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Monday, October 2, 2023

Group against third term for Barrow denies affiliation with UDP

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By Amadou Jadama

A group, calling itself No Third-term for Barrow, accused of being a propaganda branch of opposition United Democratic Party on a mind game to poison opinions about any third term ambition of President Barrow, has denied any affiliation with UDP.   

Lamin Sillah, president of the group based in the US, also told The Standard on Monday contrary to all the misconceptions, his group is neither misleading people nor brewing trouble. “We are a very peaceful group of people with a very reasonable message that all genuine Gambians need to hear first, before jumping to conclusions. For a start, our members come from all tribes and different political parties including even NPP. Our common objective is to peacefully and humbly campaign to persuade President Barrow against running for a third term,” Sillah said.

According to Mr Sillah, the group was formed on the 4th July this year and comprises Gambians both at home and abroad.

“The reasons why we want to persuade Barrow against going for this third term business, whether as his right or not, is to avoid the problems that are currently happening in our sub region, notably Niger. The Gambia has taken a very enviable path in 2016 and the only way to consolidate that is for the president to have the will to forgo even his own rights in the interest of leaving a strong legacy of undiluted democracy. If Barrow leaves power on his own at the end of his second term and stamps this in the new constitution, he would put Gambia on a very high standing in the world and his own name in the most esteemed place in the country’s history,” Sillah said. 

He however maintained that the biggest obstacle to such a progressive path would be people surrounding the president who don’t want him to step down so that their own privileges and enjoyments can continue.

He added that is why they rejected the new draft constitution, and Gambians should stand up to ensure that the draft constitution is brought back.

Asked what would be their next step if President Barrow decides to go for a third term, Sillah replied: “We will not cause any violence but we will protest both at home and abroad and hopefully that would bring sense to him and whoever is against our idea”.

Sillah said their group is aware of the absence of term limit in our constitution but that should not be an escape route for anybody to promote self-perpetuation in power.

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