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OPINION: Top marks for Mama Kandeh
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OPINION: Top marks for Mama Kandeh

Little was known of him until his grand entrance into the political field in the second quarter of 2016, a spectacular entrance which changed the political order since. The crowd that accompanied him to his various rallies was unprecedented, never seen before in the recent past of an opposition political party.

He gave many electors hope and believe that Jammeh can be removed through the ballot box. Most of the existing opposition parties were faced with a real threat, a threat of evaporating into obscurity with the entrance of a man who young women would call "fine boy". This man is Mama Kandeh. He is way more intelligent than he's given credit for.

He threaded carefully not to upset both sides of the political divide, he is/was like a unifier, at least that's how he appears to me. In 2011, our opposition parties failed to agree on a mechanism of selecting a single flag bearer for the opposition. UDP and GMC rejected PDOIS' proposal of inter-party primaries/convection saying that's not the norm, primaries can only happen within a party. In 2016 though both parties agree to the mechanism they rejected outright five years earlier. 

Fast forward to Thursday, 8th February 2018, this was the day when Hon Kandeh would kiss goodbye to his political career. We were made to believe that "Kerr Fatou" is a death trap for Mama Kandeh; and once he appears on the show, his lack of knowledge in governance will be exposed.

For months his political opponents have been goading him to take his place on Fatou's comfy settee. Boy oh boy what a performance by Kandeh. He was cooled, calmed and composed. He talked about the need to invest in river transportation and its benefits; re-export trade targeting countries like Guinea and Mali; adding value to our products/services; how to curb wastage of seasonal fruits by processing them into juice among other things.

He also talked about his wealth of experience in governance, serving for 10 years as a national assembly member for Jimara, serving in the Pan-African Parliament and as Vice-President of the West African bloc for seven years. He deserves an A Star for that performance, even the host Fatou Touray admitted that Mama is very Presidential.

Note: This is an observation of a curious outsider.


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