Imagined Nations

BabaBaba Galleh Jallow

African governments are fond of violently pouncing upon peaceful protesters and those who express dissenting opinion, sending them to jail and, in some cases, clobbering them to death, as happened with Solo Sandeng. Those who survive violent arrest and or torture are slapped with heavy charges, often invariably including the ubiquitous “disturbing of the peace” and treason. Peaceful protesters expressing their legitimate public opinion within the limits of their constitutionally guaranteed rights are forcefully criminalized and accused of trying to overthrow their governments by unlawful means. The irony is that because peaceful protesters are acting within their constitutionally guaranteed rights, they cannot possibly be committing treason at the same time.

Yet, in a majority of cases, Africa’s peaceful protesters so arraigned are declared guilty and sentenced, to time, to death, or to indefinite detention and starvation unworthy of human dignity. African courts under the obvious control of intolerant governments routinely find innocent people guilty of nonexistent crimes. Peaceful protests such as the ones held in April 2016 by Gambia’s Solo Sandeng and the UDP leadership cannot possibly be treasonable felony. The government’s treason charges may stick to the case, but not to the persons of the UDP defendants because they are simply not guilty of treason. In the laws of nature, you really cannot make something what it is not simply by calling it so. It is like insisting that a cow is really a chicken and that you heard it coo and can see its feathers too!

African governments that pounce on peaceful protesters are genuinely afraid of what peaceful protests can do: they can overthrow a government, but only lawfully, since the protests are lawful. The Arab spring that toppled Arab dictatorships in North Africa started small, then ballooned to match the size of the government’s unpopularity with the people. Protests of such magnitude take a long time coming, a long time of the suppression of small protests and dissenting opinion by the state which creates widespread feelings of anger and disgust in the population. Dictatorships continually undermine themselves because with every small act of tyranny against somebody, the circle of public anger widens, even if only by the relatives and friends of the affected persons. By trying to prevent the growth of protest movements, African governments try to silence the future but end up giving the future a larger, louder, more insistent and more coherent voice.

It seems entirely lost to many African governments that it is within the rights of a people to remove and replace their government through constitutional, and if necessary, unconstitutional means. The critical difference is that while toppling a government by force of arms may be claimed as a “constitutional” right – as Mr. Jammeh and his colleagues did on July 22, 1994 – it is still a treasonable felony. This natural right to violent insurrection by oppressed persons may be treasonable, but it is still a right either explicitly or implicitly resident in the constitution as the right to insurrection against injustice and unbearable oppression by the State. The best antidote to public protest is government tolerance and responsiveness to public opinion, especially public opinion addressing issues of general national interest, such as electoral laws and government policies. The suppression of legitimate political dissent is unfailingly counter-productive for the State and its mother, the Nation.

In an alternative trajectory of recent Gambian history, the Sandeng protest would have attracted police attention. The police would send some officers to help maintain law and order by their presence. Solo would be allowed to have his protest, to lay out his demands, to loudly condemn government policy, ask for electoral reforms immediately and even call upon the government to step down because he believes – rightly or wrongly – that it has lost all political and moral legitimacy to govern. At some point, the protest time would be up and Solo and whatever crowds that may have gathered would disperse with a threat to continue protesting until their demands are met. The government hears about the protest and issues a statement defending its electoral laws, criticizing Sandeng and the UDP, and encouraging a dialogue and public debate on the issue. It organizes a free and fair referendum on the issue with all interested parties freely campaigning for their point of view. If the majority of Gambians say there should be electoral reform, there would be electoral reform. If the majority of Gambians say no electoral reform, well, no electoral reform and the UDP would be morally obliged to respect the wishes of the majority for the current election cycle while reserving the right to continue advocating for electoral reform within the limits of the law.

To crack down and forcefully suppress Sandeng and the UDP leadership for demanding electoral reform is to totally misunderstand the nature of the nation-state. Such action may seem natural in another type of political formation, an absolute monarchy with no constitution aside from the king, for instance. But even there, the natural right to insurrection exists, hence history’s many revolutions in which absolute monarchs are forcefully toppled. In all situations, regardless of the nature of the State in power, the nation equally belongs to everybody. It could be said without much fear of error that all Gambians equally love The Gambia. Arrested protesters and journalists are loudly told during police interrogation that they are enemies of the State out to destroy the country. It is implied that there are some Gambians who hate their own country so much that they are plotting to physically destroy it, often with the help of some imaginary malignant foreign interests. One dares to say that a citizen may be deprived of anything but their love of country. Yes, citizens may dislike, even hate their government. But they cannot dislike or hate their country itself because that is contrary to the laws of nature. It is like disliking or hating your own identity, an obvious contradiction in terms possible only under abnormal conditions. For example, no one questions Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s love for America. Trump simply wants an America that builds walls to keep Mexicans out and ban Muslims from entering the country, while Clinton wants another kind of America. In the recent Brexit saga, some British citizens wanted a UK that was part of the European Union, others wanted a UK that was not part of the European Union. Neither party could be legitimately accused of hating their country. They are merely arguing for their preferred version of the nation, their imagined nation (to evoke Benedict Anderson’s useful concept of the nation as an imagined community).

Because of the grotesque dislocation of the African State from its natural space as an integral and subservient segment of the population, it is incapable of developing an appropriate understanding of its locus, status, role and function in society. The African State conceives of itself and acts as if it is a separate, all-powerful entity, located high above the people, with total command of the police, the army, the courts, the prisons and all the laws of the land. It insists on knowing best what is good for the country and reserves the right to violently protect itself against any constitutional right that interferes with its absolute power. In a strange case of political dystopia, the State arrogates to itself total ownership of the country, the people and their future, and leaves no room for alternative viewpoints on the national project.

This profoundly tragic distortion of the nation’s character makes it impossible for the State to appreciate that political conflict in general, and political dissent and opposition in particular are inevitable expressions of citizens’ desire as to what their country should be, or should be like. The Gambia government has its own idea of what Gambia should be. The UDP and other Gambian individuals, political organizations, the media, the Church, the Mosque – all have their ideas of what Gambia should be. Some of their visions or aspects of their visions of an imagined Gambian nation may be similar, some may be different. In all cases, the State that enjoys an advantage of political power should remain embedded and subservient to the people at all times. What vision of an imagined Gambia takes ascendancy in the nation’s politics should be determined not by police boots, batons, guns and extrajudicial incarcerations and executions, but by the people, if necessary through their own vocal agency, or their elected representatives or competent courts of the land. If it is understood that no citizen really hates their country and that political differences are simply expressions of different imagined nations, and are to be expected and even encouraged, the kind of destructive politics we have seen in Africa since independence may begin to shift in the right direction.



  1. Deyda Haidara

    Thank you Baba,
    Torture is illegal in our constitution. It is more than high time that we vehemently DEMONSTRATE, PROTEST worldwide for torture to STOP in the Gambia.
    In the whole of West Africa only Gambia and Togo practice torture on a routine basis without challenge.
    In Senegal if anyone tortured, the officer committing the crime goes to jail. Check the records.
    You are spot on. TORTURE is illegal and must stop in the Gambia. We are not animals.

    • Thank you Deyda. Indeed, even animals are not to be tortured. Incidentally, only tortured souls are capable of torture, a sad realization for those who revel in the agony of their fellow human beings. The malice that makes people capable of torturing others resides in the hearts of the torturers as a burden of misery forever torturing them.

      • Deyda Haidara

        Baba, this routine torture culture is imported from the MFDC rebellion who are in the business of torturing fellow Jolas who refuse to join the Casamance rebellion. Maitre “Lawyer” Boucounta Diallo of Senegal made reference of this practice in one of his book on the Casamance Rebellion.
        The 1st Republic was not known for torturing people. Torturing is a making of the 2nd republic under the leadership of the BEAST.
        It should STOP. As you rightly said even donkeys rights are to be protected by law.

  2. Baba, you have hit the nail right on the head. Africa’s case is one of sadness and backwardness. The sorry part is that despite independence, the citizens are still dependents. Many did not realise their sovereignty because the leaders who should know better as to chart the sovereign path are the very ones pretending that their countries do not have constitutions. Could you imagine that a leader of a sovereign republic of the Gambia tells a crowd of sovereign nationals that democracy and secularism are hypocrisy, that there cannot be any separation of powers; that he is far much wealthier than the state, that elections cannot remove him from office and that he would rule his country until he could no longer do so and then he would hand it over to whoever he wished and nobody could do anything about it.
    How do you categorize such leaders and they are not just a few in Africa, they are many.
    Like i said before, we need the likes of Thomas Paine ala Baba who by their conviction do the painstaking work of sending this message of liberation to the African people to awaken them and energize them to take stock of their leaders or face the peril for refusing to do what is right.
    Baba, only a Democratic Revolution can usher Africa into a free and indomitable people who would shurn all vistiges of monarchical despotism and embrace democracy for themselves.

    • Thank you Yero. Your comments are very much appreciated.

    • Yero Ba said “only a democratic revolution can usher Africa into a free and indomitable people who would shun all vistiges of monarchical despotism and embrace democracy for themselves.”

      Yero, the statement you made above is clearly in contradiction to your position and pdois position of not supporting the peaceful protesters who stood up for their rights to fight electoral reforms as part of democratic revolution you stated above. Your rhetoric is indeed hypocritical and malicious as it doesn’t represent true position of someone who care about democratic revolution. Peaceful protest in many country is what lead to democratic revolution. Example it happened in Arab Spring, Burkina Faso and many places. Baba has brilliantly presented why peaceful protest is part of democratic process or revolution but you and many of your fellow disciples in the forum are on record for not supporting the current peaceful protesters. You can shamelessly and hypocritically talk about democratic revolution when your party leadership has categorically stated that udp spontaneous protest was a mistake. The question I have for you and fellow confused and hypocritical disciples is that “how do we achieve democratic revolution without peaceful protest or electoral reforms ?”.
      When I see you shamelessly commenting on Baba’s article, you remind me of ” the positions of Satan ” . If you carefully read Baba’s article, he is in complete support of udp and peaceful protesters position and their political view as far as democratic process is concerned which you refused to support. Therefore I would encourage you to be honest and truthful about democratic revolution you talk about .
      Halifa sallah has called diaspora ” warmongers ” which in his narrow and self centered political indoctrination believe that we hate our country and we are out to destroy it. His myopic-ignorance political bluster was discredited and repudiated by Baba’s article. Therefore if I were you , I would be ashamed to even comment on this article because it is not inline with your political indoctrination and sycophancy. Please read the article very well before you comment on it . Keeping you honest and be part of truth squad is the goal here .

      Please baba keep writing , I admire your intellectual honesty and your strive to educate many of our socalled educated political sycophants who refused to stand up for justice .
      Thank you .

  3. Wow! Baba! What a carnival of truth-telling! What a vegetation of keen observations! What glittery pastel of literature tasking our candy-shop African leaders! What a charge at disdainful executive, inveterate greed, and venal rulership! Do I even need to say more? So glad to read you again.

    • Dare I say I know this voice? Thank you Gambiano, for your very kind eloquence. It is always a pleasure to read you too. Best regards.

  4. Maxs, all Gambians are sovereign and all parties are sovereign as well. No party dictates to another party and no individual dictates to another as to what to do in a given time. PDOIS does not partake in an agenda it knows nothing about.And my party has a right to guage whether it is wise and rewarding for the struggle at this material time. The earlier you fathom that the better for you.
    However, my party’s position on the protest is very clear and you do not have the adjective to distort it one bit. How many times did we confront the regime since 1994 on various issues we feel strongly about. Max has said a millionth times that he does not speak for UDP and therefore his lack of recognition for what my party is contributing in the process to free the victims does not worry me in any way.
    Look, who says when one party decides to do something to challenge the regime on a strategy they believe in, all parties must by force be part and parcel of it? Has UDP or its leader ever joined PDOIS in any agenda since 1994? Why do you insist for PDOIS leader to go to the street and that if he does not go to the street he should not exist again? Who are you to enforce that? Since we are not part of it’s planning at the onset and do not believe the strategy, we can but only help in our way we could to free the victims.
    Interesting the way you sound, as if you know anything about a democratic revolution. You do not know because if you do, you will appreciate that a democratic revolution is a political science term denoting a revolution in which a democracy is instituted, replacing a previous non-democratic government, or in which revolutionary change is brought about through democratic means, usually without violence.
    This is why a process of education and enlightenment and organisation on a protracted manner should ensue until the people say they no longer want to live in the old way and together took a step to change their political condition. It should not be done by a few people standing for the rest of us but it should be the majority of the people standing and saying NO! If that time comes no one will tell the people to get up, the people will do that by themselves in a spontaneous and decisive manner.
    So activist in this process must be conscious of the tempo of the process and always use the people as the guage. They must not look for pretext to ignite action; they must be very sincere in what they say and do at each given moment so that they move along with the vast majority of the people to effect change. They must not be angry when the people did not act or react to their expectation.
    Is this the same as what you are advocating as your strategy of bringing about change or revolution? Certainly not.
    Just like the PDOIS said since inception. When you want to help an old woman carry her heavy load and she said NO!, should you force yourself to carry it for her or should you follow her until she accepts your request to help?
    That is how you will be seen to be sincere but jumping into activities which require the action of masses of people could be miscalculating and costly indeed.

    • Yero Ba , stop your outdated political rhetoric of sovereignity to me , I know that and everyone know that . The issue under discussion is peaceful protest which is part of the democratic process that may lead to democratic revolution. Your suggestion that pdois did not know about the agenda of peaceful protesters after their arrest was false . In fact according to Halifa , he was on the scene with Darboe on the day of protest therefore he was very aware of it but he refused to support it because in his mind it was udp and Mandinkas problem. Electoral reforms is every body agenda and it is in the interest of the nation’s democratic development and fair representation of the people. It is not the UDP’s problem and the peaceful protesters did not go out to protest with udp flag , they went to protest without any party flag and they do not inform udp leadership about the protest. Udp leadership understand that and lawyer showed leadership and sense of patriotism to ask and demand for solo dead or alive and also demanded the release of other protesters. If pdois refused to stand up for justice then how can you falsely claimed that democratic revolution will bring about change . If you read Baba’s article, you will see that he stated peaceful protesters in small numbers is what lead to big protesters which eventually lead to change of regime – hence democratic revolution. This is because people insurrect against injustice and oppression. Therefore solo Sanderg did not have to notify udp or pdois. When Arab Spring started in Tunisia , the person who started the protest did not notify the opposition leaders , he started it and was later supported by small group of people and it later turned into big crowd which toppled the dictator. This is what you need to understand and stop your igonrance you spreading here . You need to educate your ignorance mind about what is democratic revolution. Democratic revolution is not about institutions as you dishonesty stated but it is about people rising up against injustice and political oppression to change dictatorship and replace it with democratic government which will build democractic institutions in the country . How can you institute democratic revolution without removing the dictatorship as you ignorantly implied . You have to remove the dictatorship through peaceful protest or other means first before you can build democratic institutions because dictatorship has power not to allow democratic institutions to be developed., you don’t seem know what you talked about . Democratic revolution is not about education as you implied but it is about people standing up for their constitutional rights and this was what solo and his group did . You have very limited understanding of democratic revolution or fight to liberate a country . As I said to you so many times , all revolution or struggle started with a small group of citizens with ultimate goal to free their country from oppression but your igonrance belief that the whole country will rise up at the same time is distorted view . It has never happened in any where . Therefore solo and his group were right to stand up for liberation of The Gambia while your leader dined with the dictatorship secretly . This is evidence by his proclamation that those who supported the peaceful protesters are war mongers .
      You should also stop your deceptive propaganda which stated that pdois is working to free the kidnapped citizens. When are you going to stop this lies ? What influence did pdois has which can help these kidnapped citizens to be freed ? PDois is damn busy promoting its stupid election agenda and are selfishly campaigning to go for sham election without electoral reforms. If pdois is truly interested in electoral reforms, they would have supported peaceful protesters or at least lead peaceful protest.
      You should be ashmed of yourself to even comment on this article because your view totally contradicts this brilliant article .
      Kamalo also lied about the same thing when he tried to justify why pdois did not participate. He claimed that Baba’s managed to stay away from our politics but I wonder whether he would retract his lies because Baba’s has once again brilliantly showcased the position of peaceful protesters and udp in particular as their constitutional right to demand electoral reforms. I know one thing about you disciples, you will say and do anything to maintain your lies . Your ability to lie has metastasized to every cell in your being and it has particularly affected your brains . It is an incurable cancer .

  5. Max, definitely i am not very sure now of the character i am exchanging with but i assume that you are confronted with some psychological issues.
    I firmly believe that if that is not the case and this is a forum where identities are known you would not want to indulge in saying all these ignorant things in public space.
    Look,the PDOIS supporters are entertaining you because we believe that it is absolutely necessary to exchange ideas of political nature as compatriots but such blatant liars such as your kind are difficult to communicate with.
    It is good to emphasise to you again that no amount of fabrication will make a succinct party like PDOIS to partake in any stupid enterprise it knows nothing of.
    You said Halifa said he was at Darboe’s home, is that the same as he was aware of what plans that were in store by the UDP or those who planned the first demo? If you say the people who did the demo did so for the country, are they not free to engage in such activities? I do not have any qualms about their decision to participate but i am saying that based on various reasons PDOIS has decided not to plunge into such a poorly and ill timed enterprise that would not advance the cause of the struggle. It’s your opinion that it will, it is therefore you who should call on yourself to fly down to Banjul and raise your flag. Why are you insistent that a Halifa Sallah or PDOIS should engage in demos and who are you to command them to do so?
    You are talking as if you know nothing about the Gambia. Everyone knows everyone in that tiny country. Whether it is orchestrated by people who pretend to the UDP that they are members of the UDP and used UDP members to organise it without the acceptance from the UDP leadership, other parties have come to a conclusion that it is not best for them to participate in such a demo and no one should blame them for not doing so since they were not a party to the planning and decision making process of such an enterprise.
    Even though you have assigned yourself the duty to criticise PDOIS and Halifa, you should do it with some reasoning as to convince your readers that you are serious so that they may decide to support your side rather than engaging in untruthful fabrication and slander and even outright lies which do not earn you any semblance of respect not to talk of winning people from the party you are criticising. Keep giving credit to PDOIS.

    • Yero Ba , you and your party refused to support peaceful protesters then you should shut up about democratic revolution you falsely stated here . All the examples I have given you about protest and demonstration in every where , they started with small number of people . You are following a political flawed leader who is vague and lack clarity in his politics . Your party is in decline as evidenced by poor performances due to your dishonest political propaganda. Halifa is just afraid to join peaceful protesters and he is even more afriad to criticize Jammeh or call him a dictator. If you don’t believe in democratic revolution then why you are talking about it . Simpy keep quiet. We are tired of your empty rhetoric.

  6. Max you have circumvented the entire objective of the topic and has reduced it to anti-pdois semantic. By doing so, you distanced the author from the comments as it appears he don’t want to be soiled in your this rubbish. Please know the topics to spew your r—–h and stop telling the readership that the UDP was on a peaceful protest.The Udp was on a peaceful request to receive Solo’s body death or alive

  7. Hope the author Baba, is not a toady person like you@Bamba. You are the type who can raise a whole school of psychopathic sycophants.

  8. Bamba, stop your lies. This author is my hero and I always admire him and his intellectual honesty. That said, Baba has done his part to educate us and he has done great job to write such brilliant article. If you do not have anything to say about the content of the article with regards to its application to our current problems then it is better you shut up (not nice way to say it but I have to). Baba is a theorist and I will continue to use his article to make my case about our political predicament. Do not drag Baba as person into your hypocrisy and sycophancy.
    If you do not know, there is no specific topic under discussion here that I deviate from. You wish I leave pdois alone. Your appeal to use Baba’s name who I highly respect will not stop me from making application of his article into current situation. The essence of learning is the application of what you learned. So I am learning from Baba and I am applying his theories or concepts. How do you know my statement is preventing Baba from writing his view, do you get into his mind? Stop being a hypocrite and stop complaining. Please talk about the content of the article and how it is view in terms of your party political philosophy.

  9. Thank you (Dr Jallow) once again, for a brilliant piece that is absolutely relevant in understanding ourselves and our seemingly insurmountable problems (as a people), because it explores and lays to bare, the real and fundamental causes of the (political) governance conundrum and economic decadence, in the abundance of valuable and much sought after resources, that has besieged the African Continent and her children, from Independence to date ..

    I, like many here, agree that those who challenged our governments and had issues with the way their countries were/are governed were/are not enemies of their countries and states, as claimed by the leaders and heads of governments, but I will also add that, nor were the dictators and misguided leaders themselves, even those who ravaged their countries’ resources (human & material), looted the treasuries and deposited it all in foreign banks.

    The problem, in my view, is encapsulated in a very short sentence in the above piece, as thus : “a total misunderstanding of the nation-state ” (modified a bit)..

    This was what the pre-Independent leaders found, at independence :

    Quote : “The African State conceives of itself and acts as if it is a separate, all-powerful entity, located high above the people, with total command of the police, the army, the courts, the prisons and all the laws of the land.”

    This, essentially, was the colonial state and those who inherited this state, rather than reverse this “master-servant” relationship between the state and the people, continued the status quo and maintained all the structures, as they were, and for the purposes for which they were created.

    The Police and Army became instruments of terror and enforcers of compliance; the courts deliver “justice” as the government wishes; Parliaments become rubber stamps; the treasury becomes the purse of the rulers; etc..

    Dr Jallow’s piece is relevant because to date, we have people popping up on the political scene all across our continent (sometimes attracting huge levels of popularity) who have no idea on how to create genuinely functioning nation states from the remnants of the colonial states we have today, nor how to lay the foundations of self sustaining economies to move us away from perpetual dependence on the West and Western monetary and economic Institutions : the descendants of the very architects of the colonial state.

    Many will jump up and go, “here we go again: blaming colonialism for our problems”, but what such people fail to realise is that a problem cannot be adequately and effectively solved, unless the root causes are identified and addressed, and Africa’s governance malaise lies with the nature of the state that was inherited at independence.

    Once again, I join the community to thank Dr Jallow for his wonderful and invaluable contributions.

  10. Max…

    I am seriously beginning to be concerned at the way you interpret (misinterprete, more likely) information and misuse it to advance futile and sometimes, foolish arguments, but I do have some sympathy for you for your incompetence and inability, despite proving to be a stubborn so,so…

    Nonetheless, I recognize your rights to interpret and use, or rather misuse information anyhow you like, even if you throw civilised standards out of the window most of, if not all, the time..

    Whilst you claim to find information in the piece that supports your foolish attempts to libel and lie against PDOIS and Halifa, it may not have escaped your attention that quite a lot of what is contained in the above piece could quite easily be related to PDOIS ideas of governance and statehood.

    For example, Dr Jallow’s view on how the state should have handled the Solo Sandeng led demonstration would lead to the same outcomes as PDOIS/Halifa’s view on how to resolve the crisis..

    Here is how Dr Jallow puts it in summary :

    The Police would turn up at the scene to coordinate and provide security that would allow Solo and his group and whatever crowd they can attract to have their demo. They would voice out their grievances, chant their slogans, make their demands, run out of steam and disperse, threatening to come back if their demands are not met.

    The government would hear about it, issue a statement defending its electoral laws, criticise Solo and the UDP, encourage dialogue and public debate and hold a referendum on the issues…

    Outcome: resolution through DIALOGUE and public debates..

    What did PDOIS say on the matter…?

    Quote from PDOIS Statement :

    “In our view, the State could better handle this politically motivated incident by starting the process of political dialogue to discharge and release the UDP leadership and members. This is the only reasonable and justifiable way forward. History will prove that this is the correct path. Any other way will lead the country to a political blind alley…”

    Outcome : resolution through DIALOGUE. .

    Here is another example of ideas that could easily be interjected into Foroyaa and no one would be any wiser :

    Quote : “The best antidote to public protest is government tolerance and responsiveness to public opinion, especially public opinion addressing issues of general national interest, such as electoral laws and government policies. The suppression of legitimate political dissent is unfailingly counter-productive for the State and its mother, the Nation…”

    This could easily pass as an extract from a Foroyaa editorial because it transmits, more or less, the same ideas that PDOIS propagates and is committed to adhere to in government.

  11. Bax said ” I like many here agree that those who challenged our governments and had issues with the way their countries were/are governed were/are not enemies of their countries and states as claimed by the leaders and heads of government, but I will also add that , nor were the dictators and misguided leaders themselves, even those who ravaged their countries’ resources ( human and material), looted the treasuries and deposited it all in the foriegn banks “.

    Bax , your statement above show your love for dictators and misguided leaders who ravaged African countries’ resources and your love is extended to every single dictators the world has known . You love Col Gaddafie, Jammeh , Syrian dictator , Chavez and the list goes on while you hate people who are fighting to restore democracy and rule of law in The Gambia and many countries where there is / was dictatorship. In the case of The Gambia, you have classified and called diaspora the warmongers which literally means you considered us to hate our country and we are the enemies of our country. You and your party leadership continuous call of diaspora as warmongers indicate that you also consider us as an enemy of our country just like dictator Jammeh and his regime has considered and called diaspora and those who challenge his government as enemies of our country. I can see your double standard in your deliberation . In your mind , you are ok to endorse dictators who killed their own citizens and loot millions or billions of dollars at the expense of poor masses. It is plain bizzare to see how you think .
    In one of your posting below , you claimed that diaspora who challenged Jammeh’s regime have abandoned our country and are advocating to destroy it . Here is what you said about those who challenged Jammeh’s regime :

    ” these people who have long abandoned the country and are calling for tit-for-tat strategy do not seem to realize that The Gambia cannot afford conflict without total destruction. It is ridiculous that Gambians can wish what happened for countries that have millions of citizens to happen to our country of less than 2.5 million “.

    Bax , your above quote is very misleading and malicious in the sense that there is no single person who wish total destruction of our country and if there is any , can you please let the world know who is that person. Your statement above is scare tactics and misleading political rhetoric from the play book of dictator Jammeh. Here you have given your full endorsement of love of dictators for their countries while you claimed that those who challenged the dictator have abandoned our country and we wish total destruction of our country. How can you possibly explain and honestly state that every one love our country at the same time as you stated above given your bizarre castigation of those who challenged the regime “? You must be carried away by Baba’s brilliant article because such view was not your true belief as indicated in your castigation of those who challenged the regime early on.

    Bax , I believe you have memory problem because you act like a demented person or someone with Alzheimer disease who usually have sundown symptoms. My goal is to re-orient you so that you know the reality and be consistent in your rhetoric. Remember, do not jump to conclusions without visiting your earlier position on any issue . This is just my advise.

    • Max….

      I will respond to your “evidence” under the appropriate forum and then, I will be done with you. I cannot continue to entertain and indulge such show of ignorance and incompetence. It is actually embarrassing.

      Nothing exposes your incompetence and emptiness than your reaction to my view that even the dictators don’t hate their countries, in view of your show of agreement with the entire piece from Dr Jallow.

      According to Dr Jallow, a citizen cannot hate or dislike his/her country because that contradicts the laws of nature.

      Quote Dr Jallow : ” Yes, citizens may dislike, even hate their government. But they cannot dislike or hate their country itself because that is contrary to the laws of nature. It is like disliking or hating your own identity….”

      How then can you disagree with my view that even the dictators (citizens themselves) don’t hate or dislike their countries, if you are not an “empty barrel”, lacking the skills to derive appropriate meaning from the content of what others are saying…?

      Seriously Max, this is embarrassing and thank God, you are anonymous.

      • Bax, I simply pointed your double standard using your own evidence which stated that we are out there to destroy our country . You also stated we abandoned our country and we wish its total destruction. You agree with Baba’s article which indicated that no citizen hate his or her country but earlier on you stated that we wish total destruction of our country we love . I want you to reconsider your two different positions and tell the readership what you believe in . Because if we love our country then we will never wish for its total destruction You accused us for . This is my point. How can you state that Dictators don’t hate their country but those who want to restore democracy, want or wish total destruction of the country?

        • Max…I have said that I’m done with you and I mean it, but not when you misrepresent my views…as you did with the quote that I must now explain.

          Quote @Max : ” . Because if we love our country then we will never wish for its total destruction You accused us for…”

          This is supposed to be reflecting my view in the quotation you provided, but in actual fact, it is just another proof of your imagination being interjected into someone’s views and then boldly claiming that this is what was meant.

          My statement, which you quoted, is made up of two sentences, which are connected, but the true understanding of the 2nd sentence is dependent on understanding the latter part of the 1st, because they are connected. (and I will show you how)

          Here is the 1st sentence:

          ” these people who have long abandoned the country, and are calling for tit-for-tat strategy do not seem to realize that The Gambia cannot afford conflict without total destruction.”

          Now, let’s examine carefully what is being said and gauge that against what you’re claiming..

          (1)…Who I’m I referring to as “these people”…? Answer: Obviously, the ones that we call, the “warmongers”…So, if by “us” or “we”, you mean the “warmongers”, then you understood correctly the people I’m referring to. If you mean the entire diaspora, then that is a misrepresentation of my view..

          (2)…What does the statement say about the warmongers…?

          Answers : (a)..that they have long abandoned the country; (b)..that they have a strategy of tit-for-tat; (c)..that they failed to realise what the consequence of their strategy could be : total destruction of the country…(this is only referring to a lack of realising the consequences of your strategy and not indicative of your wish to destroy the country, as you claimed)

          The question now is, are these the same as your claim that I said: (1) hate your country; (2) are enemies of your country; (3) wish to destroy your country…

          Obviously, it is clear that these are just figments of your imagination that you want to pin on me…


          • (2)…” It is ridiculous that Gambians can wish what happened for countries that have millions of citizens to happen to our country of less than 2.5 million “.

            This 2nd sentence is connected to the latter part of the 1st one and its true understanding is dependent on it too.

            Here is the latter part of the 1st sentence:

            “….The Gambia cannot afford conflict without total destruction….”

            The question is : What happened to countries that succeeded in regime change through force of arms from outside …?

            Many have often been engaged in prolonged and protracted deadly conflicts, resulting to death and displacement of hundred of thousands or millions of citizens.

            Liberia :between 250-300 thousand dead; over 800 displaced and over 1million homeless. With a population of just over 2million at the time, Liberia has got enough standing to pick up the pieces. So in a cruel sort of way, Liberia could “afford prolonged conflict..”

            Sierra Leone: between 50-300 thousand dead; 2.5million displaced…With a population of over 4million at the time, Sierra Leone had enough people to pick up the pieces. Sierra Leone, too, can afford conflict…

            Rwanda: between 500,000-1million dead; over 2million displaced. With a population of over 6 million at the time, Rwanda can afford conflict…(the list can go on)

            NB: (I just said so to make you understand what I meant, when I said Gambia cannot afford conflict, without total destruction).

            What you must also understand is that these countries have huge land masses and getting across from one part to another is not easy. Conflict can start in one part and not be felt in other parts for months or even years..

            The Gambia is not blessed with vast land and it is relatively very, very easy to travel the length and breath of the country, within a week. If law and order breaks down in the Gambia, and degenerates into armed conflict in Banjul and the Kombos (God forbid), residents of Koina, the farthest end of the country from Banjul, will be refugees within a week, if they are still alive.

            It will be foolish and naive to claim that you don’t wish what happened in these countries to happen to The Gambia, because you are agitating for an approach over which you will have no control, whatsoever, if the forces that could be at play, are all released at once..

            And how the various potential players (ie: serving members of armed forces; retired members and reservists; dismissed former members; civilian population) are going to react to the situation where law and order breaks down, is unknown to you and therefore, you cannot plan for it..That is what makes your armed invasions approach dangerous and unwise..

            This is not scaremongering tactics…This is a very real possibility if law and order breaks down, after two decades of repression and rule of impunity.

            The Gambia is so small that it cannot afford prolonged and protracted conflict and armed invasions hardly result to speedy resolutions. It is therefore ridiculous for any Gambian to adopt a strategy that can have such an effect on the country.

            With less than 2million people, easy to get to; easy to get around and surrounded by conflict and drug trafficking zones, there won’t be any Gambian left to pick up the pieces when the dust settles down, after a prolonged conflict.

            You guys need to think very carefully about what you wish for and how you wish to achieve it..It doesn’t make you enemies or haters; just misguided citizens.

  12. Bax , the only time you and any of your fellow disciples will be done with me is when you stop writing lies and dishonest political statements to suit your political agenda. When Halifa Sallah stop writing rubbish then i will stop responding to his statements. I know you have already received a memo from your leadership to ignore me but i wont stop exposing you guys hypocrisy . so get ready for my respond. if you cannot stand the heat then leave the kitchen and find a hiding place where they will praise you with your lies and deception . I will challenge any dishonest statement.

    • You are just an IGNORAMUS. I’m done with you except when you lie against me.or misrepresent my view..You can write your rubbish as.much as you like..That’s your prerogative.

      • Can’t we get along and finally agree that you made a mistake and I recognize your right to make outlandish claims but it is my right to dispel such claims. A good debate is achieved when we take personal responsibility for our mistakes . Let us reach a common ground and agree on something. But you have Halifa sallah’s mindset you will never leave your rigid position and agree to your mistake. I want you to agree that you and your party leadership made a mistake to call us warmongers. We are citizens who love our country . This is common ground I think you should agree .

    • Max, I think it should be the other way around. We cannot be done with you if you continue to peddle lies and dishonest political statements about PDOIS in general, and Halifa in particular.

      Do you notice that our only response to you is when you misrepresent the facts? Do you realize that we only respond to you when you distort information?

      Do you see that we only respond to you when you misconstrue statements? And do you know that we only respond when you deliberately and maliciously try to malign the character of Halifa and question the credibility of PDOIS?

      We cannot let you get away with such an affront. Otherwise, there is little interest in reacting to any other thing that you write about.

      You should be rest assured that we will not let you have a leeway in twisting and making wrong inferences on other people’s statements and drawing the wrong conclusions. Particularly statements from PDOIS and Halifa.

      So, we are here. We are not going anywhere.

      • The PDOIS has surfaced to be the big mallet that got a smash on many Gambians forehead recently by taking for granted and expressing in the national debate that, an unsophisticated population needs sophistication enough to be able lead party leaders in order to carry out protests constitutionally stipulated.
        You guys can’t prove that you have a democratic civil soiety plan for the Gambia. You will arrest arbitarily, torture, kill and force disappear, intimidate, distort facts and cheat in the utmost depths of the silent river to later shine your plastic smile to main road people of the country.

      • Kamalo, I think your effort is just to protect one man while you are not concerned about current situation. You should remember that gone are the days when politicians can dishonestly confused people for their personal interest. I will questions any misinformation or vague statements from your party and leadership.

        • Max, I am not protecting anyone neither does anyone need my protection.

          You are on a mission to tarnish the image of PDOIS and question the charcter of Halifa. And we are telling you that you have embarked on a futile mission. You do not possess the wherewithal to do so.

          More educated and seasoned politicians in the first respublic cannot meet this challenge, much more someone who goes by the name Max and perambulates on Kairo news looking something to make an indictment against PDOIS or Halifa.

          You are the one who is not concerned about current issues, and deliberately and purposefully make Halifa and PDOIS the issue.

          We are simply calling out your wrong assumptions, your sinister insinuations, your incorrect infereneces and your malicicous intent to malign the charater of halifa and discredit the reputation of PDOIS.

          We have no problem for you to question any misinformation or vague statements from PDOIS or its leaderships. It only gives us the opportunity to make things more clear. Clarity is a fundamental principle in PDOIS and we take that very seriously.

          You approached PDOIS issues and statements with prejudice, because you have from the onset take it upon yourself the responsibility to discredit PDOIS and its leadership. And most of your remarks about PDOIS or its leadership have no objective content.

          Your subjective inclination and tendency to deride, to decry, to malign(.you get my drift) the character of Halifa in particular, and the reputation of PDOIS in general is quite visible all over your writings. And with all your efforts you have woefully failed.

          • But what are you really at right now @Kamalo?
            You have clarified Halifa’s image as someone with a heavenly intellect and character in debates and comment in these forums more than you have engaged views, opinions, doubts or even fellow countrymen’s questions.

            You could have made it easier clarifying your position telling Gambians,’Yes, as far as PDOIS is concerned, we will subdue to the status quo in Bjl/Knl, and we will abide by its state of impunity’.