The State House in Banjul has now been transformed as a political bureau. It is one of the busiest State Houses in West Africa. Meetings are convened on an hourly basis. From supporters of Barrow’s Youth Movement (BYM), the United Democratic Party leaders and their supporters and Religious Leaders often meet with the President to discuss politics.
On Monday, three different meetings were held at the State House. Mr. Barrow had a meeting with some UDP supporters; he also met with a delegation led by Aji Yam Secka, the UDP Deputy Leader, and some Banjul Religious leaders.
His Youth Movement lieutenants were also present at the corridors of the State House to receive arriving guests. They also coordinate the President’s political meetings among others.
In one of the meetings, in which Aji Yam Secka, was in attendance, Barrow was reminded about the strong ties he had with the UDP. He was advised to stay with the Party and forget about his determined quest for leadership position within the party.
One of the people, who witnessed the meeting said, Barrow was also told that he is an elected Independent President and hence his prospects of running for a UDP leadership position in any future Congress is a forgotten conclusion. That any attempt on the side of Barrow to entertain the notion that the party should elect him to serve as its party leader in the upcoming Congress, will no doubt nullify his position as a Head of State.
In other words, Barrow was told that he risked overthrowing himself by meddling into the UDP Congress. That once the party elects him as party leader, his position as a Coalition Independent President will become “untainable.”
A member of the UDP delegation also informed him that once his position as Coalition Independent President became vacant, by virtue of any future position he assumes at the UDP, while serving as President, the Independent Electoral Commission will have no other alternative other than organizing early elections.
Shortly after his meeting with the UDP delegation, the State House wrote in a press release by stating:“The President was elected as an independent coalition candidate. Thus, rather than politicking, he is occupied with finding solutions and addressing the development needs of the people that overwhelmingly elected him into office. Which is why he succeeded in securing several capital investments that would directly impact the lives of ordinary Gambians and drive them out of poverty, as stated in the National Development Plan 2018-2021.”
The above statement contradicts Barrow’s earlier statement, in which he told some group of UDP supporters that he will not allow to be pushed aside by the UDP to give way for others to succeed him within the party. Barrow even went as far as saying that any attempt to oppose him within the UDP, could amount to betrayal of the highest order.
“The UDP as a party lacks nothing in this government. You have a President, Vice President, Speaker of the National Assembly, and key positions in the government. What else do you want? You do not need another President. You already had one,” Barrow remarked in the Mandinka local dialect.
“Sitting Presidents do not go to for Convention. Even in the United States of America, which is the bastion of democracy, a sitting President do not go for Convention. The other opposition parties can seek to oppose me in the coming elections, but I do not think it is appropriate for the UDP to seek to replace its own President. What we should preoccupied ourselves is to ensure that we have a UDP government that will last for the next 15 years. You already had a President and I am your President. I am also the President for the supporters of the opposition and all Gambians,” Barrow added.
Mr. Barrow erred when he claimed that sitting Presidents in the United States do not face opposition within their own parties during primaries. For all that we know, President Jimmy Carter, Ford, Reagan and other US Presidents were challenged by their own party members in past Conventions.
Former Jammeh Officials
There are some prominent big names in the former Jammeh government who have privately pledged their support for Barrow, should he decides to set up a political party. Some of them are former cabinet ministers. They are in talks with Barrow’s team.
There are also some APRC bigwigs on the sideline waiting for Barrow’s party to be launched. They also want to join the Barrow train.
For now, we will refrain from naming names. But there are bigger forces behind Adama Barrow. Some of the APRC folks planning to jump ship said, they are more comfortable with Barrow than Ousainou Darboe. They are always around the State House.
A former Jammeh Cheerleader and supporter has been seen hanging out with Dodou Sano. His name is Momodou Dahaba. Dahaba is a police officer. He and Sano dine and wine together.
Some concerned Banjul religious leaders are also working with Barrow’s team to propagate the agenda that they want Barrow to form a political party. Some of the religious leaders met Barrow on Monday at the State House. A prominent Gambian Imam is part of the team coordinating the secret meetings.
A replica of what happened in 1994, might happen again. You remember, when some religious leaders descended at the State House, appealing to Jammeh to prolong his rule? A similar thing is about to happen. Watch the space!