Alagi Yorro Jallow
Sidia Jatta: Happy birthday to you; today, we salute you on your birthday. Che Guevara teaches us: “For the revolution to be televised, passion and audacity are required in big doses.” Street protester, past convict of conscience, these assets you have in plenty – in the land of “plenty be found within its borders.” Your DNA? Contrite, contemplative, consociational; conscientious – a consistent fighter for democracy, human rights, and social justice; never afraid. Elder Paddy, “the impunity of yesteryears is still as plenty.” Comrade Bob Marley tells us: “Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight”: Sidia Jatta, for all your sacrifices and struggles for the Gambian people, is fully recognized. Your compassion becomes real when Gambians recognized your shared humanity.
Happy birthday to you;
Sidia Jatta is in a class of his own. A man with an urgent mission. He is different from the current crop of other Gambian politicians, whose only mission is speaking from the side of the mouth while thinking with the stomach.
Sidia Jatta is not one to take injustice lying down. He fought both President Dawda Kairaba Jawara and Yahya Jammeh administrations when they were busy annexing and grabbing land, corruption, and bad governance. He refused the twice ministerial position. He challenged and criticized both administration’s legal, political and economic policies. Even though President Jawara was his fellow tribesman, he did not hesitate to lay the facts bare and fight for what he believed was right. Sidia loathed identity politics.
Many times, his voice was always in the minority. He was and still is not mesmerized by the “tyranny of numbers” in parliament. However, for a good reason, Sidia Jatta is no “political Jaliba.” He is not a sycophant. In parliament, he neither sleep nor claps in the hallowed chambers. Sidia Jatta is not a political “hustler” for human rights. He is not a self-styled tribal kingpin who mortgages his people to the highest bidder to facilitate his penchant for primitive accumulation.
Sidia Jatta is a gentleman. Class Act. He is no lousy politician; he is not the vocal politician pretending to fight corruption while at the same time using corrupt means to avoid the law by legal technicalities. He saw politics as a means of public service and not an opportunity to further raw nepotism.
Honorable Jatta never sold his conscience, principles, and soul to the devil ideal for money and material gains. He knew money could buy material things but at the same time appreciated that it is never everything. Sidia is a solid man. He did not need some “tribal” awakening to do that, which is correct. In style and substance, his commitment to his people is exemplary.
Happy Birthday, Hon. Jatta.
Alagi Yorro Jallow