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Political activist says grand coalition in the offing to unseat Barrow in 2026

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By Olimatou Coker

A few days after The Standard published a “prophecy” from one of Nigeria’s top church leaders and self-acclaimed prophet that the opposition will form a coalition to weaken President Barrow’s efforts, a leading political activist who played a key role in dislodging former president Yahya Jammeh, has disclosed that a grand coalition is in the offing to challenge the president in the 2026 presidential election.

Former national team footballer and businessman Joe Sambou, revealed to West Coast Radio’s flagship morning show Coffee Time With Peter Gomez on Tuesday that he and his cohorts of Gambians in the diaspora, mainly in the US and Europe, will be meeting within a fortnight to begin discussions for a ‘Coalition 2026’.

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Sambou said this will be followed by a firming up meeting in the US around the American Independence holiday (July 4 weekend) which traditionally sees a gathering of large numbers of Gambians resident in the States.

“That is where we are going to look at each other face to face, to strategise and to begin to mobilise a mega coalition; a coalition of integrity and the willing. We don’t want to televise our hand… but you will see between now and December, a profile… It is not going to be business as usual. Any contender that wants to be taken seriously, has to talk openly about the ills of our society, openly and directly naming names. It’s not going to be I’m above this or that, or I’m not going to hit below the belt or above the belt, you will call it as it is.”

Mr Sambou said such a “puritanical” approach is the bane of PDOIS, whose leader Halifa Sallah, he drew parallels with Ousmane Sonko, the architect of the recent political revolution in Senegal in terms of their personal integrity.

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Mr Sambou criticised the UDP leader, Ousainu Darboe, for dismantling Coalition 2016 and accused certain political parties of anchoring their politics on tribalism.

He did not disclose the identities of the people he’s working with to form the “mega coalition”. However, he said the candidate that the coalition will sponsor will likely be somebody in The Gambia.

In his prophecy issued last week, Primate Elijah Ayodele, the leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, intimated that President will not seek re-election and “will make a wrong political calculation as the people will not allow his candidate to fly”.

He said Barrow’s predecessor (Jammeh) will form a coalition against him while warning him to “restrategise and be careful of his political steps”.

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