By Omar Bah
The deputy leader of the National Reconciliation Party, Musa Sonko has alleged that party leader Hamat Bah is planning to hand over NRP to President Adama Barrow.
In an exclusive interview with King FM, Musa Sonko alleged that some time ago the NRP’s senior executive members were informed about Hamat’s decision at a meeting called by the minority leader and NRP assembly member Samba Jallow.
“Samba Jallow told us at a meeting held at the party’s political bureau that the five NAMs and Hamat Bah went to Barrow to discuss with him the possibility of handing over the NRP to him because Hamat said he could not finance the party anymore,” Sonko told King FM.
Sonko, who was once Gambian ambassador to Guinea Bissau said he flatly refused arguing that a political party is not an enterprise where “you have a proprietor who can keep changing employees here and there.
I insisted that a political party has a constitution and is governed by an executive who are elected at a congress by members of the party.
I also told the meeting that such a move by Hamat Bah and his colleagues is unconstitutional because the executives were not consulted,” Sonko said.
He continued: “We don’t hate President Barrow because we are the ones who started the coalition process at the NRP bureau.
In fact, Hamat Bah was not himself committed to the coalition as he had left us there and I was the one who led the NRP crusade at the coalition and even when he was in Senegal whenever I called him, he would ask me not to call him again about the coalition because my phone was tapped.
He told us at the bureau he was not going to campaign for the coalition because Adama Barrow is going to fail.
That was the time I started having problem with him because he said Barrow bought my loyalty.”
Mr Sonko alleged that when the UDP selected Adama Barrow as candidate, Hamat Bah tried to discourage Barrow from taking the UDP leadership “but Adama told him he was going to take the challenge even if it will mean spending his own money.”
The Standard could not reach Hamat Bah on this issue.
However a senior NRP member and the minority leader in the assembly, Samba Jallow said Musa Sonko’s claims are totally false and nonsensical.
“I don’t deny having a meeting with them but the issue of handing over the party to President Barrow was never discussed at that meeting.
We did not discuss anything that has to do with President Barrow being the party’s flag-bearer,” Jallow told The Standard via telephone yesterday.
The minority leader accused Musa Sonko of serving as a spy for the UDP to cause division in the party.
Samba Jallow said immediately after that meeting, Musa Sonko called Ousainu Darboe of the UDP to inform him about what was discussed at the meeting. “You can ask Pateh Baldeh; he was the one who asked him why he called Darboe to discuss NRP matters,” Jallow alleged.
The minority leader continued: “If he wishes to be a puppet in the party, that is okay with us but he cannot destroy the party.
What I can tell is that President Barrow is not NRP leader because if he has such a desire, he should be the one to approach us and not the other way round.
If Barrow wishes he can become a member of the party and seek the party’s leadership, but for now there is nothing like mortgaging the party to Barrow.
Sonko may have his own personal vendetta with President Barrow and Hamat but it has nothing to do with the NRP,” Jallow concluded.