Halake’s London Letter: Obama Can’t Be President Again – Nor Can Jammeh’s Ghost!

A heated English pub discussion on a Sunday evening, my dear readers, is brought to you as a “London Letter”. It all began with a consensus that we Londoners DO NOT want The Donald to visit our city. Allowing him to address the Houses of Parliament would be sacrilege, we all agreed (the pub phrase was “it would be like allowing an un-wanted visitor to pee in our living-room”!). But we also know that London is ruled by Non-Londoners from the lily-white “Home Counties” and our views are mostly over-ridden: we Londoners voted for a Labour government which we didn’t get, we voted to remain in Europe which we didn’t get, we voted to bar The Donald which we will not get – and we want our very own Bernie Sanders for Prime Minister which we will not get (Jeremy Corbyn, the ex-lover of the vibrant black MP Diane Abbot). And we voted for our London Mayor, a Pakistani ex-bus driver’s son, but the expatriate colonial “Home-Counties” foreign rulers of London ignore him!

So, despondent, we all ordered another round of drinks and turned our minds to wishful thinking: Obama Will Be Back! Oh Yes, He Can! Now that The Donald is proving to be horrible, we are all reassessing Obama more positively (Gambia’s APRC should not take heart here – Jammeh was too horrible in his last decade and last few weeks in power!).

Oh No, He Can’t – opined yours truly, the Dr^2 Henry DR Carrol – like pretend legal wizard. And unlike the voluminous double-doctored Gambian legal wizard, I am on simple and clear legal grounds here: the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution States as follows:

“No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”

Gambia relevance:

Firstly, the above sentence from the US Constitution must be inserted into the Gambian Constitution as soon as possible (and with express RETROSPECTIVE effect so that the very thought of a Jammeh-comeback is consigned into the dustbin of history. I hear that the double-doctored Dr^2 Henry DR Carrol is the Jammeh-appointed Chairman of Gambia’s Law Commission but he has now expressed allegiance to the Barrow Administration and will, if left in post, undertake the urgent task with “due diligence” (lol, I am a lawyer too!).

Secondly, Barrow’s government must be sooooo different from Jammeh’s that Gambians will never need to compare the two (“chalk and cheese” is the analogy). Barrow must also keep his distance from the Jammeh “baddies” so that he does not get to be contaminated with the negativity attached to Jammeh – it was a delight to see a utube video in which former Jammeh VP Isatou Njie was being booed by Gambians! Now that is something – Gambians are normally so polite that a booing from them is the equivalent of a full-scale Parisian Riot!

PS: The appointment of Hassan B Jallow as Chief Justice of The Gambia is simply inspirational.


Dida Halake,

Notting Hill,

London, UK.



  1. Sarjo Bayang

    Another good dose from our own Dida Halake. Unless I risk having my tea get cold, best way is to take it hot before starting to read anything from Halake. I mean anything Halake writes has potential to stop me from tea or meals until I finish reading. Halake, your dishing is real food for thought always. As before, I have always maintained that you Halake to write, write, and write for you make lot of sense.

    • Dormu Rewwum Gambia (aka Luntango Suun Gann Gi)

      Ok Sarjo, I was about to ask what you are after – but I remember you used to publish my stuff at Gambia.net (I think!) over ten years ago. Just to keep you away from your dinners, I am launching SAMBAGATE.com on the 28th (coming Tues). I have already put some of my stuff there but it is not accessible until Tuesday – inshallah.

      The Coalition Administration has started off well (I think). Pity about Halifa being out in the cold – but inspite of his HEROISM in seeing Jammeh off, Halifa isn’t really a team player. I think he wants to regain his old Serrekunda seat and then try for Speaker (which I don’t think other parties will allow him to get).

      Anyway, thanks for the compliments.

  2. My in law…

    I don’t think it’s about not being a team player. I think it’s about PRINCIPLES. You will notice that PDOIS has not taken up any positions in cabinet yet, though they are entitled to at least one, as an alliance member.

    We may recall that PDOIS is committed to system change (not just regime change) and has always criticised the system we have since it emerged in the ’80s. This is a system that eventually disconnect leaders from the masses and provides them with immense privileges. That’s not going to change any time soon.

    I think we should understand that immense sacrifice have been made to free Gambia of Yaya Jammeh, and PDOIS’s absence from the Cabinet, so far, should be seen as a matter of principles, rather than being people who are unable to work in a team. The alliance was a team in opposition and no one heard or saw any problems.

    The best role PDOIS can play during the transition period, without infringing on its principles, is to serve in the National Assembly. I think the Gambian electorate needs to support PDOIS candidates at the coming National Assembly polls to have a strong, respectable and effective National Assembly that will hold the government to account.

    The current tradition of the House is for the speaker to be a nominated member and I think PDOIS has a thing to say about “nominations” into Parliament. It’s a place where people’s representatives carry out their role. It is important that we ask the question. Who do they (nominated members) represent and why ?

    • Bax , Halifa is looking for bigger roles, that is speakership. He will be third most powerful man in the country. My concern is his rigidity and whether he will accept to push forward coalition agendas which are not in line with PDOIS political ideology. I must give him credit for being there to ensure victory

  3. A speaker is selected from amongst nominated members of the Assembly. My understanding is that an elected member cannot be elected as the speaker.
    Are you then suggesting that Halifa wants to be a nominated member of the Assembly, rather than a PDOIS/Alliance candidate for a particular constituency ?

  4. Max, if Halifa is elected he cannot be the speaker. The speaker is chosen among the nominated members to the parliament.

    Secondly, you always contend that Halifa is rigid in his beliefs and in his principles. But I don’t think this is true which has evidently been proven to the contrary in the coalition convention.

    Yes, Halifa has very strong convictions for his beliefs and will argue and defend them vociferously. However, he is always guided by a principle of unanimity in which he comes into agreement with others.

    And it has worked in the coalition effort and other instances and has earned him a lot of goodwill and respect with his negotiating partners.

    The other contention that Halifa is not a team player cannot be true given what Gambians have witnessed from the coalition convention to the ouster of an entrenched dictator.

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