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Kandeh condemns Agric Minister’s tribal comments

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By Omar Bah

The leader of the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress has condemned Agriculture Minister Demba Sabally’s reported calls for Fulas to support President Barrow because he has appointed the likes of him and Seedy Njie.

Addressing a meeting organised by Tabital Pulaagu, the Minister of Agriculture Demba Sabally said the Fula community should support President Adama Barrow because he elevated some of them from herdsmen and farmers to government officials.

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“If it was not President Barrow, I will not be a herdsman and at the same time minister. Seedy Njie too would not have been Deputy Speaker, Saihou Mballow would not have been presidential adviser and we would not have Fula MPs. We should be proud of President Barrow’s presidency because that is our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our children,” Dr Sabally said.

But responding to comments in a WhatsApp audio message, Mamma Kandeh advised the executive members of Tabital Pulaagu to keep partisan politics out of their activities.

“The political neutrality of Tabital Pulaagu is important so you can operate as a safe haven where people with different political beliefs can come together to solve community problems. You should avoid being used by NPP leaders such as Minister Demba Sabally to cause division and hostility in the country,” Kandeh said.

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He reminded them that President Barrow is the president of The Gambia and not president of any particular group.

“I am not necessarily responding to Demba Sabally but to the comments he made. I condemn in the strongest possible terms attempts to use tribal sentiments to win political points. I was part of the pioneers of the Tabital Pulaagu and its purpose was to bring the Fulas under one umbrella especially when it comes to promoting our culture and unity. It was not formed to propagate for any party or political orientation,” Kandeh said.

Kandeh alleged the association has unfortunately been politicised by its current president Seedy Dem.

“Seedy Dem has disappointed the purpose of the formation of the organisation by mobilising the Fula community and taking them to President Barrow under the pretext that the Fulani tribe has been marginalized for years so they should be proud of Barrow who has an element of Fulani tribe. When they came up with the idea, I told them to avoid mobilising the Fulas to go there, instead advised them to go and see the president on behalf of the Fulas. That would have made sense,” he said.

Kandeh said the Fula community should not allow any individual or group to use them as a political tool.

“No tribe is superior or more important than the other in this country. In fact, the President Barrow you are running after based on tribe, has made clear to you that he is not a Fula,” he added.

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