Observer MD clarifies
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
managing director of the Observer Company, Pa Malick Faye, has clarified his
position concerning the story published in the Monday, September 10th, 2012
edition of the Daily Observer captioned: “Halifa Sallah is the biggest fool”.
In the said
article, the minister for Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers
was quoted describing Halifa as ‘the biggest fool’, in connection to Halifa’s
call for a debate with government on the issue of the death penalty. This story
prompted Halifa Sallah to react myopically in his Foroyaa newspaper, an organ
of the opposition PDOIS, in an article captioned: “Halifa Sallah responds to
Daily Observer; Should managing
director Pa Malick Faye insult a
In his clarification, MD Faye said: “I have read with utter dismay, an article in theTuesday, September 11th, 2012 edition of the Foroyaa Newspaper, an organ of the opposition PDOIS, comments made by Halifa Sallah captioned: ‘Halifa Sallah responds to Daily Observer; Should Managing Director Pa Malick Faye insult a political leader?’
Observer MD described the said caption as grossly misleading, saying that Mr.
Sallah totally missed the point as he [Pa Malick] never uttered any unpleasant
remark during his telephone conversation with Halifa.
His words: “When he confronted me over the telephone, I tried as much as I could to reason with him, as I am under no obligation to even discuss what we should and what we shouldn’t publish in our paper. Mr. Sallah should be brave enough to face Minister Juwara and not to use my personality as a scapegoat”.
“To say that I have insulted him is baseless. On the issue that we are the mouthpiece
of the APRC, and that we practice “gutter journalism”, that is his opinion,
which he is entitled to. One thing that is clear which Mr. Sallah can never
deny, is that his paper that he boasted of over the telephone is no match for
the Daily Observer newspaper, and I think reacting to him on that issue will be
What is important is that the public has confidence in us and
Halifa’s recent outburst will only bolster that confidence. As young people we will manage the
paper according to our editorial policy and we will continue to give respect to
whom it is due irrespective of the person’s age, position, etc.” Faye
emphasised that the Daily Observer is not interested in a media war with
He continued: “What he [Halifa] should understand is that, as a politician, he has to be receptive to criticism. The Daily Observer will continue to publish any comments made by Waa Juwara or any other person against Halifa and the onus lies on him to prove that he is not what Juwara said he is. I will not be fair if I did not publicly acknowledge the messages I received from some staff of the Foroyaa newspaper who completely disassociated themselves from Mr. Sallah’s remarks.
“Let him know that he is old enough to be our father and our tradition teaches us to respect the elderly. So he should not allow his emotion to override him to the extent of engaging in a media war with young people. What I expect from a man of Sallah’s status is to be receptive to criticism. What he should have done is to request for the Daily Observer to publish his reaction, which we will gladly do because it will be unfair to deny him a space for his version to be heard.
resting our case and calling on Mr. Sallah to come back to reason because his
tone over the phone left a lot to be desired.Let him not dodge the issue and use the Daily Observer and my humble self as a scapegoat for
comments we merely publish. Let him react to Waa Juwara and leave us alone.”
Below is MD
Faye’s account of the telephone conversation between him and Halifa Sallah.
MD Faye: “I received a call from an unknown person through a Qcell line asking if I am Pa Malick, and I replied in the affirmative. He then asked me to hold on and handed over the phone to another man who introduced himself as Halifa Sallah.
Halifa said: “I have read in your paper that I am the biggest fool. This is in relation to your lead story on the Monday edition captioned, “Halifa Sallah is the biggest fool”. He asked whether I think this is correct, and I replied that we published what the minister said. He then said he didn’t take it seriously because it came from a fool, adding that he has not seen anything in Lamin Waa Juwara’s comments that is attributed to him. He then asked that if he makes a remark that President Jammeh is the biggest fool, will that be ok? I told him that I cannot answer that question, as I am not the president’s spokesperson and therefore cannot speak on his behalf.
Halifa then said he has his pen and paper and will attack the Daily Observer and not Waa Juwara, for being what he called ‘irresponsible’. I told him that he should understand that we have respect for every Gambian including him, but he replied that he has no respect anymore for Observer. I then told him “thank you”.
Author: Daily Observer