By Omar Bah
The first vice chairman of the new UDP West Coast Region committee was wednesday invited, questioned and released by Brikama police following a fracas over the party’s regional bureau in the town.
Abdou Darboe was reported to the police by Lamin Jatta, the second vice chairman of the former committee for vandalism.
The former committee, widely perceived to be loyal to President Barrow, is refusing to vacate the bureau claiming that the congress that elected the new one was opaque.
The party’s regional congress was conducted amid controversy with the initial attempt disrupted by a splinter group comprising members of the outgoing committee.
Confirming the news to The Standard shortly after leaving the police station, Abdou Darboe said he was invited to the Brikama Suba Ward Police Station on Tuesday: “When I arrived, I was told by the police that Lamin Jatta lodged a complaint against me…That I broke into his house. But I told the police that was not true because I broke into the UDP bureau and not into Lamin Jatta’s house.”
He said the police substation referred them to the main Brikama police station where the officers refused to attend to them and ordered them to return to the Suba ward police where he gave his statement.
Asked whether he was given bail, Darboe replied: “There was no bail because I told them I have no case to answer. My reason is the bureau that Lamin Jatta is claiming to be his office is a UDP bureau where I am the second-in-command. As we speak now, I am at the bureau waiting for the police’s next move.”
Explaining further, Darboe said the problem started when he requested for the key to the bureau to hold a regional executive meeting. “When they refused to give me the key, I called a carpenter to break the padlock because I made it clear to Jatta that he cannot stop me from entering the bureau,” he explained.
The new committee’s youth coordinator, Sarjo Darboe, alleged that there is “executive interference in the issue [as the] outgoing camp is relying on the State House, but they should be aware that the matter is entirely a UDP matter and the State House cannot interfere.”
He added: “It was very disappointing to listen to the news about this issue. I think it is important for us to be vigilant and understand that we are one UDP. There is nothing like President Barrow and UDP camp in this. We have to be very careful of what we are saying on social media,” he added.
Contacted for his reaction, Jatta confirmed reporting Darboe to the police, but refused to comment further, saying the matter is before the police. “I want to allow the police to do their job,” he added.
Meanwhile, the police have released a statement noting that a case file has been opened and followed to the CID office yesterday to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the whole issue.