The former Managing Director of the Observer Media Company has dispelled allegations from some quarters that State House dictated editorial content of the Daily Observer during his tenure.
Dida Halake, an Ethiopian by birth who grew up in Kenya and currently resident in the United Kingdom, said he had run the Observer with free hands. He said some State House officials tried to run the show at Observer but they failed. Mr. Halake said he had once asked President Yahya Jammeh about an editorial discretion but his answer was “you’re the Editor-in-Chief.”
“I’ve never had any problem running the Daily Observer as a pro-government newspaper since there are many other Gambian newspapers that were against the government of President Jammeh. At least there should be one paper that supports the government,” Mr. Halake told Kairo Radio.
Mr. Halake who never shies away from sparking off controversy believes “the only option for a peaceful change of government in the Gambia is total opposition unity.” In that, he adds, Lawyer Darboe should be selected as a presidential candidate, Hamat Bah vice-President, Halifa Sallah Minister of Finance or a similar role with other politicians filling positions and then fight the election.”
Dida Halake also contends that “Gambians, including himself, have under-estimated President Jammeh, thereby not appreciating Jammeh’s political skills and maneuverings.” Halake says President Jammeh may have a plan for a peaceful transfer of power to another person.
Dida Halake is known for discussing and writing on African and Gambian issues of interest on online newspapers. He is a seasoned African writer whose opinions can be critical, brutal and upfront, but Dida Halake is hard to ignore. He is simply the man many Gambian dissidents love to hate, for they cannot understand why he still owes allegiance to the Jammeh regime that elevated him to the sky only to persecute him.
Dida also blames Gambian dissidents as bunch of “unrealistic people who sometimes want a violent change in the Gambia.”
Mr. Halake does not only have cordial relations with President Jammeh but also an inside knowledge of the Gambia, the country of birth for his kids. He taught at Marina International in the Gambia before his stint at the Daily Observer.
Dida frowns at the US/Africa Summit, describing it as “an America attempt to undo the advances of China in Africa characterized by the Chinese heavy investment in many African countries”.
Mr Halake brands Barrack Obama a ‘Trojan Horse” who had become a perfect candidate for the imperial advancement in Africa and the Middle East. He blames Obama and the West for double standards and duplicity in the crimes committed against many innocent people and the resultant failed states across middle North Africa and Middle East.
Dida Halake cautions Gambians to engage in a peaceful political change rather than the violent and confrontational crisis seen in many countries. He however, admits that “I used to see the Gambia as a paradise, romanticize about the country, but now, with all the unnecessary crimes and prosecutions, the Gambia is no more a place I will long for.”
Mohammed Lamin Sillah’s interview with Dida Halake can be heard on Kairo Radio on Saturday.
Dida Halake spoke the truth. However, I am wondering if he has disown his love affairs with The Rawlings and Jammeh mantra.
Was Dida Halake dreaming? President Jammeh having plan for a peaceful exit, I don’t think so, not with his attitudes.
NADD, NADD, NADD, the plan that failed. On the money Dida. I was there,
Dida is prophetic sometimes. Peace is the only commodity the Gambia cannot afford to lose, but in reality is it relative peace or illusionary peace. If Dida don’t feel happy about the Gambia, with his subtle defence of Jammeh, then we are getting somewhere.
President Darboe, Dida, i think Bax and Dawda will disagree, they have their theory on the opposition unity. Nice discourse though being following you for a while. Muhammed Sillah is a great interviewer.
Well, yes, thanks – but I do sometimes doubt my own BS. The on-goings back home do sometimes sound totally crazy.
This Dida was getting on my last nerves some days ago. Have to admit that he got some points here. Our beloved Gambia should not be brought to her knees through violence.
Dida please give us a break. You are full of it. Your dictator Yaya will never allow free and fair elections in The Gambia because he knows that he has no chance of winning. Since he overthrew an elected government by the force of arms the only way out to get rid of Yaya Jammeh is the same means. We do not need your advise.
No one (and much less Gambians) needs the advice of this unrepentant communist. You know why? They are all criminals, every Marxist-Leninist is a criminal.
Of course, he was telling the truth, when he said and I quote “I’ve never had any problem running the Daily Observer as a pro-government newspaper.” Indeed, this (Halake) guy has built his entire life and notoriety on hating the WEST.
I wonder why he does not just move back to his beloved Ethiopia, or ,even better, to his fascist left-wing communist “paradise” headed by the very totalitarian Putin. Guys like Halake are amongst folks who have benefited immensely from the blessing of Western civilization, but have chosen instead to endeavour night and day to cripple the same West that has given them so much.
This (Halake) guy, likewise his friend Jammeh, are just full of hate, and everything he says to please us is a blatant lie. By the way, since when has he become relevant in the fight against the criminal Jammeh?
Yokko, or whoever your are. It is difficult to teach old dogs new tricks – more so obstinate ones! But being an equally obstinate educator, I will try.
You say: “Yin-Yang, what you are truly referring to is the murderous so-called dialectical materialism of your beloved Carl Marx, Lenin, and Mao”.
A few points on that:-
1. Chinese philosophy existed 10,000 years BEFORE Karl Marx’s – or rather Hegel’s – “dialectical materialism” (Karl with a “K” not a “C”);
2. If it were not for Lenin’s Russia and Mao’s China, Africa would still be under the Colonial Slavery (Mau Mau’s General China – Warihu Itote – is a case in point).
3. If it were not for Russia, Europe will be speaking German today (the demonisation of Communist Russia only came about AFTER they had saved Europe’s backside from Hitler); And Africa too would be speaking German and learning about the Great Hitler who “freed the slaves”!
4. Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and other great African Liberators were condemned as “Communists” by the great Freedom-Loving US of A.
5. Finally, because you say that Halake should head off to Russia or wherever it is that the “Communists” hang-out, let me point out to you that Karl Marx did most of his writings down the road in the British Library and now rests peacefully just up the road in Highgate Cemetery. Of course, Kenyatta, Nkrumah and Lenin chilled out here in London too.
Finally, please show some evidence of intellectual progress in your next comment – otherwise I will stop hitting my head against a brick wall!
TO: Mr. “Mwalimu” Halake:
REALIZING YOUR CRAVE FOR THE LAST WORD, I WILL MAKE JUST A FEW POINTS:
1. FIRST OF ALL, IT IS YOCCO, NOT YOKKO.
2. “LENIN, OR WHOEVER HE WAS.” “STALIN, OR WHOEVER HE WAS.”
3. I AM SURE YOU ARE NOT DENYING THAT COMMUNISM (OR ESSENTIALLY YOUR DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM) IS NOTHING BUT A THEORIZING AND SYSTEMATIZATION OF MURDER? WELL, YOU MAY DENY IT AFTER ALL. BUT GUESS WHAT? AT LEAST THE PEOPLE OF NORTH KOREA AND OF FORMER COMMUNIST TERRITORIES, INCLUDING THE ETHIOPIA OF MENGUSTU, AGREE WITH ME AND NOT WITH YOU.
4. YOU ARE NOT TEACHING ME ANYTHING NEW CONCERNING THE AGE OF CHINESE PHILOSOPHY. ON THE OTHER HAND, BELIEVE ME, WHEN ORDINARY FOLKS SEE COMMUNISM CLAD IN SO-CALLED AFRICAN “COMMUNAL-ISM” OR CHINESE PHILOSOPHY, THEY CAN STILL RECOGNIZED IT.
2. “If it were not for Lenin’s Russia and Mao’s China, Africa would still be under the Colonial Slavery (Mau Mau’s General China – Warihu Itote – is a case in point).”
THAT STATEMENT OF YOURS IS A TOTAL NONSENSE. SEKOU TOURE THOUGHT HE WAS EMANCIPATING GUINEA FROM “WESTERN” IMPERIALISM, ONLY TO REALIZE THAT SOVIET IMPERIALISM AND EXPLOITATION OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES OF HIS COUNTRY WAS THE CRUELEST!
3. “If it were not for Russia, Europe will be speaking German today (the demonisation of Communist Russia only came about AFTER they had saved Europe’s backside from Hitler); And Africa too would be speaking German and learning about the Great Hitler who “freed the slaves”!
AGAIN, THIS STATEMENT OF YOURS IS A TOTAL NONSENSE. RUSSIA DID NOT LIBERATE EUROPE. GO TELL YOUR SO-CALLED LIBERATION TALE, THAT NONSENSE, TO THE POLISH PEOPLE, AND YOU SHALL SEE WHETHER OR NOT YOU SHALL SURVIVE YOUR RECOUNTING! ARE YOU IGNORANT OF HISTORY, OR AT LEAST, OF THE MOLOTOV-RIBBENTROP PACT?
ON THE CONTRARY, THE PARTS OF EUROPE THAT WERE SO-CALLED LIBERATED BY STALIN (ANOTHER COMMUNIST MASS MURDERER) WERE SOON AFTER FORCEFULLY SUBJUGATED INTO A COMMUNIST. THEY CERTAINLY DID NOT CHOOSE TO BECOME COMMUNIST. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF “LE PRINTEMPS DE PRAGUE?”
4. “Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and other great African Liberators were condemned as “Communists” by the great Freedom-Loving US of A.”
NOW, THIS YOUR SENTENSE REALLY MAKES ME LAUGH. PLEASE, SHOW SOME MATURITY, EVEN AS YOUR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IS ABYSMAL.
I DO NOT KNOW OF Dr. KING AND MANDELA, FOR I HAVE SEEN NOTHING THAT SUGGESTS THEY WERE COMMUNISTS. AS FOR KENYATTA, SEKOU TOURE (AKA THE BUCHER OF CONAKRY), AND NKRUMAH, EVEN A BLIND MAN CAN TELL THAT THEY WERE MARXIST. HAVE YOU READ NKRUMAH’S CONSCIENCISM? WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS, IF NOT COMMUNISM IN ITS PRISTINE FORM? IN FACT, NKRUMAH, HIMSELF SAID IN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY THAT HIS POLITICAL IDEOLOGY WAS MOST INFLUENCED BY CARL MARX (OR KARL MARXISM, SO AS NOT TO OFFEND PURIST OR PURITANICAL MARXISTS OF YOUR KIND.)
5. “Finally, because you say that Halake should head off to Russia or wherever it is that the “Communists” hang-out, let me point out to you that Karl Marx did most of his writings down the road in the British Library and now rests peacefully just up the road in Highgate Cemetery. Of course, Kenyatta, Nkrumah and Lenin chilled out here in London too.”
YES, REALLY. AND YOU ARE NOT TEACHING ME ANYTHING NEW ABOUT THAT FILTHY MAN CALLED KARL MARX, WHO IN FACT LIVED ALL HIS LIFE IN SQUALOR (BOTH PHYSICAL AND MORAL SQUALOR), REFUSING TO WORK TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY (ALWAYS DEPENDING ON HAND-OUTS TO FEED HIS FAMILY.) YOU KNOW WHAT? THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WEST AND COMMUNISM (OR OTHER TOTALITARIAN IDEOLOGIES) IS THAT THE WEST (SAY, ENGLAND, AND UNLIKE YOUR BELOVED NORTH KOREA) WILL GIVE FOLKS LIKE MARX AND ENGELS REFUGE AND FREEDOM EVEN AS THEY ACTIVELY ENDEAVOR ALL THEIR LIVES TO DESTROY THE WEST.
6. “Finally, please show some evidence of intellectual progress in your next comment – otherwise I will stop hitting my head against a brick wall!”
NOW, YOU HAVE THE EVIDENCE. YOU IN TURN MUST SHOW SOME EVIDENCE OF LESS HATE.
EVERY MARXIST-LENINIST IS A CRIMINAL, YOU HAVE JUST PROVED IT AGAIN.
“Yocco August 4, 2014 at 6:35 PM TO: Mr. “Mwalimu” Halake: REALIZING YOUR CRAVE FOR THE LAST WORD”
Actually, UR reply was LONGER than mine – but I will leave you with the last words!
Asalam. (Or should I say “Comrade”?)
The last time I checked it was the lend lease policy and brave men of the mighty USA that saved Europe. Stop the revisionist history, this is not the observer.
The Lend-Lease policy was a program under which the United States supplied Great Britain, Free France, the Republic of China and later the USSR and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and August 1945.
How could Russia have saved Europe when Germany ran over France and eying London. Churchill was on his knees begging President Franklin Roosevelt to save him.
Jason Miller – 1st get a proper NAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2nd get an education – “Lend lease” BOUGHT EUROPE for Uncle Sam, just as IMF “loans” by and enslave Africa and the rest of the so-called Third World!!
“The last time I checked” … my foot!! You must be sleeping the rest of the time!! I am done with trying to educate you “JASON”!!. GOODBYE!!!!
First of all MR HALAKEE lets stick to the topic. The misrepresentation of facts that you are used to while at the observer will not work here.
Stick to the point sir. You stated that USSR saved Europe and am putting it to you that is a lie. If Europe didn’t have America’s weapon making power at its disposal how could it have defended herself against Germany’s more advance weapons.
Am not arguing the economic benefits of the program, any high school student knows that American joining the war though late was the turning point; so your education must have failed you. Please go and get your money back. Please don’t be angry and resort to calling names; do not misrepresent facts and expect to get away with it.
Dida, was it an oversight or you forgotten about Brother Marcus Gavey as one freedom fighter who also later settled in London. An Irony, but London hosted a lot of real African freedom fighters. Am not getting involve in the debate, just an observation. Thanks
Indeed Suntou – the Great Garvey too was here, after the Freedom-Loving Uncle Sam persecuted him simply for saying “Stand Up, You Might Race” !!! Uncle Sam is funny – Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence had his own slaves and plantations (and used to sneak down there for some night time dalliance with his negresses when his lilly white wife was asleep!).
You and your so called anti-west brothers are funny, you condemn the west but continue to live and enjoy the freedom, rule of law accorded by the west. Knowing fully well these basic human rights are not accorded by your intolerant, greedy, shellfish dictators that are hell bent on fooling the masses by their anti-west sentiments but continue to enslave their people back home.
FYI the impunity, one man rule ( I own this country), and persecution meted to you is what conscious Africans abhor.
“Concious Africans” have a proper African name, Mr. “Jason Miller”!
That’s why you were humiliated by the same regime that you are hell bent on defending.
Count your blessing that you didn’t end up dead like countless innocent Gambians.
Hey Buddy why did you run from Gambia? My point exactly