(In Defence of My Uncle Sheriff Bojang!)
By Dida Jallow-Halake
I thank you for pointing out the drama surrounding my uncle, the Honourable Minister, in the pages of Kaironews and indeed as it turns out in the pages of the Daily Observer too.
At the outset, the title of this piece needs a clear exposition before your readers run-away with the wrong end of the stick!
Wikipedia: “Devil’s Advocate … someone who, given a certain argument, takes … an alternative position … for the sake of debate or to explore the thought further … The purpose of such a process is typically to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses … It can also refer to someone who takes a stance that is seen as unpopular or unconventional”.
“Unpopular” is important here, for the word “devil” in the title has the same negative connotations as it has in the Koranic, Biblical and Torahic sense: in all these great books the Devil is indeed condemned, without due process and without a trial! All these great books belong to God, the prosecutor and judge – hence the need, according to the philosopher for a “Devil’s Advocate” because “God has written all the books”!!
Halake appears, therefore Dear Editor, for the Honourable Minister Bojang, who has been condemned by many in the pages of Kaironews – without due process and a trial!
Charge Sheet One:
The first, and most serious charge, is that the Honourable Minister attacked his own “blood uncle” who, they said, “is old enough to be his father”!! Clearly this is a very serious charge, more so in our African cultures and traditions where our elders are revered.
The Defence is very simple:
The Honourable Minister was only responding to an attack – by his Uncle! The Honourable Minister did not throw the first punch. The Uncle did. The Honourable Minister merely responded. It could be said he should not have responded to his Uncle’s provocation. But surely, the Honourable Minister is a young man, and the young do get easily offended compared to the elderly. Infact, if anyone had the responsibility to hold one’s tongue it should have been the older and wiser Uncle.
It could also be fairly said that since the argument between the uncle and nephew is purely political, the familial and traditional respect issues do not arise.
Charge Sheet Two:
That the Honourable Minister is being hypocritical by being a member of the APRC Government and being a Minister – because it is said he used to support the opposition UDP of which the Uncle is a much admired and prominent member.
The Defence is again very simple:
The term “cross-carpeting” has entered the English Language because it is common and accepted that politicians will move from one party to another. The most well-known “cross-carpeter” in British political history is the most well-known and admired British politician of all time – Sir Winston Churchill himself, the man who beat Hitler! He changed political parties three times!
Of course, my uncle the Minister is not alone in being the only person who may have been a sympathiser/supporter of the opposition to have joined Jammeh’s Government! Many have done so! The charge seems to assume that Jammeh will be annoyed with the Honourable Minister for having once sympathised with or supported the UDP. This is a serious misconception! Jammeh would welcome all the UDP into his party if they would join him. Infact, I would bet that Jammeh would happily make the UDP leader the Vice-President if the UDP joined APRC in a Grand-Coalition!
In conclusion, the Defence makes a “No Case To Answer” submission on behalf of the Honourable Minister!
Dida, what triggered the Uncle to throw the “first public punch”?????
For someone to join Jammeh after being known in the opposition is accepting to dance to the devil’s tune, why, because Jammeh is a witch in white robe.
We missed you Luntango provocateur….lol.
Dida, I just love your excellent sense of humour!!!
Janko, Dida is very funny indeed. However, he missed the ‘plot’. It was Sherrif who first attacked the opposition in Bakau with his new Master ‘King Kanilai the 1’ standing. And thereafter King Kanilai went on to insult and attack Bakau people by even calling Sherrif’s Uncle Dembo a Witch.
One would expect any self respecting Newphew to go ballistic as is our custom.
What did Sherrif do? He laughed at an unfunny jibe thrown on his Uncle.
Dida we have a saying in Mandinka that, “Mbarindin fisayata nyea nwuludinti”.. meaning my Nephew is more beloved to me than my own child. Hence uncle and newphew relationship is sacred. Sherrif is at fault here your Highness Dida.
And his retort at Dembo’s jokes meant Sherrif is seriously immature. People don’t last along with Jammeh by being aggressive. He is the only one allowed that luxury..hence I over estimated Sherrif’s social analysis skills. The man is enjoying the attention a little too much. And also the reliance on Amadou Samba might have deceived him. Mr Samba looks after Number 1 at all times. Nice though Dida.
Suntou, I only commented on my brief – and a defence lawyer sticks to what he is paid to do!
Apparently, my Learned Friend the Honourable Sam Sarr Esq. has been retained to defend the Honourable Minister on the other issues you refer to.
I have completed my brief – and now I am available should the Honourable Dembo By-Force Bojang wish to hire my services!
An ‘excellent sense of humour’ is all Dida’s got. That shows in the way he compares Sir Winston churchill’s political carrier to Sirifo Bojang’s mental and political displacement.
Thanks for the kind humour that won’t provoke ‘furious-people-who-don’t-know-the-art-of-fury”s bad handwriting habit.
Mbaading Suntou, I guess you now got Dida’s humour after his response.
Regarding Sheriff’s comportment towards his uncle, I have very little to say. I say so because Sheriff is a product of the contemporary Gambian Society (Generation Bulfalleh) which appears to place more value on wealth, position and status. The Uncle-Nephew bond (or family ties in general) is all but broken in our society today. Sheriff is not alone. Why do you think people get arrested and detained if they spoke against Jammeh and APRC, even in their own bedrooms? Is it not relations or close friends and associates who sell them out? Where is the relationship? Yahya is one person but he has total dominion over every soul in The Gambia with the help of our very selves. So who is to blame? This is why we need to re-evaluate ourselves as a people.
One fascinating thing I like about this page is that it has proven to be an incubation of ideas – not just ideas but lofty ones capable of not only making your day but helping you understand real issues. I have been moved by almost every comment on this page. Luntango might be provocative here but he his article is challenging us to rethink and the need to police ourselves both politically and socially. Being a political sympathiser does not mean goring people, especially a relative who will be snubbed for not attending your funeral. Janko, I guess you are an elderly person whose wisdom, knowledge and excellent analytical skills are badly needed in a New Gambia. We need to do something about the Generation Bulfaleh before our society gets on its knees. Thank you Kairo News for creating an atmosphere where ideas flow like water in the river.
Diverse people bring diverse ideas. It looks like this article raises class of civilsations or modernity versus tradition. This topic deserves a radio program. Kairo Radio invite Janko to help we the young Gambians struggling to better understand ourselves in an era where there is no existence of literature on how our ancestors lived as compared to our loose generation. Alimatou, I agree with you that this page is beneficial. It is like a therapy for me.
Dida , I think you have given an excellent description of yourself as a “Devil’s advocate” in this forum. Though your reasonings are provocative sometimes but they do not follow simple common sense and logic. Jammeh is a devil who cannot work with decent and honest people. Hence it is only ” devil’s advocate” who can work with him. Sherrif Bojang is another devil’s advocate who will say and doing anything to maintain his position. Politics is dynamic process and everyone has right to political belief but decency and truthfulness should be an integral part of political process. It is lack of truthfulness and decency that yaya Jammeh and his regime are considered criminal enterprise. The regime rule the country through deception , lies , falsehood, dishonesty and outright criminality.
A very good and straightforward defence of your uncle, the (not so) Honourable Minister Bojang…
Apart from the much appreciated sense of humour shown here, I think there are lessons to learn for all of us…
I like defence’s contention that “familial and traditional respect issues don’t arise” here, since we are in the political arena, (so to speak), but the “Bulfalleh” generation need to be schooled to understand that our traditional virtues of respect for the elderly, should not be discarded into the dust bin of modernity, because we stand to gain a lot be adhering to these traditions, even in this modern day and age, than otherwise…
Politics, however, must continue for as long as we are around, because it is the art by which nations are built or even destroyed (as the case may be), but if we must engage in political discourse without discarding our noble traditional virtues, then we must restrict ourselves to the politics of issues…
The “bulfalleh” generation, who are the leaders of tomorrow, should be urged to resist, and be steered away from all attempts to initiate them into the politics of old, where personalities, allegations and (irrelevant ) issues that have little or no bearing on the hard realities of the people, dominate political platforms…
Unfortunately, even though there is a deafening cry for a NEW Gambia, the politics of old continue to be manifested on the political platforms of both the APRC and the UDP…and this episode between uncle and nephew is a clear testimony to that fact..
The sad reality for our genuine and serious attempts at nation building, which actually is a tragedy, is that these are the parties that pull the crowds and have the most support.: a clear indication that Gambians are still lacking in seriousness to build a nation that can be envied by many, in all aspects of its development and nationhood…and the reason why Yaya Jammeh has emerged and survived for this long…
Unless we change, our dreams for genuine and meaningful change will only be that : DREAMS..
Maxs says: “… your reasonings … do not follow simple common sense and logic”.
Luntango says: My “reasonings” are addressed to 2 specific points with which Sheriff was charged by the forum last week. Your above contribution is, with respect, irrelevant to those 2 points!
As an example, you will see above that Deyda, Suntou and Janko have made relevant contributions to the issues raised.
Dida , your presentation as a ” Devil’s advocate ” is perfect description of your continuous efforts to advocate for various Devils we have in this regime and your advocacy do not follow simple common sense and logic as indicated before . This was why suntou has indicated to you that , you missed the “plot” and it was your “devil’s advocate “, sheriff who first attacked the opposition . Subsequently janko highlighted current (generation Buffalleh )behaviors with regards to wealth , position , status and our current problems . My emphasis was placed on lack of truthfulness and decency of these ” devil’s advocates ” in our political process . If Sherriff has decency , he should not have publicly insulted his uncle and advocate for a devil who is known for his lies , deception , dishonesty ,falsehood and criminality . I have indicated that everyone has rights to political belief but decency and truthfulness should be integral path of political process . Off course , you will dismiss my contribution as irrelevant because it has repudiated and nullify your argument as lack of common sense and illogical . This also indicate that your “Devil’s advocate ” , Sherriff Bojang lack decency and truthfulness in his responsibility , and political propaganda because he has previously called the devil , a liar . This was evidently tendered in his poem in devil’s own newspaper .
The forum charged Sherriff Bojang for lack of decency and truthfulness during last week and I have beautifully Defended the forum . As a trial lawyer , you and your defendant both have a case to answer because both of you are advocating for a devil who cannot work with honest and decent people . Your defendant also engaged in indecency and untruthful behaviors . Therefore , the court has found both of you, guilty beyond reasonable doubt for aiding and abetting the devil in his violation of rights of citizens . The court would recommend that , both of you should embark on community services for one year and advocate for human rights of the citizens especially those who are illegally prosecuted because of their political beliefs. This will help us to have peaceful co-existence as a country .
Z is for zest Maxs! I leave you with the last words on the matter!
Bravo Max, you have indicted the lead Barrister himself. Kudos…Dida will have to put his wig back on and prepare another defence.
Barristers retainers are paid in advance! I don’t need ask no more.
By the way, my client had a Bojang Jnr recently and I wish him well.
Legal warning: @Luntango- a LAUGHAZARD to your state of mind!!
I am just being affected with it; I’m getting late for important things right now, laughing my brains out on the Gann Gi comedies!
Ggapm says: “Luntango = Laughazard”!!!
The Wise Philosopher said: “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter”.
Besides, laughter is good for your face – look at the pictures above: My Uncle the Honourable Minister is only 30 years old and Luntango is 90 years old! Which one do you think the pretty ladies would prefer? (Or come to think even the pretty boys – gotta practice equal opportunities!)
when the devil is captured or removed from office we will give him a fair trial he denied his victims from enjoying. I don’t think Dida will be a good defense lawyer to represent him in court. Lol. Maybe Bax can represent him well since he sometimes feels sympathetic to him and his officials lol .
Sympathetic to Yaya Jammeh and his criminal officials..? NEVER EVER…! If I ever was his defence advocate, I will make sure he goes down for life…
I do sympathise with his children,though, for being his children…The poor little “angels” have got an uncertain future in The Gambia after their dad, through no fault of their own…
I do sympathise with family members of Jammeh and his officials, who have not taken any active parts in his/their misrule, but have to live with the stigma of Jammeh for ever…
I do also sympathise with victims of Jammeh (dead & alive) and their families, who have to live with the consequences of his regime’s actions…
Whether it is divastation through lose of loved ones, or humiliation through maltreatment of a parent, my sympathies are with all families…
I am of the view that all victims should be adequately compensated after they have witnessed and seen justice carried out for their loved ones in any new political dispensation…(from Jammeh’s looted stash..)
I am, however, staunchly against collective punishment or guilt by association…Those who have done no wrongs should not be singled out for redicule or punishment because of their relationship alone, to Jammeh or any of his officials..That’s my position Max and it will never change because I’m a very fair person.. (to blow my own trumpet)..