate the efforts of ECOWAS, African Union and international bodies and singles out our Sister Nation and neighbor and her relentless leader’s tremendous role, before the elections and during and after the political impasse.”
However, the publishing and political worlds appear awash in the belief that every candidate must have a memoir, a political tract, or both, despite the lack of indication that the public is clamoring to buy them. Books by politicians continue to appear with stunning regularity and frightening alacrity, not so much written as belched.
Everyone wants to publish a terrific book by a president or would-be president, who has worked on many political tomes. Nevertheless, most notable is the political Book as a trial balloon. One of the strongest motives for politicians today to write books is to test the waters for a future run for office. This is true even when they deny any such plans.
Alagi Yorro Jallow.