In an op-ed I authored about two weeks ago entitled “The Coalition MOU – The 3 vs. 5 Year Debate…” I opined that Adama Barrow’s disgraceful violation of the letter and spirit of the Coalition Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was not a Constitutional matter, but one of personal integrity for the President. By personal integrity I meant, and continue to underscore, that Barrow has proved himself to be unreliable, untrustworthy, deceptive and possessed of a deep character flaw that disqualifies him from continuing to hold the highest office of the land. I also predicted that if Gambians continue to stand on the sidelines and allow Barrow to violate the terms of the Coalition MOU on the duration of the interim Presidency, there would be nothing to stop him from flouting the other critical pillar of the understandings he reached with his Coalition partners, i.e. the restriction on his eligibility to run for office at the end of the transition period. But even I could not have foreseen that my prediction would become so true, and so soon!
In an audio recording apparently made on the weekend of 6-7 October 2018, and currently circulating on social media, President Barrow did not mince his words about his desire, indeed his determination, to contest the next elections – again contrary to his commitments under the Coalition MOU. But he went even further. He threatened any potential aspirants for the nomination of the United Democratic Party (UDP), that they would be committing an act of treason by challenging him for the UDP Presidential ticket! I simply could not believe my ears! Party members would be committing treason by exercising their democratic right to contest for the leadership of their own party? On which planet is Adama Barrow? I asked myself, “is this an act of shear ignorance or a deliberate political manipulation”? Whatever the explanation, I concluded that Gambians must not stand up for it.
According to Barrow, he is President of the republic of The Gambia, he is a member of the UDP, and no other member or leader of the Party has a right to challenge him or run as flagbearer.
In saying this, Barrow has once again demonstrated that he is totally ignorant of the UDP Constitution. His utterances are, once again, at odds with the promises he made to the Gambia people, his Coalition partners, and his erstwhile party (the UDP), that he would lead an interim Coalition Government, step aside from the Presidency after three years, and not contest the next election. His back peddling on these promises show, once again, that Barrow lacks the honesty, moral rectitude, and personal integrity required of a good leader.
Has Mr. Barrow forgotten that one of the conditions upon which he was selected as flagbearer was that he had to resign from membership of the UDP? Has Adama Barrow forgotten the letter he wrote to the Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party, Aji Yam Secka on 3 November 2016 in which he stated in no uncertain terms: “I do hereby tender my resignation as a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the positions that I hold in the party with immediate effect.” Barrow’s letter of resignation was copied to the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Mr. Alieu Momar Njie. On 5 November 2016, the UDP Deputy Leader, Aji Yam Secka, replied to Barrow’s letter, informing him and the entire population of The Gambia that the UDP Executive had accepted Barrow’s resignation from the party so that he could run as the flagbearer of the Opposition Coalition. How can Adama Barrow then say he is still a member of the UDP?
Well, Barrow, I have news for you. We the people say you are NOT a member of the UDP. You resigned from the party in 2016 so that you can run as Coalition Flagbearer. You cannot approbate and reprobate. That is called dishonesty in the mind of all right-thinking people. Your now notorious audio recording of 6-7 October, only goes to cement why Gambians should not trust you and must insist that you quit the Presidency in 2019 at the end of your three-year mandate. You must be taught to learn and respect that sovereignty lies in the people, not in self-righteous and entitled leaders such as yourself.
The UDP will hold a congress as mandated by its Constitution and the Electoral law of The Gambia; in accordance with those norms and the Party’s democratic ethos, the UDP membership will elect a flagbearer of the people’s choice to represent the party at the next elections. You cannot do anything about that. The UDP will not allow you to impose yourself on it or on the Gambian people. Over the short 22-month period you have been in power, you have proved yourself to be corrupt, inept and devoid of the leadership qualities that our country needs and deserves.
Moreover, you have proved your potential to become a worse dictator than Yahya Jammeh. You have betrayed the trust and confidence Gambians reposed in you by hobnobbing with Jammehyistas and APRC loyalists. Let me ask you a few questions, Adama Barrow:
How do you explain your selection of Mambury Njie as Finance Minister when there are literally tens of highly qualified Gambians at home and abroad, who participated in the struggle for our liberation from tyranny and who would all excel in that role without the baggage and compromised integrity of Mamburay Njie? Why not look around the World Bank and IMF, the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the United Nations, leading global banks such as the Standard Chartered Bank where Gambian experts, including development economists and financial specialists, continue to proudly serve with dignity and integrity? Each and every one of these Gambians would have made a much more credible Finance Minister than the tainted and compromised Mamburay Njie.
How do you explain the selection of Momodou Tangara as Foreign Minister, a fellow who audaciously engaged in a fist fight with Gambians who were peacefully demonstrating against the Jammeh dictatorship and human rights violations in New York city in 2015? Please ask Pa Samba Jaw, Ousainou Mbenga, Falai Baldeh who the real Tangara is! Instead of asking the young Dr. Ceesay of the Gambia University where he was during the struggle, these are the people you should be asking that question. These are the people you should be asking where they were when Ousainou Darboe was arrested and imprisoned! Tangara, Mamburay and Seedy Njie are the people you, Adama Barrow, should ask where they were when our leaders were unlawfully arrested and detained at Mile II central prisons; when our galant women of the “Calamaa” revolution were sexually assaulted and tortured by Jammeh’s unconscionable gang of bandits under the leadership of Yankuba Bajie at the NIA; these are the people you should ask where they were when Solo Sandeng was killed, and countless others raped, tortured and dismembered.
How can you, Adama Barrow, explain to Gambians your new-found family relationship and association with the dishonourable Seedy Njie? Seedy Njie who would sell his soul for Yahya Jammeh and was one of the last men standing in defence of the disgusting dictator? Was it not Seedy Njie, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, and the former speaker Bojang, who did everything they could to subvert the expressed will of the Gambian people and the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election that won you the Presidency? Yet these are the people you now wine, dine and fly in private jets with, while genuine Gambians who fought the liberation struggle, continue to languish. How deplorable!! How could you forget so soon Adama? Or are you simply blinded by the lust for power?
How do you explain the dubious deposit of over D30million in the bank account of your wife’s fraudulent foundation by would-be Chinese investors? How do you explain spending over D15million of taxpayer money to charter a private jet to fly to the UN General Assembly in New York when the Royal Vitoria Hospital does not even have blood bags to treat Gambian patients who voted you into office? How do you explain spending over D200 million on travel and per diems, when the country faces a looming food security crisis? How can you bribe members of parliament D10000.00 per month to buy their loyalty and break up the UDP simply to pursue your personal quest for power? How can you explain these shenanigans to Gambians, Adama Barrow? How do you expect us to take you seriously? How do you expect us to trust you?
Let me assure you, the hundreds of thousands of UDP supporters (and other well-meaning Gambians) will never allow you to drag into the mud, the good name of our party which was earned over a quarter century of dedicated and principled struggle against the Jammeh tyranny. We know what your plans are. Your appointment of Mamburay, Tangara, Seedy Njie and your increasing drift towards the APRC, is nothing less than a sinister scheme to divide the UDP, hoodwink its shortsighted or selfish members into following you, and then building an unholy alliance with the APRC. Through this scheme, you hope to entrench yourself in power and sow the seeds of another ignorant dictatorship in our country. You have been consorting with the devil Yahya Jammeh’s enablers while abandoning the genuine citizens of The Gambia who have endured selfless sacrifice for themselves and their families to liberate our motherland and elect you as President. How ungrateful can you be, Adama Barrow?
I am also aware of the increasing signs of paranoia and intolerance on your part. You believe everyone is conspiring against your devious plans to entrench yourself in the Presidency. It is because of that fear that you got rid of Mai Ahmad Fatty, because you saw him as a threat to your leadership; you were threatened by his intelligence and his increasing popularity. By the same token, you got rid of Aja Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, as soon as she began to nudge you towards respecting the promise you made to Gambians to serve a term of three years, instead of five years. You got rid of her, despite her valiant leadership in bringing the 2016 Coalition together. That same paranoia and lack of integrity is now driving you to plot with the APRC to get rid of our party leader, the right Honourable Ousainou Numukunda Darbo. Adama, we can read through your plans. We know all that is going on, including your promises to the APRC to bring back Yahya Jammeh as a “private citizen” in exchange for the support of the APRC party! How dishonourable and ungrateful can you be to the UDP and the Coalition who took you from the obscurity of a low-level estate agent, to flagbearer and then President? Is this how you show gratitude? In the inevitable hereafter, what would you tell the late Solo Sandeng, Femi Peters, Syngle Nyassi, Lang Marong, Alhaji Karamba Jarbi, Dr. Boro Susso, Njagga Jagne, Lamin Sanneh, Jaja Nyassi and the countless numbers of faceless victims of the Jammeh dictatorship for breaking up the UDP and bringing back the very dictatorship for which they made the ultimate sacrifice?
Barrow, you have proved yourself to be the Judas of Gambian politics. You betrayed your coalition partners; you are now betraying lawyer Darboe and the UDP party who made you what you are today; if we do not stop you, you will betray the Gambian people in a manner worse than Yahya Jammeh.
We the Gambian people say “no” to that. And “YES WE CAN” and will stop you!!