Violence erupted at the United Democratic Party regional convention in Brikama on Sunday, resulting to the convention to be postponed. An altercation ensued among the delegates from Kombo South and some residents of Brikama. The convention door was damaged as delegates engaged in fist fight.

Personnel of the police intervention unit (PIU) were at the scene, but they refrained from interfering in the clash. They stood by watching the unfolding altercation.

Yusupha Cham, the UDP Chairman of the area made frantic efforts to restraint the delegates but without much success. Cham was in fact accused by the Kombo South delegates of trying to deny their delegates to take part in the voting. Cham is a close aide of President Adama Barrow. He is very unpopular within the UDP base. He has been accused of aiding Adama Barrow to consolidate himself in power.

The United Democratic Party Convention has been scheduled for December. Regional wards have started preparing for the big day, when they are expected to vote for the party’s upcoming leadership.

Ousainou Darboe is the leader of the United Democratic Party. He is also Gambia’s Vice President.

Both Darboe and Barrow’s names are on the delegates mind for leadership position in the upcoming congress. President Adama Barrow has made it known during a recent meeting with some UDP supporters that sitting Presidents are normally not replaced by their parties during conventions. He warns that any attempt on the side of the UDP to select a new leader will amount to treason–adding that the UDP leadership have occupied the most important positions in his government.

Also spotted at the scene of the altercation was Dodou Sannoh, another close aide of President Barrow. Sannoh defended his presence in the area. He said even though he is not part of the delegates to the convention, as a member of the party, he deems it imperative to witness the event. He told journalists that it is wrong for anyone to misconstrue his presence at the convention—adding that he is not in the position to influence the outcome of the convention.

Sannoh also rejected allegations that he is out to sow seeds of discord within the UDP. He said the Barrow Youth Movement was created to help the UDP to consolidate itself in power and not for Barrow’s own political agenda. He said so far no one among the UDP leadership in Barrow’s government has complained about the Youth Movement. He charged that there are misguided folks in the party, who are bent on spreading false news to cause division within the party.

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

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