Opposition NAM condemns ‘tribal’ meetings at State House

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By Omar Bah

The National Assembly Member for Brikama North has accused President Adama Barrow of promoting tribalism and division in the country.

Addressing a UDP regional congress in Basse, Honorable Alhagie S Darboe said the Gambian leader’s decision to invite tribes to the State House has caused lot of damage to the country’s cohesive existence.


“President Adama Barrow is the one who is promoting the issue of tribes in this country. I want the Gambian people to be careful of him because former presidents Sir Dawda Jawara and Yahya Jammeh have ruled this country for 52 years combined but they have never invited tribes to the State House to talk to them about politics or whatsoever.

It is only Adama Barrow who has done it. I have told him repeatedly that State House is not a Bantaba and that he should stop calling tribes but he has not listened. It is him who is bringing all these tribal divisions in this country. Tribes are meeting time after time and nobody knows what he is discussing with them there. How can you claim to rule people and at the same time want to create division amongst them? But it is left to us to accept it or reject and the people of Basse should reject tribal politics because it would not work in this country. This is my advice. We have all seen what happened in Basse during the presidential and National Assembly elections. That should not repeat itself. You are all living here together – you marry and go to each other’s funeral, so you should not allow one person to divide you based on tribes. You should all sit and reflect on why all these things are happening here,” he said.

Hon Darboe added: “The people of URR should know that tribalism is gradually being discouraged in Gambian politics but you (URR) still practice and encourage tribalism in our politics. Why is that? Nobody should say he/she can rely only on their tribesmen to bring them development because when you are going to the market, you don’t go with your tribe colour and there is no point where you could go to a shopkeeper and tell him you are a Mandinka, Fula or Sarahule and that he should reduce the price based on that. I appeal to you to put the issue of tribes aside.”

Hon Darboe called on URR to elect people who have the country at heart and are willing to work for the country. “We all know what Foday Danjo has done in Basse for the past five years. None of his predecessors has achieved that, so I urge the people of Basse to put aside their tribal differences and vote for continuity that will bring you development. If you give this seat to the government, all the blessings will be to one side and the majority will continue to suffer while the council will be doing things that pleases the government. So, I appeal to you to vote for the UDP candidate. We have all seen what used to happen to the APRC-led council. They were using public funds anyhow they wanted but all that has stopped and now the ordinary people are feeling the presence of the council. This is the essence of decentralisation,” he concluded.