By Tabora Bojang
Former vice president and leader of the United Democratic Party, Ousainu Darboe has said that President Barrow could have got what he wanted if he had played his cards well.
Speaking in an interview with Kerr Fatou, the UDP leader said President Barrow had cultivated a political ambition which in itself is not what he stands for—and had wanted UDP to support him, but he used deceptive means to get that.
“Just imagine buying motor cycles for regional chairpersons without referring to the party. He was our treasurer and whatever assistance the UDP was getting was channeled through him. So why wasn’t he channeling his assistance through the UDP but instead using other people who are not members of the national executive to do his bidding?” Darboe said.
Mr Darboe accused President Barrow of misinforming people by telling them that he [Barrow] proposed to give a D5000 monthly allowance to all UDP chairpersons but Ousainu Darboe would not agree to it.
“Can you see how malicious that is and I thought it was very deceitful. He should be able to sit down with me and discuss if that son-father relations exist. I told him that I am not desperate to become a president but anybody who wants to bring division in the UDP I will fight you and I would not care who you are,” he said. Darboe who did not rule out any reconciliation between him and Barrow accused the president of caricaturing him with public insults, adding that there could be dialogue but only if Barrow stands in public and retracts his insults.
“Whether I become a president or not, the whole world know that Barrow’s presidency emanated from me and he could have got what he wanted had he known how to play his cards.”
Mr Darboe claimed that he too can claim to have contributed to the defeat of Jammeh from his prison cell because the eventual winner of the election Adama Barrow, had used his image and legacy to campaign in 2016.
His comments are widely deemed to be in response to Dou Sanno, a presidential aide, who claimed that ‘people Barrow saved from jail have betrayed him’
“Such people making those remarks should know that during the campaign, where ever Adama Barrow visited he would put on my shirt, use my name from Barra to Koina or Kartong to convince the electorate to vote for him,” Darboe said.
“He would tell the people that Ousainu Darboe is my father and that his pen which will defeat Jammeh is in my hands. So, you can see that a lot of us played in what happened to remove Jammeh from power.”
Darboe said Barrow’s campaign speeches are filled with praises and tributes to the patriotic work of people like himself, Momodou Sanneh, Lamin Dibba and Kemeseng Jammeh.
Asked to respond to criticisms that he undermined the President’s agenda, Darboe said that claim is not true.
“I was never a distraction to this government because we were in the cabinet to serve our country faithfully, diligently, honestly and not to support anybody’s personal agenda but agenda of the people of the Gambia, ” he said.