Tribute by Hassoum Ceesay published in The Point on July 02, 2019

Friday, July 05, 2019

This is a brief statement with regard to the excerpt below in the tribute to ‘one of The Gambia’s outstanding pioneer diplomats, international civil servant and historian- Alhaji Ambassador Ebou M. Taal.’ The tribute was provided by Hassoum Ceesay in The Point newspaper of July 02, 2019. The tribute to the late Mr. Taal honoring him could not have been better written and deserved by someone who gave so much to our motherland in national service, and for this reason we join in the tributes to him.

Regretfully, in the said tribute, Mr. Ceesay stated that when the late Mr. Taal returned from his studies in 1972, he was immediately asked to proceed to Brussels to help open the Gambian mission to be headed by the recently disgraced Sheriff Mustapha Dibba, former vice president and Minister of Finance, being punished by Jawara for his alleged role in the butut scandal of September 1972.

The point of our statement relating to this excerpt in the tribute, which should have been about honoring one of the great men of the Gambia, is to dispute this allegation made in a national newspaper of wide circulation.  It is a well-known fact that it was the late Mr. Dibba’s brother who was implicated in the butut scandal, prompting him to resign from his post as Vice President, as a matter of integrity, dedication and high responsibility to the nation, but retaining his Minister of Finance portfolio.

Therefore, for Mr. Ceesay to say that the late Mr. Dibba was sent to head the newly established Gambian mission in Brussels as the First Ambassador to the European Economic Community (EEC), as punishment, is quite frankly fictional and baseless. The contents of Mr. Dibba’s letter of resignation and the indication of President Jawara’s reluctance to accept it, were published in the national newspapers at the time and can be easily retrieved. Furthermore, the late Mr. Taal, having worked with the late Mr. Dibba, had a lot of respect for him, and is said to have extolled the late Mr. Dibba as a person with a high degree of honesty, who dedicated his life to public service.


Sekou Omar Dibba