Yes, Halifa Babacarr Sallah is not a Mountain but…
Friday, November 11, 2011
A lot of hoopla coupled with insidious vitriolic statements has been heaped at the person of Halifa Babacarr Sallah since the so-called collapse of the UDP initiated talks for a united front.
What is most disconcerting is the blatant and ridiculous distortions from so many people, some of whom I hold the highest respect for.
I had made a conscious decision not to respond, but to not response could tantamount an endorsement of these unfortunate statements.
The attacks on Halifa are nothing new. I vividly remember when Jammeh and his fellow coup partners offered him ( Halifa) and Sam Sarr ministerial positions immediately after usurping power, and when they ( Sam and Halifa) refused, they were, especially Halifa, vilified, insulted, accused of being unpatriotic and arrogant.
The critics maintained that because Halifa and PDOIS were harsh critics of the Jawara regime and since the regime had been overthrown, that they should have helped the young soldiers to steer the nation to greater heights.
The critics ignored the fact that Halifa and Sam refused to join a government that was undemocratically constituted. Today, however, most of those critics have since swallowed their words.
Some of the criticisms, though misplaced and distorted were made in good faith, out of the desire to see an end to self-perpetuating rule in The Gambia. However, some of the critics are borne out of outright revulsion for Halifa Sallah.
The most absurd and preposterous accusations against Halifa are that he is an agent of Jammeh and his APRC government. The same Jammeh who has jailed him numerous times, the same Jammeh that Halifa has criticized and tries to demystify. Any person who out of abhorrence or frustration makes this statement is guilty of psychosis and imprudence.
My good friend, one that I have unreserved respect for, madam Fatou Jaw Manneh, the original Nyancho, in her poem “Halifa can’t you see?” stated “You have misunderstood or miscalculated
In the political arena Halifa You are neither Mohammad nor the mountain So Halifa please track back and follow the flow Or else history will paint you ugly……” to this I will say, well Halifa is versed enough in the Quran and religious enough as a Muslim to know that he is not Mohammad.
He is Halifa Babacarr Sallah the son of Alhagie Dodou Sallah and Ajaratou Ya Mama Njie, one guided by his sense of right and wrong, irrespective of how popular or politically incorrect it is.
This is what has guided and sustained him for this long and he indubitably will continue to be guided by his principles.
Halifa Babacarr Sallah is neither GOD, Demi-God, Prophet, Messiah, an Ayatollah, a savior nor a King. He is a humble servant of the people who is out to contribute his quota towards the development of the people.
He has not and never claimed to be the most educated or smartest Gambian; he just uses his little knowledge to advance his ideas for a better Gambia and Africa.
As far as being a mountain, I am delighted that he is not a mountain, for if he were a mountain, he would not have moved when silence and indifference gripped our nation in the aftermath of the 1981 abortive coup on the plight of the detainees, to expose the horrendous and unspeakable condition of Detainees at the Mile two prisons, when he and Sam Sarr who were both illegally detained authored “An emergency situation!: how many more will have to die? : a focus on the situation at Mile II prison” In which they detailed how the detainees were having gasoline poured in their bottoms by the prison guards and Senegalese soldiers and have them ( detainees) humiliatingly sing “hee haw man mbamla”.
If Halifa was a mountain, he would not have taken the lead to denounce and expose the Senegambia confederation for the undemocratic nature of its formation and the resulting wastages, and of course it’s blatant violation of the 1970 constitution and how it undermined the sovereignty of the Gambia, when he wrote ”The Sene-Gambia confederation: facts, fears, myths, doubts, and the truth”
Yes, if he were a mountain, he would not have galvanized his colleagues to form in 1986, the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and socialism-PDOIS, a party that continues to champion the politics of enlightenment.
Yes, if he were a mountain, he would not, together with colleagues challenged the promulgation of decrees that trampled on the fundamental human rights of Gambians, this when most intellectuals had either supported the Jammeh “revolution” or were aiding and abetting the AFPRC in writing those draconian and backward decrees- a time when politicians, as the late Sherriff Dibba put it, were on “political holiday”- Nor would he have led the fight against Jammeh’s witch hunting escapade.
There is also the revolting argument that PDOIS is a fringe party, that cannot garner no more than three percent of the votes, yet still the party singled out for disparagement for refusing to participate in the coronation of a party leader or “going with the flow” in accepting a party led coalition. I am a member of PDOIS, who categorically rejects any attempt to bully the party into submission.
To those questioning Halifa’s integrity just because he and PDOIS refuse to be hoodwinked into supporting a proposal that we do not agree with, I say to them bring it on, for we will not budge nor will we be bullied. Yes, enough is enough!!!!
To those who support the UDP and Ousainou Darboe, a man I hold in high regards, I say to them please focus on having him elected by any means necessary.
PDOIS’ “meager 3%” cannot and should not serve as a deterrent to Ousainou Darboe defeating Jammeh come November 24th, 2011.
PDOIS and its partners will also focus on our task, even if it’s meaningless to the pundits and critics.
So to those who say to hell with PDOIS, I say Hell yeah with PDOIS, and to those asking “tell me it ain’t so”, I say DAMN right it is.
Author: The author of this story, Pasamba Jow is an executive member of opposition PDOIS branch in U.S