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Lamin Sabally- Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lamin SaballyI have been sporadically appallingly lampooned, bitterly pilloried, penetratingly vilified and unjustifiably put under a seeming erratic  and overwhelmingly biased heavy flak on the pages of both Hellogambia and Kibaaro web-based newspapers largely by anonymous readers, whose nauseating disparagements are embodiment of their increasingly paranoid delusions often clearly manifested in their vehement reactions to my opinion articles on issues that I considered to be fittingly germane to the Gambian cultural and social issues and important personal issues that matter to me dating back to my formative academic years in high school. Among some of my articles that attracted some shocking outbursts that are lacking even an ounce of substance from some conspicuous familiar readers include:  Gambian in US Nursing Homes, An Epidemic of Honesty, Recollection of my High School days, Leadership Debate, Proposed debate between Hamat Bah & Halifa Sallah to name just a few.

Interestingly, in what appears to have aroused my perplexity, the recent ones I authored about what I personally deemed to be signs of emerging positive relations between the GPU and Gambia government following the gracing of the GPU celebrations of World Press Freedom Day by Minister Nana Grey-Johnson and the importance of the Kal or Sanawuya system, equally attracted similar eccentric criticisms that are typically characteristic of rages by persons unmistakably exhibiting the hallmarks of loose gibbering nitpickers.

Admittedly, to indicate that I like and love criticisms is an understatement, but only if they are constructive  and obliging, because I treat them as necessary recipes for molding me into a better and mature person in whatever capacity I find myself in. With humility, while knowing well that everyone is fallible, because as humans, we are genetically wired to making mistakes and errors, I am equally willingly receptive to productive criticisms that are devoid of sickening name- calling and also weeded or purged of all forms of subjectivity and erratic condemnation without scintilla justification. Sadly though, most of those that have been intermittently heaped on me by my outlandish critics happened to be symptomatic of indecorous bashing embedded in their childish attempt at questioning my political view and what some of them believed to be my perceived deliberate stance to plainly desist from being “critical of the Jammeh government”. Ironically, these are mainly few berserk-going readers who themselves go absolutely anonymous by using pseudo names, some of which are very comical in nature indeed. The million dollar question is why are these so-called critics hiding behind the shadow of their keyboards, which is magnified by show of their daylight refusal to reveal their real identities? This deliberate failure clearly reveals the cowardice being excessively exhibited by the so- called critics who have dejectedly failed in their shameful attempt to compare me with others, because first, it must be injected into their skulls that I am not in competition with anyone, and second, my political stance is absolutely irrelevant and unnecessary. If they want to show their bravado, they must emerge from their keyboard “N’yanchoyaa” comfort zone by coming out plain with their legal names.

At best, the petulance and condescending diatribes of these immature critics obviously epitomizes what I will best equate with their shallow understanding or absolute obliviousness of the general principle of respect of other’s opinions, thus catapulting them into an abyss of paranoia. For this, they must be collectively reminded of my famous quotation that I am sure decidedly encapsulated their mutual chain of myopic reactions “there is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”.

The people they preposterously compared me are recognized to be manifestly brave enough to be using their real names in the profession they dearly love and some of these idols and heroes are seen to be ardently carrying out their responsibilities within the purview of uncontested journalistic professionalism. What is wrong if the humble Lamin Sabally, an insignificant figure in the political equation of the Gambia, and who is only a mere observer of events, prefer to bring variety on the news pages of Maafanta, Hellogambia, Kibaroo, Gainako and Freedom newspapers by writing opinion pieces on cultural and social issues that these remarkably great editors have never hesitated to post on their respected newspapers of national and international repute? Glad to report that even the mighty Foroyaa newspaper has been gracious enough by publishing my opinion article that unassumingly pushes for the likely Mr. Sallah and Bah debate and for this and other reasons, a well-clarified rejoinder was recently given by honorable Halifa Sallah . Most newspapers were abuzz with that befitting rejoinder embedded with the needed clarity. Precisely, one of my mentors Demba A. Jawo has given a decisive clincher when he acknowledges on Maafanta. These sort of stories will no doubt goa long way in lessening the tension usually created by too much involvement in political arguments, especially coming right on the heels of the much hyped-about Raleigh conference on democracy which brought together opposition leaders from the Gambia and activists in the Diaspora to strategize on how to salvage the country from the political decadence engulfing it”

I must hasten to add that opinions are not necessarily facts, and given that no one person has monopoly over facts, let us agree unequivocally to the principle of agreeing to disagree. To this end, if and when a reader disagrees with an opinion of a writer, that reader must simply disagree respectfully instead of jumping into outrageous condemnations and uncontrolled bashing that are amongst veritable barriers of encouraging healthy constructive criticisms.

Truth be told brutally, I am not bothered and no amount of dissuasions will make me relent in my opinion writing crusade within the finest tenets of the doctrine of respecting and being receptive to opposing views, as long as Maafanta, Kibaaro News, Hellogambia, Freedom and Gainako editors generously continue to offer me space by publishing my postings to the joyous and pleasingly reading of some of my staunch fans. I am taking a big solace in the favorable assessments I continue to get from my fans on the pages of Kibaaro, Gainako and Hellogambia, and they are the more reason why I will be more determined, encouraged and energized to write. To all my fans, I say thank you plentifully and I must indicate I am much appreciative of your pleasing feedback and you have completely overshadowed the barking of some of these toothless bull dogs that are hiding behind the comfort of their keyboards. By all stretch of estimation, you have contained them  within the conform zone of their keyboard heroism and your collective efforts have equally served as  an effective barricade and permanent bulwark against their manifestly  reverberating rage that must be controlled before it gets out of control. To Malcolm X,  be assured you will Insha Allah see more  joking jibes within the context of our joking relationship system for which you revealed you are “anxiously waiting for”, to Jalamang and Ebrima, I truly and regally salute your  endorsement of dissention under the climate of unfettered decorum, and  to Ismaila, thanks so much for the uncompromising clarification you gave to some celebrated buffoons  who  spiritedly tried to depict me as Prince Babucarr Sankano, even after seeing  my plainly written legal name and state of residence characteristically befitting of my byline anytime I write, and to the rest of my beloved fans, I say thank you so much for showing  your avalanche of unbridled gratefulness. With that, I rest my case indefinitely on these noise makers.

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