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Friday, December 1, 2023
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BARROW GOES BALLISTIC ON DARBOE, PRESS

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By Omar Bah

President Adama Barrow has accused UDP leader Ousainu Darboe of being a hypocrite for claiming that The Gambia is sliding back to dictatorship, saying if he were a dictator, media outfits like Kerr Fatou and Mengbekering would not have existed.

Reacting to Mr Darboe’s comments at the funeral of the late Nogoi Njie that the government had betrayed those who fought to end dictatorship in The Gambia and that the country was retrogressing to dictatorship, President Barrow, who is currently on a tour of rural Gambia to inaugurate roads and his party’s political bureaus, said: “They are belittling our police, claiming that the country is sliding back to dictatorship, but if dictatorship were in this country, he [Ousainu Darboe] would not have said those things and go unpunished. The police would have found him there, arrested him, and thrown him into the prison. We want to tell him that if there was no democracy in this country, Kerr Fatou and Mengbekering platforms would not have existed in this country. All these radio stations making noise would not exist in this country.”

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President Barrow said his government will crack down on lawbreakers, saying lawlessness will not be tolerated.

“We have been lenient with them for too long, but we will no longer tolerate law breaking and idle rhetoric. No country can exist without laws. I was raised by religious people and taught to live a moral life. I have never been involved in any shady activities, and I have never been seen drinking alcohol.

“This Ousainu Darboe who is fighting me is the reason I didn’t perform the hajj in 2016. I refused to travel to Mecca because I wanted to stay and fight for his release from prison, and God made me a candidate. I fought against the person who incarcerated him, but ingratitude is abhorrent. I heard him say they [UDP] are living from their sweat while we are off the work of their members who sacrificed their lives. I said, listen to the words of a hypocrite. This is somebody who was arrested and tied down in one place, waiting for his time. I rescued him and appointed him vice president. So, tell me and them, who owes who? This is very sad.”

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He said the NPP is focused on establishing itself across the country.

“The NPP is not here to play games. We are ready for anything. We are willing to lay down our lives for this country, and we will win because we are working hard,” he said.

Counter

In his defence of Ousainu Darboe, UDP deputy national organising secretary, Ebrima Dibba said Barrow erred in his statement.

“Firstly, to claim that he could not go on haji in 2016 because he was in charge of UDP’s money is far from reality because in the first place UDP never had any large amount of money at any time. I know this because I was part of those coordinating monies sent to him from our members in the USA,” Mr Dibba said.

On Barrow’s claim that he freed Darboe and others from prison where they were only waiting to die by sending away Jammeh who imprisoned him, Dibba said Barrow has forgotten that Darboe and fellow political prisoners were set free soon after Jammeh conceded defeat before he changed his mind and obviously before he Barrow took office.

”Besides it was we, the Gambian people, who made that change possible and not you. Your efforts could not have brought you where you are. It was the UDP that made you what you are today and Aji Yam Secka in particular who almost forced you to apply to be party’s candidate,” Dibba reminded President Barrow.

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