By Omar Bah
Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, a former vice president in the coalition government, much respected for babysitting the Coalition 2016 agenda, has confirmed that all the 7 coalition stakeholders will meet on 11 April to discuss pertinent issues.
“We are going to meet and review the Coalition agreement and come up with our position and inform the president about it. We have agreed with him [Barrow] that he is going to come out to the press and tell the whole country what the Coalition has agreed on and he has pledged to support our decision,” Tambajang told Dakar-based regional broadcaster West Africa Democracy Radio yesterday.
Madam Jallow is currently in Senegal for President Macky Sall’s inauguration.
She said the meeting will also discuss the way forward, reconcile the stakeholders to forget their differences and continue to put the country first.
“We must support the government and strategies in terms of making the president engage the population so that they know that we are together. We cannot afford to disappoint the Gambian people,” she said.
Madam Tambajang reiterated that although the Coalition agreement was for Barrow to serve for three years, it would be unrealistic to ask him to step down in December.
“I cannot preempt the Coalition agenda but considering all the factors and the difficulties that we have inherited and all the reforms that are going on, it is just realistic that he stays for five years but that has to be decided by the Coalition. I just want to say that the Coalition did not only come for a regime change, but for a system change. Removing Jammeh alone is not enough,” she noted.
She continued: “The Constitution should take precedence over everything. The MoU is a gentleman’s agreement. Yes, people have a moral responsibility to comply with agreements, but moral responsibilities have to be realistic and take consideration of the constitution because he swore to uphold the constitution and keep the country for five years”.
However, Tambajang also raised concern over the fact that people who have never struggled or participated in the struggle now surrounding President Barrow.
“I have sent a very strong message to those people that they have to forget about their personal interest because when we were struggling and putting our lives in the forefront they were nowhere to be seen. I informed him [Barrow] about it and he has promised to take my advice. I hope those around him for their selfish interest will stay back and allow him to focus,” she asserted.
Commenting on her dismissal, Madam Jallow said: “I was dismissed for reasons best known to the president. I was surprised because I did not violate the constitution, policies or any laws of the Gambia. I was a loyalist to the country and his government. So I was surprised but I accepted it as a phase in life. I never feel betrayed. I accept it as part of life. However, we have to give him credit for keeping the leadership intact and putting things together with his team to address the issues as quickly as possible. If I am rating the president it will be around 40% considering all the challenges. We are just two years down the line. The score will get better,” she concluded.