Darboe rebuts VP on extension of Barrow’s mandate

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By Omar Bah

The leader of the United Democratic Party, Ousainu Darboe has rebutted vice president Dr Isatou Touray’s claims that the 3 years Coalition agreement was discussed and finalised in the first cabinet meeting when President Adama Barrow took office.

“There was no cabinet meeting on the 3 years mandate of Barrow as claimed by VP Isatou Touray and her claim that we did agree that Barrow will serve 5 years is not accurate since there was no such meeting in cabinet.

I think she made a mistake because I was at that meeting but nothing like that was discussed. You can ask any other minister.

How can you even endorse that without PDOIS who are very important constituent of the Coalition?” he told Mengbekering, a programme aired on Home FM digital.

He noted that people holding positions of authority should avoid making misleading statements.

“We have to understand that three or five years is entirely political, it has nothing to do with government.

In cabinet we only discuss government policies.

But Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang and Isatou Touray are people I really respect and I will not want to say anything that will bring any suspicion between us,” he said.

He described as false, Madame Tambajang’s claims that they consulted the UDP prior to extending Barrow’s mandate.

“UDP walked out of the Coalition meeting chaired by Madame Tambajang few months ago because we wanted the 3 years agreement to be signed, first, subject to review later.

But Tambajang and her group of bad-faith-negotiators refused,” he added.

However, addressing UDP supporters in UK on Saturday, Mr Darboe reminded his supporters that unity within the UDP will be meaningless unless they are able to translate it at the national level.

“The new Gambia was battered by this unity with great dreams of a prosperous country and to realise our dreams and aspirations for the new Gambia it is important that we push for national unity at all cost to achieve our collective goals.

The UDP stands for national unity as the foundation of our core principles. Through national unity our nation was freed from dictatorship and tranny,” he noted.

He said Gambians should be guided by one aspiration of transforming Gambia from a traumatised and isolated nation to a vibrant economy.

“As we consolidate our new democracy let us all remain true to our core values of selfless devotion to country, transparency, good governance and respect to rule of law to address all the challenges we face as a nation.

Let us work in harmony for the greater good and renew our promise and take a national pledge to live by the ideas and volumes enshrined in our National Anthem.

Let us ensure that there is a halt to the abuse of power, corruption and lack of accountability, nepotism and inflammatory rhetoric that bring division in the Gambia,” he observed.

He continued: “We must stand as one people and one nation for this country to move forward.

It is of great concern to hear snipes of derogatory remarks, politics of insult and tribal sentiment rearing its ugly head in our political discuss especially on social media platforms.

It threatens the fabrics and sense of our cultural values and our co-existence as a nation.

These ugly and divisive behaviours are alien to UDP.

We should recognise that whiles democracy offers us freedom and promise of a successful nation it also challenges us to be responsible citizens.

We must condemn all those who engage in the politics of insult.

We must not share their audios or write-ups when they go low, we go high.”