By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has declared that his National People’s Party (NPP) would rather take ‘death than shame’ in the December 4 presidential election.
Addressing a group of former national assembly members and governors who called on him to declare their support, Barrow went further to explain: “NPP is not taking the December presidential election lightly. We are ready for anything as far as the elections are concern and when you are about to start a war, there are two things to bear in mind – death or shame. You either take death or shame and we the NPP will rather take death than shame.”
Turning to his critics, the president said: “They kept saying that Barrow is afraid and doesn’t talk. But someone who had stood against Yahya Jammeh in an election, (with Jammeh refusing to concede) and stayed with him in this country for one month, responding to his every statement, yet you said that man is not brave and he is afraid. Well, time will tell, and we will know who is afraid or brave. We are one people, we know each other as one family. So when did darkness fall until we couldn’t recognise each other?,” the president said, repeating his famous proverb.
He further said that his critics often called him a sleeping president but wondered how a sleeping president could achieve development projects in Banjul, Basse, Sandu, Niani and NBR. “If a sleeping president can initiate all these projects, then if he wakes up from sleep his opposition would cease to exist. They are just being hypocritical”, he said.
The Gambian leader said thanks to the quality of democracy and his government’s commitment to freedom of expression, “press conferences are being held in this country every day, something ‘they could not dare in over 20 years. “When Yahya Jammeh was here, they couldn’t do it so there is democracy in Barrow’s government and they are enjoying such freedoms because of Barrow’s government”, he said.
President Barrow said the NPP’s victories in both the Niamina West and Kerr Jarga by-elections last year were as a result of an intelligent strategy he employed.
“I told the six political parties supporting me to impose themselves in Niamina West and Kerr Jarga and stay there until after the elections. I wanted them to prove that I am the president and I wanted that to be very clear so that we will differentiate between the ruling party and the opposition,” he said.
The Gambian leader said he doesn’t think there is any strong opposition that would pose a threat to his rule in the coming polls. He applauded the country’s new democratic culture which he said gave birth to the proliferation of political parties, adding, “the more political parties we have, the better for our democracy.”
He applauded the former NAMs, most of them from the APRC, for standing by him. “I am not aware of any president, be it ex-President Jawara or Yahya Jammeh, who had amassed such political support,” he said.
The spokesperson of the former National Assembly Members and Governors Association, Musa Badjie, confirmed to The Standard yesterday that the committee members were at State House to offer their support to President Barrow in his development agenda as well as his bid for a second mandate. The former lawmaker said the association’s decision was agreed among all the members and was not influenced by any one individual as suggested by some reports.
Meanwhile the NPP has named its executive committee. The list of executive members widely shared and confirmed by the party officials reads: Adama Barrow – Party Leader, Maimuna Baldeh – Women National Mobilizer, Lamin Cham – Campaign Manager, Lamin Queen Jammeh – spokesperson, Seedy Njie – deputy spokesperson, Dembo By force Bojang – National President,
Isatou Touray – deputy National President, Demba Sabally – Second deputy National President, Musa Drammeh – National Treasurer, Kebba Madi Bojang – National Youth President, Maimuna Ceesay – Diaspora Secretary, Lamin k. Saidy – deputy National Youth Coordinator, Fabou Sanneh – National Organization, Ebrima Sallah – Secretary Media and Communication and Amie Fabureh – Secretary women’s wing.