By Lamin Cham
Matarr Ceesay, an executive member of the ‘3 Years Jotna’ movement has said his group will not sit with President Barrow for any dialogue over his refusal to honour his promise to step down after serving for three years.
Speaking to The Standard a little over week since State House director of press Amie Bojang-Sissoho said Barrow is open to dialogue over the issue, Ceesay said his movement will rather talk with the seven political parties that put the coalition together and not Mr Barrow who is “only a product” of the coalition.
“There is no point talking with someone who has refused to reason and has already vowed to carry on until 2021 whether anyone wants him to or not? The people who are central to the ‘3 Years Jotna’ campaign are the coalition who campaigned for a three-year transition rule which ends this December.
Barrow is not important as an entity in this unless he recommits himself to the agreements of the coalition. Our objective is to hold them accountable to their own words by asking them to honour their promise to set a good precedence in Gambian politics,” Ceesay said.
He claimed his movement is not asking for anything out of the ordinary. “We are simply asking the coalition members to take up their responsibility and do as they told the electorate.
If they fail to do so, they will be responsible for any negative thing,” Ceesay stressed.
He further stated that President Barrow has, “through his insistence on clinging to power immorally, eroded all confidence in him” at home and abroad.
“His behaviour has cost the country very much in terms of lost credibility and international goodwill. The whole world had believed that The Gambia has taken a progressive path in 2016 and pledged to support us.
But Mr Barrow has demonstrated he is not different from Jammeh and is hell bent on entrenching himself in power. This is a great disappointment,” Ceesay lamented.
Ceesay, himself a businessman, said “all Gambian businessmen should join the ‘3 Years Jotna’ [campaign] because there is a growing trend that indicates that the lifeblood of Gambian business will sooner or later be controlled by foreigners and not Gambians.
“We are not opposed to foreign investment but the Barrow government is increasingly empowering foreign business interests to the detriment of the local ones,” he alleged.
Mr Ceesay further said President Barrow and his “short sighted” political hacks have tried to paint the ‘3 Years Jotna’ movement in a negative light but said they will not succeed because “honest Gambians know the truth” about them.
“A far as we are concerned, there is no tribalism, sectionalism or partisanship in this.
The message is simple. Gambians simply want a credible, honest and efficient leader no matter his background who would do what he said and work for the needs and aspirations of the people.
No one should come up with excuses to deviate from that singularly important desire of the Gambian people to have good leadership. That is the message of our movement,” he concluded.