Editorial: Papa Njie's election threatens to catapult PPP into political oblivion
Editorial: Papa Njie’s election threatens to catapult PPP into political oblivion
The latest move by the People’s Progressive Party, PPP, to elect little known Papa Njie as its Secretary General and Leader is one that will not in the soonest possible time move the party to the centre of politics. The one-time popular PPP has lost its glory in the past 24 years. Its members are trying to revive the party that has been in coma for the past 23 years. Therefore, it requires an astute leader with the right chemistry and experience to make a shift that will lure voters throughout the breadth and length of The Gambia.The party held its congress on Sunday 30th December, 2019. Elections were held between revered veteran politician BB Darboe and Papa Njie.
According to results, Njie pulled 272 votes while BB scored 227. Apparently, it is ridiculous for someone to join a political party like PPP within a few months and emerge as its leader. PPP seems to have dispensed with the much needed proper orientation for its new leader, and that has consequences. It reveals a lot about PPP. Was there collusion to ensure Njie's win? Is PPP hobbled by internecine rivalry? Logically, one would expect that the party would elect an intelligent person who understands the best approaches and methods of running a country in the best possible way.
But no, they failed. Very soon it will be obvious to the cabal behind his sudden rise that Njie's election to such a strategic leadership position will further deter the majority of Gambians from the party. Njie is not well known in The Gambia ,and lacks the political base and experience. He is a new comer into politics. His ineptitude in politics will haunt PPP in the coming elections. His election sends a message that PPP is not in tune with the times and will continue in political oblivion. Political analysts describe Njie's election is a missed opportunity for PPP in its bid to reclaim its lost glory. There is a variety of ideological, cultural, social, historical, financial and other factors involved, because politics incorporates all of these things. In addition, integrity and credibility matters a lot in politics. US political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels, said " Even voters who pay close attention to politics are prone - in fact, more prone - to biased or blinkered decision-making." The reason is simple, most people make political decisions on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not an honest examination of reality. That is exactly what happened in BB Darboe's case.
BB is highly educated and accumulated a wealth of experience in politics in the past 35 years. He was onetime Finance Minister and Vice President of The Gambia in the First Republic. BB Darboe is a household name in The Gambia. Notwithstanding, the majority of Gambians trust BB and support his return to politics . He is charismatic and influential.
One would have expected PPP to capitalise on those strengths and elect him to lead the party to greater heights. Such a man of popularity, integrity and international standing deserves to lead if PPP is desirous of change in the ever changing dynamics of politics. OJ and his cabal should have utilised the strengths of BB Darboe and move the party to another level, but chose to see his constellation of strengths as a weakness.
BB is the man who can bring the party together and , and that’s a fact agreed to by even those who are not allegiant to PPP.