My Plea To Halifa Sallah

I wish to use your widely read newspaper to register my views on the recent developments concerning Hon. Halifa Sallah’s criticisms of the Gambia government, during his UK visit, and the subsequent government response entitled “Barrow hits back at Halifa” in your Friday 20/10/17 edition.

I am not at all surprised by the pejorative stance and castigations of the Barrow government by Hon. Halifa Sallah. If anything, I am rather vindicated on my January predictions about Hon Sallah. Gambians would recall the fact that unlike his then fellow Coalition leaders, Halifa conspicuously refused to accept any of the positions that President Adama Barrow offered him. I remembered summing up my take of Halifa’s blatant snub at the time, as he was not only shying away from collective responsibility of fixing the mess they inherited in rebuilding our nation but he also created a dubious conspiracy to eventually became quick in pointing finger. In fact, I told people here in London that Halifa’s decision to reject position coupled with his  conspicuous plot to back-stab we’re betrayal of the Coalition agenda. Halifa has proved me right. What stopped Halifa from taking responsibility like his colleagues and show Gambian his true practical nation building values is anyone’s guess? Easier said than done, isn’t it?

However, it is reassuring and impressive that His Excellency, the President and his government aptly cleared that toxic air before it was contaminated by baseless derogatory denigrations that are geared towards distorting the true picture of the state of affairs of the government that took over a broken and destabilised economy. Gambians are now awake and too clever to be fooled by cheap propaganda. If Hon. Sallah is so keen to effect changes in the socio-economic and political well-beings of Mother Gambia, he should have joined the ‘’COALITION OF THE WILLING’’ that formed the Barrow government. In as much as President Barrow and the good people of the Gambia deem Halifa competent and capable, they also believe that no one is indispensable. Let Hon. Sallah not ruin his initial good work by perpetually conflicting himself in the eyes and minds of the good people of the Gambia. Make no mistake about the fact that President Barrow is the Gambian people’s choice and any attempt to undermine him and his government would not be forgiven.

Long live the Gambia, long live President Barrow and the Coalition of the willing.

Alh Yahya Ceesay



  1. Get used to it. Halifa will continue to scrutinise the executive any time, anywhere. We should also be reminded that, regardless of who else came on board later to facilitate the coalition talks, Halifa Sallah is the architect of the winning Non partisan, independent coalition strategy, which was one of only two options before the nation for a long, long time. The other being the UDP Party led strategy. Halifa would probably not have turned his back on a cabinet position, if he wasn’t stabbed in the back by the very obstacles to his winning strategy and who were not even present, when the strategy was adopted and agreed by all. How hypocritical that people would choose to ignore this recent fact.

    • Bax I think you forget the fact that Halifa has no support base in the country. It was UDP’s willingness and leadership which resulted to coalition independent candidate. Halifa used the absence of lawyer Darboe to calculate his chance with the belief that he would be the coalition leader. If he knew we would get president Barrow he would have not joined the coalition. In his mind, there was an alterior agenda which failed him woefully just like the recent criticism of the very government he claimed to support and help propel to power. When he didn’t get his way, he backed out. That is typical Halifa Sallah style. During the campaign, I told people he was in the campaign unwillingly because his heart was not there. Those whose hearts and souls were in the coalition have already joined the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
      Besides, what is his legislative achievement so far other than making outlandish claims and ridiculous statements. If he is truly interested in system change, why can’t he propose a legislative agenda which will address the past wrongs, economic and electoral reforms. Please don’t mention PDOIS platform because that is different from sponsoring a legislative agenda. So far zero achievement. All hats no cattles. Empty criticisms.

      • Max…I like it when you pretend to have an “x-ray mind” that can read people’s inner most thoughts and discern their DNA information, without even ever seeing them, never mind studying them.. That “endowment” puts you above every human being on planet earth. I don’t know about my in-law, but I’m jealous (lol)
        PDOIS is part of the coalition that has a reform agenda, so why should Halifa initiate his own legislative agenda?
        Have you forgotten that there was an Appropriation Bill that was debated and passed? Don’t you remember that there was an age reform bill, that was also debated and passed?
        Do you view those as legislative achievements of the National Assembly? If “Yes”, why do you think Halifa shouldn’t be entitled a share in those achievements? If “NO”, why not?

  2. Halifa has nothing to say about this government; he is an empty barrel that makes more sounds. What an irresponsible leader!

  3. Lamin Joof Jawara

    Gambians, do not waste your time on this Halifa Sallah. Halifa can only talk, but will never take responsibility. Hence the old adage, empty vessel makes more sound. Education and wisdom are two different things.
    Imagine a man who will not attend our naming ceremonies, weddings, etc. No one can stand and tell me that this is the mosque where Halifa do pray. Halifa is part and parcel of the Gambia Society, but he did not belong to us. Whoever wants to lead that country, must be responsible. How can a person who don’t have a family to care for lead this nation? If you talk to some people, they will start telling you, he has a wife, he has a son. Love, leading is about people, not the perimeter of the country.

  4. When will the legislature address term limits? I think two term limits will be a good start.

  5. Welcome back to the reign of Dictator Yahya Jammeh after an absence of eight months where criticism is a major crime for the punishment of which is insults, torture, exile or death. How quick some people forget, or should I say what a hypocrisy?

    It appears Halifa and his likes in whose school of thought criticism and even self-criticism is encouraged happen to be born in a wrong country call The Gambia. But behold the duelers of this strange little tiny country get ready for the culture of criticism which goes with freedom of speech, which hrrd is here to stay. And as your boss use to say if you don,t like it, leave.

  6. Indeed, it is easier to criticize than to act. I was disappointed when Kalifa not only refused to take a responsibility in the executive branch, but also he denied all his party members (very bright folks) to participate in this key important body of African governments. The whole party chose to sit in the parliament to wait for the executive decisions to be criticized, scrutinized and rubber stamped. By doing this, they hope to build some political capital in the next elections and use this capital against those, who participated in the current executive body. If Kalifa believes he is part of Barrow’s government, then he should not be portioning the blame; he should be sharing the blame for any failure of this government. The Gambian electorate should punish all of them, and they should not take Kalifa out as a clean guy or a saint.
    But, Kalifa is taking a separation principle: Politicians in the executive body and politicians not in the executive body. Therefore, any failure of the current government, such as his statement that ‘nothing improved in the lives of people’ and that the current government (meaning executive branch) is not different from the former regime’, should be blamed on the bad decisions and bad actions of the politicians in the executive branch, not on the politicians outside the executive branch. This is a campaign strategy to start expanding a political base in preparations for the next rounds of elections.
    We can debate the gifts and donations to new government, but to say that ‘nothing has improved in the lives of people, and that the current government is not different from the former regime’ is a deliberate ploy to distract and misinform the innocent Gambian electorate.
    Good development is expanding the freedoms: freedoms of person, property, mind, religion and human lineage. These are also known as fundamental human rights. Under the former regime, these freedoms were constantly threatened and sometimes absent. Today, no one can deny that these freedoms have not been expanding under Barrow government.
    On the economic part, the government should minimize market distortions, provide level-playing grounds for the economic agents, and leave majority of economic supplies to be determined by the demand.
    On the governance, the parliament, where Kalifa comfortably and honorably sits, should not wait for the executive to propose the changes required to institute governance in the country. They should lead the executive branch in proposing laws and changes for the good governance of the country. Any governance failure should be blamed on Kalifa and his fellows in the parliament, if we are allowed to portion blames.