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Sabally rebuts those who say he had no moral authority to be at demo

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By Omar Bah

UDP campaign manager Momodou Sabally, has defended his decision to participate in Friday’s anti-corruption protest, following criticisms that he has no moral authority to preach against corruption.

In 2019, a government white paper on the Janneh Commission Report which looked into the financial activities of the former president, Yahya Jammeh, his family and close associates, banned Mr Sabally from holding public office for life after the commission found him to have committed economic crimes.

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“But how can you participate in stealing a million dollars from the central bank and still go out to address a corruption protest? These people are fake, pure and simple. 6&9 are really entertainers,” economist and politician Alhaji Kurang wrote.

But reacting to the criticisms in a Standard exclusive, Sabally said: “Well, personally for those claiming the lack of moral authority to preach against corruption; they are the same people now crying foul over the setting up of commissions of enquiry as political weapons. This has been my personal view too. People like Alhagi Kurang are the ones bereft of moral authority to comment on such matters because of their inconsistency and political hypocrisy when it comes to matters of public interest. Kurang who resigned as secretary of the Janneh Commission crying foul for lack of fairness and selective questioning of witnesses cannot come out today to use the findings of that same commission against me? Where is the sincerity and consistency of Alhagi Kurang in all of this?”

He said it is now clear to all Gambians that he was personally targeted by the Janneh Commission; and those who decided to implement its findings in a selective manner have betrayed their own political motives by appointing people accused of worse things in this government.

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“That commission was a weapon used to target and victimise me for political reasons. And even the worst critics of Momodou Sabally have never associated his name with corruption. I remain a free and decent Gambian, never convicted of any wrong by any independent competent court to date, talk less of being found guilty of corruption,” he said.

Commenting on the importance of the protest, Sabally said: “As the party leader stated, the UDP was never able to attain a permit for a peaceful protest for almost three decades. This is the first and it was staged to combat a socio-economic [hazard] that even President Barrow admits is in existence and there is a need to fight it. The fact that it was done in peace has proven our detractors wrong for they have always associated the desire for protest with ulterior motives of violence and instability.”

For those saying the protest could affect the party in the upcoming elections, Sabally added: “I think they have been proven wrong because the basic fear has been that of the potential for the protests to turn violent which has since been proven to be a fallacy.”

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