By Lamin Cham
Independent presidential candidate Essa Faal has accused the National People’s Party of President Barrow of using mafia-style tactics to frustrate his mobilisation efforts.
Talking to reporters shortly after filing his nomination papers at the IEC head offices yesterday, a livid Mr Faal explained: “We contacted the Gambia Transport Union and ordered 200 buses and 53 minivans. But the NPP doubled the money so that the drivers would refuse to ferry our supporters to the nomination grounds. They think they have sabotaged our nomination but they cannot stop our supporters from going to the polling booths. We beat them in Banjul, we beat them in Brikama we beat them in Bakadaji…”
Mr Faal painted a grim picture of the state of affairs of the country and underlined the reasons why Gambians should vote out Barrow on 4th December: “The Gambia is one of the worst places to do business in and that is why it would be hard for people to invest here. [What is happening] is state capture and that is what we have come to stop,” Mr Faal said.
The market decides
However, when contacted for explanation, the president of the Gambia Transport Union, Omar Ceesay, denied Mr Faal’s allegations and said his union merely responded to the forces of the market.
“The drivers were offered D2,500 by Essa Faal’s team while the NPP offered D3,000, or even D3,500. So the drivers naturally went for the higher pay. I have never been instructed by anybody to block Essa Faal’s team. It was purely business,” Mr Ceesay said.