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Sabally slams Touma’s ‘malicious’ comments

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By Alagie Manneh

Momodou Sabally the campaign manager of opposition UDP, has slammed comments made by the Banjul South NAM Touma Njie last week as “malicious and vexatious”.

Njai created a furore online on Thursday after she asked both President Barrow and UDP leader Ousainu Darboe to truncate any desires to run in the next presidential election.

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Her comments came in the wake of President Macky Sall’s decision to not contest the 2024 presidential election in Senegal. Touma said President Barrow and Darboe should follow suit in order to help sustain and nurture The Gambia’s democracy.

But Sabally said the remarks are “symptomatic of a deep malaise in the society hell bent on delegitimising the majority”.

He added that the comments are “a little bit self-righteous” and an attempt to “make the opposition look bad”.

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“Darboe has never been president of this country. So, how can you hold Darboe to the same standards with Barrow who was voted into power, reneged on a three-year promise, sabotaged a whole constitution worth more than a D100 million to self-perpetuate, knowing very well that Darboe who is a constitutional lawyer is in for term limits, has never served? And you have global leaders like Anwar Ibrahim, about the age of Darboe or even older, being in politics perhaps even longer than Darboe. But because Darboe is the most popular politician in this country, and doubtless on an unstoppable drive to become the next president, they want to use the media to make him look bad, to make him look greedy. But they will fail miserably,” he charged.

Criticised for not including PDOIS’ Halifa Sallah in the list of party leaders she called on to step down, Touma contented that Sallah had already retired from active politics.

But giving a broadside to this argument, Sabally stated: “If Halifa Sallah decided to retire from politics that is Halifa Sallah’s choice and I respect that. But if Halifa Sallah decides to run for president, even though I may not support or vote for him, I will not ridicule him, or try to deny him his legal and moral right to stand and contest for pubic office. Halifa had been in politics at least a decade before Ousainu Darboe.”

Sabally said Touma’s comments that Barrow and Darboe are “our only problem” was borne out of “sheer ignorance”.

“Touma and others are newcomers in the political field who continue to found the opportunity and liberty to join politics because of the sacrifices of people like Halifa Sallah and Ousainu Darboe. I might not blame her much… Both Halifa and Darboe are blessings and guiding lights of our current political dispensation.”

Mr Sabally suggested that Touma should instead focus on her “useful contributions” critical to the country in the National Assembly.

“Of late, she’s been doing quite a phenomenal job,” he lauded. “I want her and her colleagues to work together to ensure that President Barrow is removed in 2026.”

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