By Tabora Bojang
President Adama Barrow has consoled ex-APRC Foñi National Assembly Members that they will bounce back better from the heartbreak in the last parliamentary elections to 5 candidates who were backed by former president Yahya Jammeh.
The APRC split after Jammeh announced the arbitrary removal of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his executive members for coalescing with Barrow’s NPP.
The split created rivalry in Foñi between Jatta’s APRC and Jammeh’s which came to be known as the No Alliance Movement.
The movement supported the candidacies of Bakary K Badjie in Foñi Bintang, Almamy Gibba in Foñi Kansala, Pa Dembo Sanneh in Foñi Bondali, Amie Colley in Foñi Berefet and Kebba Tumanding Sanneh in Foñi Jarrol and they thumped incumbents Musa Amul Nyassi, Kaddy Camara, Sunkary Badjie, Modou Camara and Sunkung Jammeh, who contested under the FTJ-led coalition that backed Barrow.
President Barrow, who spoke on the defeat of his coalition partners for the first time since last year’s parliamentary polls during his meet-the-people in Sibanor, to understand that life does not stop at being a lawmaker and they have the potential to bounce back better.
“I want to tell Kaddy Camara and her colleagues [former NAMs] to understand that life does stop at being a National Assembly Member. People have survived in this country and they have never become legislators, nor are they even interested in doing so. It’s the people who [elect] you to be a NAM, but if you miss it, you can do other things better than being an MP. And you can work for your country without having to be a NAM. Yes, you failed in an election, but you didn’t fail in life. I [Adama Barrow] tasted defeat in a contest before you,” Barrow said.
He urged the former NAMs that there are lessons they can learn from his personal political experience because nobody would have thought he would bounce back to become president after he was defeated in the 2007 parliamentary elections by Mamma Kandeh.
“I ran for Parliament in 2007 and was defeated, but nine years later I came back and became president. Who would have imagined that? Who would have thought that someone who had been defeated as a parliamentary candidate would be the president? You will thus have more senior positions than your previous parliamentary jobs. You should reaffirm your faith in Allah and carry on having faith. We will not allow you to drift away from us and we will not let you down. I am no traitor. I know everything in the world is going to end. Then let’s be calm and understand that nobody can take someone’s destiny. It will get to you when the time comes. Your presence here pleases me greatly and has renewed my hope and faith in our partnership,” Barrow said.
The president’s remarks came barely a week after the 5 NAMs of the No Alliance Movement held a press conference and renewed criticism of his government, accusing him of putting Foñi under siege with the continuous presence of Senegalese forces in the region.
Barrow used his meeting to take a swipe at them, saying good NAMs talk about and confront issues that transform the lives of their people.
“But they don’t do anything that will incite conflict because that will disturb themselves and their people as well,” Barrow said.