On the Lambai Chronicles: Letter to my Friend (Part 1)

Sheriff, my brother and good friend,

It has been a while since I last penned you an epistle on the happenings in our little town; but as I travel this afternoon from Badibu Salikenni where the UDP had a fantastic rally, which is a game-changer in our political firmament, I thought of sharing some thoughts with you.

The nation’s biggest party held a rally last night in the town described by many as the university of Gambian Politics: Salikenni also dubbed Lambai, Moribolong. Now how can you know the deeper meanings of these appellations without being au fait with the chronicles of the Kings of Badibu?

My good friend, perhaps I am not too qualified to narrate the full history of the royals of Badibu; but my son, Muhammed Sabally, has inspired me to do some research about the unique governance history of the Kingdom of Badibu Bijankerr through his award-winning sophomore speech delivered in 2017. That work is yet to be completed but I shall mention, in passing, those I would call the latter day royals of Moribolong.

Know you not that the late Sheriff Mustapha Dibba of royal blood is a true-blue son of Salikenni? How about the famous Lamin Nafa Saho of PPP-fame? Former Agriculture Minister Lamin N Dibba and current Environment Minister Lamin Dibba; are they not sons of the people of Lambai?

Last night I was privileged to attend a rally held in honour of UDP deputy party leader Aji Yam Secka and Salikenni-born Ebrima Njie who were adopted honorary parents of the people of Lambai. It was a rally with a difference for the whole of Badibu from  Miniminiang Bolong to the hills of Pallodi in Sabach Sanjal used this opportunity to pledge their unalloyed allegiance to the Secretary General and leader of the mighty UDP Party lending further credence to my newly minted hashtag #YellowNation.

Verily, it was a unique rally in every sense of the world from the crowd size to its energy levels and diversity. Indeed among the speakers at the rally was one old man who spoke from his heart when he lamented the false narrative being peddled by the detractors of the UDP that the party is only for people of one tribe. He went to to back his statement by saying that no member of any ethnic group has more rights or privileges in UDP than him and his Fulani kinsmen. He then called on all Gambians regardless of ethnic origin and religion to join the mighty Yellow party. 

Our deputy party leader Aji Yam was truly celebrated with royal serenade as founding member of the UDP and also for her distinguished role as retired teacher with strong connections with Salikenni.

But the high water mark of this landmark event, Sheriff, was the thrilling speech delivered by the party leader His Excellency Lawyer Ousainou Darboe. From the usual political banter (marinated with scintillating favour), Lawyer Darboe delved into what I would call a preliminary critique of the draft constitution before throwing down the gauntlet to the UDP’s opponents in a very classy manner.

And the details of his speech, my good friend, will they not be written in the second part of this epistle called the Chronicles of Lambai?

Let me take leave of you for now, Sheriff, for our convoy has entered the Kombos and I need to get some attaya and ‘naana’ to prepare for some deep repose with the golden brew as I relish this weekend’s expedition into the heartland of Gambian politics; the land lovingly labeled, Lambai, Moribolong.

Yours,

Momodou Sabally

The Gambia’s Pen

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