The founder of the proscribed Operation Three Years Jotna movement has thrown barbs at some of the group’s UDP supporters for being more loyal to the party than to “the truth”.
In a statement released on Independence Eve, Mr Musa Koteh alias ‘King Sport’, said he was “scared” and infuriated by statements made by Tapha Manjang, a native of Lower River Region, resident in the Kombos and recognised as an influential militant of the UDP.
In his statement, Mr Manjang opposed the planned activities announced by the movement’s leaders for Independence day in “a hard and acerbic way”. Mr Koteh then released a statement denouncing Mr Manjang for his harsh statement and not toeing the line of the decision adopted by the movement’s executive members.
Mr Koteh who is based in the United States said following the release of his audio statement, up to eight people called him to tell him Tapha is a key member of the UDP and that he [Koteh] should not have criticised and denounced him.
Koteh said he was deeply perturbed by these reactions saying his movement is not affiliated to any party, religion or tribe. “Three years is not a UDP movement. If the entire members of the UDP want, let them all leave Three Years Jotna. Three Years Jotna is a movement grounded on the truth for all Gambians. What this portends is that a UDP government will be worse than Yahya Jammeh and Adama Barrow’s governments because instead of condemning [Tapha Manjang] for his nonsensical statements, [the UDP members] are just harping on him being a key UDP supporter.
This is hypocrisy and it must stop. What does being ‘a key member’ of the UDP mean? UDP, APRC, GDC, NRP are all parties and none of them on their own represent the country. It is the members of all these parties who came together to set up Three Years Jotna, so we don’t care if someone is an influential member of the UDP or the APRC or whichever. We do not see any party; we see only Gambia. We should do away with cronyism. What scares me is the mentality displayed that if someone does wrong, it should not be talked about because the person is a member of the UDP. So it means when the UDP is in power, no one will be allowed to criticise it. If anyone criticises it, he or she will be attacked and they will back lies instead of the truth,” he contended.
Mr Koteh said it is the same political cronyism that is entrenching Barrow into power, as “his people are supporting him because they support his agenda, not the nation’s agenda”.
He said even if his movement is reduced to only two people, it will only stand for the truth.
He said the Three Years Jotna movement respects all Gambian parties with the exception of Adama Barrow’s “so-called NPP” and that it does not subscribe to the denigration of one party by another on the basis of being a big or a small party.
Critics of the militant movement have said Three Years Jotna is a front for the UDP in its political tussle with President Barrow and his NPP.
This has been denied by the leaders of the movement, including its chairman, Abdou Njie,
In the Independence eve statement, Koteh who claimed to have founded the movement, hammered another nail in the coffin of that theory by stating: “I am not a key supporter of the UDP; I am not a supporter of the UDP. Who cares?”