By Amadou Jadama
All the horses in the National Reconciliation Party are apparently not pulling in the same direction. The party’s deputy leader, Musa Sonko, has accused chieftain Hamat Bah of being the “most disruptive element” and “misleading” adviser to President Adama Barrow.
Sonko, a native of Niumi Berending, told The Standard over the weekend:
“[In their criticism of the president] Mai Fatty and others should not put blame on Dou Sanno and other advisers of the president. Let them leave them in peace. Hamat Bah is in the forefront of misleading President Adama Barrow at the moment. Hamat is a tribalist, nepotistic and a pretender,” Sonko, a former ambassador to Bissau alleged.
Challenged to back his allegations against the Tourism minister, Sonko contended: “Even my recall as ambassador to Guinea Bissau was endorsed by him [Hamat]. He is the one who consulted President Barrow for me to be recalled. President Barrow did not do anything as far as my recall is concerned.
“Hamat Bah was not comfortable with us, we the Coalition  executive because we know what type of person he is. That is why he brought a big division among the coalition executives. He is a political opportunist. He is the one who is misleading president Barrow.
“He advises Barrow based on his interest, not what is good for President Barrow, and let me tell you his eyes are now on the vice president’s seat. And I want to tell Mai Fatty, that even if Barrow sacks his advisers and Hamat Bah remains, things will still continue to get worse.
“Now he [Hamat] is showing himself to be the one who loves Barrow the most, while he is the one who hates him. After he lost the primaries [at the Coalition Convention], he went to Senegal saying he was not going to campaign for Barrow. If the coalition had lost the election, he would have joined President Yahya Jammeh.
“When he was in Senegal he called me to leave the coalition activities and told me that my mobile [phone] was tapped and they were going to arrest me. I told him let them come and arrest me but I will never leave the coalition.
“Hamat Bah has never been part of this coalition. I led the NRP to this coalition. By selection time, he told me he was on a journey to Mali, and I told him to come back.
When he came back, we put him as our candidate. When he contested and lost, he told me that Barrow was not going to win the election, so he was not going to campaign for him… That is why he left for Senegal.
“He did not take any part in the campaign until the day we finished our nationwide tour. He only came to join us at the Sukuta rally when he knew that this coalition will succeed.
He has no followers at this moment in our party, because we have seen him as a self-centred person. Let me tell you, NRP doesn’t even have a constitution and an auditor. So NRP is a political enterprise and not a political party. We have tried to change it but we could not. But because of his new alliance with Barrow, he doesn’t care for anybody. All what he cares about now is being in President Barrow’s good books and secure his ministerial position,” Sonko claimed.
However, NRP spokesman Pateh Baldeh said Sonko “ate sour grapes” and his accusations of Mr Bah “are wide off the mark”.
“Hamat led the NRP to the coalition. While he was away, we were in constant contact with him. We could not do anything without the party leader. We delegated Musa Sonko to represent us,” Baldeh clarified.
He denied Sonko’s accusation of tribalism. “NRP is not a tribalist party and neither is Hamat Bah. Even our party’s official language [sic] is Mandinka, so how can we be tribalist. When Jammeh insulted Mandinkas, Hamat was the first to come out and publicly condemn him.”