KANDEH ASKS GOV’T TO BE CLEAR ABOUT COUP PLOT

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By Amadou Jadama in Soma

The leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress on Saturday tasked the Gambia government to come out to the public with more clarity about the alleged coup plot, arguing that Gambians need to know the truth.

Addressing his party’s congress at Soma soon after his reelection as party leader, Mamma Kandeh said government owes it to people to explain whether this is an intelligence report or attempted coup because nobody seems to no know much.

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Mr Kandeh said since the government announcement, Gambians have not seen any unusual movement of troops or checkpoints. “Is this a ploy to create a ground for Ecomig forces to stay longer? Up till now, the president did not come out to address the nation with regard to this issue. They just showed pictures of small boys who don’t even have corporal rank. I myself know how to operate guns better than those boys, and you are saying that they wanted to stage a coup. Okay I am not denying they have, but please come with something clearer for us to know,” Kandeh urged the government.

The GDC leader said as a principle, he is not in support of any coup and since his days as an MP in the Pan African Parliament, he had joined others in condemning coups and advocating for the introduction of a term limit to make sure that the continent do away with coups, especially in West Africa. “But I have a concern. Before setting an anti-coup unit in Ecowas, the leaders should instead study the reasons of coups, put their house in order first,” he said.

Kandeh said there is no coup much more than changing the constitution of nations to extend presidential terms.

The GDC leader further stated that African leaders must stop lying to their electorates and know that people have given them responsibility to serve them.

“The Government of President Adama Barrow has lied to the people promising to quit after three years, and when citizens stood up to remind you about that you threw tear gas on them. And interestingly, the president was himself bragging about that,” Kandeh said.

Kandeh said a similar promise was made to reform the security sector and civil service very little of which has happened if at all.

Turning on the IEC, the GDC leader warned election authorities not to set the country on fire through carelessness or negligence as they have done in 2016 by announcing two different results.

Mr Kandeh further alleged the IEC registered foreigners, especially Senegalese to vote against the will of the Gambian people. “That is why UDP has filed a petition to the Supreme Court with clear evidence but both the IEC and the presidency refused for that petition to pass with the support of the Supreme Court with a technical excuse that the president was not notified even though his lawyers were present in court.

If we react as politicians, you label us as violent groups. We are peace loving people and we want this message to reach to Alieu Momarr Njai, the Chairman of the IEC. President Barrow has written to me, and copied the IEC to stop former president Jammeh from speaking at our meetings. Thereafter, IEC wrote to me asking me to stop Jammeh from addressing my meetings. But I also wrote a petition to the IEC with evidence but up till today, I did not receive any reply from the IEC,” Kandeh said.

Meanwhile, a few executive positions changed. Momodou ABS Mboob was elected as new deputy party leader after MC Cham Jr withdrew his candidature following discussions.

Mr Mboob replaced Amadou Kah who resigned.

Muhammed Saidy was elected as national youth coordinator, replacing MC Cham Jr.