Gambia: Max Jarju Takes Issue With Pa Njie Girigara

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Once again I cannot be silenced without participation in the mayoral election debate in Kanifing Municipal Council ( KMC) , a constituency that play the most important role in business and political life of The Gambia. I also felt that it is injustice if I don’t condemn or expose Mr Pa Njie Girigara’s admission of pay to play politics because of so called past political donations to United Democratic Party (UDP). In his recent article titled ” 

Pa Njie Girigara Calls On The UDP Leadership To Withdraw From The KMC Mayoral Race!”, Mr Njie asked for political favoritism in return when he claimed that:
“I Pa Njie Girigara do solemnly declare in front of all Gambians that if the UDP has an ounce of honor and patriotic blood in their vein, they should simply withdraw from the KMC race as a sign of gratitude for me for what I have personally done for them in the past when help and assistance was needed most whiles many people beating their chest today were no where to be seen”.

The question I have for Mr Njie is :
 Did  he contribute to UDP for his personal interest or for the supreme interest of the country which he claimed to love ?

The implication of Mr Njie own words indicates that he contributed financially to UDP political struggle for his personal interest which is why he stated that UDP ” should show him gratitude for what he has personally done for them when help and assistance was needed the most “.

 This statement is also absurd, disgraceful and it has hallmark of self entitlement. We do not need politicians who use their personal contributions in political process as a means to benefit from back room deals or political favors. It is such practice which lead to corruption and mismanagement of public resources. During 22 years of military dictatorship, many greedy politicians or businessmen engaged in political favoritism to enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary citizens. The goal of any political donation or contribution should be geared toward economic and social development of citizenry but not expectation of favor in business or political interests.

Mr Njie’s statements above also indicate the highest level of seeking preferential treatment that any corrupt politician could express and request. Pa Njie failed to remind himself that there were many patriotic Gambians who have lost their lives in the struggle to restore democracy and constitutional rule in The Gambia but their family members never asked for political favors. Any politician who ask for political favors in return from any past political contribution is not fit to occupy public office , a position designed for improvement of the lives of citizenry.
I have extensive interactions with Mr Pa Njie Girigara on kaironews where he used pseudonyms like “Deyda Hydara”. During the course of our debates prior to the formation of opposition coalition, Mr Njie claimed to be a strong supporter of UDP and he even promised to donate two million dalasis to opposition coalition if the opposition political leaders agree to work together in the spirit of unity to remove dictatorship from the country. But as soon as the   opposition coalition was formed, Mr Njie not only failed his promise to give two million dalasis to the opposition coalition but also abandoned The UDP to join GDC leader,Mama Kandeh who supported dictatorial policies and laws for ten years in the National Assembly to entrench former Dictator Yaya Jammeh in power.  Here is the link to Mr Njie failed promise to Gambia people.

Mr Njie has never been consistent in the fight to remove dictatorship from The Gambia. He was a Jammeh’s supporter before he became so called UDP supporter. He changed political party like a political prostitute who is always looking for political recognition and business interest. This is evidence by his latest claim that ” UDP should be grateful and show gratitude to him for the support of his candidacy as a result of past contributions to the party “. Mr Njie’s public request of political gratitude or favor from UDP leadership as a result past contributions is illegal endorsement and seeking of political favoritism. It is also against basic principles of democracy and rule of law which encourage citizens participation in fair political process.

 The use of Political contributions as a means to seek favors in business dealings or seeking political office is highest form of political corruption. Such an irresponsible and illegal political behavior is called “pay to play ” which lead to total oppression of voters choice . Pay to play enable politicians to award government contracts to their Financial contributors or donors  at the expense of taxpayers. In many advanced countries, pay to play is classified as bribery. It is therefore fair to categorically state that Mr Pa Njie has corrupt intentions and his contributions to UDP at the time was designed for pay to play which he has now publicly admitted. This disqualify him to seek the position of mayor in Kanifing Municipality election and GDC should also distaste such corrupt practice among their midst. The leadership of GDC has once again failed to learn from their past mistakes and this time they allowed an individual who publicly admitted his political contributions as “pay to pay ” to be their party choice of candidate . Gambian people still remember GDC Leadership role in support and advocacy of constitutional entrenchment of military dictatorship in The Gambia.

I hope the new administration will formulate legislation that would discourage pay to play politics in the country if there is no existing law to deal with such political bribery.
The Gambian people have started to enjoy basic freedom and democracy which we were all yearning for in the past two decades. What is amazing is that everyone is claiming credit but no one want to give credit to the real people ( true freedom fighters) who put their lives and everything online to salvage the country from dictatorial rule . Many heroes who contributed significantly are today silently observing our political leadership because their efforts was simply based on love for country but not seeking political position or business favor. True freedom fighters are never concerned about benefits of political positions but are genuinely concerned about better living conditions and freedom of their fellow citizens.

We must instill in ourselves the idea of selfless sacrifices so that young people will recognize that selfless sacrifices bring in freedom, justice and democracy. This will also promote patriotism and standing up for what is morally right for our country. Selfless sacrifice is not the same as Pay to play. Pay to play politics is an enemy of participatory democracy and economic empowerment of citizenry.
Thank you
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 Written By Max Jarju

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