By Omar Bah
Mamma Kandeh, the leader of opposition Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) has issued a stern warning to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that there could be serious security threats to the country’s peace “If President Adama Barrow fails to step down in December”.
Speaking to the Dakar-based RFM radio over the weekend, Mr Kandeh stated: “ECOWAS is aware of everything going on in The Gambia right now.
When we were in difficulties during the political impasse, all of ECOWAS joined hands to help us and we are grateful, but the reason why they were helping us was to ensure peace.
Now that they are seeing other things coming up different from what they were calling for…they should intervene and tell Barrow the truth. Barrow should also understand that no presidency lasts forever.”
‘Operation 3 Years Jotna’, a group calling on President Barrow to step down at the expiry of his agreed transitional mandate, has maintained it will not be intimidated or cowed into submission by anybody.
The group argued that the contract between the coalition in general and the Gambian people is three years.
However, President Barrow has since categorically stated that he is not leaving office and that no one can force him out before the next presidential election in 2021.
Addressing a crowd from Kombo East at State House several weeks ago, the president said: “No one can scare me to give up the presidency before 2021.
That cannot happen and I will not allow that and so if anyone has that plan, he or she should drop it.
We will only go to election in 2021 and I will graciously hand over the office to whoever wins. That is the only thing that will make me leave the State House”.
But the GDC leader said in the interest of peace, President Barrow should respect the contract [as contained in the Coalition MoU] he has with Gambian people and clamber down.
He criticized the size of Barrow’s travel budget that allegedly distended from D7 million in 2017 to D100 million in 2019 while some teachers go without being paid salary for three consecutive months.
“Adama Barrow is fond of claiming his government lacks resources and yet his youth movement (BYM) is more active in implementing projects than even government.
In short, government has outsourced its primary function to BYM,” he added. The GDC leader hailed the relationship enjoyed between The Gambia and Senegal.