Gambia: Editorial: Why Is Halifa Sallah Not Electable?


Is Halifa Sallah, of the opposition PDOIS, an electable leader? Why Is Halifa Sallah not electable? Does Halifa Sallah, got what it takes to lead a political party? Is Halifa Sallah, a political adventurist as portrayed in some quarters? Is Halifa Sallah, a spoiler towards Gambia’s political liberation struggle?  What happen to Halifa Sallah’s declaration that he was likely going to quit active politics and venture into academia?

Editor Pa MbaiThe PDOIS fans, sympathizers and disciples should not rush to chastise me without dissecting the main gist of the above fundamental questions. These are legitimate questions, which deserve urgent answers.

First and foremost, I want to applaud Mr. Halifa Sallah, and his colleagues at the PDOIS party, for their tireless efforts over the years in trying to install a democratic “socialist government” in The Gambia, but to no avail. PDOIS’s commitment towards the maintenance and promotion of democratic freedoms and transformation is unquestionable in my view. The party has immensely contributed its quota in trying to change the current Jammeh status quo—despite its appalling political shortcomings.

That said, we must draw a fine line between Halifa Sallah, as an individual/cum political leader, and PDOIS as a political establishment. Halifa, as the “PDOIS leader” is not immune from public scrutiny or criticism. Even the De Facto PDOIS leader Sam Sarr is not immune from criticism. Hence, we want Mr. Sallah and his surrogates to understand that this piece is written in good faith without malice.

Is Halifa Sallah, of the opposition PDOIS, an electable leader? Why Is Halifa Sallah not electable?

The answer to the above question is an emphatic no! Mr. Halifa Sallah is out of touch with our electorate. His reasoning, and political philosophy is way above the comprehension of the average Gambian electorate. Hence, Halifa is finding it extremely difficult to relate with The Gambian voter.

Messaging and branding is the corner stone of politics. Sadly, Halifa’s messages are not only vague, but ambiguous. Halifa’s political failures has nothing to do with his so called “political correctness” as claimed by his disciples. Halifa is not the least politically correct. He is one of our nation’s most politically flawed leaders. This is largely due to lack of clarity, substance and foresight in his political declarations. Mr. Sallah lacks the basic understanding of clarity, when it comes to communication.

While the Halifa followers continue to live in denial that Halifa is unelectable, the PDOIS supporters kept wondering as to why their leader Mr. Sallah is unable to win Yahya Jammeh at the ballot box. Mr. Sallah is not destined to become a viable and charismatic political leader. He is meddling into the wrong career.

Does Halifa Sallah, got what it takes to lead a political party?

Halifa Sallah, as an individual, is a gentleman of the highest order. He is modest, humble, and honest. But politically speaking, Halifa Sallah, doesn’t have what it takes to lead a political party. This is evident on his daily flip-flopping and lack of concise in his political statements.

Halifa Sallah thinks that by mentioning Yahya Jammeh’s name in his endless press releases and political declarations amount to being “petty” as a political leader. His entire discourse centered on Jammeh, but he is afraid to mention Jammeh by name—leaving his readers to wonder what type of political leader is Halifa Sallah. No wonder that’s why Halifa’s statements are hard to dissect or discern. Mr. Sallah is not a straight shooter. He panders a lot!

A true leader should not seek to consolidate himself into a positon entrusted to him. Besides Halifa and Sedia Jatta, who else represented PDOIS at the Presidential polls? None. PDOIS, as a political party, has not been evolving. The party has been dominated by the old guard.

Halifa’s excuse is that the PDOIS youngsters are not rising up to the challenge. But how can the youngsters rise up to the challenge, when the very old guard elders of the party, have no intension of resigning from their respective positions? Has the PDOIS been grooming the so called youngsters to lead? Don’t tell me the few boys studying in the UK, and the Americas are the future political assets to lead this disoriented political party.

Halifa Sallah’s leadership qualities are left to be desired. If indeed, he is committed to the PDOIS socialism philosophy, he ought to have embark on a study (research) as to what might be responsible for the PDOIS political decline. Is it because of poor messaging? Is it because Gambians don’t have faith in PDOIS? Is it because of bad leadership?

The PDOIS has been in existence since the First Republic. But as articulated above, the PDOIS, as a party, has not been growing. The party is declining instead. Every sane Gambian should be concerned about PDOIS’s political decline.

Despite being the oldest political party in the country, the party often emerge last in every Presidential elections. The PDOIS needs soul searching in my opinion. Something is fundamentally wrong with this party.

Is Halifa Sallah, a spoiler towards Gambia’s political liberation struggle?  

In my view, Halifa Sallah, is not a spoiler, even though his actions tend to suggest otherwise. Halifa’s politics of “civility” and lack of serious game plan has been construed as him being a spoiler.

Halifa got to understand that if the very west, he often champions as the bastion of democracy employs “politics of verbal confrontation.” Hardly a day passes, without Hilary Clinton picking on the GOP’S Presumptive Nominee Donald Trump, or Trump picking on Hilary. We heard Donald Trump branding Hilary as “Crooked Hilary.” We also heard Hilary branding Donald Trump as “America’s most unstable and temperamentally dangerous” politician. That’s politics. But Mr. Sallah wants to be the “polite politician” in Banjul, when his opponent Yahya Jammeh, has even onetime branded him as a nonbeliever.

Mr. Sallah, can continue to serve his country without becoming a President. It takes an honest man to change political cause and move on. If Mr. Sallah, would heed to my counselling, he should consider resigning from politics. He would do justice to the PDOIS party, by steeping aside and allow a new political breed to lead that party.

What happen to Halifa Sallah’s declaration that he was likely going to quit active politics and venture into academia?

Mr. Sallah, was quoted in the past elections, as having said that he (Sallah) was considering opting out from active politics. That would have been the wisest decision he (Halifa) has ever taken in his lifetime. Waiting until the convening of the already rigged 2016, Presidential elections, and announce such resignation would amount to disservice in my opinion. Now is the time for Mr. Sallah, to consider parting company, with a career he dearly loves.  

If my memory serves me right, the PDOIS, has onetime not sponsored a candidate to represent the party in one of our Presidential elections. Whether the move was occasioned by budgetary problems, or lack of faith in the electoral process, it is my view that the PDOIS, should not waste its precious time in contesting the upcoming elections. It would amount to political adventurism and suicide on the side of the PDOIS to contest a rigged elections.

The PDOIS got to understand that the political party PDOIS, is not a major player, when it comes to elections in The Gambia. This is by virtue of the party’s declining political performances. Then, why going to elections with a party, which has been defeating you, consistently for over twenty two years, through voter rigging? Does the PDOIS cares about electoral credibility? We seriously doubt that.  Happy July 4th, to all Americans. We rest our case!

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

E-Mail: [email protected]

Tel: 919-749-6319

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