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Friday, September 18, 2020

OJ BREAKS SILENCE ON SACKING

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By Omar Bah

The former Agriculture Minister has for the first time spoken to mainstream media about his sacking from the cabinet, saying he has no regret serving or leaving the Coalition government.
Omar Jallow, also the leader of PPP told The Standard that despite leaving cabinet, he will not watch or allow President Adama Barrow and his associates to rule the country towards the path of democratic retrogression.
He warned that if such signs emerge, he will then oppose the Coalition.

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OJ, who vowed to maintain his support for the Coalition Government until the end of the three-year transition, said he will stand against anything that is meant to distract the democratic process of the country.
“If I ever see that this government is going astray or not following the principles that we fought for, I will stand and fight against them,” he said in a Standard exclusive yesterday.
OJ also revealed that he has no grudges against President Barrow and that he has no regret in serving as minister.

“But I can still recall that after our victory I went to former President Jawara to tell him, ‘Sir I have finished what you tasked me’, because he was the one who asked me to come in 2001 to unite the opposition. And he said to me ‘go and tell your colleagues that it is God and the people that brought this change and that if you betray each other, you have betrayed the Gambian people and God’” he stated.
He reminded President Barrow that when everybody got despaired, it was only him (OJ), Halifa Sallah and Isatou Touray who stood by him during the campaign that led to the defeat of Jammeh.
OJ also called on President Barrow to quickly facilitate a meeting among the Coalition stakeholders to discuss the agreed transition period.

He said President Barrow should remember that none of the Coalition stakeholders is better than any of those who voted for them.
“We must not only act as responsible leaders but we should also try to fulfill the aspiration and the needs of the Gambian people…That is why we are elected and we should not ever be tempted by power to think that we can assume authority and become authoritarian on top of the people who elected us,” he said.

He continued: “I will continue to hold the government accountable if I feel that they are departing from what Gambians have voted for. I will continue to be an active politician because I owe it to this country; that’s why I left my job in the UN and came back to fight Jammeh; and I will never ever watch this country move in a wrong direction and remain silent, that is not possible.”
Mr Jallow said his role as a politician is to build a Gambia that is based on respect for human rights, rule of law, good governance and a free press.

“That is what I stood and suffered for, for the past 22-years,” he said, adding that gone are days when Gambians will place their leaders in the place of God.
Asked what will be his decision after the three-year transition, OJ said as far as he is concerned the contract they had with the Gambian people is three years and he is sticking to that.
He also said he is going to network with his colleagues who share the same view.
He said Barrow should step down after three years as agreed by the Coalition.

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