Alagi Yorro Jallow

Sidia Jatta: Happy birth day to you, today, we salute you at 70 years. Che Guevara teaches us: ‘for the revolution, 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 it’s borders”.

Your DNA? Contrite, contemplative, consociational; conscientious – a consistent fighter for democracy and constitutional reforms; never, afraid. Elder Paddy, the impunity of yesteryears is still as plenty. Comrade, Bob Marley is telling us: “Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight”: For all your sacrifices and struggles for the Gambian people.

Happy birthday to you;

Mamudu: 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 when they were busy annexing and grabbing land, corruption and bad governance. He refused 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.

Mamudu: Many times, his voice was always in the minority. He was and still not mesmerized by “tyranny of numbers” but reason. Sidia Jatta is no “political Jaliba”. He is not a sycophant. In parliament he neither sleep nor  clap in parliament chambers. Sidia Jatta is not a political “hustler” for human rights and not a self-styled tribal kingpin who mortgages his people to the highest bidder to facilitate his own 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.

He never sold his conscience for money. He knew money could buy material things but at the same time appreciated that it is never everything. Sidia is a solid man. He didn’t need some “tribal” awakening to do that which is right. In style and substance, his commitment to his people is exemplary.