Sometimes It Pays to be Indecent in The Gambia’s Brand of Politics

by Alagi Yorro Jallow.
Fatoumatta: In politics, at least the Gambia’s brand of politics, it pays a lot more to be indecent than decent, or so the lesson seems to be teaching. It is also more rewarding to be unreliable than to be reliable. More respect and political mileage are gained by mastering and adopting the art of indecency, hate speech, and insults than by observing the tenets of decency.
Puritanism is not a pronounced quality of politics. Real politics, as opposed to theoretical politics, make room for ideological contamination. From time to time, we find Progressive Politicians playing and hunting on Conservative turf and vice versa. Therefore, it is not strange to see politicians associate or disassociate with and from persons and parties they once praised or condemned.
Nevertheless, Lamin Babading nding Jobarteh’s contamination is beyond the pale. His level of impurity is atrocious, and his manner of justification is fearless and lacking in substance. I got to know months ago that Lamin Babadingding Jobarteh had joined the United Democratic Party (UDP) in principle and was only waiting for the ritual of Abubacarr Darboe’s imprimatur before the announcement.
Fatoumatta: When you see things happen, learn from them. Do not just have a good laugh and look at the issue from the surface. Reflect on it. Think about it. Look at this picture below, and let us learn the open and hidden lessons of leadership and politics in it. First of all, never say never. You do not own tomorrow, and it is too absolute a conclusion to reach. Secondly, suppose you are a leader of anything or anyone. In that case, if you aspire to leadership when dealing with problems, you can make two choices: you either focus on the issue or focus on the person. On the political front, it is hard to face obscurity after seeing the relevance. Lamin Babadinding and Abubacarr Darboe are indicative of the fight against political obscurity. We have seen how the United Democratic Party has fallen into disarray. However, never forget; history is lived forward and judged backward.
As usual and expected, Babadingding Jobarteh has framed his joining of the UDP is highly altruistic and patriotic terms. He made a move to help build the Party. However, it is not about him; it is about Abubacarr Darboe’s “Badinyaa Fasaa” ideological policy. To the joyous newly delivered United Democratic Party, it should not be lost that babies like Lamin Babanding Jobarteh are simply problematic; an unnecessary and very avoidable burden which should be avoided at any cost for many reasons, some of which I will table here:
Lamin Babanding Jobarteh is valueless and worthless. He is not known to have any political value, much less potential voters for the UDP. Even more compounding, UDP is a party built based on trust, honesty, and promises of good governance, and Lamin Jobarteh is a man with hanging alleged human rights abuses and alleged torture issues, whose name prominently mentioned adversely at the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) besides being, to the end, a high-level player of judicial corrupt leading to his lengthy jail sentence chased out of power with a promise to change the way the Gambia operates. With no evidence of proper rehabilitation or improved mannerism, one could only ask what is Babadinding bringing to the UDP to deserve a high-level mega rally reception?
Fatoumatta: Indeed, suppose UDP could not see through Lamin Jobarteh’s deceptive personality to risk this clumsy move that could annoy hundreds of thousands of its diehard followers, primarily people who stood their ground and called off the bluffs and threats and intimidations of charlatans like him. In that case, one will not be too far off the road to say UDP is not so reliable a co-traveler, one that people could rely on as friends rely on friends. So many people were hurt when Lamin Jobarteh was making life difficult on both the UDP and Abubacarr Darboe for the single motive of preventing the birth of this administration. Even more, he worked hard to destroy UDP with his venom.
Even more annoying, one does not require more than average awareness to pick holes in Lamin Babadinding Jobarteh as a beneficiary for the UDP mega reception usually accorded only valuable players. To begin, Lamin Jobarteh is untrustworthy, whose words even Pinnochio will not take seriously hence, making him very bad salesmanship if the purpose of recruiting him is to market the UDP preparing for the upcoming December 4 Presidential elections. To assume Lamin Jobarteh could be a good salesman for UDP, embracing the sparkling woman in the “Klin” commercial could be substituted with vulture with no market repercussions.
What exactly is UDP aiming to achieve by recruiting a valueless charlatan like Lamin Jobarteh at the risk of offending a colossal army of pro bono UDP/ Abubacarr Darboe’s supporters? To be fair to him, he has not hidden the fact that he suffers from political Sokugo- a wandering disease described by Cyprian Ekwensi in his book” Burning Grass.” He was an enabler to the dark day of the Gambia, joined the then Military junta in trampling on people’s rights, served in sensitive positions including Assistant Inspector General of Police heading the Accountability Unit, Director of Operations of the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Only God knows what he did there, a cabinet Minister, High Court Judge until he was retired at the Mile II Central Prisons. His joining UDP may not mean much about how many people he can influence to join or vote for the Party in any election, but it has good implications. It showed that he is unstable and should not be taken seriously by anyone. His move has left his supporters scratching their heads in painful distress. Many have vowed never to trust politicians again.
Fatoumatta: Just what is an unrepentant hater like him signed to do for UDP? I am not one to fall for the balderdash about no permanent friends or enemies in politics behind which morons like Babadinding Jobarteh hide and get away with nonsensical behavior inimical to the development of democracy but humanity as well. So what exactly are we teaching the next generation? That one can be so indecent and still get rewarded for it?
There may not be permanent friends or enemies in politics. However, indeed, this embarrassing event proves indecency is an asset in Gambian politics. If people like Jobarteh could spend almost two decades trying to undo UDP/ Abubacarr only to be signed as converts when it is self-evident they cannot harm the UDP much less, add value to it, and then it is more rewarding for one to be as indecent as the meter allows since the more indecent, the merrier.
Moreover, I wonder, if Yahya Jammeh, who picked Lamin Jobarteh from the gutter and made him a minister, could not retain his loyalty, just how is UDP going to maintain his commitment? By the way, how many similar tricks like this did Bababdinding pulled in history to remain close to power as a fish will keep to water for anybody to assume this round of hunger-induced transfer will be any different?
Can anybody swear Lamin Jobarteh will not be on the first flight out of the UDP when the chips are down? Of course, nobody will swear; after all, there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics for anybody to be sure Lamin Jobarteh will hang around should the fortunes of the UDP dive. Nothing to worry though. Should that happen, UDP will revert to standard settings and rely on the large army of its loyal supporters to deflect the venom of a more armed and more emboldened Lamin Babanding Jobarteh.
Fatoumatta: My heart goes out to the many committed UDP/Abubacarr supporters who wasted time and effort teaching the unteachable Lamin Babadinding Jobarteh how to be decent, only to see his indecency paying off handsomely.

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