Bismilahi Rahman Raheem: Halipha should get what Halipha wants
By Fatou Jaw Manneh
Halipha Sallah is the face of the Coalition, Stability and Bravery. When Halipha declared that after the 19th of January, Gambian dictator Yaya Jammeh will be declared a rebel if he does not step down. I was worried to death. Barrow has vanished to Senegal with his entourage. Halipha stayed , as vulnerable Gambians endured the uncertainty of a mad dictator who is given a deadline.
Halipha stayed and kept the nation calm. The coalition message and spirit intact. Allayed peoples fears at a time when he was not sure what will befell Gambia or himself. His own life at stake.
Ousainou Darboe, our Mandela and his colleagues sacrificed their lives so the coalition can become of swiftly . His party and people brutalized. But during the campaign, after the victory announcement, Barrows absence and up until his return Halipha was Gambia interim president for the people in the midst of all the crisis. Halipha’s face, voice , wisdom , bravery, calmness and demeanor was what glued the country together, scared the hell out of the dictator and his cronies because they know he will not run or budge under pressure. Halipha carry a cool head , a brave face , and of peace and calm.
Why is Halipha’s presence in the coalition so reassuring?
Well , for starters, for almost 30 years he has been teaching our children, from his spoken words, from his Foroyaa newspaper, , from his PARTY/PDOIS platform and educational center for the youths. In 2007 I remember him giving me a tour of the facility, cramped up but available for every citizen that can reach the school. Growing up we all looked up to Halipha for delivering the truth even when we dont subscribe to his party politics. His proteges are the most intelligent compared to Jammehs educational system mass produced graduates. They are the most curious intellectuals more aware of their surroundings in civic education , comportment and wisdom. When Halipha was busy educating our children and enduring the harsh environment of a dictatorship, some of us were either busy serving the dictator without regard for the suffering of Gambian citizens , some fighting the dictatorship, running away into exile or hiding .
Yes over the years, I have my disagreements several times with Halipha especially in the discourse of forging a coalition and yes he can be so principled and so rigid that I sometimes wanna punch him in the face. But that is Halipha. That is his strength and it served us well during this impasse and political crisis ,in a nation that obscures truth and celebrates mediocrity. A nation that can shy away or can never stand by their serious , genuine people with integrity. It should be clear. Halipha is not to be messed with. Neither OJ, Ousainou Darboe, Sidia Jatta, Mai Ahmad Fatty , or Sir Dawda Jawara. Not as long as some of us are alive. THEY HAVE GONE THROUGH SO MUCH FOR THE COUNTRY.
You will think if we are going to break the law or bend the constitution over backwards it can only happen for the likes of Halipha. It is also important that we know what position Halipha really wants in the coalition government. Vice President and Spokes Person, Speaker of the House, Secretary General or Accountant General. He can do it all. We demand to know what is going on and not feed on speculations. These are hard decisions to make/ take but it is important because it breaks or makes the coalition. It keeps alive the hope , respect and loyalty of THE NEW GAMBIA. May God guide them all, Barrow especially in executing these tough decisions with a crippling constitution. Coalitions are never easy as it is always a set up of people/parties with totally different ideas and agendas and some for selfish reasons.
If this Coalition wants to remain as the hope of the country and a positive spirit to the world it has to have the blessing of Halipha Sallah through and through. Speculations are rife , then again that is normal , and of course not everyone we are rooting for shall represent us, but HALIPHA’s position should not even be up for discussion. He has earned that and we do not want any disruptions to the celebratory mood of uprooting one of the brutal dictatorships in Africa. HALIPHA IS GOING TO GET WHAT HALIPHA WANTS. And all this can be sorted out in respect and dignity to keep intact the cohesiveness of team coalition in the span of their 3 year term in office. Let’s offer our advice in a respectful and dignified manner.
If we are going to bend/ break the law, bend the constitution over backwards please lets do so for some one who has been there for the country for over 30 years without asking or lobbying for a single position or compensation.
In Sukuta they call him Kalifa Sal- La. God bless him. May Allah guide him through and through. Grant him long life. Ameen. God bless the COALITION and President Barrow. May Allah guide them all.