Monday, January 14, 2008
Just recently , we carried an editorial captioned: 'Discipline, discipline, discipline'. It was a follow up to two statements, first from the APRC National Secretariate and then from the head of state. That edition of our editorial echoed both President Jammeh and the APRC in exploring the dangers associated with indiscipline.
We have noticed and understood the genuine nature of the growing concern among APRC supporters and sympathisers about the unacceptable attitudes of a handful of their members who are hell bent on defying authority, constantly seeking to flout the rules and regulations they themselves have voluntarily subscribed to. This divisive act of greediness, apart from its far-reaching implication on the fabric of the society, only promote the culture of opportunism, dishonesty and indiscipline.
Let's get this clear . Absolutely nobody is being told who to support or who not to support. The fact is that, within the accepted limit of our democracy and in line with the principle of freedom of association, Gambians have, since the beginning of the second republic, had a multitude of political groupings to choose from.
Like the entire Gambian people are bound by the national constitution, so are individual party members to the rules that govern their respective parties. Any move that threatens the continued progressive existence of the party should be met with an equal amount of force by the appropriate authority and in line with the regulations of such a party.
Like the statement of the APRC National Secretariat put it: members have made commitment to support whosoever is selected by the party as its official candidate. And it has been quite clear from the beginning that 'there is no independent APRC.' Therefore, party members should not be allowed to use the name of the party and popularise themselves only to turn against it in rebellious manners when decisions do not favour them. This kind of callous attitude is an affront to not only the party concerned, but also the democratic principle we have all been nurturing.
Standing as an independent candidate against a party you are a member of is not only a clear challenge to the authority, but it is a deliberate attempt to weaken it. This is something no loyal member would want to do. Besides, people that assume authority in this manner are bound to reign over a system of total disregard for the wishes of the people. We do not believe that this is what Gambians yarn for at this stage of our democracy.
As a matter of fact, unity represent strength, has the effect of neutralising all possibilities of self-centeredness (which encourages discord), and, consequently, it reduces any possible damaging effect of opposing fronts. Therefore, in order to maintain a unified party, elements of discontent should be displaced for good.