Alagi Yorro Jallow
These inspiring words of Pablo Picasso resonate on Halifa’s Birthday: “one starts to get young at the age of sixty- plus, and then it is too late.” Happy Birthday to Halifa Ababacarr Sallah, a leader of strong moral character, conscience, and charisma. When you see Honorable Halifa Sallah, you see Discipline, Trustworthiness, Courage, Humaneness, and Intelligence. Long may you live in good health in the service of the Gambia. Happy Birthday, Sering Dara.
Let me describe what Sering Ababacarr Halifa Sallah means to those who follow him and crossed path with him: He implies an end to injustice; he means a lot to what is called the tyranny of numbers; confronting the statistical realities, fighting the tyranny of the majority at the expense of those in the minority; he means an end to corruption and the beginning of equity and respect for human dignity: Further, he tells the ‘only’ chance we have for a fairer modern Gambia; respect for and to the Constitution! Respect for democracy, the rule of law, human rights and being a sovereign citizen, and constitutional fidelity and a commitment to liberty.
Sering Dara is in a class of his own. A man with an urgent mission. He is different from Gambian ‘tangal cheeb politicians’ current crop, whose only mission is speaking from the mouth’s side while thinking with the stomach.
This man, Sering Ababacarr Sallah. An influential sociologist-politician. His motto? One “Gambia, One Nation, and One People” -his conviction, his ideal, principles, and patriotism are his core values, identifying his character, guiding principles that dictate his politics, an unwavering guide, and patriotism. He gets out of the box of complacency. To serve. Yes! “Real education should educate us out of self into something far more exceptional, into a selflessness that links us with all humanity. (Viscountess Astor). This man, Halifa. The fastidious National Assembly member for Serekunda Central exposed Gambians to Amilcar Cabral, Samora Machel, Socrates, Nkrumahism, Frank Fanon, Godwin, John Stuart Mills, Plato, Thrasymachus; Thesaurus, and Voltaire. He evokes the counsel of Martin Luther King: “Every man – or woman must decide whether s/he will walk in the light of creative altruism or, in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” This man, Halifa, the politician is, walking the talk. In the Serekunda Central and the National Assembly.
This man, Sering Ababcarr Sallah. In a country of anger, where yelling, ranting, intimidating, and demonizing has become the norm, the quiet MP of Serekunda Central is so different. He cultivates a calm certainty, speaks quietly and, appeals to reason—a bridge builder par excellence.
Hon. Halifa Sallah suppresses a ready smile, is not cele-crazy and, is fearlessly stubborn to the cause of human rights, women, and children’s rights. This man Halifa cool, calm and collected, exemplifying Desmond Tutu: “do not raise your voice, improve your argument.” In a country of the angry, were yelling, ranting, and finger-pointing has become the norm,” Halifa becomes the voice of conscience and a man of common sense.
Happy Birthday to you, Honorable Halifa Sallah
Alagi Yorro Jallow