Gambian dictator has denied the body of Buba Baldeh burial right in Basse Mansajang Kunda. His government’s decision to prevent the late exiled activist’s body enter the Gambia does not come as a big surprise.
The many people who have travelled to Mansajang Kunda are now en-route to Madina Qunas, a tiring and hard journey in this holy month of Ramadan. The situation is still unsettled, as the mercurial Gambian dictator can change his mind again.
However at this juncture, the mostly likely burial ground for Buba Baldeh is Madina Qunas.
Buba Baldeh is a well-known personality in the Gambia, especially in the traditional Fulla community in the Fulladou region. Buba Baldeh’s politics is a blend of mastery of oratory public speaking but also with deep connection to his roots. Buba Baldeh is always surrounded by the peasants and ordinary people of Fulladou, that fame and approachability made him, won seats without breaking sweat.
My personal recollection of Buba Baldeh was at a political rally in Darsilame district. As a young boy who met Buba Baldeh in Seirra Leon in 1983, he was down to earth and approachable. Buba Baldeh and my late step-dad, AK Touray, brought me from Seirra Leon to the Gambia, to attend schooling. Buba Baldeh contested as an independent candidate along with his long term friend AK Touray, both winning their seats. At that political rally in Darsilame, I can vividly remember Buba Baldeh saying in Mandinka “Nko Nkontan ta bake” (I am very happy for the way we are have been welcome) repeating that word three times before getting into his rally speech.
Buba Baldeh will surely be missed. Kairo News will do a tribute program on the life of Buba Baldeh with someone who knew him well. Stay tune.
By Suntou Touray