Being a country of believers, be it Islam or Christianity, it is understandable that we attribute all things to God’s predestination.
Even in this election season, almost every person who has anything to say for the regime will say something along the lines of “God ordained him (current president), and when his time comes He (God) will remove him.” Even the president made such claims each time the occasion grants an opportunity; that “no election, military, or foreign power can remove me from office. I will leave when Allah says so.”
But how does Allah say so? How does God ordain a leader? These are questions no one seems interested in asking especially those who are fond of peddling the narrative. It states in the Bible;
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)
In the Qur’an it states;
“Say! O Allah, Sovereign Lord of all dominion, You grant dominion to whom You will and You take away dominion from whom You will….” (Qur’an 3:26).
These and similar verses in both scriptures is used to back such claims. But what critical questions need asking regarding these divine statements? Who is considered an authority worth subjugating oneself to? What are their qualities? How do they exercise their authority? All these and more need answering. But most importantly, how does God establish such authorities?
He certainly does not come down and call a meeting of all the people of the land to a coronation ceremony, neither does He delegate it to His angels or anyone for that matter. Then how does He do it?
People make kings, leaders, and authority. Sovereignty resides in them. As a people of faith, we believe everything happens by design. If God therefore wills to reside authority in an individual, He fill the people’s hearts with love and admiration for that person. On the other hand, when He wishes to take it away from a person, He exposes that persons flaws and shortcomings gradually turning people away from that person, with them goes the authority and sovereignty with which the leader had mandate.
When Yaya Jammeh first came to power by subverting the will of the people through the barrel of the gun, at first some were naturally skeptical, but by the end of the second year he was overwhelmingly embraced. The mantra was; give him a chance, he’s young and brave, thirty years was long enough we need new ideas. And so began his reign.
Along the line promises were made, only to be broken; hopes raised and dashed. The anthem of transparency, accountability and probity became illegal. Dissent was not to be and so the years rolled by with no improvements in the people’s condition. Every election cycle promises alongside threats are made but still we wait. Some people started waking up to reality and turned their back on him, the love and admiration they had for him was no more, and so his dominion dwindled.
A new face emerged on the political scene and moved an entire nation. From the political elites to the ordinary farmer out in the far flung country side, everyone endorsed and embraced him. No one saw him coming which says a lot too.
When Yaya came in 1994 with promises of purging the public service of corruption and instituting a functional people led government, he sought a four year mandate to do the job, the people rejected the offer and settled for two years. Within that time, he laid out his plans to self-perpetuate. He claimed that the elders called on him and begged that he don civilian clothes and contest the elections for the whole country was impressed by his achievements. But if the tempo in the country is such that you are guaranteed victory at the elections, why ban all who ever held ministerial, vice presidential or presidential positions in the ousted regime? They were seasoned politicians, they were well known and popular and them running against you meant the end of your reign. The people by now realized that you were no soldier with a difference just another wannabe tyrant. Essentially you killed the competition and look set to rule another five years, then emerged Lawyer Ousainou Darboe to fight for a restoration of democracy. A man widely acclaimed to have won the 1996 elections, but again force and rigging denied the Gambian people their will. Ever since, he had been your target to neutralize with no success. Once again, with further waning popularity the laws were doctored to ban him from contesting by instituting age limits while eliminating term limits.
But a party as big as the UDP does not look personality centered, so all likely successors need to be purged out of the party; Shyngle Nyassi, Femi Peters (effective political strategist), Ousman Rambo Jatta, and Amadou Sanneh became targets to instill fear and weaken the party to no avail. The UDP just won’t die, so you chose to show how far you’d go to stop them by claiming the life of Solo Sandeng and then jailing Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and his entire executive. As you set your eyes on the UDP, you drove a wedge between you and the Gambian people by exposing your oppressive nature in broad daylight to which they are not accustomed. That is why when Adama Barrow emerged, a man you never saw coming, the people saw an opportunity to return the favor to Lawyer Ousainou for his years of sacrifice and to declare Solo Sandeng a martyr for The Gambian cause. And so a revolution was born.
Kolomo meng beh nyaa sorla, nyaa buka wo jeh (the eye never sees the twig that will poke it), that is a Mandinka proverb. If Yaya Jammeh and his minions had any indication of who Adama Barrow will turn out to be, he’d have been part of the sinister plot aimed at purging the UDP of any potential leaders. Even at this hour, plans to derail the people’s verdict are afoot, the tyrant is relentless in his quest to remain in power, but Adama shall be remembered as the one that got away.
“Although they plan, Allah also plans, and Allah is the best of planners.” (Qur’an 3:80). Adama Barrow has been God’s plan, the ordained one.
A vote for Adama is a vote for O.J Jallow, it’s a vote for Halifa Sallah, for Sidia Jatta, for Hamat Bah, for Henry Gomez, for Mai Fatty, for Dr. Bojang, for Dr. Isatou Touray, for Lawyer Darboe, and all of Gambia’s capable sons and daughters, it is a vote for The Gambia. Please go out and vote and translate the crowd into winning votes. Although God’s will is there, action is needed on our part to fulfil that will.