Sheriff Mustapha Dibba

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Sheriff Mustapha Dibba (10 January 1937, Salikene, Central Baddibu – 2 June 2008) was a veteran Gambian politician who served as the country's National Assembly speaker from 2002 to 2006. He was also leader of the National Convention Party (NCP).

Life[edit]

Dibba was the son of Mustapha Dibba, a Mandika farmer. He was educated at Armitage School and from 1955 to 1957 at the Methodist Boys High School in Bathurst. He worked as a clerk for the United Africa Company before resigning in 1959 to work for the recently formed People's Progressive Party. There he organized the party's youth wing and was elected to the House of Representatives as representative for Baddibu in the 1962 election.[1]

Dibba was the Gambia's first vice-president. He resigned from that position in 1975 and later formed the National Convention Party (NCP). Following elections in 1977, the NCP became the main opposition party in the Gambia.

He was incarcerated in 1981 for alleged involvement in the foiled coup attempt that year, but was freed after 11 months in detention. A presidential election was held on 4 May 1982, months after a constitutional amendment instituting direct election of the country's head of state. Dibba was defeated by incumbent President Dawda Jawara. He ran again as the NCP presidential candidate in 1987 and 1992, placing second to Jawara both times.[2]

Following the overthrow of the Jawara government in 1994, the NCP and other political parties were banned. The ban on the NCP was lifted in mid-2001 and Dibba contested the election held on 18 October of that year. He was defeated by incumbent President Yahya Jammeh and placed fourth out of five candidates, winning 3.8% of the vote.[2]

Dibba then gave his support to Jammeh and his party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, and after the legislative elections of January 2002, he was elected Speaker of the National Assembly at the first meeting of the new legislature on 3 February.

In April 2006, Dibba was arrested and dismissed as speaker; he was allegedly linked to the coup attempt against Jammeh in the previous month.[3] Dibba and the NCP nevertheless backed Jammeh in the September 2006 presidential election; Dibba himself was over 65 years old by this time and was therefore not eligible to run.[4]

He died in June 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hughes, Arnold; Perfect, David, eds. (2008). "Dibba, Sheriff Mustapha (1937-2008)". Historical Dictionary of The Gambia. African Historical Dictionaries 109. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. pp. 52–54. 
  2. ^ a b Elections in The Gambia, African Elections Database.
  3. ^ "Gambian parliament gets new speaker", AngolaPress, April 20, 2006.
  4. ^ "Former speaker joins the Jammeh camp", African Press Agency, September 6, 2006.