By Momodou Ndow
As Halipha Sallah was in the middle of presenting his reasons as to why PDIOS was also rejecting UDP’s Bamba Seringne Kadimu Rasul Mass offer for Sulayman Bokarr Bah, power went out. Within a flash, the crowd in attendance uttered loud boos that would rival a Wembley Stadium crowd at any given day. How can power go out at a brand new $55 million conference hall in the middle of such an important and essential conference? Well, don’t ask me – your guess is as good as mine! Too many cooks in the “power kitchen”, maybe? NAWEC, Sinohydro Corporation and Senelec are all in the “power kitchen” frying cables. It wasn’t even fifteen minutes after the power outage before the temperature in the conference hall started to rise and attendees were asked to vacate the hall while the power situation was being sorted out. While waiting outside, there was much chatter amongst the crowd regarding the surrogate trade negotiations. Virtually every one had an opinion. The temperature outside was not friendly either; it was a hot, humid Sunday with temperatures in the upper 90s. Soon, the conversation amongst the crowd shifted from the surrogate trade negotiations to Gambia’s chronic power issues. Some were saying we should look into air energy, others insisted we should harness the moon for energy and yet others insisted some of us generate enough body odor to generate 24/7 electricity. Meanwhile, The Gambia’s own pencil, Sabally, and the rest of the conference staff were working the phones trying to get the power up and running again. He had security with him because he knows Gambians are jealous of him and he has to act important by virtue of his critical role. Three hours later, power was finally back on and people were dancing and celebrating as they filed back into the $55 million conference hall.
Momodou Sabally: Ladies and gentlemen, once again, my name is Honorable Momodou Sabally. I was your best presidential affairs minister under our hero, Jammeh. On behalf of myself and my conference staff which includes people from my leadership academy where Mama Signateh teaches the fundamentals of ethics, I would like to apologize for the power outage and welcome you back to our one in Africa $55 million conference hall. NAWEC has delivered a used generator for us to use for the remainder of the conference and with enough petrol, so I don’t anticipate any more power issues. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will now resume.
As Sabally was calling the conference back to order, that’s when OJ walked into the conference room accompanied by Ndey Mbergan Sarr and Ndey Ngoneh Njie holding PPP’s pink flag, and Bai Tama right behind them. Ndey Mbergan and Ndey Ngoneh are PPP members but OJ and Bai Tama had met a few weeks earlier at OJ’s house on Koriteh day. Bai Tama walked into OJ’s house and interrupted his meal looking for salibo.
Sabally: Mr. Jallow, I’m surprised to see you here. I thought you guys wouldn’t attend. Mr. Darboe had said…
Darboe: Said what, Mr. Sabally? I told you that was a joke! Didn’t you hear the audience laughing?
Sabally: Yes I did, Mr. Darboe; and it was funny too, sir.
Darboe: Mr. Jallow and I are friends; a photo of the two of us hugging went viral online, you didn’t see it?
Sabally: I probably did, Sir. Mr. Jallow, welcome to The Post victory Conference 2017. We are glad that you made it here with your delegation to represent PPP in this very important conference. As we all know, PPP is a signatory to the MoU and your participation in this conference is key to help us forge ahead. I’m assuming you are here to partake in the surrogate trade negotiations?
OJ: Well, thank you very much Mr. Sabally! First of all, I would like to apologize on behalf of PPP to you, my peers, and the audience for arriving late to the conference; we were experiencing car troubles. Unfortunately, we did not bring any of our surrogates with us to this conference. Saul Mbenga and Sainabou Phall could not make it from the United States for the conference. I called them both and left a message but haven’t heard back. Ndey Mbergan and Ndey Ngoneh are new to PPP and don’t know our inner-workings yet, and Bai Tama is my new pal. We are just here to observe, and as stakeholders to the MoU.
GDC has been in attendance from the start but they seemed to involved in some internal squabbles. In fact, they arrived earlier right before the doors were opened, but they were yet to be acknowledged by Sabally and they were getting impatient. As the leader of the delegation, Ebou Jallow decided to call for Momodou Sabally’s attention:
Ebou: Exchuse me, Mr. Sabally!!!
Sabally: Did someone call out my name?
Ebou: Yes! My name is Captain Ebou Jallow and I’m here with my colleagues on behalf of GDC, but you have yet to acknowledge us.
Sabally. Sorry, Mr. Jammeh! Oh I meant Mr Jallow. I was under the impression that you guys were here as part of the audience since GDC was not part of the coalition and are not signatories to the MoU. However, go head and introduce yourselves.
Ebou: Well, my name is Captain Ebou Jallow and I am here with Saihou Mballoh, Lieutenant Colonel Lamin Gano and MC Cham. Mama Kandeh could not make it because he had to make an urgent trip to Dakar for donations. We were tipped off about this meeting by Pa Nderry Mbai and he was tipped off by his main “sauce”, The Soldier. Wa kissi kissi, wa lohatti. (Lakki Ginay)
Sabally: Thank you, Mr. Jallow! And why is Lamin Gano in a military uniform? Is he hired back into the army by Masanneh Kinteh? Last I saw him he was holding a “potti ndal” (jibida poto) for our hero doctor as he claimed to cure AIDS patients.
Gano: No, Mr. Sabally! I didn’t get a chance to do my laundry and my old uniform was all that was available for me to wear. And you know, once a soldier always a soldier.
Right then, there was some commotion in the back as Otita Cultural Group came in led by Foday Jawla who was jumping for joy telling everyone that he in fact saw Barrow peeking through the curtains and they shook hands. The UDP delegation was disgusted with his eccentric ways. Did he have to bring Otita with him some mumbled? Well didn’t OJ come in with Bai Tama some responded!
Sabally: Hey, stop the dancing and singing. I am the moderator of this conference. You guys dance only if I dance first. DJ hit me!!
The DJ played Big Fa’s anything anything and the place went deadly silent.
Sabally: Well since we all stand for something here, let us continue unabated. So Halifa, you won’t accept Seringne Bamba Manka Mass for Sulayman Bokarr Bah and you still insist on having Pata but Ousainou said Pata isn’t going anywhere. How about if they add two people, one from Mai Fatty’s party and the other from Henry Gomez’s party plus Seringne Bamba Manka Mass and you give them Sulayman Bokarr Bah
Halipha: Sabally, kanang Yap!! Do you know anyone that belongs to Mai Fatty’s party or anyone from Henry Gomez’s party? These are one-man parties!
Mai Fatty: Halipha, don’t talk about my party. You know nothing about the GDC, I mean GMC.
A shouting match ensued between Mai and Halipha for a few minutes. Halipha was heard telling Mai at the end that he was a young man and needs to self- restrain a bit and learn a thing or two from him. A few people in the audience were recording the incident with their phones, and the video will probably be making its rounds on WhatsApp soon.
The conference was called back into order by Sabally after the uproar, but before he could ask Halipha to specify what exactly it would take for him to release Sulayman Bokarr Bah to UDP without getting Pata, a loud voice was heard come from GDC’s direction; it was Saihou Mballoh.
Saihou: Mr. Sabally, I always talking when I’m on Freedom Radio, but you have not given me a chance to talk here since we started. I know how to talk on behalf of GDC and I represent well. You can ask Pa Nderry Mbai or Mama Kandeh.
Sabally: Well, Mr. Mballow, this is not Freedom Radio and I have no interest in asking Mama Kandeh. Besides, didn’t Captain Ebou Jallow say that Mama Kandeh had to make an urgent trip to Dakar for donations? Look, like I said earlier, GDC is not a party to the MoU and you are welcome to observe, but you will not be participating in this surrogate trade negotiations!
That’s when MC Cham called “bullshit” on Sabally, and another commotion ensued. Out of left field, Foday Jawla, Otita Cultural Group, and the APRC dancers bulrushes the center of the conference hall. Otita Cultural Group was singing their new single “Sayri Boyo” with Foday Jawla and the APRC crew dancing feverishly. Within seconds, a good number of the UDP supporters also joined in. The dancing crowd was building up fast! Ndey Mbergan and Ndey Ngoneh looked at Bai Tama and gave him a signal to hit them with a “raygin tass” rhythm, they were ready to show Foday and his crew how it’s done. Unfortunately, Bai Tama realized that his “banti tama” was not in his pocket and that he had left it in OJ’s car. Standing there with a dejected look on their faces, Ndey Mbergan and Ndey Ngoneh just shook their heads. Their plan to “tay-yah” Foday Jawla until he collapsed was not going to materialize. They really wanted to teach him a dancing lesson!
Meanwhile, Halipaha was seen shaking out of anger; he could not believe his luck with these conferences. The first one had virtually unraveled and the second one didn’t even conclude. Fuming mad, he took off his “white Haftan” and threw on the floor, then walked out of the conference hall with his delegation in his “gensor.” He was heard saying under his breath “I don’t think I what to be a president any longer, a parliament member will be just fine!”
Ladies and gentlemen, we have another impasse in our hands. Luckily, the ECOMIG Troops are still here to intervene if the need arise.