EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Two groups that are advocating for President Adama Barrow to serve his five-year constitutional mandate in office have argued that they are not doing any favour for him, saying they are trying to safe-guard the dictates of the country’s constitution.
Responding to the pressure group -Operation Three Years Jotna- on Eyeafrica Good Morning Africa programme on Friday, members of Peace and Stability for The Gambia and Gambia for Five Years and Peace Building said people should understand that their stand is to safeguard the constitution but not to favour the President to stay in power.
The Three Years Jotna movement who held a peaceful protest last month, have been calling on President Adama Barrow to respect the coalition 2016 three-year mandate agreement and step down in January 2020.
Propaganda secretary of the Peace and Stability for The Gambia, Abdoulie Mendy said what they are advocating for is the safeguarding of the constitution and not doing a favour for the President.
Mendy said the coalition 2016 that brought President Adama Barrow to power as flag-bearer cannot be dissolved, arguing that it was not established by the president and he never led it. “People should understand that it was parties, stakeholders and activists who came together to form the coalition. The coalition is seven parties and none of them had written to the coalition secretariat to say they are not part of it.”
He said being a flag-bearer and coalition leader are two different things, adding the president resigned from a party when he was elected as flag-bearer. “So, he did not contest under any party.”
Mendy, who lost the 2017 legislative election under GPDP to UDP’s Abdoulie Ceesay, said if there is any betrayal, it was started by those who are supporting the three years, saying if they wanted the three years agreement to be fulfilled, they would have gone back to the drawing board and discuss it again in truthful, civilized and honourable manner.
He said President Barrow would not have cling to power if they had gone back to the drawing board to discuss again.
According to him, resignation of the president is voluntary, saying he can only be removed if he is sick, or is involved in a fraudulent act(s). He added that the president did not want to step down and the three years jotna group is not asking for his voluntary resignation but trying to force him to step down.
Ebrima Sori Bah, Secretary General of Gambia for Five Years and Peace Building said the groups intend to hold a national solidarity march on January 12, in support of President Barrow’s five years constitutional mandate.
“We will come out to tell the president that he has to serve his five years mandate. I am sure that seventy out of every hundred Gambians are supporting the five years because that is what they voted for, and five political parties of the coalition too. Even APRC and GDC are all supporting the five-years. So, if another group is calling on the president to step down by 20th January or they will block the roads will be like a coup d’état. That is breaking the law,” he said.
The group planned to show their solidarity march on the 12th January to advocate for the President to complete his five-year constitutional mandate.
Mariama Jammeh, national women mobiliser of Peace and Stability for The Gambia said they intend to conduct their solidarity march at siting corner, calling on Gambians to come out and support them in their quest to safeguard the constitution.