It is now official. The Chairman of the Brikama Area Council Sheriffo Sonko has been expelled from the United Democratic Party (UDP), Freedom Newspaper can report. A letter from the UDP party had informed Sonko that he has expelled from the party with immediate effect. Sonko is yet to receive his expulsion letter. He was not in his office, when the UDP representative visited him on Monday at BAC to hand deliver the letter to him. Sonko would be served with the letter on Tuesday, according to sources.
Two other UDP local ward councilors were expelled together with Sonko. The Jambour and Nema-kunku ward councilors have also been expelled from the UDP.
The party is going to officially make the announcement on Tuesday.
The leadership of the United Democratic Party, Gambia’s biggest opposition party, has unanimously agreed for the expulsion of Sheriffo Sonko, the Chairman of the Brikama Area Council, together with two UDP ward councilors from the party, Freedom Newspaper has been reliably informed. The decision was reached at a recent party meeting. Sonko and the two ward Councilors have been accused of being disloyal to the UDP party—amid allegations that the trio had switched their allegiance to Adama Barrow’s recently formed National People’s Party (NPP).
Credible and competent sources said the UDP elected BAC Chairman Sheriffo Sonko, Modou Bojang, the UDP Councilor for the Jambour Sanyang ward, and another UDP councilor for the Nemakunku ward, would be expelled from the party in coming days. “The decision to expel Sonko and the two councilors have been finalized. The decision would be communicated to the public soon,” said our sources.
Relationship between President Adama Barrow and the leadership of the UDP became strained, following Barrow’s move to consolidate himself in power. Barrow was a former Executive member of the UDP party, but due to the Coalition arraignment, he had to resign from the party to be able to run as an independent flag bearer. Barrow has since changed course to form his own party.
According to sources, the expulsion of Sheriffo Sonko and co could pave the way for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to organize by-elections to fill the vacant elective positions. The UDP is confident of winning the three seats in future by-elections, one party member told me in a phone conversation.
With regards to the upcoming Niamina West MP by-election, one party insider said the party might not sponsor a candidate in that election. The insider said the UDP is reviewing the situation and is likely going to team up with The Gambia Democratic Congress Party (GDC) so that the GDC can recapture its old seat. The seat was occupied by the late MP Demba Sowe.
President Barrow’s NPP party has been organizing campaigns in the Niamina West constituency. The NPP is interested in the seat. The party is going to sponsor a candidate for the Niamina West by-elections.