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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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Re: Nyang Njie’s Bantaba with Alagie Manneh

Dear editor,

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Semu Joof, King of Saloum, was not PS Njie’s father but grandfather on the mother side. So why was he claiming to be a prince? If things were to go along royal lineage, PS Njie would be the last to be anything in The Gambia.

As a matter of fact, the territorial land area of the ancient Kingdom of Saloum that forms part of Gambia after the borders were drawn in 1889 is less than 5%. The remaining 95% or more is in Senegal. So, it would have been best for PS Njie to pursue his ‘Burr Saloum’ dream in Senegal.

It is still not denied that PS Njie had disparaged the Mandinka ethnicity in the interview. That is a countervailing point to the notion that he could not have hated Mandinkas because he sheltered and supported some Mandinka school-going kids. Could it not have been the case that the strong support Mandinkas gave to Jawara, somebody he described as a low born (see Berkeley Rice) had infuriated Njie to the extent that he developed issues with Mandinkas too. I think Njie’s biggest mistake was having surrounded himself with the likes of Kebba Waly Foon.

The last rulers of Saloum were Maba Jabou Bah, his brother Mamou Nderry, and his son Mam Sait. Maba established the capital in Nyorro, Senegal, and was himself born in Rip, Senegal.

Rip was hitherto under the control of Baddibu Mansa, Sankalang Marong, whose reign was ended by Maba’s jihadist rebellion. Baddibu was subsequently partitioned into two (Baddibu proper and Sanjal) and between two families, the Jammehs of Illiasa, and the Tourays of Kataba who later ceded to the Saballys (their actual surname is Camara and were rulers of Niani). This is just to illustrate the point that it was untenable and highly arrogant of Njie to have assumed entitlement over the premiership or presidency of The Gambia based on a so-called royal lineage of Saloum because Saloum is largely Senegal and very little of it actually lies within the borders of The Gambia.

Lafia Touray La Manju

If only we can…

Dear editor,

And yes, football is the greatest unifier. We see nothing but our Gambia, unified in wish and voice. I saw young people in their numbers braving the rains, unconcerned about the cyclone warning and the “potopoto” around; galvanised and actuated by nothing but their love for The Gambia.

What is in national football that our “politics” and politicians can learn from? What lessons to learn? Football whips excitement. When politics is dull, and it is for most of our young people, democracy is in danger.

I know about hooliganism and rivalry in football. I know the nationalistic fervour it can whip and the jingoistic attitude. But look at the intense support each receives from its fans. Near frenzy….

Njundu Drammeh

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