By Mafugi Ceesay
The National Assembly Member for Busumbala, Saikouba Jarju, has said that he will not join President Barrow’s new National People’s Party, NPP, even after his dismissal from the rival UDP.
Jarju who was among eight parliamentarians expelled by the UDP on 14 November last year for their alleged loyalty to President Adama Barrow, said it would be unfair for anyone to think that since Barrow put up his party, all the sacked UDP NAMs will automatically be part of Barrow’s government.
“We are independent candidates serving our respective constituencies, the Constitution did not allow any sacked NAMs to join the NPP or any other party, because if anyone of us does so, we will lose our seat,” Jarju said.
“The new amended clause in the Constitution on the sacking of a sitting lawmaker decrees that any National Assembly Member that is sacked from a party will continue to serve as an independent candidate and for that, we cannot join Barrow’s party or any other party,” he added.
Jarju said despite his support of the president’s development priorities, he has no plans to join his political bandwagon.
He countered calls by his political foes in the UDP that he should resign and call for a by-election to test his claim that he is still famous and politically relevant.
“UDP is just deceiving people. My resignation as NAM will not be dictated by UDP or any other political party, it can only come from my electorate.”
He alleged that the UDP leader schemed to make his party NAMs undermine the Barrow administration.
Jarju said the 2016 coalition was destroyed immediately Ousainu Darboe was released from prison, adding that the coalition’s desireto field parliamentary candidates under an independent ticket was frustrated by Darboe. “At the beginning, President Barrow gave all of himself to the UDP to dictate and when the going was good, Darboe told Gambians that Barrow will lead for five years and this was what we believed and was going in the interest of the country“I could remember we had budget recess at the UDP political bureau in Manjai sometime at the end of 2018. This meeting was chaired by Ousainu Darboe. He talked about the President’s Office and said we should not support people for certain positions. These are people he had personal grudges against… It was then that I asked him what was his stand during a panel discussion of the cabinet on the issue before bringing it to us and before he answered, other NAMs interrupted and said I shouldn’t ask him that. From then I decided not to be used as bullet to fight anyone’s war.
“The UDP… the old blood, should give way to the young people and do away with the thinking that they are the ones who fought to salvage the country from Jammeh. This is a wrong notion. There can only be great future for young politicians if the old folk give way. If the political trend in the country continues, there will not be any future for any young politician.”