By Mathew K Jallow
It hit Gambians across tribe and geographic location like a ton of bricks. For Fulas around the country and in the diaspora, it is a slap on the face, but for others, it was downright insulting. The denial of burial, of late Hon. Buba Baldeh, in his place of birth, Mansajang Kunda, by Yahya Jammeh, adds insult to injury.
It all began a little over a year ago with the denial of burial, at his home village of Wassadou, Foni, of the leader of the 1981 coup, the late Kukoi Samba Sanyang, and escalated with the denial of the use of, public space, the McCarthy Square, for the massive overflow of well-wishers, including sixteen Archbishops from around the world, for the burial ceremony of the late Anglican Archbishop of Gambia, Rtd. Rev. Dr. Solomon Tilewa Johnson.
The body of Hon. Buba Baldeh, loaded on the roof of a van, was visible as Senegalese officials tried desperately to convince officials on the Gambian side to allow the return of the body for burial in Mansajang Kunda barely fifteen miles from the border post. To-date, Yahya Jammeh has gotten away with the murders and executions of countless Gambians, including “so-called” accidental deaths of ex-military, Boye Bah of Sintet village and Sgt. Illo Jallow of Sare Mali, the poisoning death of NIA officer, Jaata Jallow, and the execution of Corp. Alieu Bah, among many other Fulas. In the beginning, Yahya Jammeh exploited the centuries old tribal animosities in order to use the Fulas as bulwark against other tribes’ hostile to his regime. This abuse of Fulas is not unlike Yahya Jammeh’s consistent torment of the Mandinkas, and ceaseless murders and disappearances of Foni Jolas.
But unlike most African tribes, the Fulas are renowned to be extremely tribal; the pain and hurt of one, is the hurt and pain of all. Yahya Jammeh must realize that Fulas did not spread from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean and from the Sahara Desert to Central Africa by being cowards. Like his late father, Hon. Michael Baldeh, before him, Hon. Buba Baldeh was a gatekeeper into the heart of the Fula community in Gambia, something he did until his death two days ago. Today, every Fula in Gambia; from Kartong to Koina should feel slapped on the face with the denial of Hon. Buba Baldeh’s burial in the village he loved and the people who swore by him.
Without downgrading his love and commitment of all Gambian tribes, Hon. Buba Baldeh was first and foremost a culture aficionado, and his devotion to the cause of Fulanitude, and his love of the Fula people, is felt as far as Nigeria where he was, until his death two days ago, working with former Nigerian President, Muhammad Buhari, in the establishment of global Fulani association.
Today, the anger and frustration of Fulas associated with Hon. Buba Baldeh from Gambia to Niger, and from Senegal to Nigeria, is palpable. But Yahya Jammeh must be made to understand that the ancestors of the Fulas were not cowards. Musa Molloh Baldeh was not a coward. Alpha Molloh Baldeh was not a coward. Alpha Yaya Jallow was not a coward. Sheku Ousman Dan Fodio was not a coward. Amadou Hamadi Bubu was not a coward. The insult on Hon. Buba Baldeh, a modern day general among the Fulas, is an insult to Fulas, all across Africa. Where are your voices, Hon. Netty Baldeh; Sellu Jallow, Hamat Bah, Omar Jallow (OJ), Halifa Sallah, and Omar Sompo Ceesay. You each at one point or another had unbreakable relations with Hon. Buba Baldeh. It is time for this insanity to end. Hon. Buba Baldeh belongs in Mansajang Kunda. Bring his body of back where it belongs. Bring him home to rest in perfect peace for the rest of eternity, for Hon Buba Baldeh’s burial in Medina Gunass, is a slap on the face of all Fulas, and an insult to all Gambians regardless of tribe
This is not an issue with Fulas only, this is a Gambian issue and you are tribalist like Jammeh . We should all be dealing with this inhumane incident as a Gambian slap on the face not a Fula slap on the face.
Thank you Asta.
Asta, I am glad you know that Yahya jammeh is a tribalist. However, jammeh’s tribalism is specifically against mandinkas. Thus, the right in respect of jammeh’s tribalism is Mandinkaphobia.
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Asta, I am glad you know that Yahya jammeh is a tribalist. However, jammeh’s tribalism is specifically against mandinkas. Thus, the right word in respect of jammeh’s tribalism is ‘Mandinkaphobia’.
Buba is bigger than what the author is implying.
Reducing Bubas burial controversy to a Fula concern is an insult to all Gambian nationals.
The saddest part is that the author is reducing a national tragedy into something that only exists in his head. Secondly, Buba will never make the association the author is making.
The Mansajang Baldehs are no tribalists, they have developed a very strong fraternity with all language-groups. I will leave the details of that bond for now.
I keep wondering when shall Gambian be awaken by Jammeh brutality and nonsense. He own Gambian by ruling with iron fist. This is not about Buba baldeh but Jammeh lack respect for Gambian in general.
RIP BAA BUBA BALDEH FULO. ( Allah ka yan fa ma)
As for mathew k. jallow, you continue to write like this and you will soon loose the respect of many of your fellow countrymen/women.
Its rather shameful and disappointing that you decided to hijack a great man’s passing by going on about with your own view of the world. Much of your piece is distasteful and uncomfortable to read vis-a-vis the struggle. think about it sir…….
. jarama jallow.
It is time for we the FULLAs to write a petition to his father Alhaji Benteng Jallow-Jammeh (LOL) or Zainab Suma Jammeh about his son or husband being so wicket towards human being especially to the dead person he deprived his citizenship to be buried to his own country where he was born. I am blaming the Army Commander in BASSE whose last name is BALDEH, he should have rejected Yaya Jammeh’s Instruction for not allwoing Buba’s remains to to be buried in MANSAJANG, he should have started the uprising for his brother Buba Baldeh, even thought they are not biological brothers which am not sure off, but may be they came from the same village and has the same last name. If am not mistaking it could be that they are related. Yaya Jallow-Jammeh let me tell you this If you leave STATE HOUSE after you have been apprehended Inshalla BUBA SIDIKY MICHAEL BALDEH will be EXHUMED from MADINA GUNNAS and be Reburied for his wishes to his home town Basse Mansajang where he was born at and belongs, we give his wishes to be laid him to rest in peace on his own will INSHALLA and for you, you will be just like your UNCLE GADDAFFI you are just an EVIL person. If you can kill babies and innocent girls for your own interest, you will not have the sympathy for the death whom you wanted to poison all along, but God says Buba believes in him, and he will die when God’s time comes Buba died on a natural cause as Dodo Jobe said o Freedom you should not take no credit for that. The only thing we are upset about is that, you have the guts to reject Buba’s body because you dont want to see the crow of people to attend his funeral and that was also the reason that you said you are waiting to see anyone who attend the funeral you will deal with them you are a bad someoneYAYA, If you can fight with the dead person then you are not a tru Muslim you call yourself, but we are waiting for you in America next month. You will meet us here we are ready for you and we will show you what we mean by CITIZEN ARREST in America where Rule of Law prevails and Human Rights.
May Allah (SWT) shower the deceased with eternal bliss and blessings.
May his good deeds be immensely rewarded and his mistakes be forgiven. ..
My sincere condolences to the family and friends for the untimely demise of their most illustrious relative.
May Allah (SWT ) give them the strength to bear this sad loss..
Rest in peace sir..
NO ONE SHOULD EVER THINK IN FUTURE TO EXHUME REMAINS FROM BLESSED MEDINA GUNASS! BUBA IS VERY LUCKY TO HAVE HIS WISH FULFILLED!
No one should think to exhume Buba’s remains from blessed Medina Gunass cemetery. He was destined to be buried there and his wish granted.
It is not thoughtful to think or wish in future to exhume Buba’s remains from blessed Medina Gunass cemetery to his birth place. His wish is granted and its his destiny to buried in a holy place.May all prayers answered from Most Merciful Most Gracious! Ameen
Yaya jammeh’s imbecility knows no boundaries, he’s done to Kukoi before, no surprise to Buba too which shows yaya will do to ANYONE as long as he stay to misrule our country. Our collective task MUST remain to devise ways & means to uproot Demonic yaya by ALL & ANY means necessary, to salvage the Motherland from decadence before too late. If not, we can expect more of such & other despicable acts from the murderous kanilai cannibal, sure.
Buba Baldeh’s great grandfather, Musa Molloh Baldeh conquered and ruled about half of Gambia’s territorial land until he was forced to relinquish control by the British. MansaJang Baldeh, Buba’s grandfather and son of Musa Mullo, presided over southern URR, Basse and the surroundings as the Crown Prince of Fulladu. MansaJang’s son, Micheal Baldeh, represented the people of basse and jimara in parliament after franchise was extended to the protectorate. He also served as minister of education in the PPP administration of sir Dawda jawara. Nobody can therefore doubt that Buba Baldeh was an indigine of The Gambia, he was not just a citizen, and yet we this Yahya jammeh with questionable citizenship denying buba burial right in his native MansaJang where his grandfather presided as crown prince of Fulladu Empire, and his father member of parliament. This is beyond believe. The word ‘sad’ is not strong enough to describe it.
Rest in peace Fula Mansa; Baldeh banna.
One of Musa Molloh Baldeh’s wives, probably his last wife, is a mandinka and was the only one who dire to defy Musa and can declare clemency for prisoners in her own right. She was beautiful and much loved and treated like a diamond by her husband. She is the grandmother of ex-Seyfo Lamin Baldeh and ex-minister Mathew Yahya Baldeh. So mandinkas, Buba is ours too and the loss is our loss.
Rest in peace Fula Mansa; Baldeh banna Fullo.
I believe the lady’s name was Kaddy Dumbuya . She was the daughter of Foday Kabba Dumbuya. Thank you Touray
THIS IS NOT A FULA ISSUE BUT A GAMBIAN. RATHER IT’S A SLAP ON ALL GAMBIANS, WE MUST ACCEPT THAT BUBA FOUGHT FOR THE GAMBIA AND STAND AGAINST DICTATORSHIP. BUBA DIED IN DIGNITY HIS FAMILY AND ALL THE TRUE SONS AND DAUGHTER OF THE GAMBIA ARE PROUD OF BALDEH BANNA. REST IN PERFECT PEACE.
You welcome janjanbury.
Janjanbury, you are right, the name is Kaddy Dumbuya. Her son, Cherno Kaddy Baldeh, is the father of Lamin Baldeh and Mathew Yahya Baldeh of blessed memory.