By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has strongly dismissed claims that he was playing tribal politics by accepting to meet an exclusively Fula Association.
Addressing the audience from the Tabital Pulaagu, whose leaders split over the planned meeting with him, President Barrow categorically stated that he is a Mandinka. “My father is a Mandinka and my mother is Fula and the Sarahules are my uncles. I think my this connection with all these tribes is what is driving fear in some people about me,” Barrow said. Mr Barrow said the meeting was not in any way inspired or motivated to mobilise the Fulas to support him, arguing that his connection with Fulas, Mandinkas and Sarahules was destined by God.
He reminded his audience that the Sarehule community visited him but there was no outcry about that. “Why should they be worried about the Fulas’ visit? This is purely political and hypocritical,” he explained.
The Gambian leader reminded the group that Fulas, Mandinkas, Wolofs, Jolas and all the other tribes are equal in the country. “I am the president and I love you all and you are all my family. The Fulas who are here today should understand that they are part of The Gambia. I want you to join me we work together and develop this country because I cannot do it alone. Wherever you maybe if you want to progress you have to speak the same language with government,” he told the visiting Fula group.
The Gambian leader said there is a lot of noise about the seat he is occupying.
“All the noise is about the State House. If I should announce my resignation today all the noise will stop as those talking will keep their mouths shut. And so all the fight is about the Presidency but they will have to wait for a while because I was voted into office and whosoever wants to be President has to seek the mandate of the Gambian people first.”
President Barrow also used the opportunity to inform the group that he is planning to go for a countrywide tour starting from 18 November, saying that is the time everybody will know who is the president.
“They are saying I was wearing some other people’s cloths but now I am going to wear my own cloths and I will go out with that dress,” he added.
He further disclosed that he is still the bus driver and he wants everyone to be onboard based on principles.
“Whosoever wants to stay on the bus you have to adhere to those principles by force or else you will be dropped. Others have already been dropped but God willing the bus will reach its destination. Nobody will be able to stop my bus and I know Seedy Dem and his executive in Tabital Pulaagu are on the bus. I am sure when this meeting is broadcast some people will panic,” he said teasingly.