EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Eye Africa has been reliably informed Friday morning that President Adama Barrow is sending members of The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC) and Banjul Muslim Elders on a nationwide tour to campaign against his 3-year mandate.
In a programme guide obtained by Eye Africa, the religious leaders will commence the tour from 6 to 10 October, where they will meet with Imams and other religious leaders in all the regions to help convince the mases to forget about the 3-year mandate as agreed with the coalition leaders before the 2016 election.
A source close to the presidency and the entourage indicate that the trip will cost close to 10 million dalasi.
Eye Africa contacted the State House press department who promised to get back on the issue. We will continue to provide update on the matter as it unfold.
Former President Yahya Jammeh has been using religious leaders during his regime to boost his support from the people by offering them with pleasantries, cash and kind which came to increase religious involvement into politics.
President Adama Barrow came under pressure when several Gambians, including groups begin to ask him to step down at the end of his three years in office this December, by respecting his agreement with the eight-member party coalition leaders before the 2016 general election.
The tour programme guide indicates that during the five-day nationwide tour, the religious leaders will visit security installations, among them Pakaliba Army Barracks in Lower River Region, Imams and community elders.
In a 27 August meeting with West Coast Region council of elders at State House, President Barrow said his mandate is five years and he will complete it because there are unfinished works he needed to take care of. “Except that I make my decision and later change, my mandate is five years and I will complete it because there are unfinished works,” he said.
Mr. Barrow and leaders of the eight political parties that formed the coalition that brought him to power in 2016, had a three-year mandate agreement for the president before they can all go back to their parties. But it is now appearing that the agreement is not honoured by all the parties as there is no visible serious campaign against it yet.
As the three years agreement end this December, several groups have been pressuring Mr. Barrow to respect his agreement with the coalition leaders and step down, but he said at the August meeting that there is no feature to show the reliability of that.
“We agreed that we will review our constitution in three years, then we can go to election. But is that even happening? There is no consultation. Before the three years mandate stands, there should be a draft and sent to cabinet, then to the Assembly then to referendum,” he was quoted as saying.