Halifa stir up emotions for ‘not running’
Mr. Halifa Sallah, Secretary General of the People Democratic Organisation Independence and Socialism (PDOIOS), announces October 29 that he is neither contesting for the position of presidential candidate nor running mate of the opposition united front.
His pronouncement, made during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Banjul for an opposition unity pact between five parties, saw his contemporaries broke down and wept.
Mr Sallah was presidential candidate of the “disintegrated” National Alliance for Democracy and development (NADD) in 2006, this time, he has offered to play the role of South African Archbishop and Nobel laureate, Desmond Tutu, that is to serve as conscience of the nation in order to ensure that injustice and impunity would not become the order of the day.
“I am calling on all of you to know that seeking this office (presidency) is not the best thing that I can do in the present circumstance. It is not of value to me, those positions are positions of service and not position of privilege,” he declared. “The positions of government, civil servants, do not belong to an individual. It belongs to the nation.”
Mr Sallah said when they (opposition parties) started the process of an inter-party convention; some people think “I was dragging people so that I can emerge as presidential candidate”. “Those people were making mistakes in their conception.”
“I am highly inspired that this people had finally answer to the called of destiny, they know that they will died and what they are thinking of is what would be left behind for posterity,” he said.
He hopes his colleagues in the opposition will see that the fear that people had do not exist, saying there is no acrimony and there will be no acrimony. Acrimony is present where there is self interest, where people struggle for power for its sake.
He said term agreed under the “united front” is a fundamental objective to empower Gambians. Its leader will be a servant, a public trustee who will manage the wealth of the country in order to ensure the prosperity of its citizens and also to create laws that will protect their rights.
“We all have agreed that no modern society can develop, protect her population, ensure that there is liberty and prosperity without having a strong instrument (a constitution), strong institutions and strong institutional practices,” he noted
He added that opposition unity pact aims to transform the Constitution of The Gambia so that every thing that left out to serve the interest of the public will be put in place. “Any thing that does not serve the interest of the public will not be put into the new constitution.”
According to him, they will transform the laws of this country, put up an “independent” National Assembly, Judiciary and an Electoral Commission which shall not be dominated or dictated by anyone.
He said under the Government of the United Front, Gambians will be free to form unions to protect workers rights, human rights organisations to protect peoples’ rights, and that “our people will no longer be mere atoms waiting for the dictate of calling”.
These bodies, he said will compose proactive citizens who will combined together to check the powers of government. “No individual is honest and trustworthy enough to be allowed to have absolute power to control the destiny of our people. Power that is not check and control will be restrained by the constitution, institutions and by the people who are aware of their rights and how to defend them.”
He concluded by saying “we aim to change powers that exist today, we will decentralise a power that will devolve authority to Gambian people. We will not allow any leader to dominate power and to seize Gambians freedom and put them into poverty.”
- Author: Modou S. Joof