By Alagie Manneh
& Tabora Bojang
Seedy Njie, a former APRC stalwart turned surrogate for President Barrow, has warned GDC leader Mamma Kandeh to desist from attempting “to destabilise” the country by making “a reckless comment” that Barrow’s failure to step down after three years could imperil the security of the country.
Kandeh told Dakar’s RFM radio over the weekend that Ecowas should intervene and tell the president to step down by the year-end.
However, Njie said what Ecowas should be concerned with should not be Barrow’s desire to keep the country’s top job but Kandeh’s “unguarded” remarks.
He argued: “Mamma Kandeh is inciting, and perhaps insinuating that he will engage in an illegal act or attempt to destabilise The Gambia come December 2019. He is trying to insinuate that he is in contact with probably security apparatus in this country. He is in concert, and in contact with probably established gangs of hooligans to perpetrate acts of violence in December. Therefore, both the government and Ecowas should engage him about his comments that are so serious and reckless. Every responsible Gambian should see his comments as a threat. He is the one threatening the peace and stability of The Gambia, not Barrow.”
Njie said as far as he is concerned, the issue is not about Barrow’s desire to stay on, but envy from his detractors because he is “doing a fine job”.
“Mamma Kandeh is jealous of the achievements of the Barrow-led government. He is always assaulting the person of the president. His comments show how ill-informed he is about the principles of Ecowas, democracy and constitutionalism.
“This is the same man who got expelled from the APRC. And if he is now seeking our country’s top job, he should familiarise and respect our Constitution, which is supreme to any other law in our land. People who are aspiring to be the chief executive of this country need to be reminded that the issue of morality cannot be substituted for constitutionality and rule of law. The Ecowas mission in The Gambia is solely to defend the Constitution, and everyone, even a lunatic, knows that President Barrow is elected to serve for five years.”
Seedy Njie said he is reminding Kandeh that it is a “treasonable act under the 1997 Constitution” for anybody to take to the streets demanding Barrow step down after three years.
“In fact, Kandeh was never part of the November Convention, and we are told of recent, that the majority of the coalition partners have agreed to go in for five years as stipulated in the Constitution. Now for anybody to force a democratically-elected government to step down after three years is illegitimate. What baffles me is all this noise is coming out over a document that was never even signed. Nothing was signed at the November Convention.”
‘Traveling to better Gambian lives’
Mr Njie also condemned the GDC leader’s remarks that Barrow’s travel budget rose from D7 million in 2017 to D100 million in 2019. He rejected those statements as “baffling,” and added: “You have to look at how many trips the president made in a year, and how much those trips affected, or bettered the lives of Gambians.”