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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Letters: In praise of OJ

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Dear editor,

Hon Omar Jallow ‘OJ’ ticks all the boxes. His character as a politician is natural. His qualities are backed by experiences, intelligence, integrity, with great instincts. The best quality of a politician is honesty, God-fearing and loving. Omar Jallow is trustworthy and reliable.

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He has been tested so many times, but he always displayed sincerity, bluntness and practices what he preaches. He makes decisions and accepts responsibility for his actions and his words. The same is true in his dealing with his people. He makes promises and keeps those promises. Somebody who people can rely upon. OJ loves his people with all his heart, might, mind, soul and strives to help them as a true mark of responsible politician.

The most difficult job for a leader is to persuade others to follow. It can only be possible if you inspire your followers by setting a good example. Hon OJ during his testimony at TRRC said: “I believe as a leader, when the going gets tough, your people should look up to you for help and see how you react to the situation.” He has stood by his people during difficulties under the APRC regime. His resilience and positive thinking have been very visible through his actions. He never bowed down under pressure, and I am proud to say OJ inspired me any time he speaks.
OJ is responsible and his loyalty to the PPP cannot be question. OJ is not a fake like other politicians who are seen by voters when elections near or change parties for politician expediency.

Just to buttress OJ’s sincerity and loyalty to his country and party, the former president Sir Dawda Jawara mentioned in his book when he had to make most consequential decision of his life: “In the phone call I had with Omar Jallow, I pointed out to him that I thought the word amnesty was rather inappropriate. He and I analysed the mood of the moment and he advised strongly that we ignore technicalities and semantics and concentrate on the spirit of the language rather than the text. He urged me to accept the offer. He had heard reactions already from some quarters urging me not to accept but he advised that I should never be swayed by those opinions. He said my peace of mind and my homecoming from a long exile were more important… Omar Jallow was one of more trustworthy contacts I still had on the ground in Banjul. I found no reason to doubt his reading of the situation.”

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OJ is in politics to work for his constituents and not to work against them. He is reliable and very loyal and committed to his country. His style of politics is to unite and reach consensus and not to divide or create enmity among people.
Many prominent activists described OJ on their Facebook pages thus: “OJ Jallow you’ve earned my respect and admiration for standing up for your principles and country at the cost of your happiness, comfort and life! Your stance against tyranny is a milestone for any citizen who is in doubt about how to defend country and democracy! We owe you dearly!”Madi Jobateh.

“One can disagree with OJ’s politics, but his patriotism in the face of brutal tyranny can never be doubted.” PaSamba Jaw.
“OJ is far from perfect, but nobody would argue that the political capital gathered over twenty years of dictatorship making sure that PPP, the party would never be buried cannot be forgotten. Rewinding back to 1994, PPP was not a very attractive party to be associated with. Some of the party leaders thought they are better off joining the bandwagon of the APRC, others went quiet never to be heard from, and the party was left leaderless.” Musa Jeng.

“After years of working with him closely, one of the most important qualities I have noticed in OJ is his sense of loyalty. OJ is extremely loyal. I think that explains his patriotism too.” Banka Manneh.
OJ took a very bold decision in reviving the PPP, taking a back seat to mentor political newcomers.

OJ’s politic is not about paying lip service. He strongly believes that today’s youth need real opportunities to participate in political processes and contribute to practical solutions that advance development by giving them the opportunity to organise, voice their opinions and play a meaningful role in political decision-making. Finally, I want to sincerely thank uncle Omar Jallow for all what he does for country. He will forever inspire us. Kudos to OJ.

Kebba Nanko
New York, USA



Re: Women should not protest, instead they should be in the kitchen

Dear editor,

I was not only disturbed but flabbergasted and astounded by this. I might not fully agree with the ‘3 Years Jotna’ protesters. However, they were exercising their constitutional mandate as stipulated in Section 25(d) of the 1997 Constitution which guarantees the freedom to assemble and demonstrate peacefully without arms.
Furthermore, Section 33 of the Constitution has it that “no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner irrespective of race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or another opinion”.

Again Section 4 also states that the Constitution is the supreme law of The Gambia and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.
Yet, with all those rights mentioned; some men have decided to discriminate. We the men should note that the role of women in the 21st century has passed being a cook or doing only house chores. We have seen how women are contributing to the socio-economic development of our country.

The last time I checked when the going was tough it was the women who initiated and led the “Kalama Revolution” at a time when most men were under the bed. Besides, it is on record that no nation or society can develop if part of the population is not involved in national development. I believe that as men, the time has come we recognise the role of women in rebuilding the better Gambia we want. They should not only be seen as women but partners-in-development.

I don’t consider my wife as a domestic worker but a partner. I do wash and fetch water for her and go to the market too while she carries out other issues. It is very sad to see how women are labelled in our Gambian society. I dream of a Gambia where men will consider and see themselves as equal to women. Until we respect women and understand their role in nation building, we will continue to move towards an unknown destination.

By Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger, political activist

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