News Desk January 24, 2022
Coming hard on the heels of The Wheeler school award, former Gambian journalist and torture survivor, Omar Bah, who subsequently relocated to the United States and founded the Refugee dream center, on Saturday, announced that he was running for the United States House of Representatives elections in Rhode Island.
News of Omar Bah’s intention to run for Congress was initially published by the Boston Globe, which quoted Bah, saying: “This is the best time to bring in a voice of diversity, a voice of the immigrant community,”.
The paper further intimated that there was a long list of current and former public officials thinking of running for the Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District seat now that the US Representative James R. Langevin, a democrat who has been in office 22 years, has announced he won’t seek re-election this year.
Omar Bah, who has a doctorate in psychology, released a brief statement after the news was published: “I wish to confirm that I plan to run for US Congress. When Congressman Langevin recently announced his retirement, I saw a great opportunity to once again manifest the amazing opportunities I have had in this country since my arrival here as a refugee.
I will run as a democrat, but my hope is to help in uniting the country, represent the diversity and experiences of people in this country, and to build and promote a moderate tone in Washington. There are numerous issues to tackle such as safe and affordable housing, healthcare, education, homelessness, crime, and climate change.
I am not a career politician and therefore hope to help minimise the political polarization and promote the interest of the American people, especially Rhode Islanders’’. I also hope to be a source of inspiration for folks from various ethnicities who might as a result have the audacity to try out the American Dream and the possibilities abound.’’
Reacting to the news of Dr. Bah’s run for Congress, Lamin Dibba, a Gambian naturalized American citizen resident in Ohio, who used to work with Omar at the defunct Daily Observer in the early 2000s, said Bah’s run for Congress will serve as a pointer to many emerging young African-American on the continent. He said the sky was the limit, and described Bah as winner, perhaps another Obama in the making.
Mberry Jabang-Kujabi, a Gambian resident in New York, also a former GRTS producer said she was thrilled when she read the news. Mberry used the opportunity to valorize the American dream, pointing out there is no nation on earth where this is possible. “To come into the country as an immigrant and end up occupying a respectable position in society’’.
Mberry urged all Gambians to rally behind Omar, saying Bah’s success at the elections scheduled to take place in November 2022, is supposed to inspire everyone.
Ebrima Jaw Manneh one time Daily Observer news editor wrote, “Omar deeply cares about the people. He’s passionate about freedom, justice, human rights, and greater collective good. His formative career as a journalist, and later service as a community advocate for the marginalized and the oppressed are testimonies to these accomplishments.
He has touched and changed thousands of lives, he continues to positively impact thousands of lives, and as a congressman, he will be a powerful force for social and economic progress for many more people in his district and across the country. I am confident he has only scratched the surface on the change and progress he can bring to his community.”
Several other Gambians and non-Gambians alike who followed the news on social media, reacted with joy, praying for Omar Bah’s success at the elections.
Bah is being reportedly said to bring a different background to the race, having never run for public office but having worked as a journalist, a community organizer, and a psychologist focused on trauma survivors. If elected, he would be the first Black congressman from Rhode Island.