Halifa – An Iconic Pillar In Our Politics

Hon Halifa Sallah – Thank you

“…true knowledge is fundamentally non-political and that conversely, political knowledge is not true knowledge.”

It is widely believed that politics is a terrain that divides and polarises in many instances. I was among the toughest critics of Hon Halifa Sallah for many years. We defer on approach and methodology in understanding and fighting the tyranny imposed on our country. I wrote articles, rebuttals and provided various blog posts on some of his political decisions. It was never a personal matter.

However, during the 2016 political season, I saw a different side to Hon Halifa Sallah – a side that inspires, encourages, and educates the Gambian public. He is undoubtedly a formidable pillar in our body politics. Very humble in personality yet takes tough stance on things. He is resolute and fearless in pleasant ways. The courage Hon Sallah had manifested during the impasse of the post December 2016 election was tremendous. He had used his knowledge, experience and wisdom to shepherd a lot of young and new parliamentarians who look look up to him for guidance and directions.

I hope you conduct lectures to nurture young politicians on patriotism and love of country. An educationist par excellence. I once wrote an article on PDOIS leadership back in 2011 titled ‘Gambia, an open university.’ In it, I acknowledged the significant role the PDOIS party leaders played as teachers of the nation. Through their untiring efforts they turn the Gambia into an  the Open University.

Of course, I disagreed with the party’s formula then. However, seeing and witnessing the crude and raw outburst of emotions during the last five of our national political discourse highlights that knowledge of the self, the nation, and a better understanding of politics is needed from all sides. Political education is necessary and worthwhile, especially in a country in transition. I visited Halifa Sallah at the People’s Centre two years ago to acknowledge the enormous contributions he has done for the Gambia. It wasn’t possible to chat for long. What is crystally clear is that Halifa has inspired even his hardened critics. Either his word or action is enough to inspire his opponents.

I wish Hon Sallah the best. Thank you for your Emblematic Service to the Gambia and her people.

Alh Suntou


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