By Omar Wally
Dembo ‘By Force’ Bojang, the national president of the main coalition party, the UDP, has denied claims that there is a growing rift between President Barrow and Foreign Minister Darboe.
Bojang who is the special adviser to President Barrow on Religious Affairs, said contrary to the widely held belief, UDP is not divided into two camps – the Barrow Camp and the Darboe camp. He said there is only one camp in the UDP and that is the UDP Camp and that President Adama Barrow is in that camp.
Bojang, Bakau’s leading politico for several decades, made these assertions on Monday during an exclusive interview with The Standard at his office at the State House, Banjul.
Deriding the talks of a rift, Mr Bojang underscored: “Whether Barrow was elected through the Coalition [or not], he was the treasurer of the United Democratic Party. Whatever comes from UDP is UDP. There is no fraction in UDP.”
Asked about the growing levels of acerbic criticism being directed at the president and his policies, Mr Bojang said: “Any president anywhere must be criticised in one way or the other. Some will say they fought tooth and nail and they are not [now] employed, that is a constructive criticism, but there are some unnecessary criticisms too.”
He said Rome was not built in a day and asked for patience. “Those who fought will be rewarded and the government is working towards creating employment for people. Companies are coming up since everybody cannot be in the civil service, but we are creating employment The youth are the future and they fought the battle and won so they have to enjoy the fruit of [their] labour.”
Asked whether Barrow should serve three or five years, Mr Bojang who played a leading role in the convention that brought the president to power, declined to comment and said non-comittaly: “Gambians should wait until the completion of President Barrow’s three years in office then the Coalition stakeholders will sit and discuss three or five years. In the absence of that, when I talk on any side, I will make a great mistake and as chairman of the coalition, I will not reveal or debate on it until I call them [the members] and we discuss the issue.”
Read the full transcript of the interview on The Standard’s Friday Bantaba column.