By Lamin Cham
Veteran politician Majanko Samusa, has hit back at his rivals in the National Convention Party led by Yahya Sanyang who announced they have replaced him as interim leader accusing him of not working in the interest of the party among other things.
Reacting to the recent press statements by Mr Sanyang and his group, Samusa, who is also a nominated member of the National Assembly described Mr Sanyang and his group as political opportunists who called themselves intellectuals with very little understanding of politics.
“In the first place where on earth does one take over as leader of a party without being selected at a congress or by national membership of the party? As far as I am concerned, the real NCP members who toiled for the party and know its beginning and history are still faithful to the party under my interim leadership until a national congress is held to elect a leader,” Mr Samusa said, adding that this is what makes sense anywhere one goes.
Asked to comment on claims by the Sanyang Camp that they have the backing of most members in their decision to remove him from the party, Samusa said Sanyang and his ‘so-called’ executives are almost entirely people from Baddibu, and the NCP is more than a Baddibu affair.
“I represent the National Convention Party which is recognized across the country and whose members are still behind me. Mr Sanyang’s group thinks NCP is all about Baddibu,” he said.
Samusa further described Mr Sanyang himself as a UDP defector who is looking for political relevance.
“The so-called interim leader contested the UDP primaries in the last chairmanship elections in NBR where he came a woeful third. How can he claim to be a bona-fide NCP member when just a few months ago he was an official UDP candidate in the party’s primaries?” Samusa quizzed.
Asked to comment on the allegation that he has more time for UDP and Barrow than NCP, Samusa said unlike what the Sanyang faction believed, Barrow, UDP and other coalition partners recognized and worked with the NCP under his leadership because they know the contribution the party made in creating the change.
“Where was Mr Yahya Sanyang in 2016 when we were revitalising the NCP?” Samusa asked.
A former NCP elected member for Lower Badibbu in the first republic, Samusa said his long service in politics as an MP under three successive governments has taught him enough lessons to man the NCP to a safer destination than the ‘so-called’ intellectuals now trying to illegally hijack the party. “How can you have two executive committees in one party? No, there has to be a congress and proper procedure for leadership to change, not unilaterally and I am shocked that the so-called intellectuals failed to know that,” he warned.
Samusa said politics is about principles and people management and one does not need to be an intellectual to able to deliver that. “This intellectual syndrome is what has held back the Gambia for so long and has been the bug that has been infecting most political parties in the country where the real politicians are being sidelined for so-called intellectuals. It has infected APRC, NCP and more recently the GDC. It will even be affecting UDP. Apart from a few examples like the likes of Halifa Sallah, Sedia Jatta, Sam Sarr, Bakary Darboe, etc most intellectuals such as the Yaya Sanyang types have shied away from the scorching heat of the political scene when the going was tough,” Samusa said. He concluded by emphasising that he is the true interim leader of the NCP, a position entrusted to him by national membership and the national chairman who are loyal to the NCP they know and live in since 1975.