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Halifa Sallah Harps on the Role of the Media

Apr 29, 2009, 9:27 AM | Article By: Alieu Jabang

There is no doubt in the mind of Halifa Sallah, spokesperson of the opposition 'National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD), that the media plays a very crucial and important role in giving people freedom and liberty.

He communicated that when Edward Francis Small emerged as the leader of the struggle for self-determination and independence after the national congress of British West Africa was held in 1920 by representatives of the four British colonies in Western Africa, namely Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Gambia, he recognised the importance of awareness, thus he introduced 'The Gambia Outlook" a media establishment created to inform the people so that they have the right to know and the right to representation.

Mr. Sallah was speaking at a press conference he organised in marking April 24th the day The Gambia became a Republic.

According to Mr. Sallah, a distinguished sociologist, who is the Director of People Centre for Research, Science and Sociology, this was what led to total freedom and liberation from monarchical tradition to self-determination and independence of this country.

"This led him to form the Rate Payers Association alongside other associations to be entitled to account to the people entrusted to manage public funds," he said.

"This is democracy. Democracy is not an imported phenomenon in Africa," he added.

Mr. Sallah maintained that two fundamental tools are inevitable for self-determination and independence to liberty.

"Our people (in the colonial era) recognised two fundamental tools in order to ensure that we attain the right to self-determination and independence to liberty.

"These tools are awareness and organisation. When people are aware and organised, they have power to be indomitable, power to be invincible. They cannot be subjugated to any form of domination by other people," he said. 

He maintained that due to this greater awareness of the people who were educated, they decided to answer to the demand of time that colonised people need to struggle to free themselves and attain their right to self-determination and independence.

"The media truly plays an important role to people's freedom and liberty," he remarked.

He said a nation that guarantees her people no protection of liberty would live like beasts under the mercy of might.

"A people without a nation that guarantees protection of liberty before the law will live like beasts under the mercy of might rather than live like civilised human beings with reason and consent, living in peace under the canopy of right,'' he said.