In April 2022, a co-opted executive member of Citizens’ Alliance (CA), Mr. Abdourahim Jallow, granted an interview to Membekering TV, an online media, where he made the accusation that the National Peoples’ Party (NPP) gave Dr. Ismaila Ceesay a vehicle to campaign for NPP. In addition, Mr. Dominic Mendy, the former CA National Chairperson (National President) stated in an interview on Kerr Fatou that Dr. Ceesay confirmed to him that three (3) vehicles were given to him (Dr. Ceesay) by NPP and he distributed the vehicles to the regional party members who were willing to campaign for NPP. Allegations were made that three vehicles, one for each, were sent to the West Coast Region (WCR), North Bank Region (NBR) and Central River Region (CRR).
In response to the allegations, Dr. Ceesay stated that he did not receive any vehicles personally. Rather, he facilitated in his personal capacity for a vehicle to be given to some party members in the West Coast Region who were keen to campaign for NPP in their personal capacities following the party’s decision that any party member can support a candidate/party of their choice.
CA took this matter seriously and constituted an investigative committee to look into the veracity of the allegations, identify possible breach of party codes of conduct and recommend disciplinary actions where applicable. The committee interviewed the regional Chairpersons of WCR, NBR and CRR to gather evidence of what transpired in their regions as regards the allegations. The committee also called Mr. Abdourahim Jallow, who made the accusation, to enquire about any possible evidence supporting his claim. Finally, the committee reached out to Fact Check – The Gambia who claimed to have evidence of the vehicles given to Dr. Ceesay.
The committee gathered the following findings:
- The Regional Chairpersons in NBR and CRR confirmed that no vehicles were given to any member of CA in their respective regions to campaign for NPP.
- The Regional Chairperson for WCR confirmed receiving a vehicle from an NPP representative to campaign for NPP, but not under the directive of CA. It is worth noting that the vehicle was not a gift but only meant to facilitate the campaign and was returned immediately thereafter. According to him, their decision to campaign for the NPP was in line with the guidance given by CA, following the non-endorsement declaration in the 2021 Presidential Elections wherein individual members were given the freewill to support any party at their own accord.
- The Fact Check – The Gambia refused to cooperate in the investigation and stated that their publication was not about CA but the person of Dr. Ceesay.
- Mr. Abdourahim reiterated that he never said 3 vehicles were given, but instead stated one vehicle was given to the WCR Chairperson.
In summary, the committee was able to find corroborating evidence to the existence of only ONE vehicle and not THREE. This vehicle was used in the WCR. The findings give credence to Dr. Ceesay’s assertion of facilitating one vehicle to be given to some people in the WCR. In trying to establish any breach of code of conduct, the committee found no party rules were broken by Dr. Ceesay because when the party issued the non- endorsement guidance to the membership during the 2021 Presidential Elections, it failed to specify exceptions for the executive committee members including Dr. Ceesay as the Flagbearer.
However, the actions of Dr. Ceesay in facilitating the vehicle transfer is deemed to be contrary to what should be expected of him, irrespective of the absence of any extant regulation that frowned against it. The party believes it has reputational, moral and ethical ramifications and could have been avoided. The move has created unwarranted cloud of suspicions surrounding his visit to the State House.
Therefore, the CA National Executive Committee (CNEC) admits to collective failure in not outlining clear guidance to what executive members were allowed to do in the non-endorsement guidance issued to the membership. The Party is committed to ensuring that clear regulations are put in place to avert the recurrence of such lapses in the future.
Finally, the CNEC wants to assure the party members that CA and its Party Flagbearer, Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, are not compromised and will continue to hold the government accountable whenever the need arises. We are committed to our founding principles and our quest towards the restoration of Hope and Dignity for all Gambians.