By Sarjo Brito
Dr. Omar Bah, a US-based Gambian has announced his plan to contest the 2022 United States Congressional Election slated for November this year. Dr Bah will be contesting under the ticket of the Democratic Party, in hopes of replacing long time Rhode Island congressman James R. Langevin who recently announced his retirement.
In a statement shared on his official Facebook page, Dr. Bah said he hopes to minimise the political polarization, protect the interest of the American people, especially Rhode Islanders.
‘’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 polarisation 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’’
From 2002 – 2006, Dr. Omar Bah began publishing articles anonymously on the oppressive regime’s murders and torture practices in an online news site called Freedom Newspaper, which was operated by a Gambian exile in the US.
In May 2006, Freedom Newspaper’s website and emails were hacked by the government and Bah’s identity was exposed, which led to The Gambia Police Force declaring a national manhunt to find him, as they circulated his name and photograph in the media.
42 years old Bah fled to the United States in 2007 after he was declared wanted by former authoritarian ruler Yahya Jammeh.
In the hopes of addressing the gap between government-assisted resettlement and true integration for refugees, Bah started the non-profit organization Refugee Dream Center (RDC) in Providence, Rhode Island in 2015. Bah would be the first black US Congressman from Rhode Island.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Rhode Island and double Master’s in Public Administration and counselling psychology. He also holds a PHD in leadership psychology from the prominent Willaim James College in Boston.