By Omar Bah
The leader of the Gambia Action Party, Musa Yali Batchilly has confirmed breaking all political ties with Adama Barrow’s NPP after he was denied access to see the president.
The GAP founder and several other opposition parties and independent candidates last year rallied behind Barrow’s NPP to support his re-election bid.
The president had promised to allocate a handful of government positions to his coalition partners but he has only appointed Fabakary Tombong Jatta out of the political leaders who joined his bus last year. Some of the political parties have announced plans to form a coalition of their own.
“My professional relationship with President Barrow remains perfect and even the devil cannot come between us. But anything that has to do with politics is out of the equation,” Batchilly said in a Star FM interview to be aired today.
Explaining why he decided to drop from the president’s bus, Batchilly said he had told the president he would not appreciate going through all sorts of protocols just to meet him or talk to him as a brother.
“But he told me to contact Musa Bah or Chief of Protocol Alhagie Ceesay whenever I want to meet or talk to him. Since then whenever I call Alhagie Ceesay, he will facilitate for me to meet or talk to him – depending on my request. However, since last April he has not taken my calls or replied to my text messages,” he said.
He said for two months, he has been calling Alhagie Ceesay to facilitate a meeting for him with the president without success.
“It was recently that I decided to call his assistant to inform him about it and I also told him I wanted to see my big brother (Barrow) and it’s urgent. He told me the president was travelling to Ghana but when he returns, they will facilitate a meeting but that has not happened. So, I have informed the assistant protocol that I am no more interested in an appointment with the president. I am okay. He will continue to be a brother but I have nothing to do with him politically,” he added.
Batchilly said he never sat with President Barrow and talked to him about the appointment.
“What I told him in the presence of uncle OJ Jallow is that I want to join him and support him to win the election. But I want to confirm to President Barrow today that I am part of the planned coalition that was published by The Standard Newspaper on Monday,” he said.
Batchilly also registered his disappointment over the president’s failure to call him and other coalition partners during Tobaski day and went ahead to call the likes of UDP leader Ousainu Darboe and others.
“I want to tell President Barrow that I am a party leader and I registered GAP before the NPP was registered and I became a Secretary General before him. I am not competing with him because I paid D1 million to the IEC before him and I didn’t call him to say I wanted to join him, he was the one who requested my support and I endorsed him despite the fact that majority of my executive were not in support of my decision. But I endorsed him because I thought he was the right candidate.”
Batchilly said the president is failing because he is surrounded by people who don’t have the country at heart.
“But I want to tell the president to remember tomorrow will come and he might not be the president by then, so he should be careful,” he said.
He said all the NPP coalition partners, who decided to form a new coalition, have confirmed to him they have not asked President Barrow to appoint them.
“However, I was there when President Barrow asked all of us to give our CVs to Hamat Bah – I don’t know whether the rest have done that. I refused because I cannot give my CV to Hamat Bah. I am a big man and you cannot expect me to give my CV to Hamat Bah. How can I give my CV to Hamat Bah? My CV will only be delivered to the president and nobody else,” he added.