EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: National Reconciliation Party (NRP) deputy leader who was detained and released by police this week has challenged the party’s decision to sack him, following what he said was his ‘disapproval’ of the Coalition 2016 extension of President Adama Barrow’s mandate from three to five years without the consent of the entire stakeholders.
Musa Sonko told Eye Africa Thursday evening that his sacking was illegal, insisting that he was elected at a congress and not appointed. “If I have to be sacked, we must go back to congress and conduct election. Other than that, I am still the deputy leader of the NRP,” he said.
On Tuesday, the police invited Mr. Sonko for questioning in connection to a complaint letter lodged by the NRP party requesting him to return a double cabin pick up car that was given by President Adama Barrow.
Mr. Sonko said police later decided to stay away from the matter, saying that it was purely political issue and they cannot act on it. But he said on Wednesday, a police commissioner of Knifing Division, one Njie ordered him to hand over the car, saying that was an order from the police high command to confiscate it. “I insisted that the one who wrote to me was only a staff of the party who has no right to order me to hand over the car. But they insisted and detained me for about 30 hours and said I will not be released until I hand over the car.”
Some two weeks ago, some of the political parties that formed the coalition that brought President Adama Barrow to power in the 2016 election announced that they have extended his mandate from three to five years, but Mr Sonko said that was the bond of contention between him and the NRP when he suggested that the entire coalition members should have approved that and not a few.
He said the coalition had earlier drafted a resolution that should be sent to the President outlining some conditions, including agreement that the President should consult the coalition before taking crucial decisions and for the coalition to appeal to Gambian people to allow the President to go for five years. “As we were waiting for the president’s response, I received a text message from Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang that we should go to State House the following day to extend the president’s mandate, which does not good down well with me,” Mr Sonko said.
He said Mrs Jallow-Tambajang later texted him again, inviting him to a meeting where she read a resolution that the president’s term will be extended and when they dispersed, that was the time when he received a letter that he has been removed from the coalition executive.
Mr. Sonko said the car is now in the custody of Kairaba police who told him that the matter is under their Criminal investigation Department (CID) investigation.
He said his point was that before the coalition can extend the president’s mandate, the decision should be tabled before the entire coalition members and not few members, saying that those who decided on the extension were a minority in the coalition. “It is not going to be legal for the coalition to extend President Barrow’s mandate without the agreement of all the parties involved.”