EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Secretary General and leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) said President Adama Barrow is going to fail, even with his recent meeting with members of the Fula Association, Tabital Pulaagu Mbo Gambia, on Saturday.
At a press conference on Wednesday where the Party issued its position on the Coalition 2016 agreement, Ousainou Darboe said Barrow’s meeting with the Fula Community shouldn’t have happened, and asked Gambians to distance themselves from such. “To me, it was an appeal by the president for that particular tribe to support him but he is going to fail,” he said.
Last Saturday, Mr Barrow hosted members of the Fula Association at statehouse which confirmed earlier reports by one fraction of the association last month that he –Barrow- has requested to hold meeting with at least 3000 Fulas.
One of the Association’s advisers, Sutura Jallow said they were going to decline to honour the invitation because it contradicts the dictates of their constitution, but another fraction countered him the following day, calling Mr Jallow and others as supporters of Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC)
“We have seen political comments on the media made by the president. Jammeh also used to call people for meetings at statehouse but that was districts, and Barrow is just refining that by segmentalsing it,” Mr Darboe said at the press conference.
Mr Darboe, who was once quoted, while in active service in the Barrow government, defending President Barrow for a five-year mandate, said the President should be a unifier and Gambians shouldn’t be making appeals of that nature.
But his Wednesday statement suggests that he has changed his earlier support to Mr Barrow for him to remain in power for five years. He now believes that the 3 years mandate was a political promise which might have influenced Gambians to vote in the way they have voted in the 2016 election.
He also observed that it is everyone’s’ responsibility to speak against tribalising politics in the country. “I will not blame the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for their “resounding” silence. Probably this is because they considered the recent moves as political,” he said.
The seasoned lawyer and politician said in 2016, UDP in good faith entered into negation with other political parties to select a flag-bearer to contest in the presidential election and it happened that their flag-bearer –President Barrow- was selected to contest on the coalition platform.