One of the most resilient national institutions in the world is the military. And perhaps the main reason for that is due to its simple and efficient command structure. In every unit of the military there is always a commander followed by a second in command, then a third in command all the way down to the most junior personnel at the end of the chain. Once a Commander is incapacitated, the second-in-command take over the leadership while the third-in-command steps up as the new second-in-command and so on and so forth. The best part of this arrangement is that the second-in-command is not only fully trained and prepared to take full leadership, s/he is usually younger and therefore more operational than the boss.
I would like to extrapolate this analogy to conduct a brief review on the structure and organization of our national political parties starting with the APRC.
Clearly, the leadership of the APRC is a one man affair that revolves completely around Jammeh as its alpha and omega. We all know who is the second, third and fourth in leadership of the Gambian Government, but can anyone tell me who these are in the APRC party? I believe that if Jammeh becomes incapacitated today, the APRC will be a classical example of disarray, confusion and jungle law of the survival of the fittest.
Now let us come to the opposition parties. Can anyone tell me who are the second, third, fourth and fifth leaders of the GDC, GMC, GDPD, NCP, NRP and UDP? I bet none of my readers knows!!! The PDOIS party may have a second in command but I bet that if he is presented with the presidency on a silver platter today, Uncle Sedia will say “No thank you. My bones are so feeble and tired that I would rather stay at home and babysit my grandkids.”
In my opinion, this lack of a robust leadership structure is the greatest weakness of all our political parties including the ruling party. Once any of the leaders is gone, then that party is as good as dead. But the good news is that there is a simple and easy way to fix this serious flaw of leadership structure and to make our political parties to be compliant with the tried, tested and trusted command and control system of the military.
Here is how. All our opposition parties should agree to form a coalition based on a broad based government that will include each and every single party leader (Bah, Darboe, Fatty, Gomez, Kandeh, OJ, Sallah, and whoever the NCP leader is). Once they do that, they must make a commitment like Halifa that they will serve for only one five year term and that none of them will contest in the 2021 presidential elections.
When they win the elections (which I am sure they will), they will have five years to not only reform the sectors of governance that have been damaged during Jammeh’s regime, but also to reform their own parties and to groom, train and prepare the brightest, smartest and the best of their surrogates to take over the leadership of their parties. Easy!!! Like a walk in the park!!! What do you think?
Posted on May 25, 2016