Friday, 02 November 2012 17:48(JollofNews) – Politics they say makes strange bedfellows. In the Gambia this is perhaps more manifested in the case of Lamin Waa Juwara than in any other case.
Here is a man, whose wittiness, brilliance and immense courage as a politician had won the admiration of all, perhaps, including those who might not share opinion with him.
From the very onset he entered politics, his popularity transcended beyond his Niamina constituency, mainly rooted in his history as a local government administrator in most part of the country.
In the first republic he openly challenged and defeated the then incumbent PPP in Niamina, when they failed to put him up as their candidate in the 1992 elections. He flatly refused to resign as recommended by the PPP bigwigs, gathering more popularity in return.
In the aftermath of the July 1994 coup, it was evident that Juwara would not condone restrictions of fundamental freedoms for long and soon began to condemn and challenge the junta’s tyrannical tendencies.
His fearless criticism of the regime scared the AFPRC officers who locked him up all throughout the period leading to the 1996 elections, knowing well that only that can stop Waa from exercising his constitutional rights.
His detention attracted worldwide condemnation and when he emerged from prison he was in robust health, fit as a fiddle and almost immediately plunged back into politics joining the UDP. Within few years Waa single handedly boosted the image and popularly of the party more than any other one, including Lawyer Ousainou Darboe.
Waa endued harassment, detention and even torture in his resistance to the regime’s violation of human rights.
But Juwara’s ambition, bolstered by his growing popularity and reputation as credible politician over grew his hosts at UDP, leading him to openly challenge Darboe for the party leadership. When he realized this might not be possible he broke away to form NDAM, a move many believe marked the countdown to his eventual downfall.
His hatred for Darboe is deemed by many analysts as the single most contributing factor to the splitting of the opposition Coalition, NADD.
But in fact in most people’s view Juwara has killed the goose that laid the golden egg for him by quitting the UDP. Even Juwara knows that at the moment, this is the party with any chance to unseat Yahya Jammeh.
When he concluded that this was not possible under Lawyer Darboe’s weak leadership, his frustrations grew stronger since he never trusted that any other force can stand Jammeh at the polls with any chance.
In the end he packed his NDAM baggage and head for the APRC who accepted him gladly, if for nothing to put on a cosmetic image of a tolerant government.
In doing so Juwara abandoned his principles which has made him a man of integrity, inspiring and witty politician.
Now that he has been used and dumped what next for this former most ardent opposition voice? Only time and Juwara’s suspicious poor health can tell.
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