By Tabora Bojang
The leader of the National Reconciliation Party has told congress delegates at Sare Bojo Thursday that the party will not contest against the NPP in the coming local government elections.
Hamat Bah said: “We will give them all the necessary support. We must not be complacent to ward off any chances of the UDP taking over the helm of affairs. If any time there is a division between NRP and NPP, we risk seeing the UDP in power. UDP has a solid support but fortunately for us they don’t grow”.
Barrow’s third term
The tourism minister reaffirmed his party’s unalloyed support for President Barrow, saying that the party will back him even if he wants to run for a third term in office.
“I have pledged never to contest against Adama Barrow and we will continue to support him as long as he is in government. But apart from Adama Barrow, let nobody have any illusion that we will mortgage this party to you or our desire to be president. We are committed to lead this country but as long as President Barrow wants to be president, we are ready to support him and if he makes a declaration for a third term, we will support him. This party remains strong and solid but we are told to be quiet; we will remain quiet as long as Adama remains president and wants to be president,” he said.
Bah said President Barrow has been subjected to ‘too much insults and abuse’ from people he has not wronged, and it is high time he and his people demonstrated that they have power and strength.
Bah also took swipes at the opposition, saying contrary to what some of them believe, ‘there is no super person in the Gambia who is above arrest.’
The veteran politician did not mention any political party but many believe he was referring to the opposition UDP, whose campaign manager Momodou Sabally was detained for about 10 days and later released by the police without charge.
Hamat went on: “If you want to put this country into violence you will be in the violence and you will certainly be the victim of your own action. Gambians don’t want violence. They want peace. They want dialogue. They want to discuss genuinely to move our country forward. I heard [political] parties talking about an arrested individual saying he should not be arrested. We are under the rule of law. What I expect that political party or their militants to say is that if he is arrested, take him to court and we will go there and fight the case but you cannot claim there is a super person in this country who is untouchable and should not be arrested. None of us is above the law. When somebody is arrested and you believe the arrest is wrong, go to the courts. But to say you will cause violence or send audios saying that the man should not be arrested and you claim to be a democrat. That is not a genuine democracy”.
He said Gambians “must accept that we have a leader who has been honoured by the world and he has demonstrated his desire to consolidate democracy in the Gambia.
“Nobody can deny the fact that Barrow is a democrat; nobody can deny the fact that Barrow respects the rule of law,honours and respects every Gambian. We should be grateful and happy to Allah for giving us such a leader who believes in the people, democracy and rule of law. He has had too much insult and abuse from people he has done no wrong to and I think it is high time we demonstrated to them that we have strength, we have power. If they move 10 people, we move 100 people or 1000 people. We have the support and the [presidential] elections have indicated it. Gambians are solidly behind Adama Barrow. Whoever wants to threaten the peace of this country by coming into violence you will get the full force of the law and the law will apply. There is no doubt about that and I hope they get this message. If you believe you have the numbers and you can move this country into violence you are making a mistake. We have bigger numbers and we will demonstrate that we have bigger numbers than you think you have. Nobody wants to be refugees from this country. We have seen how Gambians suffered during the impasse and we don’t want to go back to that”, the NRP leader warned.