By Lamin Cham & Omar Bah
The Gambia Democratic Congress parliamentarian for Jimara has accused President Adama Barrow of causing a massive division in the constituency, where the president himself comes from.
The GDC controls the president’s home constituency at the National Assembly.
Speaking to GDC supporters in the constituency, the Hon. Alhagie Sowe alleged that since coming into power, President Barrow has caused a serious political division in Jimara.
“We elected Barrow to graduate us from our past experience under Jammeh but unfortunately, he is proving to be worse than Jammeh especially in terms of his divide and rule. It is pathetic,” he said.
He said the Gambian leader has created fragmentation among Jimara villages in his pick-and-choose policy whenever he is giving out donations.
“I am not making flimsy allegations. The GDC chairman in Jimara Sara Jawo is classic example. Whenever they are sharing government donated food or whatever, all the villagers of Sinchang Samba Jawo will have their share except him,” NAM Sowe alleged.
Sowe also alleged that Sarehjobo village, a stronghold of GDC, was not given any Covid-19 food relief.
He said the Gambian leader had also made sure and extended electricity to villages who voted for him and denied GDC strongholds like Sara Mansally.
Sowe said the Gambian leader has proven that he is worse than Yahya Jammeh, arguing that with all his vices, the former president had at least managed to unite the people of his native Foni throughout his 22-year rule, while Barrow on the other hand, is bent on dividing his own native constituency just for political reasons.
“But I want to assure him that if the GDC wins the 2021 presidential election, we will arrest him without delay. Yahya Jammeh managed to escape but I swear Barrow will not,” Sowe warned.
However, NAM Sowe urged the people of Jimara to accept every dime President Barrow gave them and never vote for him in 2021.
“I want us to remain united and never allow anyone, even Barrow to succeed in dividing us any further. Jimara has always been known for its unity and we must not allow that to slip away from us. Barrow’s time will end but Jimara will surely remain,” he said.
He instructed the GDC Jimara youth chairman to galvanise the young people in the constituency and ensure they unite under one umbrella for the benefit of peace and stability.
“We are aware of all what Barrow and his people are doing here but you need not fear; gone are the days of fear,” he said.
He reminded his constituency that the fight against Jammeh was a collective one and no individual or political party can take ownership of ending Jammeh’s 22-year reign of terror, saying that the culture of fear and intimidation will never be accepted in this country again.
“I want to tell you youths that it is never easy to be in the opposition. But thank god we are in a democracy where each of us has the right to support and vote for the political party of his or her choice. All those who are telling you to follow Barrow because he is chosen by god are deceiving you,” the Jimara NAM advised GDC supporters.
Presidential adviser reacts
Meanwhile, The Standard contacted Dou Sanno, adviser to the president, himself a native of Korojula-Kunda in the same Jimara constituency.
According to Sanno, the Honourable Alhagie Sowe, like his party leader in the GDC who also comes from Jimara, is driven by grudge and hate against Barrow.
”I think he is misusing his freedom of expression by indulging in idle talk and in the process exposing his own emptiness. His allegations are childish and nonsensical,” Sanno said.
He explained: “The Covid food relief was entrusted to a government agency, the National Disaster Management Agency, NDMA, to administer. President Barrow has nothing to do with its distribution. If NAM Sowe is genuine and discovers any community or people who have not received it, he should advise them to contact the NDMA for them to re-register as many other people have done and are doing. What does he gain by associating that with President Barrow?”
According to Sanno, it is also a fallacy to state that communities in Jimara have not been electrified because they support the GDC. ”I am from Korojula-Kunda in Jimara which has no electricity and I think I am one of the biggest supporters of President Barrow. If Barrow is considering only his supporters, why is my village without electricity? You can see the emptiness of that allegation too,” Sanno added.
As for comparing Jammeh in Foni to Barrow in Jimara, Dou Sanno said Jammeh was and is still able to rally the Foni people because they have supported and joined him as one of them. “No one ever challenged or opposed him voluntarily or others because they considered him as one of them who needed help to succeed. This is what people like Hon Sowe and his ilk lack in Jimara. Instead of embracing Barrow as one of them, they would rather show him disrespect out of grudge and hate because he is the elected president and not them,” Sanno said. He said Hon Sowe should be ashamed of including himself among those who voted Barrow in because in the first place, he and his ilk never voted for Barrow and cannot share any credit for his installation.
“In fact Hon Sowe is of course on his last term as NAM because he can never win that seat again. The youths of Jimara are more intelligent than him and they know what they want. They will reject him massively if he chooses to contest. That is where matters stand,” Dou Sanno concluded.