Wednesday, September 27

Jaliba: I am neutral in Gambian politics

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By Tabora Bojang

Renowned Gambian kora player, Jaliba Kuyateh, often seen preforming at political rallies of different parties, has said when it comes to Gambian politics, he is completely neutral, adding that he chose to perform at rival political rallies as a strategy to promote peace and stability among supporters.

Speaking toThe Standard on the ongoing meet the people’s tour of President Barrow, Jaliba said he, like any other Gambian, could support any political party but considering his status, accepted by all people, it would be better in the interest of peace and harmony he remains neutral.

“It is not easy to be a public figure. It can be sensitive and obvious that you have supporters and well-wishers across all political parties. So your actions should not shame one against the other. I have performed in this tour, played at the UDP congress and I will also be playing for Gambia Democratic Congress and Gambia For All at their congresses. This is very important because it sends a message to people to understand that politics does not mean enmity, but just an expression of difference of opinion in a civil manner,” Jaliba said.

“Some may see it as hypocritical but it is one strategy I employ to promote peace and diversity since a long time ago. It is an example set by our beloved Prophet Muhammad. It is said that the [Prophet] gave a ring as a love gift to all his wives and asked each to keep it as a secret. One day, he was asked in public who was his most beloved wife in the presence of his wives and he replied: the one I gave a ring to. All the wives were happy and satisfied because all of them had a ring, meaning he dealt with them fairly. That is what I do. Everyone is important to me,” Jaliba said.

Jaliba, who is also a Unicef ambassador, said even if his political allegiance was to be suspected, it should not stir issues among supporters. “It is also the right of others that I should make them happy and give them their due and as long as I love this country, this is the direction I believe is good for the peace and stability of the country.”

He added: “I am independent and if I wish I could rally behind any political party and stand by it like any other Gambian but that is not my stance because by doing so, I may perhaps cause a life-threatening distress or shame to supporters who may be supporting a party in opposition to my choice”, he added.

2021 election

Jaliba urged all Gambians to work towards maintaining peace in the 2021 election. “It is obvious that God’s decision will stand and whoever emerges victorious we all should accept in good faith and move on. There is no need or sense for us to kill one another or engage in violence just because someone we did not support wins,” Jaliba advised.