Friday, September 6, 2013

" I will respectfully excuse myself and my Party" if "Bayo is maintained" says OJ.

Omar Jallow, commonly referred by his initials OJ, has, in his capacity as interim leader of the PPP, informed his supporters in the United States that Seedia Bayo "has no place in our set up".  The former Minister of Agriculture and also of Water Resources and the Environment in the PPP government of Sir Dawda Jawara informed his supporters in the United States that " as long as Mr. Bayo is maintained in the Steering Committee, I will respectfully excuse myself and my Party" from the process.

Mr. Bayo is the young French-Gambian recently selected by the European wing of the opponents of the Jammeh regime as member of the Steering Committee mandated by the three of the four major opposition parties who attended Raleigh.

The controversial young entrant to Gambian politics was hardly known outside the French capital until he attracted significant attention last year with the formation of the National Transitional Council of The Gambia (CNTG) as "a real political alternative for The Gambia..."  he quickly appointed dissident Gambians into his government in exile which would have been based in the senegalese capital, according to a BBC news account.   He vowed to attack the government of Jammeh by a date certain if Jammeh refuses to step down voluntarily.   Jammeh did not resign and Bayo failed to carry out his threats.  His hastily-formed CNTG collapsed and his cabinet ministers resigned, some in embarrassment and others in total disgust for not being consulted prior to their ministerial appointments.

If the formation of CNTG and the threat of the use of force to remove Jammeh from State House were stunts to gain attention, Mr. Bayo did succeed in that endeavor.  He received national and international press attention which propelled him into the limelight.  So when the meeting of the opposition parties was held in Raleigh this year which authorized the formation of a Steering Committee to help steer the opposition into a unified force against Jammeh, the European group of the opposition coalition selected Seedia Bayo as part of its 7-member team to the Steering Committee.  The selection, while receiving the support of the organizers in Raleigh, was greeted with great apprehension from a significant portion of opposition supporters who followed developments.

The apprehension and subsequent opposition of his selection was borne out of the fact that Bayo embraced openly the use of force to remove Jammeh's government, but also because he was a little know quantity with no vetting from press and/or ordinary Gambians.  Recent reports linking him to visa scams in Dakar and other alleged shenanigans seemed to vindicate those who raised questions about the suitability of Bayo as member of the Steering Committee.  It also lend credence to the view that he was not vetted as others before have been.  All of the leaders of the political parties have been in the business long long enough to have been judged by the electorate to have passed, at least, the minimum character test.  The recent revelations of alleged misdeeds involving visas and other activities fail to meet the very minimum behavior expected of future leaders of The Gambia.