Madi Ceesay, UDP Member of Parliament for Serre-Kunda West, has confirmed that he was among the MPS, who received D10,000 dalasis from President Adam Barrow, through Barrow’s political surrogate Lamin Cham, the Freedom Newspaper can report. Mr. Ceesay, who is also the Founder of the Banjul based Daily News Newspaper, said, he never asked Cham as to the reason why the President had to give him the D10,000. Though, Ceesay vehemently denied any wrongdoing saying: “ President Barrow cannot bribe me. I cannot be bribed by the President.”
MP Madi Ceesay told journalist Omar Wally that there was nothing immoral about his action. He maintains that the President Adama Barrow can afford to give him D10,000 dalasis, which is about $200 dollars. Hence, Ceesay, further contends that the noise being made over the issue was unnecessary.
“ I can equally give D10,000 dalasis to any other person. Had been that the President has given me D10 million dalasis, then it is worth questioning. I did not ask why he gave me D10,000 dalasis,” Ceesay posited.
This followed, allegations made by UDP MP Sanna Jawara, accusing President Adama Barrow of bribing UDP MPS ahead of the party’s Congress scheduled for December. Jawara said he wanted to expose corruption that’s why he blew the whistle on the President.
The President’s Office has since issued a statement accusing Jawara of smearing the image of President Barrow. “It is with great dismay that to learn of the series of serious unfounded allegations made by Sanna Jawara, a sitting National Assembly member, most notably, that the President ‘’has started paying some parliamentarians D10, 000 each month in envelopes’’. Hon. Jawara went as far as suggesting that some National Assembly Members ‘’physically queue up for monthly handouts’’ from the president – grave claims that he could not substantiate,” said a press release from the President’s office late Monday evening.
“The claims were maliciously designed to bring disrepute to the person of the president and the office he occupies. Contrary to what Mr. Jawara stated, without any evidence whatsoever, no National Assembly Member was invited to State House to receive money in return for any favors, including political support. President Adama Barrow has been supporting and continues to support individuals and groups whenever he can. It was in the same spirit that His Excellency, the President donated vehicles to members of the same body to ease mobility and communication constraints with their constituents,” the release added.
MP Madi Ceesay has been proactive in taking the Barrow government to task over the Semlex biometric contract awarding. He even called for an inquiry to be set up to investigate the legality of the contract. He believes that the Touray brothers were not fairly treated by the government.
Ceesay’s failure to question the D10,000 Presidential gift extended to him by the President was queried by Mr. Wally during his interview with him. Wally contends that the MP, has not only put his credibility on the line, but has also given credence to allegations that he was among the MPS on Barrow’s payroll to canvass for support for Barrow, before the UDP Congress.
An adamant Madi Ceesay rejected such assertions. He insists that he will never be part of any coordination to undermine the UDP Congress.
Madi Ceesay is a former member of Lamin Waa Juwara’s NDAM party. He resigned his membership with the UDP to join NDAM, when the party was formed in early 2000. He left NDAM to rejoin UDP.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai