By Basiru Sanneh in Bansang
The party leader of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) has emphasized the important role of youths in politics. Mr. Halifa Sallah told a news conference on Friday that his party’s leadership is willing to hand over to politically conscious and patriotic youths.
The PDOIS Secretary General said most people, especially the youths, run away from politics mainly because of its challenging and demanding nature. He said politics everywhere needs a lot of sacrifice, the Gambia being no exception.
Sallah dispelled the notion that his more than two decades old party closes its doors to youths. This question was raised at the party’s news conference which came on the heels of the PDOIS’ just concluded congress in Bansang in Central River Region. The adoption of a resolution calling for the establishment of youth wing has prompted some people to point out the party’s willingness to change its business of politics.
The party’s Central Committee Chairman described the congress as “a school for sovereign citizenship.” Mr. Sedia Jatta said the congress availed delegates the opportunity to share and learn from each other. He said the congress enabled delegates to look into the political, civil, economic, social, cultural and ecological systems. Sidia Jatta said this aims to eradicating “all monarchical and patriarchal traditions which impede total ownership of power by the sovereign people and the exercise of that power by chosen representatives who would not carry out any other activity, economic or otherwise which undermines their undivided attention to matters of the state and the duty to ensure the freedom and prosperity of the people.”
Jatta, a former opposition lawmaker, said this new system requires a conscious citizen determined never to put in office leaders bent on usurping their sovereign power.
The congress delved into the Secretary General’s report, debated the Agenda for 2016 and adopted resolutions on the non-viability of President Jammeh’s Vision 2016, aimed at securing food security in The Gambia. The party delegates also adopted a resolution on electoral reform, recommending two four-year term limit for president and voting by paper ballot.
Well spoken Mr. Sallah! The youths need to be well trained and prepared for leaderrship positions, they are the inheritance of the future.
Halifa has made it clear that the PDOIS leadership is not opposed to handing over the mantle to the youth and i commend Mr. Sallah for expressing such but the youth must also pull up their sleeves to take up the mantle. I assure Mr. Sallah that the PDOIS youth will be ever ready to take their responsibility. Hopefully, the PDOIS Central Committee will come up with a detailed report on the congress and the resolutions agreed therefrom.
Kudoos to Kaironews for hosting Halifa’s press conference, and well done to all media outlets for a well conducted press conference…That was a great service to the people.
Bax, TWO PDOIS CONGRESSES AND ZERO LEADERSHIP ELECTION. WHAT HAPPEN TO SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE?????
Lafia, the leadership issue with PDOIS has been well articulated and eloquently answered in Halifa’s response to the questions asked by the Freedom Newspaper’s Mr, Mbaye. You might want to review the recorded interview again.
Yea, Halifa was basically saying no one is good enough to replace him yet and that he has to complete his indoctrination process before he could trust anyone with his property, the PDOIS party. I wondered what happened to “The Sovereignty of the People” in Bansang.
“Yea, Halifa was basically saying no one is good enough to replace him yet and that he has to complete his indoctrination process before he could trust anyone with his property, the PDOIS party.”
Let us put aside why you are so obsessed with Halifa; he is poised to be the next president of the third republic. And I don’t think you have anything on him; his Mandinka is as good as yours if not better.
The first thing that Halifa said is that we should understand the nature of political parties. In mature and well functioning democracies, political parties are entities that hold capital, have properties and are able to pay those who work for the party. When they are in government such parties can strengthen the structures of the party by having more resources, more properties and more capital to sustain the party to the extend that change of leadership becomes more feasible and normal.
When such parties loose their power through an election they still maintain the capital, properties and resource base of the party, and can still carry the functions of the party as if the party was still in power. And in most of these situations if a party leader looses an election that party leader will resign and someone else will take that person’s place. Nonetheless, change of leadership remains feasible and normal.
In the Gambia this is not the case. We have only two political parties that have ever been in power; the PPP and the APRC. And once in power these political parties control everything, and will not allow their opponents to have access to the state media and other public organs.
Hence the politics of opposition becomes very difficult and challenging and few people can shoulder its responsibilities. Opposition political parties most often do not have capital; they do not have properties or resources and they do not pay the people who work for the party. Most of the work done for the party is on a voluntary basis. Those who want to maintain and sustain these parties mostly have to rely on their own personal resources and whatever contributions other people can make.
It is against this backdrop that the question of leadership in Gambian opposition parties has become a very unenviable proposition. Not many people can shoulder its responsibilities in circumstances where there is no financial incentives or reward; and where people have families to take care of and dreams to fulfill. Most of the people who are potential leaders of PDOIS are outside the country.
What I have explained above have been brilliantly conveyed by Halifa, and the reason why they have to sacrifice everything to keep PDOIS relevant and alive for more than three decades.
Most parties of the first republic have not survived, and what is true of PDOIS is true of the other opposition parties that are now in existence. The leadership of these parties are the same people who have been there since these parties were founded. Not necessarily because they still want to be leaders, but those who are to replace them are more committed to other things. Their families. Their careers. Their education. They are not willing or cannot afford the sacrifice involve.
The reasons I advanced above are more rational to justify why Halifa would be elected by a PDOIS congress to remain the leader of PDOIS, than the malicious accusations that you are making that have no basis in fact. They are the figment of your imagination.
“I wondered what happened to “The Sovereignty of the People” in Bansang.”
“The Sovereignty of the People” was alive and kicking in Bansang. Those pictures shared on facebook were quite inspirational. The sovereign Gambian people were running the show.
Wow! Why does your reply have to be this long. Can’t you summarise?
By the way, you insulted me when you said Halifa’s mandinka is as good as mine. But I will let that go. And by the way, you make feel so good when you remind readers of my mandinka identity because I am so proud of being a mandinka. No Chidding. The culture is rich and the history is fascinating.
It is God who determines who becomes President, not me. You are immature in conversation.
Goodness mate! Sovereignty of the people went through the windows in Bansang.
Kamalo: Thank you so much. According to the PDOIS Constitution, the party has a collective leadership, the Central Committee which includes Halifa, Sidia, Suwaibou, Sam and Amie Sillah who are each holders of separate bureaus of the party. The party will select a presidential candidate when the time is feasible or necessary. And your explanation is quite apt and well understood by those who are interested in the good of the country. Lafia’s final response to you is a diversionary tactic to lure you away from the substantive issues which you should ignore.
“Wow! Why does your reply have to be this long. Can’t you summarise?”
We do not want to leave any room for ambiguity. We want everything to be very clear. Clarity has been one of the fundamental features in any PDOIS argument. That is why people like you tend to believe that we speak and write a lot.
Deception is no longer possible. When you mischaracterize our beliefs; infer to us positions that we do not hold, we have to set the record straight to show that we are very consistent in what we say for the last three decades.
“By the way, you insulted me when you said Halifa’s mandinka is as good as mine.”
Why is it that Halifa cannot speak Mandinka as good as yours? Why do you see that as an insult? This sounds very arrogant to me.
Language is the property of anyone who can speak it; although it doesn’t take anything away from those who identify with it as the language group that they were born into and the rich traditions, history and culture that is associate with it.
What it shows is that those who make the effort to learn other languages, recognize the affinity that exist between the different language groups sharing the same geographical space, and strive to build a cohesive environment “and join our diverse people to prove man’s brotherhood.”
As a politician this is a big credit for Halifa. To be able to speak in such fluency the language that is identified with the biggest ethnic group in the country. He doesn’t need anyone to translate for him when he speaks with this audience, and more so they can understand him better.
And yes, it is remarkable that Halifa speaks Mandinka with little or no other languages mixed with it. You got to give it to him.
“But I will let that go. And by the way, you make feel so good when you remind readers of my mandinka identity because I am so proud of being a mandinka. No Chidding. The culture is rich and the history is fascinating.”
I can assure you that Halifa feels so good when he speaks Mandinka so fluently and his Mandinka identity as a Gambian who can be a Mandinka, a Wollof, a Sererer. a Tukulor, a Fulbe, a Jola and a Serahule makes his very proud that he can identify with all these ethnic groups.
And we are so proud of the rich culture and the fascinating history that is the hallmark of all the ethnic groups in the country.
“It is God who determines who becomes President, not me. You are immature in conversation.”
You are right God determines who becomes the next president. Not you or me. I was just pulling your legs. It is an exciting development to watch though.
“Goodness mate! Sovereignty of the people went through the windows in Bansang.”
I am waiting for you to say how. The ball in now in your court.