QUESTION OF THE DAY
Momodou wrote: “There’s no guarantee. If these people led their political parties since 1986 and others since 1996: for 34 and 24 years and are still leading after several failed attempts to rule and they still think they should still be leading – there’s no guarantee they’d not self-perpetuate in office.
“Didn’t all these parties agree to a three year transition? What guarantee was there they’d respect that?
“How many countries in Africa with limited terms tried to or changed their constitutions to extend rule?
“Busy right now. Let me wait for all political parties to submit their manifestoes to Foroyaa on this topic.’’
Halifa Sallah’s response:
“Thank you for referring the comment to me for further elucidation. Such comments are not trivial as one may think. They may be genuine or an attempt to deflect pressure on an executive to save it from subscribing to term limit.
First and foremost, PDOIS’ position is that we should all advocate for a term limit. Modou Joof should be amenable to this proposition. Secondly, we should all work for internal party democracy. PDOIS is amenable to this and selects candidates for election on the basis of a Primary. In fact, a PDOIS candidate has not stood for President since 2001 elections.
PDOIS did put up Halifa Sallah in 2016 but he bowed to the verdict of the Coalition 2016 Convention.
PDOIS want to assist young people like Momodou Joof to understand the peculiarities of the party. First and foremost, PDOIS refers itself as a Democratic Organisation because of our resolution as young people in our early thirties and forties that a political party is not founded, on the contrary, it is built.
The building of a party may take longer or shorter route depending on the hills it has to climb and the obstacles it has to overcome before it develops the mass base to assume power if it does not want to take any shortcuts through mass uprisings or coup d’états.
A special type of leadership is needed at each given turn before the party attains its fullest maturity attested by the size and quality of its leaders who could replace each other in minutes and seconds without any loss of vitality, efficiency and effectiveness.
My intention is not to change Modou Joof’s opinion. I respect them. My duty is to explain in good faith that the PDOIS leadership has been responding to the demands of times and circumstances for their leadership qualities and resilience otherwise Gambian history would have been written with more pints of blood.
However, growth is both a quantitative and qualitative process. We are now convinced that many younger people are learning all the lessons that would temper their conscience and will to live and die for truth and justice. This is the verdict of 34 years of toil and moil and it is irrevocable. We will now surrender the baton to other parties and engage Momodou at his volition for more clarification.