Vindictive Rhetoric And Malice Behind Ideology Critique

Sidibeh, author of Ideology Critique 

 Dear Editor!

I will be remiss if I fail to acknowledge a significant milestone in my immediate family before tackling the subject matter at hand. My Grandmother for whom I was named for passed away onAugust 8th. Yesterday, Friday, September 16th we observed her fourty-day charity. May ALLAH SWT ease Her Barzak and grant Her Jannah on the day of reckoning. Aaameen Ya Rabb! It has been a period of grief and mourning for me yet at the end of the day, we thank ALLAH SWT for blessing us with such a Great Gift. My Grandma clocked 107 years. SubhanALLAH!

Kindly allow me some space in your paper to share some thoughts with regard  to Ousman Manjang’s appeal for the release of Sajo Jallow and the uncalled for vicious attacks on Manjang in the guise of  ideological critique.


Ousman Manjang did what he felt his conscience dictated for him to do….to stand up by Sajo Jallow and his distraught family in our moment of pain. Ousman Manjang is an upright man. A man who can easily defend himself on the choices/decisions he makes.

I first met Ousman Manjang in the winter of November 1985 in Sweden. Ironically, we (Dumo Sarho, Sajo Jallow and myself were just arriving in Sweden as political refugees fleeing political persecution from the PPP government of Sir Dawda K. Jawara. That shall be a span of  31 years this year.


Ousman Manjang has heart as he has brains. He is one of the smartest people I am happy to know and feel blessed to respectfully call Suma Magji! That affection, love and respect is shared to an even greater degree by Sajo Jallow. A bond not borne out of “emotive sensibilities” but a bond tested and proven by a shared ideology whose mantra reads:

“In order to build social movements with the capacity to carry out the task of social emancipation, there is a need to organize around the material needs of the people.” That is one of the instances where Sajo Jallow excels being “more instrumental (than anyone else for that matter) in the transfer of millions of Gambian dalasi of project funds from a couple of aid organisations in Sweden to Gambian workers in the early 1990s”. That desire and concrete work to transform lives continues to this day whether somebody sitting in Sweden knows about it or not. For Sajo Jallow is not a man who blows his own trumpet. The testimony comes from Ousman Manjang, who is a first-hand witness to the unfolding success stories that those millions generated and continue to this very moment. The beautiful story of GAMSEM (Gambians for Self-Employment), The Tanjay women’s cooperative selling fish, Bee-keepers in Brikama and the Carpenters and Masons Associations in Jarra Soma and Basse. Sajo Jallow could have siphoned some of those funds for personal aggrandisement, material enrichment but guess what, up to the last butut was audited and accounted for, leaving Sajo Jallow not a Dalasi richer. The man does not even own a mud house, the reason why he is today renting at the Vice President’s house in Kerr Sereign where he was abducted in the morning of Friday September, 2nd , 2016.


I will re-iterate that Ousman Manjang is an upright man. A man with principles, a truthful and honest man. A man who can take a position and defend it without maligning others, alienating them or hatching conspiracies. Ousman Manjang has a conscience standing tall. In presenting political pluralism within MOJA-G, he was to my understanding, simply stating the facts. That in MOJA-G, we debated issues and there was no physical or mental coercion in persuading divergent views. You may have your Trotskyite leanings and another is allowed their support of Vo Nguyen Giap whereas your spouses maybe non-political. But at the end of the day, the foci was on bringing lasting democracy to The Gambia and transforming the lives of ordinary Gambians.


Talking about spouses, the fact is the Mr. Momodou Sidibeh taking the moral high ground here was beating his wife purple black at the time but he was not suspended from the Movement. The sad thing being he was not alone. Wife-beating is not MOJA’s political ideology and their actions did not mean MOJA-G was a group of extra-terrestrial misogynists visiting from planet Neanderthal. Yes, we had wife-beaters and


Mr. Sidibeh was No.1 on that list yet nobody expelled him based on his violent behaviour unworthy of a revolutionary activist. Appeals were made and  comrades counselled to exercise restraint and behave as they preach. That  marital dictatorship where wives are literally struggling for justice and freedom from domestic violence, battery and repression does not tell well on a movement portraying itself as progressive. So, yes, while Mr. Sidibeh’s theoretical and or ideological ramblings about binaries—tyranny vs. democracy, good vs. evil etc., may be appealing to the casual reader, his own reprehensible history of domestic violence against a defenseless wife feeds well into that narrative as its exact antithesis. So which Mr. Sidibeh do we believe—the diabolical wife beater; an unprincipled reactionary dweeb masquerading as a progressive or the one supposedly crying foul over systemic usurpation of women’s rights in The Gambia?


The MOJA-G that Manjang meant was a movement where there were no personality cult or hero-worshiping. That we were brought up to think differently, analytically and with conscience. Any honest person will clearly see that Manjang made no misrepresentation, but simply stated a fact, the very same reason why Sajo Jallow could not beat me to sing the APRC song. Sajo Jallow was never a wife-beater. The same reason why Mr. Sidibeh can seek Mr. Manjang’s opinion on his so-called ideology critique and get an ok to go ahead and publish it. That is the beautiful political pluralism in MOJA-G Manjang was talking about; one foreign to those who abducted Sajo Jallow because I am a member of the UDP. But the feeble-minded would never embrace the true picture. They restrict themselves to what suits their interest in bringing down Sajo Jallow and all of us. Even if that means questioning Manjang’s integrity and giving others the chance to insult and call him names.


I, (Jainaba Bah, Mrs. Jallow) have never been a member of the AFPRC/APRC. Did I support Jammeh when he came to power? Yes, I did, even though people like Zaya Yebo advised against it. My support for Jammeh died with the establishment of the facts that he was responsible for the April 2000 student massacre which Mr. Sidibeh highlighted in his commentary.


Before Sajo Jallow accepted his first appointment from Jammeh as Minister of Works, Information and Communication, he sought counsel from some of the MOJA-G leadership and he got their blessing, that it was ok to go and serve country. Which he did in a benevolent manner and was never involved or collaborated in any human rights abuses.

Sajo is never an apologist. Here is a man who can defend himself anytime, anywhere if given the opportunity. Sajo Jallow continued his good works of the 90s. The Kombo Coastal road was completed under his watch as Works and Communication Minister. He built The Gambia’s first ever and so far State of the Art Chancery in Addis Abeba with staff headquarters on land offered by the Ethiopian government thereby saving millions of Dalasis for The Gambia that would have gone to pay rent for decades to come. That land and Chancery is ours, it belongs to us Gambians.  He worked hard to get Ethiopian Airlines to carry Gambian pilgrims to Hajj. He negotiated and helped row home the funding for the Trans-Gambia Bridge-Barrage project. Unfortunately, Yaya Jammeh announced freezing the implementation of  that project. In December 2013 and January 2014 when most people were celebrating Christmas and New Year’s with their families and loved ones, he was part of the delegation under Jammeh’s Chairmanship negotiating for a cease fire in South Sudan between Salva Kirr Mayardit and Riek Machar in Banjul. Diplomatically, fighting for the people of South Sudan to have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with their families and loved ones. Anybody who watched GRTS would attest to that fact as we all are aware of Jammeh’s penchant for self-glorification when doing laudable work.


To Ousman Manjang:

All those whom I shared your appeal with, the response was a unanimous applause. Some wept with me, including my sisters. When others shut down their phones to be unreachable, out of fear, indifference or both, you opted for the least popular and unconventional, knowing deep in your heart of hearts, Sajo Jallow would have never hesitated to do the same for you. This purity of intention and fearless upright stance is what made people share your appeal knowing that you have given your assurance…it is ok to be published.


Even though you made the appeal on behalf of Sajo Jallow, what came out at the end is the upright and true comrade, brother and friend you are…A fearless human-being without pretense, ambiguity or two-faced hypocrisy. Even though it is easy for some to chorus the fabricated and malicious venom being spewed, the Majority out there would want to associate with and have you as a friend!

Thank You Suma Magji, Ousman Manjang.

With Love & Respect!

Jainaba Bah



  1. Mrs Jallow I concur with you & family as a spouse going through such a situation…

    But apart from the family unit, Sarjo Jallow is a public figure too by default which warrant the inalienable public opinion on the issue; particularly associated with a difficult period of our country history in barbarities which Sarjo & well-wishers want to portray to stand against contrarily…

    How ironic Sarjo Jallow chose to serve from within the very MURDEROUS TYRANNY that engulfed himself too; Sarjo Jallow negotiated the Sudanese cease fire; yet Sarjo Jallow wilfully served to enable & facilitate yaya KILLER DEVIL’s killings of own innocent people all these years…

    Majority of innocent Gambians were duped into false promises of change for heaven from our “soldiers with difference” who are in fact FROM HELL; but people with conscience were smart enough to decide for themselves despite what wives, husbands, families & friends may think, to abandon the kanilai DEVIL for humanity….

    Even after the killings of April 2000 demonstrators, Sarjo Jallow pretentiously appealed on GRTS for calm; for investigation deliberations into the shootings; that (constitutionally) it isn’t illegal to demonstrate, etc etc; tentatively just manipulative buying of time tactically for the kanilai MURDERER to consolidate on the situation into the indemnification of the student ordered killers…

    Those victims & families felt the same pains if not worst, with the same SADISTIC TYRANNY that Sarjo chose to serve & strengthen at expenses of humanity…

  2. Sister Jainaba Bah, I must say I sympathize with you and your family about the disappearance of your husband . It is injustice and violations of his rights as citizen and as human being. That said , I think you are mistakenly taken the debate into a direction which exposes your biasness in defend of mr manjang and mr Jallow. Please take out your personal relationships with both men for one moment and put on objective lens to see why i and many people simply belief that mr manjang over stated the facts about mr Jallow and in the process has tainted his own reputation . Personally , I do not know any of you but as citizen I know mr Jallow has been working and supporting the repressive and dictatorial regime for the past 22 years . We are judging mr manjang’s article based on public record but not based on any family or individual group affiliation. I will therefore indicate to you and anyone that mr manjang’s was not truthful and honest to characterize mr Jalow as ” empowering the poor , disadvantaged and dispossessed ” and ” interest in justice” for his fellow citizens considering mr Jallow association with despicable and despotic dictator who has not empower Gambian citizens in every sense of the word . Whatever , mr Jallow did and achieved during the time he worked for Gambian government , it was part of his job description and that was why he was hired on our behalf. Those achievements were not from his personal pocket but it was tax payers money , therefore it is foolish idea to expect anything special about him in doing what was expected of him ; that is to do his job . We also have rights to point out horrific human rights violations mr Jallow gave a blind eye to during the time he served the despotic regime. If mr Jallow was vocal about human rights violations such as disappearance and mudered during the time he served as an advisor to the dictator , then today he won’t be disappeared . He could have prevented his own disappearance which caused tremendous nightmare to your family. He failed to advocate for others who disappeared before him . This is the fact you need to understand.
    With regard to your personal relationship with mr Momodou Sidibeh , it is not our business to know that relationship but since you have exposed his wife beating in relation to your organization principle and that of mr Jallow’s public record , I would say mr Sidibeh’s wife beating has no relationship with current dictatorial regime which mr Jallow has supported and it has no relationship with mr Jallow’s public record which matters to the Gambian people. I would suggest that you should have called police on him or talk to him privately in your organization but exposing his wife beating is irrelevant to our national issue since mr Sidibeh is not Public servant or employee of the government.
    Remember , my main goal here is keeping you honest with regards to facts on pubic record and things that matters to Gambian people. Let your heart not be troubled by my honest assessment . I wish you and your family to have mr Jalow safely return home. I hope he learn his lesson when he get home safely. Until then I will keep you and your family in prayers .
    Thank you .

    • Shedding Croc tears..? If I was family, you would get a “thank you very much” note from me…What a hypo….!

      Matter of fact is, until you lot can conclusively proof with evidence, that Mr Jallow actively took part in the abuse of citizens, your arguments (that Mr Jallow worked for government, therefore he entrenches dictatorship) should be dismissed as illogical, because working for one’s country cannot, and should not be a crime by itself..

      And if we were to use your logic, then there cannot be a single individual in the country, who will escape the tag of “enabler of the dictatorship:”

      From the house wives who buy goods daily at the markets and thus, put money into businesses which pay taxes, which is used to finance the dictatorship;

      To farmers, cleaners, drivers, workers in both the private and public sectors, politicians, teachers, etc, and even school children, whose numbers in the school system and class attendances are used by the dictatorship to justify it’s education record. All must be viewed as “enablers” from your logic…Not even the fat juicy bulls or the occasional dogs and donkeys, that provide meat for diners at Kaninlai should be spared…Rediculous, isn’t it ?

      Such sweeping accusations are just illogical and tarnishing the character and person of people, who may have had very noble and good intentions to offer their service to the nation, on such unfounded allegations is completely unjustified..

      Of course, one could question Mr Jallow’s judgement, and rightly so, for accepting to work for the government, and continuing to do so, given the persistence, not only of the abuses, but also the nature, frequency and severity of these abuses, throughout his tenure of office, but poor judgement is not to be equated with culpability.

      In fact, the evidence we have, provided to us through testimonies of former actors in these abuses, suggests that these are mostly ordered, directed and controlled through channels that are outside of the government machinery and most probably, without any doubt, emanating from one and one source only : Yaya Jammeh. Blaming and holding people, who are not part of these channels of abuses, responsible and deserving of our wrath, simply due to their presence in government, is unfair and unjustified.

      The worrying thing for me is the fact that such criminal activities can continue to happen in an election year, when normal and sane people in Jammeh’s position and with his record, would have toned down and appeased the population until they get elected again, but through his actions in an election year, Yaya Jammeh has, yet again, confirmed our fears, that he is insane.

      And whilst we express concerns that another Gambian has disappeared into thin air; whilst we express our solidarity with the family and friends; and whilst we pray and hope that he is safely returned back to his family, our focus must be Yaya Jammeh first, and those who directly assist him in his crimes against citizens and the state.

  3. The majority of Gambians admire Ousman Manjang’s position particularly in offering to exchange places with a perennial friend and brother; it’s indeed a noble offer on his part. I would have expected more of his type (of reaction) from the MOJA-G members particularly when M/s. Bah emphatically indicated that Mr. Sarjo Jallow sought counsel (and literally got endorsement) from most of his MOJA-G colleagues when offered a position by Jammeh; I’m left to ask where is the camaraderie?
    It is an incontestable fact that Mr. Jallow worked FOR country (UNDER the regime); and, NOT for the regime. For me there is a striking difference that needs taking note of. Mr. Jallow has been that quiete and dedicated technocrat whose allegiance is to country only. His track has not been tainted by neither corrupt nor brutal behavior, but deliverance of tangible developmental achievements.
    So, the least expected from Mr. Sidibeh is save the “wrath” he has for Mr. Jallow for another day; not when his life is in eminent danger and a family in despair. That is when friends/families need support from each other.

    • You spot it. Where are friends and relatives when the need for solidarity arise? I think Mrs Bah’s reproach is necessary and there are no excuses for Sidibeh to go on the offensive at this material hour. If he has a score to settle, I think he should have pointed that out way back before the predicament Mr. Jallow is subjected to. His belonging to the dictatorship entourage is not the issue under scrutiny but his illegal abduction.

      As a people, except in cases where an act of atrocity is vividly attributed to one, we must be circumspect about laying blame at someone’s door step in such situations. Ultimately the affiliation to a dictator is a self teaching journey . Wa Juwara calling!

  4. Sarjo’s abduction and illegal detention is without doubt very troubling and sad. His family and any Gambian who cares about the rule of should be concerned.

    However, what Manjang and his other comrades fail to be astounded by, is that despite Jallow’s supposed good reputation, he has gone back to Banjul to take up another appointment from Jammeh. As if he is oblivious to what’s been happening in Gambia lately.

    The murder and locking up of opposition politicians. Jammeh’s, incendiary remarks about Gambian ethnic groups, and his propensity to throw the country into ethnic strife.

    To ignore all of these and lure oneself into Jammeh’s net, even if it is with ideological compromise and blessing from comrades, is definitely not a smart move, and one go as far as putting Sarjo in the category of one of Jammeh’s unrepentant willing enablers. We all hope and pray that he and many others illegally detained gain their freedom without harm.

    • The big trouble we share as Gambians is menace of Yaya’s arbitrated tortures, forced disappearances, arrests and killings of innocent citizens of all walks of lifes in the Gambia. He has proven from records of his past atrocities against Gambians, to be capable of arresting too a poor farmer who maybe holding a different opinion with respect to the Gambia’s farming policies, if at all any policies as such exists in the Gambia when it is a rule there upon people of the Gambia to do congregational farming for Yaya, in his farms around the country. I prefer staying in the diaspora as dessident to going back to work in a dictatorship regime that I already have an idea what it is about, especially having news abroad that school children were brutally massacred for reasons only mad men can listen to. I can guess Jammeh can always arrest someone. He has tortured, maimed, killed, forcefully disappeared, exiled and illegally detained many tall standing citizens. Jammeh is mad! how can I think it is time to go home to fill a spot in his circle. Someone have said somewhere in the forums that he has enjoyed democracy long since befor some but I think I have only admired democracy somewhere here and there in the diaspora but never enjoyed it anywhere. I am looking forward to enjoying the Gambian one.

      Nonetheless, families and friends owe it to their loved ones to stand by and give them moral support in their difficult moments in life, being it in the public space or private domestic lifes. I think Mr. Jallow’s camaraderie and family owe him every moral support at this crucial moment in time considering the sacrifices he has down for the country.

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