Alagi Yorro Jallow
Fatoumatta: From Giacomo Cassanova, “the seducer by whom all others are measured,” through Catherine the Great to charming Cleopatra, great seducers have one unusual secret: they are richly endowed, hugely imbued with uncommon courage, disarming charm, and artful guile. Like snake charmers, they deploy all these to make any poisonous meat serve their urge.
Senior executive member and administrative secretary responsible for social and fundraising of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) Suku Sighateh has officially defected to the National People’s Party ( NPP) of President Adama Barrow.
Fatoumatta: There has never been a competition for the title bestowed upon one Niccolò di Bernado dei Machiavelli as the father of Realpolitik. Among many of Machiavelli’s political dictums, the one that put him at a crossroads with the moral-minded members of the world is his assertion that Politics is amoral, meaning there is no morality in politics!
Do we know why legislation on ‘Leadership and Integrity’ provisions remains one of the top essential qualities of a good constitution in most progressive countries’ constitutions?
Do we know why morality issues have been difficult for Electoral Management Commissions to regulate parochial politics’ and democratic persistent dilemmas? The answer is simple. In its natural state, ethical matters and morality are alien to politics.
In politics, there is nothing like a political debt. A debt is enforceable if it arises from a legally binding contract or transaction unless one is adjudged political bankrupt. The nature of political obligations is such that politicians are above the realm of law. They are not binding. Therefore, the concept of Political Debt in itself is a fallacy! What remains, therefore, is a political expectation.
Fatoumatta: Wife (or husband) snatchers are very loving people. They are also smooth operators. They know what they want and how to get it. They are the NPP. Ruthless, accommodating, bloodless, rich, powerful, and power-seeking. Seducers are highly resourceful and very well blessed with everything, including the physiological.
Moreover, they flaunt their endowments to hoodwink desirable outsiders and tie down the in-house victims. NPP is the ultimate womanizer. It has no scruple, no conscience when expanding its power horizon and protecting its sphere of influence from predatory pests. I strongly think NPP’s libido for power is matched only by its thirst for oil money’s eternal flow. Both are interlocked. Throughout history, these are excellent reasons to fight…and win.
National People’s Party (NPP) is a unique seducer. It negotiates with the rival when it thinks it must stoop to conquer. NPP plays softly. It also plays what political scientists call the ‘hard power.’ It plays both in the same match without courting the referee’s red card. In the power game, NPP is the master, and all others along its path mere asses to be used to push its cart. For power and its condiment, money, NPP will give anything to seduce whoever holds the key to the strongroom. It will use body language, follow it up with smooth, passion-filled talks. National People’s Party (NPP) will optimize these with good money for significant effect and good measure. When all these fail, it has other options.
Do you remember the story behind ‘Carrot and Stick’? “A cart driver dangling a carrot in front of a mule and holding a stick behind it. The mule moves towards the carrot because it wants food, while it moves away from the stick behind it since it does not want the punishment of pain, thus drawing the cart…” The Gambia’s ruling party has read that story so well it has always come in handy for it in critical situations.
Fatoumatta: The National People’s Party (NPP) is a wife (or is it the husband?), snatcher. It is an incurable seducer. It can sleep with anyone it desires, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. You expose yourself to its fury if you attempt to do to it what it does to you. The United Democratic Party (UDP) expelled eight National Assembly members who returned to President Adama Barrow in November 2019 must have taught the United Democratic Party (UDP) one hard lesson: never seduce or snatch the seducer’s spouse if you are not ready to pay the price. He will take back his own and then dash yours. The tempter knows the rule and understands the game so well Adama Barrow outplayed other small political parties that collapsed a few months ago. The seducer holds tenaciously to his prey until (and unless) he gets bored. If you doubt this, ask party leader Mama Kandeh and Mai Fatty and the other bigwigs and distinguished ship-jumpers whose divorce papers are stuck in the desk drawers of Dou Sanno. Imagine an NPP that hailed a harvest of defectors in the National Assembly, almost at the same time closing exit doors against its own riled combatants from bailing out of its house of suffocation! Seducers are soulless when ranging for battle. Guile and goodness and mysterious misery are wrapped as gifts for the victims to hug, kiss, and bite. Charmers are perfect masters – they wear the French’s le regard smoky look while holding out their seductive escapades as no wham-bam venture but a real war for the control of the levers of power and money. In other words, for the warlords in the NPP, the sport is the art of seduction, and their trophy is the game at their feet.
Fatoumatta: When a competitor shows his hands so provocatively clearly as the UDP and other periphery parties have been so daringly doing in the last couple of weeks, the seducer puts on all his faculties. Furthermore, the situation becomes very dangerous. He becomes desperate for victory and a trophy. Even when the other side learns to behave well as the UDP National Assembly members did during the national congress of NPP militants, the powerful seducer will still taunt and yell at the red-eyed vanquished as they struggle with their party. The wife snatcher is jealous and selfish too. Remember what King David did to Uriah because he had the (mis)fortune of marrying a beautiful wife. NPP has shown the ambitious UDP that it is no Uriah to be deprived of its priced pearl. It is instead the king to whom rape of whoever is a privilege divinely given.
The NPP has always reminded us that for the centuries of cosmopolitan existence of the dog, an ambitious tree-climbing monkey was in the forest hopping from branch to branch.
A certain seductive Lord Bryon, who overwhelmed the victim, had to exclaim that he was “mad, bad and dangerous.” That description perfectly fits the NPP, which now appears to have rolled out all its tanks to finish off its impudent rival. So, now that the UDP seems to have woken randy NPP from its deep slumber, we cannot wait to see how UDP’s monkey, like an apprentice seducer, continues to eat its banana without stepping on the peels and falling like Mike Tyson before a blinding Buster Douglas. We wait.
Fatoumatta: The increase in defection among opposition politicians to the ruling party can best be attributed to the lack of ideological focus in Gambian politics, which is alarming as the Gambia head to Presidential elections on December 4. There is no clear cut of romantic and idealistic focus in Gambian politics again. Money politics has taken over, and that is why politicians change parties like garments. This set of politicians lacks ideological conviction.
If we go back to classical politics, a political party must have ideas to move society forward. Over time, when committed people get involved in politics, things would change for the better. Decamping bigwigs from the United Democratic Party (UDP) may affect the UDP party’s Presidential and General Elections ambition on December 4, 2021.
Fatoumatta: Our society, particularly the Gambia, is mostly a moralistic entity. We expect good to be paid for a good, and for foul, we expect the wronged to turn the other cheek. Therefore, when a politician supports the other political rival or defects to another party, the masses believe that there should be reciprocity at the former’s time of need. Now, this is where we have to distinguish between political debt and political expectation.
Fatoumatta: The political expectation is not enforceable. Why? The expectation is in the realm of the masses and not in the domain of the political elites. Political elites operate on one unique but constant wavelength: INTEREST! The political expectation is prevalent among the masses because the masses believe that political good must be paid by political good. Any sane politician knows that no permanent friends or permanent enemies are meaning, whenever they enter into an arrangement, the politician in his private engagements is fully aware that the agreement can change at any time.
The centrality of resources/money and patronage -in-politics. He can buy all other power sources, beginning with-physical force, state action, ideas, and most importantly, numbers. Therefore, Adama Barrow is the (Primus inter pares-first among equals). In short, this is an endorsement of George Orwell’s proposition that all are equal and some are more equal than others.
Adama Barrow is ahead of other Presidential aspirants on December 4. He assumes the seat of de facto Presidential Aspirant looking for reelection.
One became president, based on numbers and resources, period! This is a barter trade during the political season, period. A give and take! Where is the debt? The only thing that remains is a political expectation and incapable of enforcement. We hold a contrary opinion that, indeed, there is a valid concept of political debt. If it were a debt, will it be paid?
Suppose these were debts to be repaid by the Gambian people. In that case, the Gambian people must start by paying the coalition 2016 team that ousted twenty-two years of cruel dictatorship before paying the 2021 debt to antagonists.
Fatoumatta: Like Chinua Achebe, regarding debts, said,’ even the sun shines on those who are standing before it shines on those who are kneeling before them-meaning, older and bigger debts have to be paid first before newer and smaller debts are paid. In conclusion, political debts are non-existent. Political expectations are allowed but unenforceable, period!
Alagi Yorro Jallow