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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

BarrowMustGo2026 campaigners renew calls for president to quit

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By Alagie Manneh

The advocates behind the #BarrowMustGo2026 campaign have renewed their calls for President Barrow to resign and not contest in the 2026 election.

In a Standard exclusive, the spokesperson of the movement, US-based Gambian political activist Ms Juka Cessay, said the reason they want Barrow’s resignation was the same reason why Gambians stood and booted former President Jammeh out.

“These reasons are ‘Never Again’. And ‘Never Again’, I truly believe, should include not only brutality, but also impunity, and term limits. It should be for people overstaying and being there for longer than ten years. We are in 2023 and it’s only a few countries that are still stuck with no term limit. If you do not have a term limit in any country, the risks exist for uprisings and coup d’état to happen, for dictatorship to happen. So, if we want to evolve as a country, and if we want greatness to happen in that country, we must adopt term limits in our constitution,” she argued. 

Ms Ceesay said what compounded the matter was President Barrow’s move to lobby for the defeat of the draft constitution. “He lobbied for it to be rejected and that’s what happened. So, we are saying even if he wants to run in 2026, we will do everything we democratically can to make sure he doesn’t win.

“Another reason is that he is unable to govern the country. He said it when he first took that seat. He first promised three years. Granted, things happened. He betrayed every single person he went into the coalition with. That should’ve been enough for Gambians to not vote for Barrow again. [But] we gave him a second chance, yet he is unable to deliver. And this time around he cannot give any excuses. He cannot say that he had a ‘Mbahal Cabinet’, or that he had other opposition parties in his cabinet. He can no longer give those excuses and he needs to deliver for the next five years, but the trend that we are seeing right now, he is not delivering anything. Just a bunch of promises, [while] a lot of alleged corruption [is] going on in that country. Look at the roads in the country. The whole country is a mess. Poverty is higher than ever; the education system is failing the young people miserably; prices for goods and services are scaling and getting higher and higher. So, Barrow must go in 2026 and I hope every Gambian does whatever we can do collectively to make sure that happens.”

Read the full interview on Friday.

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